Friday, March 30, 2018

O Sol é Para Todos - 3.30 #sol18 Story Challenge

The iron woman turned on Jamie. "Stop screaming," she said crisply. "Stop it this instant. You'll frighten the horses."
Jamie stopped. He looked around. "What horses?"
The iron woman said, "It's a figure of speech." (The War That Save My Life, page 73)
Middle-schoolers and I have been reading To Kill a Mockingbird, and an eighth grader approached me before spring break with the following tidbit: "Mr. Rozinsky, did you know that the book isn't even called To Kill a Mockingbird in Brazil where my mom's from?"

"I had no idea," I replied. "What's it called?"

"In Portuguese, the translation is, 'The Sun Rises for Everyone,' " he told me.

We followed this tangent into how different languages have their own idioms, which usually don't translate without meaning being lost irretrievably. We weighed the impacts of the English and Portuguese alternatives in this case, with the student preferring the less idiosyncratic sun-based one.

I'm curious to hear his latest thinking once he finishes the novel.


  1. That is interesting. I like the idea that "the sun rises for everyone." I didn't know books could be renamed like that in different languages!

  2. My niece is reading the Harry Potter books in French. She sends me updates on weird translations for things. Poudlard just doesn't have the ring of Hogwarts.

  3. The Sun Rises for Everyone. Hmmm

    We watch Hindi, Marathi and other international movies each weekend. I speak couple of Indian languages while not everyone in family do. Sometimes the subtitles are hilariously off the mark. Similarly, the books do not get translated well from one language to other- especially when idioms and phrases are concerned.

    Let us know what your student thinks at the end of reading the book.

    Best wishes.