Reals and Centavos
Thread poster: Mario Freitas

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:08
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Nov 23, 2016

Pela enésima vez, tive de discutir com um revisor e ensinar a ele que não existe "Reais" em inglês e que não se traduz "centavos" por "cents".

Não se formam plurais de palavras terminadas em "l" na língua inglesa com "is" e sim com "ls". Senão vejamos:

- I know a guy named Rafael.
- Well, I know three Rafaels.
Ou seria
- Well, I know three Rafaéis.

O plural de "Real" (moeda) em inglês é "Reals".

Quanto aos centavos, traduzir como "cents" é uma aberração, a meu ver. Trata-se do nome da moeda. Seria como traduzir Dez Pesos por Ten Weights.

Mas como essa discussão já me rendeu diversas dores de cabeça, gostaria de ouvir a opinião dos colegas.

TIA


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Riens Middelhof  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:08
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Keep it real :) Nov 23, 2016

Following the confusion that exists with the euro (in the UK plural of euro is 'euros', in Ireland it is 'euro') I translate Real as singular (in Dutch, that is...), even if it was plural in Portuguese:

"The minimum wage has been raised to 100 Real."

I agree with your choice for 'centavos' though...


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yinnyann  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:08
Spanish to French
+ ...
R$ and cents Nov 23, 2016

Maybe you could keep the ambiguity by writing R$...
And this is what I thought:

I definitively agree that the full name should be "Reals" which is the English word (in France it would be "Réals")
And as far as I know "Reais" would probably make no sense for the reader that don't need to know the plural in the source language.

Regarding to the cents, it's seems a little bit more complicated and my first reaction was to translate it to cents.
Then in French, it is more natural to keep the "centavos" but here are some arguments to translate:
- cents refers to a hundredth part of the unit and it is easy to understand. Cents as the shortened "cents of Real".
- no one is supposed to know the name of every part of every currency.

Indeed in the EU, we have cents and centimes: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/euro/coins/50cents/html/index.fr.html


But... searching the Internet, the most common use seems to be "Reais" and "cents":
http://www.linguee.com.br/portugues-ingles/search?source=auto&query=*+reais+and+*+cents

Not an easy one!

[Modifié le 2016-11-23 23:26 GMT]


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:08
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
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TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Riens Nov 23, 2016

Riens Middelhof wrote:
Following the confusion that exists with the euro (in the UK plural of euro is 'euros', in Ireland it is 'euro') I translate Real as singular (in Dutch, that is...), even if it was plural in Portuguese:
"The minimum wage has been raised to 100 Real."
I agree with your choice for 'centavos' though...


Thank you for that, Riens. But I don't think this would sound good, as I translate mainly to EN-US, and I believe they would use the plural form.

Real: 1 Reals: 1 Reais: 0
Centavos: 2 Cents: 0


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
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English to Portuguese
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Yinniyann, Nov 23, 2016

yinnyann wrote:

Maybe you could keep the ambiguity by writing R$...
I definitively agree that the full name should be "Reals"
Regarding to the cents, it's seems a little bit more complicated and my first reaction was to translate it to cents.


In this case, we cannot keep it as R$ or BRL, because the use is to write it in words right after the number, so R$ 100 (one hundred Reals). That's what I need a solution for.
Thank you

Real: 1 Reals: 2 Reais: 0
Centavos: 2 Cents: 1


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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:08
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Reais - in English too Nov 24, 2016

I always translate it as 'Brazilian Reais' (unless the client states otherwise - one agency I work for insists on using 'Reals') and centavos. I use the symbol BRL, which is used internationally. I don't know if there would be other R$ - South African rand perhaps?
'Real' is a Portuguese word that is used in English and as such shall take plurals as according to Portuguese rules, in the same way as we say 'gnocchi' and not 'gnoccos' (not many people know this, but 'gnocchi' is actually a plural - it's 'gli gnocchi' Nouns ending in 'o' usually take an 'i' plural in Italian). I put the adjective 'Brazilian' as the real is not a well-known currency. I also seem to remember 'real' being used somewhere in the Arab world.
We say 'yen' and not 'yens' (following the Japanese rules), 'rand' in plural and singular, and 'kronor' rather than 'kronas' so it is only natural to say Reais.
The Euro is a different case, as it is used in several countries the logical thing to do would be to spell/pluralise it accordingly, so 'Éuros' in French as mentioned.
The point of pluralising names is interesting. The first time i saw "Manoéis" in print it came as a real shock. Got used to it now though.


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Timothy Came
Brazil
Local time: 03:08
Portuguese to English
Reais and centavos Nov 24, 2016

An interesting discussion.

I agree with Paul's post above. I always use 'reais' and 'centavos', sometimes with 'Brazilian' in front of reais if there is any potential ambiguity. I've never had any issues with those uses, but obviously if a client requested 'reals' or 'real' and 'cents' I wouldn't have a problem with that.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:08
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Bad assumption - good decision Nov 24, 2016

Paul Dixon wrote:
I always translate it as 'Brazilian Reais' (unless the client states otherwise - one agency I work for insists on using 'Reals') and centavos. I use the symbol BRL, which is used internationally. I don't know if there would be other R$ - South African rand perhaps?


The problem lies in "real" being a word that exists with a different meaning in English (e.g. "real estate"), having different translations into EN (viz. actual vs. royal).
It may sound uncanny:
"ACME invested XXX reals in real estate."
"The profit became real in reals after currency conversion."

It reminds me of the joke about some US President (Bush?), having being told that "30 Brazilian soldiers were sent..." and asking "How many is a 'braziliion'?"

Paul Dixon wrote:
'Real' is a Portuguese word that is used in English and as such shall take plurals as according to Portuguese rules, in the same way as we say 'gnocchi' and not 'gnoccos' (not many people know this, but 'gnocchi' is actually a plural - it's 'gli gnocchi' Nouns ending in 'o' usually take an 'i' plural in Italian). I put the adjective 'Brazilian' as the real is not a well-known currency. I also seem to remember 'real' being used somewhere in the Arab world.


"Brazilian Reais" is a good choice, because that's the way they are called in Brazil.
Note however that we use "dólares dos EUA" and not "dollars dos USA".

This is one of the issues where rules are created by use.
Actually, they are not rules, but established practices.

An American translation PM - whose husband is Portuguese - once asked me what was the rule for determining the gender - IF ANY - in PT for toponyms.

There are male (o Brasil), female (a Espanha), and neutral (Portugal) toponyms, and there is no rule for their gender in PT. AFAIK there is no consistency either between PT-BR and PT-PT (where more cases are neutral).

Worse, the decision on translating toponyms or leaving them in the original language is also shaped by practice.
A few examples of translations into Portuguese:
  • Stuttgart -> Estugarda
  • Lviv -> Leópolis
  • New York -> Nova York, Nova Iorque
  • Krakow -> Cracóvia
  • Warszawa -> Varsóvia
  • London -> Londres
  • Firenze -> Florença

No point in listing all those that remain unchanged, however there is no "rule" establishing that they should be used so.
The same principle seems to apply to currencies: common practice.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:08
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
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TOPIC STARTER
Manoéis Nov 24, 2016

Paul Dixon wrote:

The point of pluralising names is interesting. The first time i saw "Manoéis" in print it came as a real shock. Got used to it now though.


So, you'd say it's correct to say "I know many Manoéis" instead of "I know many Manoels"?

Real: 1 Reals: 2 Reais: 1
Centavos: 3 Cents: 1


[Edited at 2016-11-24 16:11 GMT]


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:08
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
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TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Nov 24, 2016

Timothy Came wrote:

An interesting discussion.

I agree with Paul's post above. I always use 'reais' and 'centavos', sometimes with 'Brazilian' in front of reais if there is any potential ambiguity. I've never had any issues with those uses, but obviously if a client requested 'reals' or 'real' and 'cents' I wouldn't have a problem with that.


Real: 1 Reals: 2 Reais: 2
Centavos: 3 Cents: 1


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:08
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Excellent examples, José Henrique! Nov 24, 2016

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

"The profit became real in reals after currency conversion."



Real: 1 Reals: 3 Reais: 2
Centavos: 4 Cents: 1


[Edited at 2016-11-24 16:14 GMT]


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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:08
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes and no Nov 24, 2016

It seems that the official rules request "reais", at least in the EU:
http://publications.europa.eu/code/en/en-5000700.htm

However, I have never seen, in any place, the currency of my country written in the plural of the language; it has always been as singular, no matter the amount.
Indeed, I wonder whether using the grammatical plural of one language in another language makes any sense, with an exception of a few universally accepted cases.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:08
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
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TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Inga Nov 24, 2016

Inga Petkelyte wrote:

However, I have never seen, in any place, the currency of my country written in the plural of the language; it has always been as singular, no matter the amount.


It is indeed a tough decision. The reason why I posted this is because I'm having this discussion with a regular client who wants me to use "Reais", and I don't agree. They mentioned the same rule you mentioned. But my work is surely not limited by general rules, unless I agree with them; not the case here.

Real: 2 Reals: 3 Reais: 2
Centavos: 4 Cents: 1


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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:08
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Well, well Nov 24, 2016

Just got curious about couple currencies and it seems the Rule is not consistent itself:
Russian is rouble and rouble, not converted into plural;
Polish currency is also indicated in singular only for both singular and plural, wherwe the Polish plural has two versions, just like in my and a few more langages (the link is inPolish but is it pretty clear):
http://www.prosteprzecinki.pl/czeste-bledy/zloty-zlote-czy-zlotych

Where I would completely disagree with my client, I would write according to my conviction and would leave any corrections of their like to their editor. Otherwise, I would have to go over my own integrity. Good luck keeping yours!


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Fabio M. Caldas  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 13:08
English to Portuguese
+ ...
My take Jan 27

I would go for Real and Centavos, and where possible avoid ambiguity by using BRL or R$.

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