From Quebec to Brazil: translation as a fruitful dialogue between “américanité” and “americanidade”

Marc Charron, Luise Flotow


"Américanité," as a concept developed and refined by literary scholars to address a certain Québécois interest in writing and film, is paralleled here by the Brazilian concept "americanidade." Both evoke the "americanness" of contemporary writing in the Americas, and imply a turning away from European models and requirements toward a hybridization and a focus on movement, inter-relations, trans-cultural contacts. Translation, by definition a transcultural activity, moves these "american" texts from one language to another. In this article we study the translation of an archetypical novel of Quebec "américanité", Jacques Godbout's Une histoire américaine (1986) into Brazilian Portuguese. We examine the concepts of américanité and americanidade and hypothesize that such shared americanness will aid in the translation, or at least be recognized as the text moves from French to Portuguese. We examine the outcome of the translation from this particular perspective, and conclude that Europe in fact still intervenes as the major reference.


translation studies; Quebec literature and américanité; Brazilian americanidade

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Cadernos de Tradução, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brasil. ISSN 2175-7968.