'Rumo ao pai' -in his father's footsteps

Discussion in 'Português (Portuguese)' started by prangman, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. prangman Member

    Hi all

    The piece I'm translating contains this expression, in the following context:

    E Alexandre reteve daí a necessidade – ainda que sendo muito pequeno na altura – de crescer rumo ao pai.

    Obviously the image is that he is somehow going towards his father. But would native speakers take it to mean literally following behind him, or actually going out to find him.

    'In his father's footsteps' sounds good to me, but I'm worried it misses the point. For example, is it something more like 'In search of his father'?


  2. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Quando li, pensei em algo como: 'In his father's footsteps'
  3. metaphrastes

    metaphrastes Senior Member

    Portuguese - Portugal
    prangman, to be blunt, "crescer rumo ao pai" do not seems me good writing at all, in terms of clarity. I assume the language is figurative, but even as metaphor, it is poor, in that one does not grow towards another. A good metaphor would be a coherent depiction of some external thing, that has a strong analogy with some inner thing. One goes or walk towards another person (Alexandre segue/caminha/dirige-se rumo ao pai/ao encontro do pai, for example).

    If the writer is speaking figuratively about inner growth, then it seems it would be better to say something as "Alexandre reteve a necessidade de alcançar o pai em altura/em grandeza" or "crescer tanto quanto o pai", let us say, "crescer em grandeza de alma, grandeza de espírito, em maturidade, &c". But this is one way to read within the text, it is not clear if this is what was actually meant. Please consider if "Alexander kept the need of reaching his father's stature" is good English idioma (my English is weak on physical depictions...). Stature seems interesting in that it keep the literal meaning (physical tallness) as well the figurative ("a man of great stature" is who has inner qualities).

    Anyway, if the expression is actually figurative, following is father's footsteps would work well too, keeping the image of a way, a path, suggested by rumo (towards), although loosing the image of growing, that does not match well with the former. It is far from a literal rendering, but you know, "traduttore, tratidore!" as says the proverb. If the former idea does not work, this may do the task.

    If what is meant is merely physical growing (and only the broader context may clarify that), then alcançar o pai em altura (reach his father's tallness or other more idiomatic expression) would be clear enough.

    I hope this helped.
  4. Carfer

    Carfer Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Foi também o que pensei. 'Crescer rumo a alguém' é muito pouco claro. Só agora me ocorreu, porém, que 'crescer' pode significar tomar uma atitude agressiva. Na falta de mais contexto, quem nos diz que o miúdo, mesmo pequeno, não terá sentido necessidade de fazer frente a um pai violento? Ainda assim, não há dúvida de que 'rumo a' continua a ser uma forma estranha de dizer.
  5. pfaa09

    pfaa09 Senior Member

    Portugal - Portuguese
    Na língua portuguesa dizer-se que alguém cresce em rumo a outro alguém no sentido de se deslocar, faz muito pouco sentido, pois ninguém se desloca enquanto cresce, isto é algo que não faz sentido.
    Por outro lado, crescer em rumo a... no sentido de se aproximar da figura, da postura, da personalidade, etc...
    já começa a fazer algum sentido, e com o contexto que nos é apresentado, leva-me a crer que seja esta minha segunda hipótese. Pelo menos é a que faz mais sentido.

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