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Linguagem em (Dis)curso

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Linguagem em (Dis)curso

volume 1, número 2, jul./dez. 2001




 Mara Stringer da Fonseca*


Resumo: O propósito deste artigo é apresentar alguns procedimentos que os tradutores devem se utilizar para superar problemas que podem ocorrer durante o processo de tradução.

Palavras-chave: Inglês, tradução, literatura.

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present some of the procedures translators should use to overcome the problems which may occur during the translation process.

To obtain a successful translation some procedures should be taken during its process in order to overcome some problems which may occur in situations such as: adaptations, equivalences, transposition with different grammar structures. Else Vieira (1992), in her article ‘Some remarks on comparative stylistics applied to translation from English into Portuguese’, suggests that”...in the translation process: very often we find people who comply with the basic requirements of a good translator, i.e., fluency in the source language (SL) and a good command of written structures in the target language (TL), yet they cannot produce successful translations, “Indeed, sometimes the source language has stylistic differences which cannot be literally tranlated because when “... compared to the source text, it may give the impression of being understated or overstated”. Therefore the translator will have to use some devices such as adaptations or equivalences to improve the target text.

Below we will show some passages in English and their translation into Portuguese, taken from the novel The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, followed by some of the procedures the translator used in the process of transcoding.

I asked him who had put into the crowd’s head the idea of attacking the jews. Salvatore could not remember. I believe that when such crowds collect, lured by a promise and immediately demanding something, there is never any knowing who among them speaks. I recalled that their leaders had been educated in convents and cathedral schools and they spoke the language of the lords, even if, and they translated it into terms that the Sherpherds could understand. (p.192)

Perguntei quem tinha enfiado na cabeça da multidão que era preciso atacar os judeus. Salvatore não lembrava. *Acho que quando se reúne tanta gente seguindo uma promessa e pedindo logo algo, não se sabe nunca quem está falando dentre eles. *Pensei que os chefes deles tinham sido educados nos conventos e nas escolas episcopais, e *falavam a linguagem dos senhores, ainda que *a traduzissem em termos compreensíveis a pastores (p.219).

The example above and its translation show that, although in this case literal translation would have been correct, the translator chose not to use repetition of the personal pronouns I and they which is obligatory in English but stylistically inadequate in Portuguese.

The following example and its translation show that the third person neuter pronoun it in English is obligatory whereas in Portuguese it is omitted.

“It is our book” William whispered to me. This is *why our dream reminded me. of something. Now I am sure this is it. And in fact he glanced quickly at the pages immediately preceding and following” in fact, here are the books I was thinking about, all together. But this isn’t what I wanted to check.., “ (p. 439).

*“É o nosso livro”, sussurou-me Guilherme, “Eis por que o teu sonho me sugeriu algo.* E agora tenho certeza de que é este. E de fato.., “folheava com rapidez as páginas imediatamente precedentes e as seguintes, “de fato eis os livros em que estava pensando, todos juntos. Mas não *é isso que queria examinar ., “ (p. 495).

Sometimes English and Portuguese have the same grammatical category but its function differs in each language. Below an example of this occurence shows that the subject pronoun he in English has been replaced by the object pronoun me in Portuguese.

He replied that when your true enemies are too strong, you have to choose weaker enemies. I reflected this is why the simple are so called (p. 192).

Respondeu-me que, quando os inimigos verdadeiros são demasiado fortes, é preciso então escolher inimigos menos fortes. Reflete que por isso os simples são assim chamados (p.219).

In the passage below an example and its translation show that the translator has used different symbols to provide in Portuguese equivalences of English words related to sounds. In fact, a literal translation would be semantically incorrect.

“...Yum!” he said, and bit into his mutton pie, but I could see on his face the grimace of the desperate man eating the corpse. And then, not content with digging in consecrate ground, some, worse than the others, like highway men, crouched in the forest and took travellers by surprise, “Thwack!” Salvatore said, holding his knife to his throat, and “nyum!” (p.118)

“...Nham!” dizia, e mordia sua torta de ovelha, mas eu via em seu rosto o trejeito do desesperado que comia o cadáver... E depois consagrada, uns piores que os outros, como ladrões de estrada, ficavam de tocaia na floresta e surpreendiam os viajantes, “Iac!” dizia Salvatore, a faca na garganta e “nham!” (p. 220).

Still related to onomatopoeic language is the way exclamatory words are also expressed with different symbols in Portuguese. This is examplified in the following passage and its translation: 

“Oh, poor Adso”, William said, laughing and giving me an affectionate slap on the nape, “you’re not really wrong!” (p.197)

“Ah, pobre Also”, riu Guilherme dando-me um afetuoso tabefe na nuca, “não estás de todo errado!” (p.231).

In conclusion, the passages from the novel the name of the Rose, analysed in this paper have confirmed that the translator used different devices to provide a successful translation. First, translation of the repetition, in this case the subject pronouns he and They would not be stylistically correct in Portuguese. Second, it shows that the third person neuter pronoun it is not present in Portuguese. Third, the English subject pronoun he was replaced substituted by the object pronoun me in Portuguese, because sometimes grammatical structure has its own characteristics and needs to be changed from one language into another. Finally, the translator has provided equivalents for onomatopoeic and exclamatory words which are expressed differently in Portuguese. 



ECO, Umberto.  O nome da rosa. Brasil: Nova Fronteira, 1983.

_____. The name of the rose. Brasil: Nova Fronteira, 1983.

KATO, M.. Uma taxonomia da similaridade e contrastes entre línguas. In: Tópicos de Lingüística Aplicada. Organizado por H. e Bohn P. Vandresen. Brasil: UFSC, 1988.

SCHMITZ, J. (). Análise contrastiva. In: Tópicos de Lingüística Aplicada. Organizado por H. Bohn P.e Vandresen. Brazil: UFSC, 1988

VIEIRA, Else. Some remarks on comparative stylistics applied to translation from English into Portuguese. S.l.: s.e.,1992.



* Professa Mara Stringer da Fonseca teacher English, American and British literatures, and Teaching Methodologies at universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina - Unisul. She is also Vice-Coordinator of the Letters program at UNISUL.



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