An attempt: connecting linguistic regression analysis with the arts of translating, and interpreting.

The English, the Portuguese, and the Latin
The sigmatoid subtle splits the Portuguese language from the English language only when it comes to reading it.

It may be impossible to know a language so well that there is no mistake in its application.

A few logical threads, connecting translating and interpreting to the history of the origins of the human languages, are available.

Observe benevolentia: This sigmatoid is associated with benevolence in English, and benevolencia in Portuguese.

Our hypothesis, inspired by the text on inferences (, could then be true at least for those words that have originated in the Latin language.

Causa got translated into causa in Portuguese, and cause in English.

Perhaps it is just a matter of ending in a certain way when the origin language is Latin?

Divinus got translated into divine in English, and divino or divina in Portuguese, depending on the gender of the entity that is told to be divine.

This far, there seems to be hope to some theorem on endings at least for the sigmatoids that originate in the Latin...

Now the hope will be over:
schola got translated into escola in Portuguese and school in English.

So, the beginning also changes?

It may be possible to find a logical thread: the sigmatoids in this particular group acquired a different beginning when they went to English, and a new ending when they went to Portuguese.

Benevolentia, causa, and divinus: what connects these three sigmatoids?

The first two are nouns, and the last one is an adjective.

It might be an issue with the initial letter: if the sigmatoid in Latin starts with a B, tia becomes cia in Portuguese, and ce in English; if it starts with a C, a becomes a in Portuguese, and e in English, and if it starts with a D, us becomes e in English, and a or o in Portuguese.

If the end in Latin is tia, and the sigmatoid starts with a B: bestia translates into beast in English, not into the expected besce, and besta in Portuguese, therefore also not the expected bescia.

If the end in Latin is an a, and the sigmatoid starts with a C: cauda does not translate into caude in English, but tail instead, and it does translate into cauda in Portuguese.

It is still possible to theorise that, when the English sigmatoid comes from the Latin, what happens is what was previously described here, so that it is still possible to theorise that things could go in the opposite direction, since tail clearly does not come from the Latin.

Consider the sigmatoid cautela: it translates into caution in English instead of the expected.

It translates into cautela in Portuguese as well (contrary to the expectation).

As for the end in Latin being us, and the sigmatoid starting with a D: discipulus does translate into disciple in English, and discipulo or discipula (depending on the gender of the entity) in Portuguese, so that it is still right OK, but there is also the sigmatoid digressius, which translates into digression in English, and digressao in Portuguese, breaking the imagined rule.

Things could then be explained through theories on occlusion, and patterns of sound emission of the peoples of Portugal (The Portuguese created the Portuguese language by the 9th century AC), and Great Britain (The British created the English language by the 5th century AC), but it is difficult to imagine someone from English background listening to cautela in Latin, and writing caution… .

The question of interest then becomes: how is it that the sigmatoids that derive from the Latin both in Portuguese, and English, those that mean the same thing at least for some of the specified senses, end up having diverse spelling, and sound? Would it be possible that the languages under study had been slowly built, and other peoples had added to what the Portuguese, and British peoples invented little by little, and, with this, had started another pattern, which would then, on its turn, be repeated for each one of the sigmatoids from the Latin that they added to the Portuguese, and English languages?

If so, what is the way to prove that?

Could we study all possible occlusions, and patterns of sound emission of all peoples who could have heard others speak Latin, and could then have added a few new sigmatoids or senses to the lexicons of the Portuguese - or of the English - language?

No, this is impossible!

The reason for the impossibility is that the lexicon is a dynamic entity: always being updated with new senses or sigmatoids that are created through culture or will.

Those new senses, and new sigmatoids depend only on what goes around, and sticks in human kind, so that anyone, from anywhere, and therefore anyone who migrates to another Country as well, can be responsible for the birth of a new sense or sigmatoid (and their additions could not appear as entries in at least a few lexicons, from at least some of the nations that have that particular language as their official language for many years).

Banhos is a sigmatoid from Portugal that means official announcement of a marriage in English (2012), but the sigmatoid is not found in the Brazilian Portuguese lexicon from 2012 (banho, a sigmatoid that can be seen as the singular form of banhos, but none of the senses appearing in the Aurelio has to do with marriage, not even remotely), the most complete one (Aurelio), and the work towards the unification of the Portuguese language is now relatively old (started by 1931).

Were there censorship of additions or modifications for when people spoke or wrote differently from what the majority of us expects (national agreements: lexicons, grammar books, and so on), then the theories here suggested would exist.

Those would then help us speak, and write in foreign languages quite easily/quickly (it would suffice having the basic book of all theorems, as we have for simple integrals in Mathematics or Classical Logic in Philosophy).

Conclusion: becoming an expert in any language is an unachievable dream even for the person born speaking that language, since nobody can make logical sense of the most basic elements (not even) of their mother tongue.

It is possible to know grammar, and syntax well upon extreme dedication to a language, but spelling, vocabulary, and semantics will remain a mystery for even the best connoisseur.

Mistake zero in translation, and interpretation is, in conclusion, a scientific impossibility: the amount of effort might be extraordinary, but sooner or later translators, and interpreters will have that feeling, of simply getting by… .

Some Sources

Copyright, 1999-2006. All rights reserved. -
The English, The Portuguese, and The Latin
Author: Marcia Pinheiro
inglés al portugués translator 
By Marcia Pinheiro
Published on 12/29/2012
Sign in to your account...

Your current localization setting


Select a language

All of
  • All of
  • Búsqueda de términos
  • Trabajos
  • Foros
  • Multiple search