Podcast: Jethro Soutar on Portuguese Translations

Apple Podcasts logo

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen on Google PodcastsGoogle Podcast logo.

Spotify Logo Green

Listen on Spotify.

Translator Jethro Soutar speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about three pieces he translated from Portuguese for Issue 20 of The Common magazine. These pieces appear in a special portfolio of writing from and about the Lusosphere—Portugal’s colonial and linguistic diaspora around the globe. In this conversation, Soutar talks about the complexities of translating poetry and prose: capturing not just the meaning of a piece but the feeling and atmosphere of it, and the culture behind the scenes. He also explains a little of the colonial and racial history of Portugal, Cape Verde, and Mozambique, and how those events echo today through the literature and language of modern Lusophone countries.

Jethro Soutar and Issue 20 cover

Jethro Soutar is a translator of Spanish and Portuguese. He has a particular focus on works from Africa and has translated novels from Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Cape Verde. He is also editor of Dedalus Africa and a co-founder of Ragpicker Press. Originally from Sheffield in the UK, he now lives in Lisbon, Portugal.

Read “Maria, I’m Going To War,” “In Our Skin—A Journey,” and “Another Education,” all translated by Jethro Soutar, at thecommononline.org/tag/jethro-soutar.

Explore The Common’s portfolio of writing from the Lusosphere at thecommononline.org/luso.

Learn more about Dedalus Africa at dedalusbooks.com, and about Ragpicker Press at ragpickerpress.co.uk.

Listen to more podcast episodes here.

The Common is a print and online literary magazine publishing stories, essays, and poems that deepen our collective sense of place. On our podcast and in our pages, The Common features established and emerging writers from around the world. Read more and subscribe to the magazine at thecommononline.org, and follow us on Twitter @CommonMag.

Emily Everett is managing editor of the magazine and host of the podcast. Her stories appear in the Kenyon Review, Electric Literature, Tin House Online, and Mississippi Review. She holds an MA in literature from Queen Mary University of London, and a BA from Smith College. Say hello on Twitter @Public_Emily.

Headshot by Ryan McGoverne.

Podcast: Jethro Soutar on Portuguese Translations

Related Posts

poetry feature image

February 2021 Poetry Feature

REBECCA MORGAN FRANK
Nineteenth-century body snatchers / dug down to the head / and roped the body up, / chucked jewels back to dirt, little interest / in mementos, only / the corpses themselves. / That’s how we learned our bodies had a life / on their own, a worth / without us. / We can freeze and sell our eggs...

Reflective pool

Delusions of Grandeur

A. NATASHA JOUKOVSKY
There is something post-decadent about Versailles in winter. The fountains are off; there are not many tourists. Everything is still fiercely geometric and over-the-top, but in this gray, expired kind of way, at least most of the day; the crisp chill of nighttime being an exception.

Image of Charles Yu's book, Interior Chinatown.

LitFest 2021 Excerpt: Interior Chinatown

CHARLES YU
Ever since you were a boy, you’ve dreamt of being Kung Fu Guy. You are not Kung Fu Guy. You are currently Background Oriental Male, but you’ve been practicing. Maybe tomorrow will be the day. Ever since you were a boy, you’ve dreamt of being Kung Fu Guy.