Which are the most common mistakes in English translation?

When we are learning a new language, it is usual that some mistakes happen on the way. And this is due, mainly, to the influence of our native language in the learning process. English, for example, may bear many mistakes when compared literally to Portuguese.

            After all, totally mastering a language is not an easy task. That is because a new language also includes customs and culture of its origin. For this reason, mistakes are part of it and normal! In today’s post, we will see the most common mistakes in English translation.

1.  Confusing words with similar spelling

            One of the most common mistakes when we are learning a new language is to switch similar words. As an example, we may mention words such as “kitchen” (cozinha, in Portuguese), and “chicken” (frango). Or even “beach” (praia) and “bitch” (cadela). So, when they are switched, they may cause confusion.

            That is why it is important to identify words that have a difference between longer and shorter vowels. And thischanges the meaning of the word when you are saying it. In Portuguese, long and short vowels do not influence the meaning of the terms. That is why the confusion is frequent.

2.  Thinking about the meaning of the words in Portuguese

            This is definitely a usual custom among all everyone who is learning English. It is easier to follow the path of false cognates. And this happens because there are words with spelling that is very close to the ones in Portuguese. However, their meanings are completely different.

            As an example, let’s remember the word that we read when entering a store. It usually says “push”, right? So, in our quick thinking, we already think about “puxar”, which means “pull” in Portuguese. In reality, the word “push” means “empurre”. If we need to draw something towards us, the correct term is “pull”.

3.  Not correct saying “th”

            Although it doesn’t exist in Portuguese, in English this digraph is very present. However, its pronunciation for Brazilians is very complicated. This is because, in order to pronounce it correctly, we must put the tip of the tongue in the upper teeth, a movement we are not used to do.

            With this, words such as “thank” (agradecer) and “think” (pensar) end up being said in a different manner and may be confused with others. “Thank”, for example, when pronounced with the letter “S”, may become “afundar” instead of “agradecer”. So the sentence would be wrong and it would be difficult for another person to understand it without causing a confusion.

Quais são os erros mais comuns na tradução em inglês?

1.  Translating sentences directly from Portuguese

            Finally, this is perhaps one of the most common mistakes for those who are beginning to learn English. This is because it is very usual to use our native language repertoire as a basis to build sentences in other language. However, there are verbs that are not suitable in English in the same way that in Portuguese.

            As an example, just think about the sentence “vou ver com meu amigo”. So, some people would build the sentence as: “I go to see my friend”. But, in reality, the correct way would be: “I going to see my friend”. The same happens when we talk about slangs and expressions in English.

            That is why it is so important to pay attention in order not to confuse both languages. We know that it may be a little bit hard in the beginning. But, by remembering these mistakes, you will probably be more aware of your speaking and writing.            

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