Supplements the PROz article on gaps in the target language. A couple of examples for each language of the pair (Portuguese, English) are presented, and discussed: the impact of studying the processes involved is one of the highlights.

Gaps make Translation easier: redback spider is an expression that appeared in Australia. It is formed of two sigmatoids, and points at a world reference that is not naturally found in Brazil.

Redback spider translates into aranha das costas vermelhas.

Koala is another expression - this one formed of one sigmatoid.

This expression appeared in Australia, and its world reference is not naturally found in Brazil.

Koala becomes coala.

Guaraná is an expression formed of one sigmatoid, and its world reference appeared in Brazil, but it is not naturally found in Australia.

Guaraná translates into guarana.

Aҁaí is another expression formed of one sigmatoid, and its world reference appeared in Brazil, but is not naturally found in Australia.

Aҁaí becomes açaí.

Maybe every time the intersection between the set of senses of a sigmatoid from the source language, and all the sets of senses of all sigmatoids of a target language is the empty set, there is an addition of at least one sigmatoid to that particular target language.

Hypothesis: sigmatoids added in such a way are either a transliteration or a literal translation of the sigmatoid from the source language.

The expression redback spider translates into aranha das costas vermelhas: one sigmatoid of the English language gave origin to three sigmatoids of the Portuguese language (redback => das costas vermelhas) in the process, so that one of the sigmatoids that formed the original expression, redback, has been changed into something that is three times the initial complexity, yet it still points at the same world reference.

Studying more expressions from The Gap can be of use: finding out whether this rule applies to every couple of languages or not.

If it does, every time a civilisation respects the creations or findings of another, or simply gets interested in those, there is an addition to the language of that civilisation, or to the target language, and this addition implies no loss in the world of the source language.

Consequently, a curious civilisation tends to increase its language at a higher rate than a non-curious civilisation, and non-curious here means with no interest in other civilisations.

It is then possible to study sociological factors through studying the additions of linguistic nature that a group of civilisations has experienced.

Learning conversion procedures in detail may mean learning how a civilisation reasons: three times the complexity may mean people who complicate, change the style of the writer of a text when translating, and so on. This equates more adulteration, and less credibility.

Copyright, 1999-2006. All rights reserved. -
The Secrets of The Gaps
Author: Marcia Pinheiro
English to Portuguese translator 
By Marcia Pinheiro
Published on 12/15/2013
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