Presentation of the corpus (concerning the topic as a whole)

The title of this current study is left deliberately ambiguous given how the expression “Salazar translated” contains two distinct concepts of translation that we simply term literal - the texts themselves as translated into foreign languages, and metaphorical - texts in foreign languages about Salazar. The research now embarked on shall have to proceed by taking into consideration both “branches’’ within the framework of their complementary input into the process of building the image of the Portuguese dictator on the international stage.

Between 1934 - hence the year after its own foundation - and 1967, the SPN / SNI published hundreds of examples whether of EN legislation and similar documents or of texts by Salazar, in Portuguese, followed in the same year by their respective translation into English, French, Spanish, German and often also into Italian. The Secretariat employed a substantial team of translators (around 90) with many foreigners and some locals, but very few among the members of its staff. The regularity with which the translations emerge over the course of over twenty years certainly did not reflect any amateur recourse to outsourcing. On the contrary, as Cotrim so well described (20-54), a great deal of care and effort went into the choice of translators and turning to sources as relevant as embassies, whether in Portugal or Portuguese embassies abroad, cultural institutes, universities, the Casas de Portugal, among others.

We shall begin with some general details about the translations under focus here:

  • a) The publication of Portuguese legislation in foreign languages along with texts by Salazar explaining the former does predate the foundation of the SPN and was published by Imprensa Nacional between 1928 and 1938, primarily in French although with some content produced in English. The following are among the many examples:
    • - A. de Oliveira Salazar. Expose des motifs precedant de decret-loi qui a ap- prouve le budget pour lannee financiere 1928-1929. Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional, 1928;
    • - A. de Oliveira Salazar. Apres deux ans de gestion financiere. Lisb on: Imprensa Nacional, 1930;
    • - A. de Oliveira Salazar. Portuguese monetary stabilization. Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional, 1932;
  • b) Between 1934 and 1938, SPN and Imprensa Nacional published material in parallel but with the latter keeping to explanations of legislation and budgets.
  • c) Between 1934 and 1942, the SPN basically sponsored (commissioned, authorised, paid for, had translated, had printed, had promoted by personalities from foreign countries,[1] etcetera) foreign editions of the interviews and speeches of Salazar (we recall that the first Portuguese collection of Discursos [Speeches] underwent publication in 1935 and spanned the period from 1928 to 1934). In some languages, such as French, these formed two different volumes. However, there was also the publication of pamphlets such as the Decalogo do Estado Novo (1934) in English (The ten commandments of the Portuguese New State) and French (Decalogue de l’Etat Nouveau portugais) (s.d., but probably 1937). Cotrim attributed probable original authorship to Antonio Ferro and aligns this type of text with the various Decaloghi published by fascist Italy as from 1926 (22).
  • d) Simultaneously, there were works published by and on Salazar in different international languages, such as:
    • - Antonio de Oliveira Salazar. Neues Portugal. Coimbra: Coimbra Editora, 1935;
    • - Maurice Lewandowski. M. Oliveira Salazar: une experience de redressement (“Le Portugal d’aujourd’hui’’ Collection). Lisbonne: Editions SPN, 1935;
    • - Principes et institutions de letat nouveau portugais. Lisbon, SPN, 1935.
  • e) There are also books and articles about Salazar, published abroad but in which the SPN/SNI collaborated, for example, by providing materials and information. Examples include the German Anton Mayer, who wrote a book entitled Portugal, of which two copies were sent as gifts to Salazar. One was delivered to him and the other, according to Silva Dias, head of the SPN Press and Information Service, stayed with the Secretariat and “is being read by the German translator, in order to provide him with a due evaluation”. Mayer added in his letter, written in German but immediately translated into French in a translation authenticated by the same Services, that the Secretariat had “helped” him during his work.[2] In the same period, Count Gonzague de Reynold published in the Berliner Monatshefte magazine his article entitled “Meetings with Salazar” with its translation into Portuguese carried out by the SPN.[3]
  • f) After 1942 (and perhaps not by chance coinciding with the international editions of the Speeches) five collections were founded by the SPN:
    • Salazar says...
    • La pensee de Salazar (previously: Le Portugal d’aujourd’hui)
    • Das Denken Salazars (or Gedanken Salazars)
  • El pensamiento de Salazar
  • Il pensiero di Salazar[4]

As with all the other SPN/SNI translations, not one of these publications contains any indications regarding their respective translators. The total invisibility of these translators is confirmed by Cotrim at various stages in his study. In the case of the translation into English, there were at least two: Aubrey Bell and Godfrey Mappin, the latter a Lisbon resident; in the Spanish case, one of the translators was Adolfo Lizon, another Lisbon resident. We would add that the texts subject to translation were handpicked by the SPN but nevertheless still subject to approval by Salazar. Hence, if we compare the translations included in these collections with the Portuguese volumes of Discursos, which constitute the source material for the translations, these do not fully coincide. Given the impossibility, at least thus far, of bringing together all of the translations, we cannot affirm whether the decision taken over the translation of a specific text covered all languages on all occasions. In fact, not even the Portuguese National Library (including the precious Brito Rato collection), nor the Antonio Quadros Foundation contain complete collections at least hitherto available for consultation. One fact is however certain: the English edition of the collection (Salazar says), in its introductory text, affirms the work brings together 200 quotations from Salazar (7), whilst the French (Lapensee de Salazar) opts for 300 (7). Thus, there are differences not only in the selection of the different translations but also in the contents of their respective introductions, demonstrating both a revealing sign of the care taken over these translations and, correspondingly, an awareness as regards the specific characteristics of the respective foreign target audiences. This opens up a vast and interesting field of study.

Cotrim quotes the report “Elementos acerca da actividade desenvolvida pelo Secretariado desde a sua funda^ao 1933-1952” [“Details on the activities developed by the Secretariat [SPN / SNI] since its foundation 1933-1952”], which lists a range of foreign language publications made by the Secretariat between 1934 and 1951 and thus in keeping with the period spanned by my study. Hence, there were 380 publications in French, 258 in English, 166 in Spanish, 56 in German and 15 in Italian. In terms of the print-runs, English predominates numerically (2,816,850 copies), followed by French (2,816,475), Spanish (707,150), German (118,350), with Italian bringing up the rear (99,500 copies). The number of copies published very much oscillates in accordance with the political circumstances as clearly demonstrated by the German case: between 1934 and 1952, with the exception of 1934, when 6,000 copies of the German translation of The Estado Novo and its achievements were published, there are only German language publications in the six years of World War II. There would then be a decade long lapse (until 1955) before a German language translation would again appear (Cotrim 18-20).

g) Of great importance to the image of the country abroad were the major Exhibitions of Paris (1937) and New York (1939), in addition to a series of international book fairs (Madrid, 1947, for example), where the figure of Salazar took centre stage as might indeed be expected. The texts produced within the scope of these events may also come to join the extended corpus on our topic. This also proves the case for the abundance of literature on wines, folklore, monuments, tourism, etcetera, which was then distributed via Portuguese embassies abroad.

  • [1] In the documentation that we consulted, there are lists of dignitaries and leading figures, provided by Embassies abroad, to whom the SPN/SNI wished to send the worksof Salazar.
  • [2] Letter from the SPN to the Office of Salazar on 17th March 1939 (SGPCM-GPC/0189,AN/TT).
  • [3] Letter dated 3rd January 1939, from the SPN to the Office of Salazar (SGPCM-GPC/0189, AN/TT).
  • [4] The Italian collection was established somewhat later and was not regularly added to.
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