Астерина

Мне 23 года. Я окончила Ереванский государственный университет: магистр филологии по специализации <<Переводоведение>>. Помимо профильного английского языка, владею также испанским и португальским. Во время учебы и после ее завершения занималась переводом художественных произведений (прозу и поэзию) как англоязычных, так и испаноязычных авторов, в основном переводила на армянский. Я увлекаюсь не только переводом, но и написанием художественной литературы. Недавно я создала свой собственный блог, где публикую свои работы и переводы на разных языках. Мечтаю в будущем успешно совмещать перевод и создание собственный литературных произведений.

I’m 23 years old. I completed my Masters Degree in Translation Studies at Yerevan State University. Apart from English as a major, I also studied Spanish and Portuguese. During the years at the university and after graduation I have been translating literary works (prose and poetry) of both English- and Spanish-speaking authors. Frequently, the translations were into Armenian. My interests cover not only traslating but creating fiction. That’s why, I’ve started to run my own blog recently, and one can find my translations and my own literary attempts there. My greatest ambition is to achieve a successful balance between translating my favourite fiction and creating my own literary works.


Перевод «Дочь курда»

Anahit handed in the examination records and hurried home to dive into housework so as to get rid of anxious thoughts for а while. She had a degree in Turkish studies. Her mother had insisted on it. She had been talking to her daughter in Turkish since the early childhood and kept repeating every time: ‘You must know this language. One day you will return there. You shall. Then the others shall return too.’

Anahit’s father and mother were among the hundreds of Genocide survivors, unlike the million of Armenians that were sentenced to death by the Turks.  Anahit’s mother Shekhnaz (as the second child in an Armenian family, she had to receive a Turkish name) was four years old at that time, and remembered well how some armed soldiers forced them out of their house, made them stand in a line and announced that they were going to ‘convoy’ them to Aleppo.  The ‘convoy’ of the raw in which Shekhnaz and her mother were lined up (her father and brother had been separated from them since the very beginning), was over as they reached the outskirts of Diyarbakir. There the defenseless women and children were attacked by gangs of marauders which were specially formed for this occasion, with the active participation of ‘chetens’- descendants of immigrants from the South Caucasus. With the gendarmes’ laughter and cheerful exclamations, the marauders tore off the clothes of the miserable victims and beat them with war hammers: those actions were their main lucre, for they gave the money and gold to Turks. The look in their eyes never conveyed even the least sympathy:  being the ancestors of those who now expatiate on the freedom of ‘their’ nation, they themselves ruthlessly deprived a whole nation of its right to exist- a nation that had inhabited this land since the formation of the Earth’s crust.

Shekhnaz’s mother was right in the middle, so in the twinkle of an eye she herself tore her clothes off and collapsed to the ground, shielding her child with her body. Almost immediately they found themselves covered by a pile of bloody bodies. They were lucky; they remained unnoticed when the Turks were passing by the dead bodies to deal the final blow to the survivors of the massacre. Within a few hours Shekhnaz’s mother heard some people cursing the killers. Those were some beggars that had come in hope of picking up something. That was when she made herself heard and the beggars took her and the child with them. Some months later Shekhnaz’s mother took every precaution to hand her daughter to a Greek monastery under cover of night.  From time to time she visited her daughter together with an elderly beggar woman. However, once the beggar woman came alone. Hiding her wet eyes she gave Shekhnaz some coins and told her that her mother had found a job far away, and she would not be able to visit her any more. Shekhnaz never saw her mother again. She was sent away from the monastery to find shelter in an orphanage for Armenian children in Syria. She survived, grew up and got married with Mushegh- an Armenian orphan like her. That was the story her parents used to tell her.

Their family moved from Syria to Armenia in the early 60-s. They settled in the town of Ararat. Besides Anahit, they also had two sons. Her father would repeat over and over again that he had named his daughter after his mother. His survival story could as well make one’s blood curdle; it was a quite typical one.

The column of people, those who were not killed at once, was convoyed from Harput to the south. Three days had barely passed when the Turks began to rape and kill. Almost every day the Kurdish villagers attacked the moving columns and kidnapped girls and women. That was how he and his mother lost his twelve-year-old sister. On the fourteenth day the survivors of the column reached the eastern bank of Euphrates. Here they were doomed to drown. The river was dotted with corpses but nine-year-old Mushegh, who could swim quite well, felt that the only chance to survive was in the water. Kissing his mother good-bye, he sank in the water. A Turkish teenager, who came here with his people to make hold-ups and have some fun, soaked him into the water with excited shouting.  But Mushegh’s instinct for self-preservation totally overtook both his vision and consciousness and made him pick up a stone from the bottom and hit the Turk in the groin. He groaned and knelt in the water, setting Mushegh free for a moment. Mushegh immediately threw the same stone in his eye. The Turk fell in the river head downwards and drowned; the rest of the Turks were too busy marauding and noticed this unprecedented incident too late to catch up with Mushegh who had swum a sufficient distance. He lost himself in the waves, swimming backstroke, and once he got tired, he commanded himself to live through it all so as to meet his mother once again. He was saved by an Arab fisher. He was treated quite warmly in the Arab village and was asked to stay there for good. But he had to make for Aleppo. Mushegh’s mother wasn’t among a few dozens of survivors who reached Aleppo.

He adored his daughter Anahit; he spoilt her, let her do whatever she wanted and satisfied all her whims, saturating this love with the unquenchable yearning for his mother and sister. Last year Anahit was deeply mourning the loss of her father. She’d taken it the worst. And she considered her mother’s efforts to arrange a trip to Turkey as absolutely inappropriate. But Shekhnaz wouldn’t give up; she went on calling Anahit and demanding to accompany her to Diyarbakir as the Soviet Armenians now had an unprecedented opportunity to visit the South-Eastern part of Turkey- Western Armenia. Some of their friends in Syria had already sent them an entry visa to Turkey. But all that didn’t make sense for Anahit: to go and visit a devastated land that the cruel murderers had never been able to conquer, even after devouring its offsprings that seemed the only obstacle on the way to а total takeover. However, soon her mother was accidently taken ill, accepting the rules that the old age dictates to even a pretty vigorous seventy-nine-year-old lady. That’s when Anahit thought the issue was no longer under question.

 

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