Many Portuguese translators and interpreters believe our language is underrated in the world, especially given the number of speakers and the international prominence of Portuguese-speaking countries. However, as a Portuguese-to-English translator, Daniel shows us through his work that literature in translation has been an ambassador of our language and culture.
In the past few years, there seems to have been a favorable wave of translations of books originally written in Portuguese. For instance, Granta edited an issue on The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists in 2012; Words Without Borders has highlighted a variety of Portuguese-speaking voices, authors and translators alike; a PEN/Heim Translation Fund was recently granted for the translation of a Brazilian novel; and many translations from Portuguese have been nominated for international literary awards, including the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Daniel himself was the recipient of the 2007 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for his translation of “The Book of Chameleons: A Novel” by Angolan novelist José Eduardo Agualusa, and was shortlisted in this year’s The Man Booker International Prize for his translation of “A General Theory of Oblivion,” also written by Agualusa.
Having Daniel Hahn as our Guest Speaker will help PLD members become aware of these developments, which may encourage them to ride the wave and understand the effects of the exposure of our language in the global market―whether we work with literature or not.
Besides working with literature written in Portuguese―including fiction by novelists from Europe, Africa and the Americas and non-fiction by writers ranging from Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago to Brazilian soccer player Pelé―Daniel has also translated books from Spanish and French into English. Additionally, he has been involved with translation activities and associations, having acted as chair of the UK’s Translators Association of the Society of Authors and national programme director of the British Centre for Literary Translation. He is currently chair of the Society of Authors―the UK’s writers’ union―, regularly reviews translations in the national press, runs translation workshops all over the world, and speaks frequently on the radio, at public festivals and conferences on translation-related issues.
We look forward to seeing our PLD members during Daniel’s sessions in San Francisco!