Interview with Igor Brito, translator of Drømmer om storhet to Portuguese
In this interview Brazilian Igor Brito tells about himself, how he got to now Pål H.Christiansen and the translating of Drømmer om storhet:
– Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you and what is your background?
Igor: My name is Igor Brito, I’m 23 years old and I was born and live in Belém do Pará, in the northern part of Brazil. I’m graduated in Liberal Arts at Universidade da Amazônia, University of Amazon, licensed to teach English and Portuguese languages and English, American, Portuguese and Brazilian literatures. Currently, I’m an EFL teacher at Castilla Curso de Idiomas. I’m also a private ESP (English for Specific Purpose) instructor and freelance translator. In my spare time, I’m an autodidact. I study languages by myself and I like to compare their roots and find mutual patterns and similarities in their lexicon, semantics, morphology and syntax. That is something I do very often. Aside my academic duties and studies, I like going to the gym, walking, listening to music, writing, watching TV-series, documentaries and any kind of motorsports.
– How did your interest for Norway start?
Igor: It started in 2003 after listening Hunting High And Low studio version from a-ha’s first album. I felt something very special, deep and different in Morten Harket’s voice and a-ha’s music and sound. Then I started looking for videos and other materials of them. Wow, it was just like to be born again, like a revelation of a new life philosophy and a new way to see things, that’s why I made a point of mentioning them in my college last paper acknowledgements. In 2006 I discovered Morten’s solo career and his Norwegian albums, Poetenes Evangelium and Vogts Villa. It was a stunning sensation, the arrangements were transcendental and sophisticated and the sound of the language enchanted me. So it was the beginning of a new stage. Since then, many fruitful things have come up in my academic life and my life as a whole and it has been the cornerstones in my studies in my career as a teacher and researcher. In 2010 I taught a mini-course at a symposium in college approaching contrastive linguistics, confronting Norwegian and English in the existentialist poetry of Håvard Rem, Norwegian poet, author of all the poems arranged into music in Morten’s solo album, Vogts Villa. It was a magnificent experience.
– How did you get in touch with Pål H. Christiansen? Why do you want to translate his book Drømmer om storhet?
Igor: My first contact with Pål was on Facebook a couple months ago. There we started talking about literature, his work on literature, his and my passion for a-ha, my background, works and knowledge regarding experience with translation, norwegian and studies in other languages. During our conversations I showed interest in translating his novel Drømmer om Storhet, telling him how would be a great opportunity for a-ha fans who speak Portuguese, especially Brazilians, to read such a great story with a skilful writing of Pål Christiansen and at the same time having his namesake Pål Waaktaar-Savoy as the driving force of Hobo’s inspiration, who is seeking his redemption as a writer, due to Pål Waaktaar’s orientations with his superb talent with writing. I pled it would demand great interest from a-ha’s Portuguese speaking fans and admirers of his work as a novelist. Likewise, Pål Christiansen showed confidence and interest on my work and gave me the opportunity to translate Drømmer om storhet, considering as well the fact I’m a great a-ha follower and graduated in the languages field. Definitely, it was just like celebrating business with pleasure.
– What are the major challenges in translating from Norwegian to Portuguese?
Igor: Since the first contact with Norwegian I’ve felt great easiness and comfortableness in learning it. By and large, norwegian has simple grammar rules, an accessible vocabulary and easy pronunciation, and many Norwegian words came from Greek and Latin roots, as well as in Portuguese and English. Portuguese, English and Norwegian belong to Indo-European roots, so there are many similarities concerning many linguistic aspects and I see that as a bright side and it makes my work easier or less tough, depends on the point of view. I think one of the most challenging things is to be very careful with writing during the whole translation process. I have to use more than one dictionary in order to figure out what are the most suitable and/or closest collocations and expressions, in relation to Portuguese correspondences, especially dealing with adjectives and verb syntagms. It’s been a great time this process and I’ve had a great harmony with Pål. He’s very practical, efficient and humble. He’s a very wise person.