Working languages:
English to Portuguese

joao esteves

Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Local time: 05:58 BRT (GMT-3)

Native in: Portuguese Native in Portuguese
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I am a Brazilian, 51, divorced, with children and grand children.
I work professionaly with English, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin and Portuguese.
I have never denied myself the pleasure of reading in many languages. I have been reading a good deal for decades on end, and of course amassed a certain fund of knowledge. I'm not really an intellectual, a scholar, but I understand the historical evolution of all languages I work with and have sufficient contact with their respective literatures. For instance, I appreciate good anapestic tetrameters like "for the moon never beams without binging me dreams" (Poe) or "Les parfums ne font pas frissoner sa narine" (Rimbeaud) and others. The benefits of reading may be subtle, but when I write I feel a certain confidence I don't think possible without knowing the best authors. When finding the precise word or turn of expression will make a difference, there is much pleasure in searching for it and much reward in finding it. I don't think I would ever experience such pleasures and rewards completely unrelated with money without my readings. I don't think I would be able to explain any distillation of choice without my readings. I have recommended experienced guys to younger translators, like Eugene Nida, Garcia Yebra, Paulo Rónai, John Catford, Eric Partridge, Mounin, just to mention some. Those who actually read what I told them to must have felt the difference. I also recommend reading the Bible cover to tover in at least two languages. That does make a difference. This book is believed to have benn written by God himself. Whatever the case, it is usully very well translated. Reading it pays. Good dictionaries and assorted reference works can also be read through and doing it is an excellent idea. In Plays Pleasant Shaw says: "I could explain my plays, if I chose, but those who misunderstood the plays will misunderstand the explanation ten times more".
One of the most fascinating aspects of my profession is that no matter how much I learn, I am confronted with my ignorance on an everyday basis. No matter how much vocabulary I have, I am always introduced to some new knotty problem, that puts many tens of thousands of hours of reading to shame. That is why I can resist preening too much on my "fund of knowlege". Mistakes do happen and to err is human (and to lay the blame on anything like a computer program is still more so). My work is usulally as neat as I can make it, so I endeavor not to be very "human" when I translate.
Keywords: lexicography, lexicology, research, isometric translation, linguistics, proofreading, music, ghost writer

Profile last updated
Nov 5, 2010

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