The Portuguese language is widely spoken throughout many parts of the world. It is of course, the dominant language in Portugal, but Portuguese is also the predominant language in Angola, Mozambique and Brazil, to name but a few. With the global commercial market rapidly increasing, so is the need for expert translation, particularly now that Portuguese is officially recognised in the European Union. Companies offering Portuguese to English services and vice versa are growing to accommodate the need for good translation.
When searching for the right Translate to English company to provide the excellence required for accurate Portuguese translation it is important to ensure that you shop around. It is not a simple question of providing a basic translation. The Portuguese language is very different from English with variant phrasing, quotation and punctuation rules. In the Portuguese written language, it is only the first letter which is in upper case for instance. Various phrases and usage do not correspond to the English so that translation must be undertaken by a translator who is a native speaker of Portuguese and who has a sound knowledge base of the English language so that the translation is accurate and conveys the initial meaning. The same would apply in reverse when translating from Portuguese to the English language. The translation must accord with the standard language variant.
In addition, it is important that the translation from English to Portuguese is culturally localised to the specific target recipient. Remember, that, although Portuguese is the predominant language in many countries as observed above, there will be differences in the language to that spoken in Portugal itself. Ignoring these cultural differences on the basis that translation of the Portuguese language is standard is to show a lack of knowledge and respect for the target audience. It is always essential to know the company you are dealing with and to have confidence in the translation.
When engaging with a translator, whether from Portuguese to English or vice versa, it is crucial that he/she understands exactly the nature of the document and what you want. Remember, mistakes cannot be undone in retrospect. Where more technical expertise is required such as medical translation or legal translation, it is essential to ensure that the translator has the additional skills to understand the specific challenges relating to jargon and idiomatic variants which are unique to that discipline and must therefore be accurately translated.
Neil Payne is Managing Director at the London based consultancy Kwintessential. For more information on their services please visit