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illogical phrase?

English translation: it is correct

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Portuguese term or phrase:illogical phrase?
English translation:it is correct
Entered by: Antonio Costa
Options:
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- Include in personal glossary

19:22 Jun 5, 2002
Portuguese to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial
Portuguese term or phrase: illogical phrase?
In a contract it says:
Para a aprovação pelo Dono da Obra, serão igualmente apresentados o projecto de execução, em prazo máximo de 30 dias antes do començo dos trabalhos.
Isn't this illogical? Doesn't it mean that it could be presented 2 days before the start of work, but not more than 30 days before? Any suggestions as to what to do with this? (The whole document is not very written - note the grammatical error in the first phrase.)
Jeanne Zang
United States
Local time: 23:27
it is correct
Explanation:
The project shall be submitted to the owner's approval 30 days before the work begins. (in adcance)

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Note added at 2002-06-05 23:09:57 (GMT)
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Apart from the grammar mistakes - very common in Portuguese for this type of work - I can\'t see any other discrepancy in this phrase because the owner\'s requirement is quite clear. He might have his own experts to back him up to the point of okaying the whole package in one only day. His only requirement is that this must not exceed 30 days. Maybe he has set a 30-day deadline because he knows from experience that nobody would be able to do that in, say, 20 days or less.

Finally, if he made the mistake, he\'s to blame for it, not you. You\'re a translator, not a guesser. Grammar mistakes must always be corrected \"without previous notice\".

Maybe if you speak to him about this, he may say: \"This is none of your business!\".



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Note added at 2002-06-06 00:47:54 (GMT)
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NOTA AO RHANDLER

Alertar cliente sobre como se redige um documento de valor jurídico, além de perigoso e arriscado, é função de ADVOGADO, jamais de Tradutor. Quem mexe com documentos jurídicos é, por profissão, um advogado. Jamais compete ao tradutor entrar no mérito de uma questão jurídica, a menos que seja convidado. E, mesmo assim, se ele, sem ter conhecimento da legislação, der \"palpites\" errados, no caso de um problema posterior decorrente do próprio contrato, o redator original se eximirá facilmente das responsabilidades decorrentes.
Selected response from:

Antonio Costa
Grading comment
I do agree that it is important to translate the text as it reads, and not to change it to what we think it should say. On the other hand, I agree with RHandler that we should point out the seeming illogicality. My solution was to add a translator's note.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +5it is correctAntonio Costa
5I would ask the client what he meant to say..
airmailrpl
5pelo menos, no mínimo
Silvio Picinini
4at least, no later thanDanilo Nogueira
5 -1You are correct. Suggestion below.rhandler
2I agree I can't see how they would make it work in practice, but here is a thought ...
Hermeneutica


  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +5
it is correct


Explanation:
The project shall be submitted to the owner's approval 30 days before the work begins. (in adcance)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-06-05 23:09:57 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Apart from the grammar mistakes - very common in Portuguese for this type of work - I can\'t see any other discrepancy in this phrase because the owner\'s requirement is quite clear. He might have his own experts to back him up to the point of okaying the whole package in one only day. His only requirement is that this must not exceed 30 days. Maybe he has set a 30-day deadline because he knows from experience that nobody would be able to do that in, say, 20 days or less.

Finally, if he made the mistake, he\'s to blame for it, not you. You\'re a translator, not a guesser. Grammar mistakes must always be corrected \"without previous notice\".

Maybe if you speak to him about this, he may say: \"This is none of your business!\".



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-06-06 00:47:54 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

NOTA AO RHANDLER

Alertar cliente sobre como se redige um documento de valor jurídico, além de perigoso e arriscado, é função de ADVOGADO, jamais de Tradutor. Quem mexe com documentos jurídicos é, por profissão, um advogado. Jamais compete ao tradutor entrar no mérito de uma questão jurídica, a menos que seja convidado. E, mesmo assim, se ele, sem ter conhecimento da legislação, der \"palpites\" errados, no caso de um problema posterior decorrente do próprio contrato, o redator original se eximirá facilmente das responsabilidades decorrentes.


Antonio Costa
PRO pts in pair: 78
Grading comment
I do agree that it is important to translate the text as it reads, and not to change it to what we think it should say. On the other hand, I agree with RHandler that we should point out the seeming illogicality. My solution was to add a translator's note.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Roberto Cavalcanti
5 mins
  -> Obrigado Robcav. Aonde você esteve até agora?

agree  Sylvio Kauffmann
8 mins
  -> Obrigado zeilic

agree  BrazBiz: não há dúvida.
1 hr
  -> Thank you BrazBiz

agree  mschisler
2 hrs
  -> Than you Mschisler

disagree  rhandler: Por favor, releiam o texto: se o prazo máximo é de 30 dias, qualquer valor menor satisfaria, como dois dias, por exemplo. Está mesmo muito mal escrito.
3 hrs
  -> Se está ou não ilógico, é outra coisa. Mas que está correto, não tenha a menor dúvida que está. Não compete ao tradutor discutir o conteúdo do texto, se estiver gramaticalmente correto.

agree  Emilia Carneiro
4 hrs
  -> Obrigado Emilia

agree  Anamar: Tradutor não é jurista~, não tem de alterar nada tem apenas de traduzir e no máximo alertar para a situação!
16 hrs
  -> Obrigado Anamar. Penso exatamente como você. Embora às vezes dê uma coceirinha na gente, de meter o bedelho onde não é chamado.. Todo tradutor é meio metido a João Sabe-tudo.
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14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
I agree I can't see how they would make it work in practice, but here is a thought ...


Explanation:
... namely that maybe they mean that it must be presented within 30 days, i.e. they don't want anything that is not up to date. How to make a decision on it, of course, in maybe two days as you say, is another story. I was recently told here in France that to register a business at the Chamber of Commerce you needed xyz and a check, of course, and a birth certificate issued no more than three months prior to the date of the application!!!!! Then they say it's to avoid fraud. The logic beats me, but perhaps it's the same, whatever it may be, in your document.

Best of luck. Few things are worse than badly written Portuguese!

Dee

Hermeneutica
Switzerland
Local time: 05:27
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 12
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16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
pelo menos, no mínimo


Explanation:
O projeto deve ser apresentado pelo menos (at least) 30 dias antes.
É, está mal escrito mesmo.

Silvio Picinini
United States
Local time: 20:27
Native speaker of: Portuguese
PRO pts in pair: 113
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18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
at least, no later than


Explanation:
só isso

Danilo Nogueira
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 133
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33 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): -1
You are correct. Suggestion below.


Explanation:
Of course, what was meant was that the detailed engineering design sall be submitted to the Owner no later than 30 days prior to the start of the works. Your conclusion is absolutely right, the text is poorly written, as you've pointed out. Instead of "maximum", I would simply use "minimum". Alternatively, use "no later than 30 days prior to...". Good luck with your translation.

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Note added at 2002-06-06 13:50:26 (GMT)
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Before converting the text into the destination language, the translator has to UNDERSTAND what is written in the original language. Therefore, if it seems illogical, he cannot go ahead without clarifying the matter, either with the author of the text or with his client. If it doesn\'t make sense to the translator, it can\'t be honestly translated, and this applies also (or, better, especially) to Lewis Carroll\'s poems. Showing concern on the logical aspects of a text shall only demonstrate, to the client, seriousness on the part of the translator. The opposite attitude emphasizes the Italian epithet: \"Traduttori traditori\".

rhandler
Local time: 00:27
Native speaker of: Portuguese
PRO pts in pair: 7949

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Antonio Costa: See my note above
3 hrs
  -> Discordo totalmente de você. Acho que é obrigação ética do tradutor alertar seu cliente para textos ilógicos, especialmente em se tratando de matéria contratual. Esta postura é o que garante que nunca seremos substituídos por máquinas de traduzir.
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15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
I would ask the client what he meant to say..


Explanation:
Many times I have had to ask the client what he meant to say in Portugese before I try to put it into English for him.

I am an Engineeer by training and unfortunately many of us don't express ourselves well, even when we try to write contracts.

airmailrpl
Brazil
Local time: 00:27
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 3590
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