I have already written a post on some common grammar errors Brazilians usually make in Portuguese. Today, I decided to write on some common errors beginners usually make when translating from English to Brazilian Portuguese.
Below is a list of 10 examples of common errors I’ve come across throughout my experience as a translator (which is mainly with IT texts).
In English, it is very common to apologize for everything. However, in Portuguese, it isn’t. Therefore, you should simply ignore it whenever the word pops up on your translation.
This one is a false friend: it should never be translated as eventualmente (which actually means ocasionalmente), but as finalmente or consequentemente.
Sinceramente is not used as a letter/email closing in Portuguese. Instead, you should choose atenciosamente.
Although uncountable nouns in English are usually singular, in Portuguese, they are plural, therefore, the right translation is informações.
Excluir, not deletar.
Digitar, not inserir.
The right translation is not sensível (sensitive), but sensato.
Confirmar, comprovar, garantir, não verificar (check).
In IT, it means aplicativo, não aplicação. App is its short form, therefore, it’s masculine, not feminine: o app.
It’s never translated, although you may, depending on the case, translate the name of the city and country, if applicable.
Needless to say all these translation options depends on the context, but, in general, they do apply. It’s essential that you always refer to the client’s reference material, style guide and glossaries, and that you always do a thorough research, even when you think you know the translation of a term. Translators can never be too cautious.
When I was a beginner myself, I also made most of these mistakes, but I learned with practice, always paying careful attention to feedback, trying to assimilate and learning from them. I never make the same mistake twice, and if you have the possibility of never making them altogether, why waste the chance, right?
Would you add any other term to the list?