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Soubessemos nos .........o sobreiro

English translation: ver em baixo

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16:55 Jan 13, 2002
Portuguese to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
Portuguese term or phrase: Soubessemos nos .........o sobreiro
(Sorry for the missing accents - my sheet is missing just now!)
Sentence reads: "Soubessemos nos o que representam 60 milhoes de anos e perceberiamos ha quanto tempo por ca anda o sobreiro, esse Quercus suber que e o verdadeiro heroi deste libro, pois e ele que suporta, como sua casca, a cortiça preciosa."
It is the first half of the sentence that I am having trouble with.
suesimons
Local time: 17:21
English translation:ver em baixo
Explanation:
here are a few possibilities:

If we knew what 60 million years truly represent/are/mean then we would understand/know (since) how long the cork-oak has been around...

had we any idea of what 60 million years truly represent, we would understand how long the cork-oak has been around (meaning in the world or depending on the context it could also mean in a particuar area of the world)

por cá anda is a way of saying "has been around". Of course, here it simply means "exists".
Please note that the word truly is not present in the Portuguese text but in English to create an emphasis similar to the one that is contained in the Portuguese text you need to add it it in English.

The expression "soubessemos nós" mean exactly the same as "se nós soubessemos", its just a literary way (slightly more dramatic) of saying the same thing. It corresponds to something like: if only we could have an idea (of what 60 million years really are/mean/represent...)

hope it helps you a bit!
Selected response from:

Elisa Capelão
Local time: 17:21
Grading comment
Many thanks, Elisa, It is abit "heavy" but it is a literary piece. Your para 2 seems to me to sound better and your explanations are very good and I much appreciate your time.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +1If we but knew what 60 million years stand for, and we would realize for how long the "sobreiro" has
Francis Aubert
5 +1ver em baixo
Elisa Capelão
4if we knew...
Daniel Marcus


  

Answers


39 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
If we but knew what 60 million years stand for, and we would realize for how long the "sobreiro" has


Explanation:
... been with us ....

Francis Aubert
Local time: 15:21
PRO pts in pair: 52

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Doreen Carre: A fitting translation for a literary piece...
2 days 6 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

52 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
ver em baixo


Explanation:
here are a few possibilities:

If we knew what 60 million years truly represent/are/mean then we would understand/know (since) how long the cork-oak has been around...

had we any idea of what 60 million years truly represent, we would understand how long the cork-oak has been around (meaning in the world or depending on the context it could also mean in a particuar area of the world)

por cá anda is a way of saying "has been around". Of course, here it simply means "exists".
Please note that the word truly is not present in the Portuguese text but in English to create an emphasis similar to the one that is contained in the Portuguese text you need to add it it in English.

The expression "soubessemos nós" mean exactly the same as "se nós soubessemos", its just a literary way (slightly more dramatic) of saying the same thing. It corresponds to something like: if only we could have an idea (of what 60 million years really are/mean/represent...)

hope it helps you a bit!


    knowledge of both languages
Elisa Capelão
Local time: 17:21
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 109
Grading comment
Many thanks, Elisa, It is abit "heavy" but it is a literary piece. Your para 2 seems to me to sound better and your explanations are very good and I much appreciate your time.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sue Horn
1 hr
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
if we knew...


Explanation:
Wondering about the 'e'... If we knew what 60 million years means and [really]understood how long the cork tree has been around, then it's quercus suber that is the real hero of this story...

I feel that perceberiamos should be percebessemos. Makes more sense this way, I feel.

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Note added at 2002-01-13 23:33:05 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

What I mean is that I feel the author has made a mistake and that we should read the sentence as if they had put \'percebessemos. The \'e\' suggests this.

Daniel Marcus
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:21
PRO pts in pair: 136
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