Yes, There Are Some Famous Translators!
As popular as JK Rowling’s books are, how widely popular would they be if there were no translators to share her amazing work with the rest of the world?
We know that many writers reach stardom: there’s Shakespeare, JK Rowling, and many, many more. But the question we’re asking is – are there any famous translators? As popular as JK Rowling’s books are, how widely popular would they be if there were no translators to share her amazing work with the rest of the world?
Lia Wyler – Brazilian Translator
The Harry Potter series of books was published in a minimum of 68 languages; and one of these translators is Lia Wyler. Lia translated these novels into Brazilian Portuguese: they were also translated into European Portuguese. JK Rowling was very generous with her praise for Lia; for her creativity when it came to translating the personal names from English to Portuguese. In the sixth book for example, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Lia replaced the name Bob Odgen with Beto Odgen. In English, Robbie is short for Robert, whilst in Portuguese Beto is short for Roberto.
In addition to translating this well-known and much loved series of novels, Lia has also translated authors such as Margaret Atwood, Henry Miller, Stephen King, and Sylvia Plath.
Lewis Borges – Argentine Writer, Poet and Translator
Lewis Borges was an eminent writer in the world of Spanish literature, publishing books such as Fictions and The Aleph; however, most people don’t know that, in addition to being a writer, he was also a translator. He was a mere 9 years of age at the time of his first publication in an Argentina newspaper, and this was the translation of The Happy Prince, Oscar Wilde’s novel.
During his lifetime he translated literature into Spanish – from German, English, old English, French, and Old Norse (which is a North Germanic language). Some of the writers he translated are Herman Hesse, William Faulkner, Rudyard Kipling, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, and Edgar Allan Poe.
Gregory Rabassa – Prominent Literary Translator
Gregory Rabassa is a translator working primarily from Portuguese and Spanish into English. Some of the authors he is translated are Jorge Amado, Julio Cortázar, and Gabriel García Márquez. Apparently Cortazar was so impressed with Rabassa’s work that he referred Rabassa to García Márquez; and because of this he had to wait 3 years to have One Hundred Years of Solitude translated. It’s said that he stated later that, in his opinion, the translation was superior to his Spanish original.
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