Origins, and Recovery of Common Sense Translation Article Knowledgebase

Articles about translation and interpreting
Article Categories
Search Articles

Advanced Search
About the Articles Knowledgebase has created this section with the goals of:

Further enabling knowledge sharing among professionals
Providing resources for the education of clients and translators
Offering an additional channel for promotion of members (as authors)

We invite your participation and feedback concerning this new resource.

More info and discussion >

Article Options
Your Favorite Articles
Recommended Articles
  1. overview and action plan (#1 of 8): Sourcing (ie. jobs / directory)
  2. Getting the most out of A guide for translators and interpreters
  3. Does Juliet's Rose, by Any Other Name, Smell as Sweet?
  4. The difference between editing and proofreading
  5. El significado de los dichos populares
No recommended articles found.
Popular Authors
  1. Dorothy Smith
  2. Natalia Eklund
  3. Janis Abens
  4. Cedric Lorand
  5. Dan Marasescu
No popular authors found.

 »  Articles Overview  »  Art of Translation and Interpreting  »  Translation Techniques  »  Origins, and Recovery of Common Sense

Origins, and Recovery of Common Sense

By Marcia Pinheiro | Published  01/22/2013 | Translation Techniques | Recommendation:
Contact the author
Marcia Pinheiro
inglés a portugués translator
View all articles by Marcia Pinheiro

See this author's profile
The sigmatoids of the English language are sometimes found in other languages.

Massacre, from the Portuguese language, also appears in the English language, and its world reference is the same.

One must stress (main stress) the second syllable (Harper Collins) when reading this sigmatoid in Portuguese, and the first syllable when reading it in English (Longman).

Perhaps the Germans, through the Anglo-Saxon migration to the United Kingdom, have played a major role there, and the Spanish, through their imperialist actions, are their equivalent in what regards this sigmatoid, and Portuguese.

It is Hallo in German, and Hello in English: not only both sigmatoids are almost identical in their spelling, but their world reference is the same.

The stress lies in the second syllable in both cases (Longman and Collins).

It is Heiraten in German, and Marry in English, but Casar in both Portuguese, and Spanish.

The first syllable gets the oral stress in German (Collins), and English (Longman), and the second syllable gets the stress in Portuguese (Harper Collins), and Spanish (BARRON’S).

There are sigmatoids that break the imagined rule: it is Frau in German, Madam in English, Dona in Portuguese, and Senora in Spanish.

English (Longman), and Portuguese get the same sort of stress, German (Collins) does not look the same in those regards, but is still looking similar somehow to English, and this time also to Portuguese (Harper Collins), and Spanish (BARRON’S) is the only one completely out of the pack.

There is then some chance that the same people added Heiraten to the German lexicon, and Marry to the English lexicon, say the Anglo-Saxons.

Another people probably added Casar both to the Portuguese, and to the Spanish lexicons, say the own Spanish.

It is then possible to determine the origins of groups of sigmatoids through analysing details, such as stress patterns.

It is possible to argue with the etymological lexicons writers using those studies in case there are discrepancies.

Hitler was an impressive figure.

In quite a few movies, and also on Brazilian TV shows, the Nazi soldiers said Hi, Hitler.

On the Internet, people seem to think that Hitler's soldiers said Heil Hitler!.

Heil is Ave in Portuguese (Ave Maria for Hail Mary), and Hail (Hail Mary) in English.

Hitler is always portrayed as one of the most important figures in human history, a person who is absolutely venerated by his soldiers, and people.

Hitler's soldiers made a very uncomfortable gesture when uttering Heil Hitler!, and the expression has to mean adoration for Hitler, so that they could not simply be saying Hi, Hitler!, which is quite informal.

Ave, and Hail appear in Ave Maria, and Hail Mary, traditional Catholic prayers.

Ave, and Hail mean maximum veneration for Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Ave then, in its most disrespectful usage, is something that closely relates to Salve in Portuguese because of Salve Rainha (Hail, Holy Queen), which is part of a Catholic prayer that is usually seen associated with Ave Maria.

Salve means save, but may also mean relatively elegant greeting, that is, never hi, but something like ‘long live.

Ave is seen in movies about the Romans, Ave Caesar being the expression that first comes to mind.

Caesar was adored by the Romans, so that Ave Caesar is something like Save the Great Caesar or Long live Caesar or Long life to Caesar or Our kingdom is for you, Caesar or All blessings to you, Caesar or We praise you, Caesar.

In some etymological dictionaries, Hail is associated with both farewell, and hi, so that it must be all blessings to you or we praise you.

There is then a problem in Translation: Hitler is an important historical figure, and this sentence is really old.

Translation is one of the greatest arts, and many more places like PROz should be created: that does improve standards.

In a translated version of a book by Simone de Beauvoir, Tous les Hommes Sont Mortels, the main character is a male who lasts forever, and he dies in one chapter but is alive in the next one without any explanation being given.

Translators must never depreciate texts with their service provision, but there are exceptions for the rule of not improving texts: sometimes clarity is a must (birth certificates, and other documents).

The contents of the texts must be conveyed in the target language as they are in the original language, also in what regards style, but punctuation mistakes can be fixed, just like PROz defends.

The Translator's Notes (NTs) can do the job of informing the reader about the original contents, if necessary: they play a major role in what comes to accuracy.

It is worth studying the origins of the expressions: more chances of finding the best match in the target language.

Some references:

• Harper Collins Portuguese Dictionary: English – Portuguese, ISBN 006-273489-X, 1997
• Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, ISBN 1-405-80673-7, 2005
• Collins German Dictionary & Grammar, ISBN 978-0-00-732316-6, 2010
• BARRON’S Foreign Language Guides Spanish-English, ISBN-10 0-7641-3329-2, 2006

(The first five websites were seen on the 12th of January of 2013, and the fifth was seen on the 22nd of January of 2013)

Copyright ©, 1999-2021. All rights reserved.
Comments on this article

Knowledgebase Contributions Related to this Article
  • No contributions found.
Want to contribute to the article knowledgebase? Join

Articles are copyright ©, 1999-2021, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.
Content may not be republished without the consent of