About the Translation Spectrum: gaps are on one end, and gluts are on the other.

It is possible to find more than one match for the same source-language expression.

Finding a match means finding an expression that makes readers select the world reference that was selected by the writers of the the source-language expression.

Basic hierarchy:
1) Perfect match (sound: if ão in Portuguese sounds like tion in English, then consideration is a perfect match for consideração. Sense: if driving a car in English forms the same Inner Reality image as dirigindo carro in Portuguese, then driving a car is a perfect match for dirigindo carro);
2) Semantic match (sense: bolsa is a semantic match for bag. Scholarship is bolsa de estudos in Portuguese. Bolsa de estudos literally translates into bag of studies, which does not make any sense in English, so that scholarship is a semantic match for bolsa de estudos); and
3) Gap (will demand notes, the N.T.s).

The sigmatoid bloco (Portuguese) finds at least notebook, and carnival group as semantic matches in English.

In the other direction, the sigmatoid you (English) finds at least tu, você, and,vós as semantic matches in Portuguese.

That is a glut problem!

There are situations in which this problem is unsolvable.

The plurality of choices may mean withdrawing from an assignment, and that is why translators should put a price on their labour and/or commit only after examining the source-language documents.

Frequently clients want the work done for yesterday, and the temptation is extraordinary.

Suppose that there is a list, and bloco is one of the sigmatoids in it.

The difference between a notebook, and a carnival group is enormous.

Translator's Notes (N.T.s) may be used in this situation, but, if that is part of another document, say a dictation list for kids, there could be some negative value aggregated to the translator's name as a consequence of using them.

Contexts are a necessity: only those can raise our understanding to the needed level, so that our Inner Reality contain the right image.

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What About the Gluts?
Author: Marcia Pinheiro
English to Portuguese translator
By Marcia Pinheiro
Published on 07/5/2012
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