Transit of Venus comic - translator profiles

The comics on the Transit of Venus, published by NCRA in 11 languages, was possible due to a number of people - the illustrator, translators, typographers and so on. A brief bio of the translators follows..

Reshma Barve (illustrator) is a graduate from Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya, Pune, Reshma Barve is a freelance artist and has illustrated many childrens books with many publishers. This includes the Maharashtra State Book Bureau of Textbook Production and Curriculum Research (BalBharati). In 2011, she worked with Prof. Arvind Gupta on an illustrated book called 'The Story of Solar Energy', published by Scholastic.

Niruj Mohan Ramanujam (original text) is an astronomer at the NCRA, changes field after every job, and hopes not to have to settle down for some time to come. This is his first comic, and is astounded at the response. This project has made him realise the need for multi-lingual science popularisation material.

Mihir Arjunwadkar (Marathi translation) is currently a visiting professor at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Pune, India. His interests are statistical and computational science, computing and statistics, and pedagogy. (More appropriately, he should be described as a visiting outlier at NCRA because he is not an astronomer). The Marathi translation of the Transit of Venus book is his very first venture into the realm of science outreach.

Girjaprasad J. Kantharia (Gujarati translation), is 78 years old, is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport, U.K./India since 1961.  He has have worked in Middle Eastern countries like Aden, British Somaliland, French Somaliland,  Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia for nearly twenty five years in transport related activities and companies. He has given his honorary service for about a decade to the Ahmedabad Management Association of which organisation he is a patron member.  He is also a Life Member of the Indian Remote Sensing Society. His daughter is a Reader with NCRA-TIFR.

Breezy Ocaña Flaquer (Spanish translation), currently at NCRA,  was born and grew up in Dominican Republic 33 years ago. She started studying in the University there, then moved to Venezuela (where she started doing Astronomy outreach and training with a Planetarium), but finally finished her BS in Florida in Astronomy/Astrphysics. She then went to the Canary Islands and did her Masters on the analysis of the eclipse timing of a binary star system using the transit method. She then moved to Granada for her PhD on radio galaxies. After that, she went to Florence, Italy (while waiting for her Indian visa) and worked on research and gave some lectures in the Planetarium there. After her stay in India, she is off to Portugal.

S. Parthasarathy (Tamil translation) works in the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam as a Scientific Officer. He is a State Executive Committee member of the Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF). He is a writer for the Astronomy Column in 'THULIR', a children's science magazine in Tamil, published by TNSF. He is a  life member of the Tamil Nadu Astronomy  Association (TANASTRO).

Sushan Konar (Bengali translation) is an astrophysicist by profession with some penchant for translation, and is currently at NCRA. She has translated a popular science book from Bengali to English, though this is her first attempt at translating a comics.

Divya Oberoi (Hindi translation), now at NCRA, was born in Delhi a long time ago and through a series of curious circumstances wandered into doing astronomy for a living. This is his first attempt at translating text into Hindi and his most sincere attempt at science popularisation. He was thrilled to have had this opportunity.

Geetha Kydala Ganesha (Kannada translation) is a B.Sc. graduate and part time announcer in All India Radio - Bangalore. She recently completed a project (under INSA) entitled, "Stone Inscriptions as sources of astronomical records", with Dr B.S. Shylaja (Director, Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Bangalore). A student of Science, Kannada literature, Epigraphical studies and Carnatic classical music, she is passionate about understanding the methods of making science interesting to the public. She is currently working on continuing her study on inscriptions as sources of astronomical records.

N. Nagaraju (Telugu translation) is with Azim Premji Foundation, Bangalore, and looks after the Telugu version of TeachersofIndia which is a web portal for teachers and is an online initiative jointly led by the National Knowledge Commission and Azim Premji Foundation.

Maryam Arabsalmani (Persian translation), from Tehran, Iran, completed her undergraduate studies in physics in Tehran.  From 2005 to 2008 she had a lot of fun training her students (who will always be dear to her)  for the International Astronomy Olympiads , and accompanying them to the Olympiads in China, India, and Ukraine . Meanwhile she started her Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics in Tehran which failed to satisfy her and therefore she changed over to Astrophysics and came to India. Translating "Transit of Venus" to Persian gave her a lot of joy and she is grateful for being given this opportunity. 

Marie Mauduit (French translation) spent 25 years as a professional literary translator. She is an amateur photographer turned pro ever since the late 1990s. Her new hero is Guillaume Joseph Hyacinthe Jean-Baptiste Le Gentil de La Galaisière for his tenacity and his guts. Her website is

Jean-Christophe Mauduit (French translation), proud son of his co-translator Marie Mauduit, received his PhD in Astrophysics from the Paris Observatory in 2007 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology. He is very glad that both family passions for translation and astronomy can finally meet!

Silvia Verdolini (Italian translation) was born in a small village in the center of Italy called Cupramontana. She graduated in Astronomy at the University of Bologna and spent the last year of her Masters at the University of California, Santa Cruz as part of an exchange project. She is currently a PhD student at the Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands.

Wouter Schrier (Dutch translation) is the EU-Universe Awareness National Project Manager for The Netherlands. As an astronomer, Wouter has been very active in astronomy outreach and education during his university years at Leiden University. By doing this, he built up a lot of experience in teaching astronomy to children, inspiring them with the beauty and grandeur of the Universe.

Iris Nijman (Dutch translator) is part-time Science Writer in Dutch. She is a master student in Biomedical Sciences at Leiden and will soon graduate. She specialized in science communication and wrote various articles for the science page of a local Dutch newspaper. For Iris it's a joy to write about science for the broad public .

Rudolf Manfred (German translation) is an Austrian with a PhD in Chemistry from Technical University Vienna, presently working as a patent examiner in the European Patent Office (EPO) Munich, Germany. He got his first telescope at the age of 8 years, and has been an "amateur astronomer" since then. He is now the secretary of the EPO Astro Club, chairman of EurAstro East. His particular interest is spectroscopy and eclipse chasing.

Aleksandar Shulevski (Macedonian translation) is currently working towards his PhD in (radio) astrophysics at the university of Groningen in the Netherlands. Before that, he obtained his BSc. and MSc degrees in astronomy from Leiden University in the Netherlands. Even before that, in Macedonia he got his BSc in electrical engineering from St. Cyril and Methodius university in Skopje. Ever since the last visit of Haley's comet (and probably before that too) he was interested in astronomy and how the universe is put together. While he was in high school, with friends and teachers he was one of the founders of the astronomical society in his home town of Bitola more than 15 years ago. Avid observer since his youth, he has archived images of the comet Hale-Bopp, the solar eclipse of 1999, the Venus transit of 2004 (among others) and shared them with the public whenever he could. The translation in Macedonian (first translation into a Cyrillic script) of this booklet is a very dear project for all of the reasons listed above and more. He is involved in public outreach whenever he can take a break from the 'hard science'.

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