Todd’s Challenge: Portuguese Translation

Hello, hello! So, here is yet another of my Blog Challenges. This time we will focus on the Portuguese translation and strategies. Put on your thinking caps and see how close you can come to my model translation!

Good luck!

(You can check the answer key for this challenge here)

Translate the following text into Portuguese.

In that world there are no simple formulae for predicting or managing national behaviour. It is not a world in which one power – America – is dominant, though it remains the single most influential and capable country on a global scale, even after its debacle in Iraq. Nor is it a world, on his account, in which just three “empires” hold sway in any sort of triangular balance. It is a world in which many countries and their ruling elites are jostling for position and advantage, some of them keen to prove that today’s assumptions about influence and status can well be overturned. If there is a broad trend to be discerned in recent years, it is the revival of autocracy as a sometimes effective and even legitimate form of government. If there is a neat dividing line, it is the line between the democracies and autocracies. But using that line in the operation of foreign policy is no easier now than it has ever been. One thing that both authors do agree on is that the dream of a simple, safe world has gone for good.

Follow these easy steps to success in the translation sections:

1. Read the text one time through, making no marks, and determine what style of language is being used.
Style/Category:

2. Determine what the text’s overall theme is.
Theme/Language:

3. Read the text a second time through and highlight all “lexical chunks”, that is, all groups of words that would produce one single meaning.
hold sway” – to have authority/power; to be in control

4. Translate the text, paying close attention to the following points:
Direct translation: translate word for word without paying attention to groups of words with a single meaning
False Cognates: same word in the other language, but with a different meaning
Portuguese imposition upon English
Grammar: verb tenses, prepositions, word order, word form/spelling

5. Compare your result to the model translation in the answer key to see if you avoided these pitfalls.

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3 comentários sobre “Todd’s Challenge: Portuguese Translation

    • Hello, Hello! So, “Portuguese Imposition” is nothing more than imposing the Portuguese language’s structural/grammatical rules upon the English language. We need to remember that you are translating ideas into a distinctly separate language, and thus the rules and regulations of the grammatical structure of the target language must be respected. Make sense? Best regards, Todd

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