As promised a few weeks ago, I would start introducing you to the Romeo Translators that make our Planet the multi-cultural community that it is. This month we’re featuring our Portuguese translator, Johann Heyss.


Johann Heyss is the pen name of Brazilian literary translator, writer, composer and musician, A. Soares. His accomplishments include: translating 80 titles, authoring 6 titles, and releasing 4 albums. Busy little bee that Johann!

As we’ll do with our other translators, we conducted a brief interview with Johann. So let’s get down to nitty gritty, the Q & A:

Q: What is your name, you can give us an alias, nickname, or profile name if you like?
A: We’ve already covered that, but it’s Johann Heyss.

Darryl: Right, let’s move on.

Q: Where are you located?
A: Teresópolis, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; a small municipality of about 212/ km2 in a mountainous region known as Região Serrana.

Q: How did you originally hear about PlanetRomeo?
A: The first time I visited The Netherlands, I read about it in a local gay magazine.

Darryl: Are we talking, one where you look at the pictures or something you actually read? Never mind, you don’t have to answer that.

Q: How long were you or have you been, a member of PR?
A: Six or seven months so far.

Q: How long have you been translating for PR?
A: About the same.

Q: How would you describe the PR community, not the company?
A: Very warm and friendly. I notice that on PlanetRomeo, sex and gay issues are approached in a very practical and objective manner, which I like.

Q: What is it that you like most about being a translator for PR?
A: I like knowing that I am supporting a successful gay company. We need more companies led by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people to represent us and speak for us in society.

Q: What is the biggest challenge translating for PR?
A: I really don’t think of it as a challenge. It’s a pleasure.

Q: What is the gay climate like in your country?
A: Right now, very bad. Although we had conquered the right to legally marry after much struggle, religious conservatives are taking over the Congress and the media, and violence against gays has increased. It seems to me that when gays were in the closet, there was a little more tolerance, because that is how conservatives want us to be: hidden, ashamed, and scared. Now that we are more and more in the open, it’s like they think, “how dare they” and want us to withdraw.

Darryl: Wow, it seems there is still much work to do on that front. Thanks for sharing! I hope we at PlanetRomeo can somehow contribute to further acceptance.

Q: Finally, for a little something to take with us; please tell us how to say the following in Portuguese: “Hey hottie, do you want to hook up?
A: “Oi, gostosão, topa um contato imediato?” Notice that the translation is not exact. You know, hook up is slang, and I need to make it understandable for both Brazilian and Portuguese guys, right? So I think “contato imediato” (immediate contact) sounds OK for both countries, and sounds relaxed and fun, although it is not exactly slang. I could come up with lots of slangs for hooking up, but I guess Portuguese guys would not really get it.

Darryl: Well, Johann, thank you very much for your time and the great work you do for PlanetRomeo. Até a próxima!

Johann: It’s my pleasure!

Well, that wraps it up for this month’s translator interview. We’ll be back soon with the next featured translator.

Darryl – Communications Officer