Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Bringing the poetry of Portuguese to English

With 230 million native speakers spread throughout nine different countries in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa, Portuguese is likely to play a critical role in your international business dealings or international cooperation work. Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language in the world and the fastest-growing European language after English, and it’s no secret why. Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes called it “the sweet and gracious language”, and Brazilian poet Olavio Bilac described it as a última flor do Lácio, inculta e bela (“the last flower of Latium, naïve and beautiful”). Beautiful and flowery, Portuguese makes much use of long, flowing sentences to express ideas. However, this form of expression does not always translate so well to English, which is better suited to shorter sentences that get straight to the point. A quality Portuguese to English translation service can parse through those long Portuguese sentences and break them down into digestible units in English, all while preserving the poetry of the original.

Portuguese is also becoming a major language on the international relations stage. It is an official language of six international organizations in Europe, Latin America and Africa, and has the potential to become an “international communication language” according to UNESCO. So, it’s important to have a Portuguese to English translation service you can trust to make sure the message is clear.

Another issue that can arise when translating Portuguese to English is the elevated language that Portuguese speakers and writers prefer to use in everyday expression. In English, this kind of expression can come off as unctuous or insincere. Whether it’s in a diplomatic communication or not, it’s important to stay true to the original tone of the Portuguese and adapt the English to match. An experienced Portuguese to English translator is capable of walking that fine line in reproducing the message in English in a way that conveys all of the intended warmth and respect of the Portuguese original without seeming over the top.

Finally, a quality Portuguese to English translation service will take into account the latest spelling reforms to the Portuguese language. In 2015, the letters k, w, and y were added to the Portuguese alphabet and the spelling of certain words was amended make it more uniform across different variants of the language. Even with these reforms, several differences remain between the dialects of Portuguese around the world. With an expert Portuguese to English translation service, you can be sure that the translator has the cultural knowledge necessary to accurately portray the Portuguese message in English according to the dialect used in the original.

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