PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATION - José Henrique Lamensdorf - translation - tradução

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WHAT IS PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATION?

As a professional translator since 1973, I see a legitimate concern among my potential customers, who often wonder whether professional translation services are actually worth what they cost.

The implicit question that probably crosses their mind is: Why should I hire a professional translator to perform my translation work instead of using the services of any (potentially cheaper) bilingual person?

For starters, what is the difference between the options?

I celebrated my 40 years in this profession with a conclusion:
A bilingual person is someone able to express his/her own ideas in two different languages, while a translator is a trained professional, skilled in expressing someone else's ideas faithfully and accurately in a language different from the one in which they were originally issued.

That's a bold statement, however it left me on the lookout for evidence, an example that would show what I mean. I needed an example that wouldn't infringe any copyrights and, most of all, that didn't insult any identified individual's ability to translate.

At last I found one! It is a story widely published in Brazilian Portuguese on the web. Someone published it on their blog, and had it translated into English by an unnamed individual, who probably had much more goodwill than translation skills, the typical cheaper alternative to professional translation I wanted to illustrate.

My point here is that it definitely conveys most of the content, but it is far from what would be considered an English text. It could be rated as "foreign tourist English".

A tourist using this level of English wouldn't have much trouble in an English-speaking country. Furthermore, I'd be the first to reckon that if I translated into Italian or French - two languages that I speak at "tourist level", but don't translate - my output would be comparable to this one.

However this is definitely not the way a business would like to present itself to foreign clients or prospects, it is not the way a manufacturer should provide instructions to its products' end-users, it is not the way an international agreement would be signed, it is not... the way to communicate across linguistic borders, especially if anyone wants to convey an aura of proximity.

So, without further ado, let's compare!

The left column (blue) shows the original text in Brazilian Portuguese, from that blog post.
The center column (red) shows the amateur translation, as it was found on the same blog.
The right column (green) shows my translation, what I would suggest as professional work.



SOURCE TEXTAMATEUR TRANSLATIONPROFESSIONAL TRANSLATION
Porteiro do Puteiro:
Uma lição para todos!
Porter’s brothel:
A lesson for all!
The Brothel Doorman:
A lesson for everyone!
Não havia no povoado pior emprego do que ‘porteiro da zona’.
There was the worst job in the town that “caretaker of the area ‘.
The worst possible job in that village was to be the brothel doorman.
Mas que outra coisa poderia fazer aquele homem?
But what else could this man do?
Yet, what else could that man do for a living?
O fato é que nunca tinha aprendido a ler nem escrever, não tinha nenhuma outra atividade ou ofício.
The fact is that he had never learned to read or write, had no other activity or craft.
As a matter of fact, he had never learned to read and write, nor any other trade or skill.
Um dia, entrou como gerente do puteiro um jovem cheio de ideias, criativo e empreendedor, que decidiu modernizar o estabelecimento.
One day he came on as a manager of a whorehouse full of young ideas, and creative entrepreneur who has decided to modernize the facility.
One day the brothel hired a new manager. He was a young and creative entrepreneur, full of ideas, who set out to update the outfit. 
Fez mudanças e chamou os funcionários para as novas instruções.
Changed and called the staff to the new instructions.
He made some changes, and convened the staff to give them new instructions.
Ao porteiro disse:
– A partir de hoje, o senhor, além de ficar na portaria, vai preparar um relatório semanal onde registrará a quantidade de pessoas que entram e seus comentários e reclamações sobre os serviços.

– Eu adoraria fazer isso, senhor, balbuciou – Mas eu não sei ler nem escrever.

– Ah! Quanto eu sinto! Mas se é assim, já não poderá seguir trabalhando aqui.

– Mas senhor, não pode me despedir, eu trabalhei nisto a minha vida inteira, não sei fazer outra coisa.

– Olhe, eu compreendo, mas não posso fazer nada pelo senhor. Vamos dar-lhe uma boa indenização e espero que encontre algo que fazer. Eu sinto muito e que tenha sorte.
The porter said:
– Starting today, you, and stay on the concierge, will prepare a weekly report which records the number of people coming in and your comments and complaints on services.

– I love to do it, sir, stammered – But I can not read or write.

– Ah! How I feel! But if so, can no longer continue working here.

– But you can not fire me, I worked it all my life, I can not do anything else.

– Look, I understand, but I can not do anything for you. Let us give you a good compensation and hopefully find something to do. I’m sorry and get lucky.
He told the doorman: “From now on, in addition to your duties as a bouncer, you’ll prepare a weekly report on how many people went inside, their feedback, as well as their complaints on the services provided.”

“I’d love to do that, sir,” he babbled, “but I can't read or write.”

“Oh, I am really sorry. However under the circumstances you won’t be able to go on working here.”

“But sir, you can’t dump me just like that. I’ve been doing this job all my life, I don’t know how to do anything else.”

“I understand, however there is nothing I can do for you. We’ll give you a generous severance pay, and I hope you’ll find something else to do. I am really sorry, and wish you good luck."
Dito isso, deu meia volta e foi embora. O porteiro sentiu como se o mundo desmoronasse. Que fazer?
That said, he turned around and walked away. The porter felt as if the world collapsed. What to do?
That said,  he turned on his heels, and left. The doorman felt his world falling apart. What could he do?
Lembrou que no prostíbulo, quando quebrava alguma cadeira ou mesa, ele a arrumava, com cuidado e carinho.
He recalled that at a brothel, where a broken chair or table, he arranged with care and affection.
It crossed his mind that at the brothel, whenever a chair or table was broken, he’d fix it with skill and care.
Pensou que esta poderia ser uma boa ocupação até conseguir um emprego.
He thought that this could be a good occupation to get a job.
He thought this could be a worthy endeavor until he found another job.
Mas só contava com alguns pregos enferrujados e um alicate mal conservado.
But just had some rusty nails and pliers poorly preserved.
However all he had was a few rusty nails and pliers in bad shape.
Usaria o dinheiro da indenização para comprar uma caixa de ferramentas completa.
Would use the compensation money to buy a complete toolbox.
He’d use the severance pay to buy a complete tool kit.
Como o povoado não tinha casa de ferragens, deveria viajar dois dias em uma mula para ir ao povoado mais próximo para realizar a compra. E assim fez.
As the village had no hardware store, should travel two days on a mule to go to the nearest town to make a purchase. And so he did.
As there was no hardware store in that village, he’d take a two-day trip on muleback to the nearest town in order to make his purchase. And that's what he did.
No seu regresso, um vizinho bateu à sua porta:
– Venho perguntar se você tem um martelo para me emprestar.

– Sim, acabo de comprá-lo, mas eu preciso dele para trabalhar, já que…

– Bom, mas eu o devolverei amanhã bem cedo.

– Se é assim, está bem.
On his return, a neighbor knocked on his door:
– I come to ask if you have a hammer I can borrow.

– Yes, I just buy it, but I need it to work, since …

– Well, but I will return tomorrow morning.

– If so, okay.
Upon his return, a neighbor came to his door, asking, “I wonder whether you could lend me a hammer.”

“Yes, I’ve just bought one, however I need it for work, as I...”

“Okay, but you’ll have it back early tomorrow.”

“In that case, it’s all right.”
Na manhã seguinte, como havia prometido, o vizinho bateu à porta e disse:
– Olha, eu ainda preciso do martelo. Porque você não o vende para mim?

– Não, eu preciso dele para trabalhar e além do mais, a casa de ferragens mais próxima está a dois dias de viagem, de mula.

– Façamos um trato – disse o vizinho. Eu pagarei os dias de ida e volta, mais o preço do martelo, já que você está sem trabalho no momento. Que lhe parece?
The next morning, as promised, the neighbor knocked on the door and said:
– Look, I still need the hammer. Why do not you sell it for me?

– No, I need it to work and besides, the nearest hardware store is a two-day journey by mule.

– Let’s make a deal – said the neighbor.
I’ll pay day round trip, plus the price of the hammer, since you are out of work right now. What do you think?
On the next morning, as promised, the neighbor knocked on his door and said, “Look, I still need that hammer. Why don’t you sell it to me?”

“No, I need it to work, and the nearest hardware store is two days away, on muleback.”

“Let’s make a deal,” said the neighbor. “I’ll pay for your time on the two-day trip, plus the cost of the hammer. Since you are out of work now, what do you think?”
Realmente, isto lhe daria trabalho por mais dois dias. Aceitou.

Voltou a montar na sua mula e viajou.
Indeed, it would give him work for two more days. He accepted.

He returned to riding on his mule and traveled.
Indeed, this would get him two days’ pay, so he went for it.

He mounted his mule and left the village.
No seu regresso, outro vizinho o esperava na porta de sua casa.
– Olá, vizinho. Você vendeu um martelo a nosso amigo. Eu necessito de algumas ferramentas, estou disposto a pagar-lhe seus dias de viagem, mais um pequeno lucro para que você as compre para mim, pois não disponho de tempo para viajar para fazer compras. Que lhe parece?
On his return, another neighbor was waiting outside his house.
– Hello, neighbor. You sold a hammer to our friend. I need some tools, I am willing to pay you your day trip, plus a small profit for you to buy them for me, because I do not have time to travel to shop. What do you think?
Upon his return, he met another neighbor, waiting by his place to say, “Hello, neighbor. You sold our mutual friend a hammer. I need some tools, and I’m willing to pay you for your days on the road, plus some small profit for you to buy them for me, as I don’t have time to go shopping out of town. What do you think?”
O ex-porteiro abriu sua caixa de ferramentas e seu vizinho escolheu um alicate, uma chave de fenda, um martelo e uma talhadeira. Pagou e foi embora. E nosso amigo guardou as palavras que escutara: ‘não disponho de tempo para viajar para fazer compras’.
The former doorman opened his toolbox and its neighbor chose a pair of pliers, a screwdriver, a hammer and a chisel. He paid and left. And our friend saved had heard the words: ‘I do not have time to travel to shop. ”
The former bouncer opened his toolbox, and the neighbor picked a screwdriver, pliers, a hammer, and a chisel. He paid for them, and left. Our hero treasured what he had heard, “I don’t have time to go shopping out of town.”
Se isto fosse certo, muita gente poderia necessitar que ele viajasse para trazer as ferramentas.
If this were true, many people might need him to travel to bring the tools.
If that were correct, many people might need him to go out of town to bring them tools.
Na viagem seguinte, arriscou um pouco mais de dinheiro, trazendo mais ferramentas do que as que já havia vendido.
On the next trip, he ventured a little more money, bringing more tools than those who had already sold.
On his next trip, he ventured some additional cash, and bought more tools in addition to those he’d already sold.
De fato, poderia economizar algum tempo em viagens.
In fact, it could save some time traveling.
Indeed, he could save some time on the road.
A notícia começou a se espalhar pelo povoado e muitos, querendo economizar a viagem, faziam encomendas.
Word began to spread through the village and many, wanting to save the trip, made orders.
News spread all over the village and many, trying to spare themselves from the trip, ordered goods from him.
Agora, como vendedor de ferramentas, uma vez por semana viajava e trazia o que precisavam seus clientes.
Now, as a seller of tools, traveling once a week and had what they needed their customers.
After a while, as a tool seller, he left town once a week, and brought all his clients had ordered.
Com o tempo, alugou um galpão para estocar as ferramentas e alguns meses depois, comprou uma vitrine e um balcão e transformou o galpão na primeira loja de ferragens do povoado. Todos estavam contentes e compravam dele.
Over time, rented a shed to store tools and some months later, he bought a shop window and a desk and turned the shed in the first hardware store in town. Everyone was happy and bought it.
He eventually rented a shack to keep a stock of tools. A few months later, he bought a display showcase and a counter, turning his shack into the first hardware store in that village. Everybody was happy, and kept buying from him.
Já não viajava, os fabricantes lhe enviavam os pedidos. Ele era um bom cliente. Com o tempo, as pessoas dos povoados vizinhos preferiam comprar na sua loja de ferragens, a ter de gastar dias em viagens.
Have not traveled, manufacturers sent him orders. He was a good customer. Over time, people from neighboring villages would prefer to buy in your hardware store, had to spend days on the road.
He didn’t travel anymore; manufacturers shipped him goods directly. He was a good customer. After a while, people from neighboring villages would prefer shopping at his store, instead of traveling for days to do it farther away.
Um dia ele lembrou de um amigo seu que era torneiro e ferreiro e pensou que este poderia fabricar as cabeças dos martelos.
One day he remembered a friend who was a blacksmith, and turner and thought this would make the heads of the hammers.
One day he thought of a friend of his, who was a blacksmith, and could possibly make hammer heads.
E logo, por que não, as chaves de fendas, os alicates, as talhadeiras, etc …
And then, why not, screwdrivers, pliers, the chisels, etc …
And why not have him make screwdrivers, pliers, chisels, and so on?
E após foram os pregos e os parafusos…
And after were the nails and screws …
And then nails and screws...
Em poucos anos, ele se transformou, com seu trabalho, em um rico e próspero fabricante de ferramentas.
In a few years, he became, with his work in a rich and prosperous manufacturer of tools.
In a few years, his work had made him a wealthy and booming tool manufacturer.
Um dia decidiu doar uma escola ao povoado.
One day he decided to give the village a school.
One day he decided to donate a school to the village.
Nela, além de ler e escrever, as crianças aprenderiam algum ofício.
In it, besides reading and writing, children learn a trade.
There, on top of reading and writing, children would also learn some craft.
No dia da inauguração da escola, o prefeito lhe entregou as chaves da cidade, o abraçou e disse:
– É com grande orgulho e gratidão que lhe pedimos que nos conceda a honra de colocar a sua assinatura na primeira página do livro de atas desta nova escola.

– A honra seria minha, disse o homem. Seria a coisa que mais me daria prazer, assinar o livro, mas eu não sei ler nem escrever, sou analfabeto.

– O Senhor? disse incrédulo o prefeito. O senhor construiu um império industrial sem saber ler nem escrever? Estou abismado. Eu pergunto:

– O que teria sido do senhor se soubesse ler e escrever?

– Isso eu posso responder, disse o homem com toda a calma: – Se eu soubesse ler e escrever… ainda seria o PORTEIRO DO PUTEIRO
On the opening day of school, the mayor handed the city keys, hugged him and said:
– It is with great pride and gratitude that we ask you to grant us the honor of putting his signature on the first page of the book of minutes of this new school.

– The honor would be mine, said the man. It would be the thing that would give me pleasure, sign the book, but I can not read or write, I am illiterate.

– The Lord? the mayor said incredulously. You built an industrial empire unable to read or write? I’m stunned. I ask:
– What would have been if the Lord could read and write?

– That I can answer, the man said calmly: – If I could read and write … would still be the whorehouse THE DOOR
At the school inauguration, the mayor gave him the key to the city, hugged him, and said, “With great pride and gratitude, we ask you to give us the honor of signing on the first page of the records book of this new school.”

“The honor would be mine,” said the man. “Signing this book would give me utmost pleasure, however I can’t read or write; I am illiterate.”

“You?” blurted the mayor in disbelief. “You built a whole manufacturing empire without reading or writing? I’m dumbfounded! I wonder... what would you have become, if you could read and write?”

“This is one thing I can tell you,” said the man without a wince. “If I could read and write... I’d still be the brothel doorman!”
Essa história é verídica, e refere-se a um grande industrial chamado… Valentin Tramontina, fundador das Indústrias Tramontina, que hoje tem 10 fábricas, 5.500 empregados, produz 24 milhões de unidades variadas por mês e exporta com marca própria para mais de 120 países – é a única empresa genuinamente brasileira nessa condição. A cidadezinha citada é Carlos Barbosa, e fica no interior do Rio Grande do Sul.
This story is true, and refers to a wealthy industrialist named … Valentin Tramontina, Industries founder Tramontina, which now has 10 factories, 5,500 employees, produces 24 million units per month and exports various private label to over 120 countries – is the only genuinely Brazilian company in this condition. The town is mentioned Carlos Barbosa, and lies within the Rio Grande do Sul
This story is true, and it was told* by a great entrepreneur named... Valentin Tramontina, founder of the Tramontina Industries, currently having 10 manufacturing plants, 5,500 employees, producing 24 million assorted products per month, and exporting under its own brand to over 120 countries. It is the only truly Brazilian company enjoying such status. The village mentioned is Carlos Barbosa, in the countryside of Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil.
Geralmente as mudanças são vistas como adversidades.
Usually the changes are seen as adversity.
Changes are often regarded as setbacks.
As adversidades podem ser bênçãos.
Adversity can be blessings.
Adversity may turn into a windfall.
As crises estão cheias de oportunidades.
Crises are full of opportunities.
Crises are loaded with opportunities.
Se alguém lhe bloquear a porta, não gaste energia com o confronto, procure as janelas.
If someone lock the door, do not waste energy with confrontation, seek out the windows.
If anyone shuts the door on you, don’t waste your efforts in trying to push it open, look for windows instead.
Lembre-se da sabedoria da água: ‘A água nunca discute com seus obstáculos, mas os contorna’.
Remember the wisdom of water: ‘Water never argues with its obstacles, but the skirts’.
Learn from the wisdom of water: “Water never challenges the obstacles it meets; it flows around them.”
Que a sua vida seja cheia de vitórias, não importa se são grandes ou pequenas, o importante é comemorar cada uma delas.
May your life be full of victories, no matter whether they are large or small, it is important to celebrate each one.
May your life be full of victories, no matter how big or small, what matters is to celebrate every one of them.

* Note: Several sites on the web say that this story was told  by Mr. Valentin Tramontina, not being his own, as evidenced by the company history on the Tramontina web site. This is an additional advantage that most professional translators offer, researching for evidence of facts presented.

So this is it. If the translation in the center column above is good enough for your needs, an amateur will do. Otherwise you'll have good reasons to use the services of a professional translator.



 
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