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Should Euro Pt translators translate into Br Pt and vice-versa?
Thread poster: Paula Tome

Paula Tome  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:24
English to Portuguese
Jan 15, 2010

As European Portuguese, I would never attempt to translate into Brazilian Portuguese. But I find increasingly more and more Euro Pt translations that have been done by Brazilian translators. Do you have any views or comments on this?

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:24
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Definitely not! Jan 15, 2010

I wrote it so many times, in so many ways, and to so many people that I finally got bored and put it at http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/ptxbr.html . Now I just provide the link.

Portuguese in all its variants is one and the same language as source. Then it splits into two major variants as target.

I think it is at least dishonest a translator offering "neutral" Portuguese, as such thing does not exist. The few people I ever met who mastered the skill to treat the two variants as completely separate languages did so by living for several decades in Germany and the USA, i.e. outside a Portuguese-speaking environment, where the local variant would hopelessly tend to seep into the other.

A Portuguese living in Brazil, or a Brazilian living in Portugal, may develop the local variant over a long time to an extent that it takes absolute command.

However the "killer" difference is the item #6 on my article. I don't know how it evolved, but it's overwhelming!

[Edited at 2010-01-15 16:10 GMT]


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Janisa Antoniazzi  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:24
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I would not dare Jan 15, 2010

As a Brazilian Portuguese native speaker and translator, I would not accept a job to translate a text to European Portuguese. I believe there are too many linguistic differences I'm not familiar with to be able to provide a good work. But, on the other hand, there might be Brazilian Portuguese translators that are quite familiar with European Portuguese. So it depends on the translator's experience and backgound.

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Maria Castro  Identity Verified
Portugal
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
No! Jan 15, 2010

No, I don't think they should. I completely agree with José Henrique (and Janisa, too) and his article demonstrates in a very accurate way the differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese. But I believe it is possible for a Portuguese translator to translate Brazilian Portuguese into, for example, English and a Brazilian Translator do the same with European Portuguese provided s/he has a deep insight of the field in the target language, is perfectly aware of the differences between the two variants and tries to improve her/his skills in the other variant. Not to master it and translate into it rather to understand the nuances.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:24
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No! Jan 16, 2010

A professional translator should provide translation services exclusively into her/his native language. I have been living in Belgium for the last 20 years and though by now I consider myself as bilingual it would be unethical for me to translate into French... The same applies obviously to any other language!

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Flavia Martins dos Santos  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:24
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Jan 16, 2010

They are different languages so different professionals should work with them. I find it difficult if you a native of Brazilian Portuguese to write in the Portuguese from Portugual and vice versa. They are different in many senses.

As a matter of fact I have a client that sends me tasks from time to time to adapt the Portuguse texts from Portugal into the Brazilian.


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Danièle Horta  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:24
English to French
+ ...
"Cada macaco no seu galho" Jan 16, 2010

Translation in PT/BR => for the Brazilian market / Brazilian representatives / companies
Translations in PT/PT => for the European market etc...

As José Henrique said, there is no "neutral" Portuguese.


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xxxAguas de Mar
Not to play devil's advocate, but... Jan 16, 2010

...how feasible (or difficult) would it be for a Brazilian translator to translate a document into Portugal Portuguese, and have it proofread by a Portuguese colleague before delivery to the client, and vice versa? How much work would be involved?

I work into Spanish, and many times I have adapted documents translated for the Argentinean or Spanish market to Mexico and US Spanish and, when the quality of the translation is good, the adaptation is not all that difficult, so I can say that an Agentinean translator can translate into Mexican or US Spanish PROVIDED he/she has his/her translation revised by a native of the target country. Would the same apply for Portuguese?


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Paula Tome  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:24
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jan 16, 2010

for all your comments. I am happy to know that I am not alone in refusing to translate into Brazilian and in believing that there are far too many linguistic differences. Of course I can adapt a Brazilian translation into Euro Pt, but then the final product will be in Euro Pt. But I do a lot of voice work and increasingly find scripts that have been translated by Brazilian translators attempting to recreate a Euro Pt text. I do find this highly irregular and was interested in knowing your views on the matter. I also find clients are totally unaware of these differences, they think it is a case of "I say tomatoes..." And it is not.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:24
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The problem is in the logic Jan 16, 2010

Aguas de Marco wrote:
...how feasible (or difficult) would it be for a Brazilian translator to translate a document into Portugal Portuguese, and have it proofread by a Portuguese colleague before delivery to the client, and vice versa? How much work would be involved?


I don't get paid anything for anyone who reads my article http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/ptxbr.html , I just spare myself from writing it all over again. The difference in logic (item #6 there) between PT and BR is daunting... to the extent of colleagues across the Atlantic, when "getting in sync" on a project with me over Skype, avoid by all means using Portuguese, because they feel sure we will misunderstand each other. Hence all such communication is via IM - not voice - because of the pronunciation, and in English, to avoid misunderstanding due to the different logic adopted.

So automatic translation between PT-BR and PT-PT would be perfectly feasible, and might render 100% accuracy, because it's one and the same language. The spelling issue is over, so it's just a matter of implementing the other variant's preferred terminology (bear in mind that [b]both[b] are mutually valid), and rebuiding some preferred phrase constructions. The problem here is that the logic would be preserved.

Hey, you live in Brazil. Have you never heard a "Portuguese joke"? They turn into nonsense as soon as you consider them under the PT-PT logic. That's why I recommend - when a translation is required into both PT-BR and PT-PT - to have two separate translators working from the original text. A linguist might see through the other variant's logic, but the end-reader most likely will not.


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Danièle Horta  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:24
English to French
+ ...
Variants Jan 17, 2010

Aguas de Março wrote:
I work into Spanish, and many times I have adapted documents translated for the Argentinean or Spanish market to Mexico and US Spanish and, when the quality of the translation is good, the adaptation is not all that difficult, so I can say that an Agentinean translator can translate into Mexican or US Spanish PROVIDED he/she has his/her translation revised by a native of the target country.



I was wondering about the differences between Mexican, Argentinean and European Spanish.

Is there a logical chasm between the variants? (similar to the one existing between PT/BR and PT/PT?)

[Edited at 2010-01-17 15:54 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:24
English to Portuguese
+ ...
As far as I know... Jan 17, 2010

Danièle Horta wrote:
I was wondering about the differences between Mexican, Argentinean and European Spanish.
Is there a logical chasm between the variants? (similar to the one existing between PT/BR and PT/PT?)

[Edited at 2010-01-17 15:54 GMT]


... this difference in logic is unique to the Portuguese language. I'd really like to know where it came from.

Once I was in the waiting room for something (dentist? doctor? barber? client?) and read part of an article about a thesis by a woman from USP (São Paulo State Univesity) explaining the PT/BR difference in pronunciation. Okay, the original PT barely pronounces the vowels. So where did the Brazilian habit of pronouncing them fully come from? That thesis argues that it's from the Tupi-Guarani (the Brazilian indigenous language), which AFAIK uses a lot of vowels interspersed with a few consonants, probably short-pronounced in its orignial form. This might explain the Brazilian acent.

But where did this difference - i.e. Brazilians having at some time stopped to take words at their face value - come from? Beats me.


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Bruno Magne  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:24
English to French
+ ...
Perguntar não ofende, mas Jan 21, 2010

será que alguém pode explicar-me como é possível que vocês todos (com 2 exceções) que têm o português como língua materna estejam se expressando em... inglês num fórum dedicado à língua portuguesa?.

Cordialmente

Bruno



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Maria Castro  Identity Verified
Portugal
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
2 motivos Jan 21, 2010

Olá Bruno.
Pela parte que me toca, respondi em Inglês por dois motivos:
1º - o autor da sequência iniciou o debate em Inglês;
2º - (talvez o mais importante) os clientes ainda não estão muito sensibilizados para a diferença entre as duas variantes, daí ser importante que também tenham acesso ao que aqui se discute.


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Paula Tome  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:24
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
Porquê em Inglês? Jan 21, 2010

Bruno, tinha acabado de ter uma conversa com um cliente sobre um texto que apresentava o tipo de problemas que apontei e talvez daí... O ponto que a Maria levantou é importante, não é um caso de "I say tomatoes..." e é importante que isso seja claro para quem não conhece a língua. A sua pergunta não ofende, pelo contrário, até teve graça. Só que não responde à questão em si... Mas veja como nós nos expressamos de maneiras diferentes, apesar de nos entendermos tão bem! Paula

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