This dictionary is one of the fruits of an integrated project called Tradução, Tradição e Inovação: o papel das traduções do alemão, espanhol, francês, italiano e latim no sistema literário brasileiro (1970-2005) [Translation, Tradition and Innovation in the Brazilian literary system: the role of translations from German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Latin (1970-2005)], developed by the Literatura Traduzida [Literature in Translation] Research Group. Its aim is to survey literary translators in Brazil and profile them. One of its purposes is to raise the visibility of these cultural mediators who continue to be consistently underestimated in spite of their significant role in the development and functioning of our literary systems. This project, which has been approved by the CNPq, is being undertaken by research professors (two of whom receive grants from CNPq) together with students. The online entries are published by UFSC's Núcleo de Pesquisas em Literatura e Tradução [Literature and Translation Research Center], which has published many works on translation, such as the series Clássicos da Teoria da Tradução [Classical Texts on Translation Theory].
The criteria for the selection of translators to be included at this initial stage (representing only a small number of the thousands of literary translators in Brazil) were established through bibliographical research in libraries and on websites and by analyzing data in the Index Translationum, a project developed by UNESCO that collects translated books around the world and that is the largest and most respectable database in the field.
Primarily this is a dictionary of translators of literary texts; the term literary texts meaning fiction, poetry, theatre, biographies, autobiographies, correspondence, diaries, essays, and in some cases, works of history, oration, and certain kinds of comic books. We have chosen to start by including the most outstanding translators, that is, the writer-translators, translators who have translated significant works according to aesthetical or historical criteria, and translators who have translated a large body of work. As the project advances, we hope be able to count on further human and financial resources so as to broaden the scope and increase the number of translators included.
Some of the information given in the entries is the result of extensive research, and some has been provided by the translators themselves, many of whom have been very receptive to this initiative. We established some of the criteria for making the entries and prepared a questionnaire for the translators inspired by the ideas of Antoine Berman and Anthony Pym, theoreticians who are concerned not only with the textual study of translations but also translators as individuals. The questions in the questionnaire relate to multiple aspects of the translators' activities such as their personal history, work methodology, and their thoughts on the task of translating.
Several resources were used so that we could obtain the biographical and bibliographical information seen in the entries. In addition to directly contacting the translators, the following websites were also very helpful: the Lattes platform, hosted by CNPq, the Associação Brasileira de Tradutores [Brazilian Association of Translators], the Sindicato dos Tradutores [Translators Union], the Câmara Brasileira do Livro [Brazilian Book Chamber], the projeto Releituras, a few of the translators' own personal websites and translation mailing lists. In general, publishing houses were also very receptive to the project, making it easier to contact the translators. Extensive research was carried out using online editions of newspapers and magazines (including archives), where we found many articles, reviews, interviews and images. We paid special attention to reading the so-called paratexts to translations: prefaces, postfaces, and translators' notes, which were consulted in our collection of translated texts that is now being built up.
This dictionary will enable those who are interested in the subject to have an overview of Brazilian literary translators, professionals who give the general public access to texts published in different languages, even though their names are not always prominent in catalogues, product details sections in online bookstores and bibliographies. As an online publication, DITRA is constantly open to correction and improvement. The inclusion of translation excerpts in every entry is particularly important so that readers can have direct, though inevitably limited, contact with the work done by the translators.
The entries, which are updated regularly, have been written jointly by research students and advising professors, and are signed by both.
We hope that this Dictionary becomes a reference to all those interested in literary translation and that it contributes to a greater knowledge and appreciation of the work of literary translators in Brazil.
Walter Carlos Costa
Andréia Guerini (UFSC)
Marie-Hélène Catherine Torres (UFSC)
Pablo Cardellino Soto (UnB)
Walter Carlos Costa (UFSC)