Tanto mar: The role of Portuguese translations in the shaping of Brazilian and Portuguese popular music in the last five decades

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

“Sei que há léguas a nos separar  / Tanto mar, tanto mar” / “I know that there are miles separating us / So much sea, so much sea” ( Buarque,  Chico“Tanto Mar”)

Chico Buarque’s 1975 song “Tanto Mar” (“So Much Sea”), could serve as a metaphor for the differences regarding the attitude that Brasilian and Portuguese musicians have shown towards the use of the English language within popular music in the last five decades. This attitude also reflects, ultimately, the relationship towards the Portuguese language, the native language common to both countries.Singing in English has been a constant feature of Portuguese popular music, pop-rock in particular, since the sixties. However, from this decade until the nineties some foreign songs – mainly English - were translated to Portuguese and sung by Portuguese singers and groups, due to their success in the original language. In Brazil, the presence of the English language in popular music has been more subtle than in Portugal (Michailowsky 2014). But translations of international hits – again, mainly from English, with occasional exceptions - to Brazilian Portuguese have been a constant practice throughout the last five decades, transversal to different popular music genres. This paper wishes to contribute to the understanding of these translations within the framework of Brasil and Portugal’s recording industries. Translations or adaptations? Why so many translations in one country and practically none in the other? Based on distinct concepts of translation (Low 2013 and Susam Sarajeva 2008) and language ideology (Woolard 1994), questions related to the agency of language in the shaping of popular music both in Portugal and in Brazil will be launched. Methodology will include ethnographic interviews with different actors in this terrain, as well as historical survey relevant to the period at stake.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventFifth lnternational Conference of the European Popular Culture Association (EPCA): Association (EPCA) - Paris, France
Duration: 20 Jul 2016 → …

Conference

ConferenceFifth lnternational Conference of the European Popular Culture Association (EPCA)
CountryFrance
CityParis
Period20/07/16 → …

Keywords

  • Popular Music
  • language
  • translation
  • Brazil
  • Portugal

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