‘Minor’ Languages, ‘Broken’ Translations: On Brazilian Reworkings of an Albanian Novel

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA

Abstract

This essay approaches the challenges of global translation in the 21st century from what might still be considered a somewhat uncommon example: a direct translation of Ismail Kadaré's 1978 novel Prill e thyër (Broken April) from the original Albanian into Brazilian Portuguese in 2001. Not only does it examine and compare lexical elements in the source and target texts and the usage of translator’s notes, but also, and perhaps more importantly, inquiries into how translation scholars actually arrive at projects for research, which methodological, theoretical and ideological tools remain at our disposal, and which conventional frames of reference might be subjected to greater critical scrutiny. It then goes on to examine one case of cinematic adaptation of the work in question as an additional point of comparison, the 2001 film by the Brazilian director Walter Salles, with a focus on the ways the story line is changed. The implications of this narrative shift serves to initiate an open discussion on whether academic work in translation can truly encourage greater intercultural communication, both now and in the future.

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