Translations Should Reflect the Original

As we've pointed out before, translating is more than a technical skill – it's an art. A translator needs to have a deep understanding of the languages he or she works with so that the end product – the translation in the target language – reflects the original in all its essence.

To not translate word-for-word can be a challenge in and of itself. We all have been there.

Now imagine what happens when you come across an expression in the source language for which there's no exact match in the target language! That's what we're going to talk about now and, as an example, we'll use the expression below:


We checked around on a few free internet sources and, in addition to the electronic translation below,

we came across the following pseudo-translations:

- The good son returns home.
- The good son always comes back.

And, incredibly enough, we even stumbled across this one:

- The prodigal son comes home.

Now that you've seen the so-called translations that can be found on the internet, take a look at the screenshot below showing the translation AVRO dx gives for

"o bom filho à casa torna"


A good son may leave home but sooner or later he comes back (omq a good son may leave home but sooner or later he'll come back): O bom filho à casa torna | um bom filho pode sair de casa, mas, mais cedo ou mais tarde, ele retorna | o bom filho à casa retorna. 

The expression "o bom filho à casa torna" has such a heavy cultural and linguistic load – something that happens with hundreds of expressions in both Portuguese and English – that a native English speaker wouldn't understand it if it were translated word-for-word because there isn't an exact match for it in English.

That being the case, the translation has to be adapted to the English language in such a way that the cultural and linguistic load of the original is reproduced in the target language.

Now do you understand the difference between a pseudo-translation and a reliable, well-thought-out translation?

A translation you can count on is what you get when you use AVRO dx!

AVRO dx is a comprehensive (English-Portuguese-English) reliable database containing over 250,000 primary entries, thousands of technical terms from all segments, over 3,700 pictures, plus helpful example sentences and explanations.

Watch the video below to learn more about AVRO dx and what it can do to help you and your career!

Watch the video below to learn more about AVRO dx and what it can do to help you and your career!

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