We all know some famous writers – Shakespeare, Charlotte Brontë, or contemporary ones, like Dan Brown, Joanne Rowling, and many, many more. But the question we’re asking is – are there any truly famous translators out there? How popular would her books be if there were no translators to share them with the rest of the world?
In fact, there are! Here are some of them!
Lia Wyler – Brazilian Translator
The Harry Potter series of books has been published in over 68 languages. One of the people who contributed to this is Lia Wyler. She translated these novels from English to Brazilian and European Portuguese. Rowling was very generous with her praise for Lia and has personally congratulated her for her creativity when it came to translating the personal names from English to Portuguese. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Lia changes the name of Bob Odgen to Beto Odgen, which is a pet name for Roberto in Portuguese.
In addition to translating this beloved series of novels, Lia also translated famous authors such as Margaret Atwood, Henry Miller, Stephen King and Sylvia Plath.
Lewis Borges – Argentine Writer, Poet and Translator
Lewis Borges is a respected writer in the world of Spanish literature. However, most people don’t know that, in addition to being a writer, he was also an amazing translator. He was a mere 9 years of age when his first translation work got published in a popular Argentina newspaper – a translation of Oscar Wilde’s novel, The Happy Prince,
Throughout his whole life he has translated literature from German, English, Old English, French and Norwegian Norse, to Spanish. Some of the writers he translated are Hermann Hesse, William Faulkner, Rudyard Kipling, Franz Kafka, Virginia Wolf and Edgar Allan Poe.
Gregory Rabassa – Prominent Literary Translator
He is a translator who worked with Portuguese, Spanish and English. He has translated works from Jorge Amado, Julio Cortázar and Gabriel García Márquez. Cortázar was so impressed with his translations that he personally recommended Rabassa to Márquez. It took him 3 years to have One Hundred Years of Solitude, translated. At some point, Márquez shared that, in his opinion, the translation was superior to his Spanish original.