Sougand Akbarian is an Iranian bestseller translator of Indian literature in Iran into Farsi (Persian) language. Recently, she came up with her debut novel- SouganDilli, which has become a bestseller. The readers are loving the book as it shows Dilli (Delhi) and India through the eyes of an Iranian girl. 

Author Sougand Akbarian is also a researcher and scholar in Translation Studies and a TEDx speaker. Read on as she talks about her debut novel, life as a writer, views on book translation, favorite lines from SouganDilli, and much more.

1. Let’s begin with a brief introduction of yours and an overview of your debut book— SouganDilli.

This is Sougand Akbarian, an Iranian bestseller translator of Indian literature in Iran into Farsi (Persian) language. I have been to India many times and especially to Delhi as a traveler and interpreter, that is the reason I decided to write my travelogue in English language based on my Delhi travel as SouganDilli which also made me the bestseller author as well.

I am also a researcher and scholar in Translation Studies and I already presented and published my papers and articles at national and international conferences in Iran and India. I am also a TEDx speaker. I am currently based in Iran. I have completed my Masters in English Language, Translation Studies.

SouganDilli- Indo-Iranian Adhuri Kahani  (An incomplete Indo-Iranian story)

It’s an illustrated book in the RomTravel (Romance + Travel) genre by an Iranian girl.

It is based on my Dill travel and my travelogue in the heart and capital of India, Dilli. That is why I kept the letter D in the capital, SouganDilli

Anyone’s life can change with a small incident forever. My life also changed, it has got a new and special color after my first trip to India and especially to Delhi (Dilli).

My story, the SouganDevraj love story (Sougand & Devraj) is an Indo-Iranian story. Maybe this is rummy and strange to you, as there is no space between the names of these two persons and D is in common.

Well, the D of Dilli is the end of SouganD and the beginning of Devraj! This book is more than just a genre. SouganDilli, is a love story, a novel which is a Safar Namah (Travelogue) of an Iranian girl in Delhi, India. A book that in many aspects is a real story.

2. From where did you get the idea behind the story of SouganDilli? Do the characters come from real-life incidents or from your own imaginations?

Being a translator of Indian literature into Farsi (Persian) language in Iran and after my India travel, so I thought to myself, why I do not write my travelogue and finally, it happened and was published in the quarantine of 2020. 

About Sougand character of SouganDilli, I can say a part of that is from my own character as an Iranian girl goes to India because her article was accepted at Delhi University, and about Devraj character, this is based on my imagination and creativity.

Related reading: “My book brings out the hidden truths about youth, difficulties they face, and mental health issues often ignored” – Raju Kumar Jha

3. What sort of reviews are you receiving from the readers?

I am so happy till now all the reviews are great and unforgettable and even my dear readers ask me for more books and novels in India and in English language from me as an Iranian author.

4. Would you mind sharing some of your favorite lines from SouganDilli?

Delhi is with D… Dunya (world) is with D

Dil (heart) is with D… Dard (pain) is with D

SouganD finishes with D, but Devraj starts with D

And Devraj’s Deewangi (madness) is also with D…

Suggested reading: 50+ Best Rupi Kaur Quotes & Poems To Cross Your Heart

5. Which is the latest book translated by you? For which languages are you up for the translation projects?

The last book I translated is from one of the Indian authors that soon will be available. I mostly focus on Farsi (Persian) and English languages for my translation projects. 

6. From a bestselling translator, I would like to know the importance of book translation and what are the key elements of a good translation?

As a translator when you select a book to translate, in fact, you are opening a new door and build a new bridge to another nation and literature for your readers so that book must be something in any field and genre your readers come to know about a new nation, literature, and culture in their own language.

And when you keep the loyalty as a translator to the author and keep cultural points and explain them to your readers that will be a good translation. 

7. Can poetry be translated faithfully into other languages or there is no hope? How different or difficult is the process compared to translating novels?

Obviously, it can be, because you do not go for rhyme or word for word translation, you are translating the soul, content, and emotion in another word format and rhyme, so the nature of the content is still the same. Just as all know about Rumi, the Persian poet, so that is an example to show poetry translation is possible!

Poems or novels, in both you are conveying soul, feeling, and content, so you should first get it as a reader deeply, then you can translate it to make others feel the same in the translated version. 

8. Is there a book you would have liked to have written or translated?

About writing a book, it was SouganDilli that I am happy I did it finally. So, from here Thanks to my God on the earth, my mom, that she is the main reason and inspiration behind SougandDilli, and thanks to Chandra Kant Jaisansaria, my CK bhai ji, the CEO of Damick Publications that he trusted SouganDilli to publish my dream.

And thanks to my dear readers to make SouganDilli one of the bestsellers with their love and support.

About translating a book, better I say books because I have a long list to translate from Indian authors. 

Also read: “The idea behind the book existed since the beginning of me playing badminton,” – Diya Vyas

9. A quick-fire round

Best bit of writing advice you’ve ever heard?

Write whatever you feel and think about.

– What compliment do people give you the most? 

Well better to ask my readers, but what I mostly heard is they really liked SouganDilli because they saw Dilli and India through Iranian girl’s eyes.

– A line said by your closed one that you never forget?

My God on the earth, my mom always telling me, “I know you will get whatever you wish”

– One habit that you think makes you more productive?

Reading books and watching movies. 

10. What’s next in the roadmap for Sougand Akbarian?

To learn more about literature and translate and write more books, and make a deep and strong connection among translating, writing, and traveling.

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