Transliteration of European Portuguese
Thread poster: skport
skport  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:10
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Mar 9, 2005

Hello,
Does anybody know of an internet resource where I can find standardized rules or guidelines for European Portuguese Transliteration?
My google searches lead me to believe that there are no standardized rules, but I would be very interested to know if any guidelines or articles on this subject exist.
Thanks and best wishes,

Sarah


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:10
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
why?? Mar 9, 2005

Transliteration is normally used to transcribe into one's alphabet something that is written in a completely different alphabet: e.g., you can use it to write a Russian, Japanese, etc. word in the "Roman" alphabet ("spasiba", "arigato", etc,).
However, I do not think that transliteration is normally used to transcribe a language, such as Portuguese, which already is written in the Roman alphabet: I believe that the best option is to leave the Portuguese words "as is", with all the necessary accents etc.


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skport  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:10
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sorry - my post might not have been clear... Mar 9, 2005

I mean the kind of transliteration commonly used in phrasebooks of any language, for readers who have no previous knowledge of the language and also no knowledge of the phonetic alphabet. You know, the kind of thing that looks very bizarre if we do know the language, but can also be quite helpful for pronounciation of phrases if we are travelling somewhere where we do not know the language.

e.g.
aqui 'a-key' - Portuguese
die toilette 'dee twaletter' - German.

I do appreciate that this may not be considered a translation issue - so I hope nobody minds me posting it here.

Best wishes!


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:10
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
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multilingual phrasebook for transliteration Mar 10, 2005

Sarah K wrote:
I mean the kind of transliteration commonly used in phrasebooks of any language, for readers who have no previous knowledge of the language and also no knowledge of the phonetic alphabet. You know, the kind of thing that looks very bizarre if we do know the language, but can also be quite helpful for pronounciation of phrases if we are travelling somewhere where we do not know the language.
...
I do appreciate that this may not be considered a translation issue - so I hope nobody minds me posting it here.



This is definitely a translation issue, when it comes to helping tourists learn a language.
See my post at:
http://www.proz.com/post/206039#206039

In that post I provide some transliterated forms from French and provide the reference of a great little multilingual phrase book that I got them from. It includes Portuguese too.

Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/localization.htm


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:10
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Now I understand Mar 11, 2005

Sarah K wrote:
I mean the kind of transliteration commonly used in phrasebooks of any language, for readers who have no previous knowledge of the language and also no knowledge of the phonetic alphabet.


Only, I would not call it transliteration, but rather pronunciation key (or something similar).

Depending on the kind of phrase book, I would say you can use two different options:

The first is to provide a pronunciation key at the beginning, with explanation of the International Phonetic Alphabet, and then provide the phonetic alphabet key for the various sentences.

I would say this is, in the long run, the best choice, as it gives a more precise representation of the pronunciation.

The second option is to give a more approximate "representation" of the pronunciation with a key that uses letters or letter combinations that in English would be pronounced in an approximately similar way, for instance:
[ah] long open "a" as in "father" or "rather"
[...]
[ee] as in "meet"
[etc.]
[...]
"abulia" [ahboolEEah]
[etc.]

I find that the advantage of this type of phonetic representation is that it is immediately understandable to most English speakers.

For example, if I need to explain to someone how to pronounce my surname, usually the quickest way is to tell them to pronounce it as if it were written "skeeahPHEEnoh".


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skport  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:10
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 12, 2005

Thanks to both of you, for your ideas on this very interesting topic.

Riccardo, I particularly liked the explanation of how to prounounce your surname - a good example of how this type of system makes a lot more sense when we are not too familiar with the language.

Jeff, thanks for the link to your previous posting - some very interesting ideas (and also a good airing for my rusty French).

I think that in language teaching this way of writing makes a lot of sense, and is better than teaching students the IPA at beginner level. Of course, it is only useful at the very very beginner stage only, whilst students get used to vocabulary and the sound of the language.

Best wishes and have a good weeekend.

Sarah


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