Stories in the languages of the world

Posted by Remya Padmadas on February 21, 2017

This International Mother Language Day, to celebrate the beauty of multilingualism and linguistic diversity, our intern Rahel put together a  list of stories written in the languages of the world. These stories are every bit as beautiful as the languages they’re written in and are accompanied by absolutely gorgeous illustrations.  

Gul in Space by Richa Jha and Lavanya Karthik

In this poem, join Gul on her birthday as she goes to outer space. In a dream, she floats in the space station, gets jalebi and samosa in her hair, and is wished by the moon and the stars.

एकशे सदतिसावा पाय (The Hundred and Thirty-Seventh Leg) by Madhuri Purandare

When the millipede breaks one of her hundreds of legs, neither the sparrow, nor the butterfly, nor any of the other animals want to help her. The only animal willing to help is the spider. But for the spider to wrap her leg in his silk thread, she needs to teach the spider how to count beyond eight.

 ಮೊಲ ಮತ್ತು ಆಮೆ   (The Hare and the Tortoise. Again!) by Venkatramana Gowda and Padmanabh

Remember the famous race between the hare and the tortoise? The story that coined the phrase “slow and steady wins the race”? Now put a twist on that. A twist that requires the animals to work together in order to deliver a message from their king to the neighbouring king, in a day. In this story, follow the hare and the tortoise in their race against time instead of each other.

ଏଣ୍ଟେଜ ସେଂକଏ ଆଉ କୁଲାବ୍‌ ସୁମୁସିଞ୍ଜ୍‍ /କୁକୁଡ଼ା ଏବଂ ବେଲ ଗଛ (The Clever Chicken/चतुर चूज़ा) by Juanga Writer’s Group and Sugrib Kumar Juanga

In this beautifully illustrated, bilingual book, a little chicken is being relentlessly hunted by a hungry jackal. Can the chicken successfully outwit the jackal in his endeavour to eat it and escape his jaws once and for all?

ముక్కు విరిగిన రామచిలుక (The Parrot with the Broken Beak) by Shahid Anwar and Shailja Jain Chougule, translated by Nagaraju Nichenametla

Watch Kansi, a budding artist, as she takes her father’s favourite pen and draws a blue parrot on the wall, breaking the nib of the pen in the process. After she faces an angry father, she goes to sleep to meet an angry, blue parrot with a broken beak in her dream who teaches her wrong from right. This colourful story is perfect for children.

 بادشاہی پارک (Badshahi Park) by Shahid Anwar and Tapas Guha

When Ashhar laughs at Zulfi for being afraid of the king’s grave, Zulfi dares him to go in there, by the light of the full moon, and hammer a nail into the head of the forbidden grave.

 துப்பறியும் துரை (Kaushik, The Kind Detective) by N. Chokkan and Megha Vishwanath

Armed with a brand new torch and magnifying glass, Kaushik goes exploring the forest like a true detective. When he examines a group of mushrooms, he discovers Lalitha, a tiny girl, sitting under the mushrooms.

 ਬਾਣੀ (Bani) by Herminder Ohri and Taposhi Ghoshal, translated by Narinder Singh

Join Bani and her new friends as they float through mushroom town, eating laddoos and chips from mushrooms and drinking from streams of lemonade, orange, and mango juice. A story clearly filled with imagination and perfect for children.


 सबरंग (Colourful) by Kamla Bakaya and Audrey Agnier

A book of poetry coupled with gorgeous illustrations, सबरंग is a collection of four poems sure to make you fall in love.

We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we do!