Thursday, 31 October 2013

Computers World x Brazilian Portuguese

This IT glossary is provided to you by the SPTIA (Syndicate of Professional Translators and Interpreters of Australia) as a courtesy. Please give back to this institution: You may, for instance, attend one of their courses ( seems to be an excellent choice).

Original expression - English
Brazilian Portuguese – best match

Address bar
Barra de endereco (virtual)
Desligar e ligar
Click on the link
Aperta no atalho
Computador de mesa
Fichario (conjunto de pastas/set of folders)
Carta eletronica
Correio eletronico
Error message
Mensagem de erro
Muralha virtual (1)
Pasta (conjunto de arquivos/set of files)
Pecas solidas (2)
Rede Mundial de Computadores (3)
Junk mail
Carta indesejada
Junk mail folder
Pasta de cartas indesejadas
Key in
Computador de colo
Line filter
Filtro de linha
Atalho (Virtual)
Liquid crystal
Cristal liquido
Nome de usuario
Programas malvados
Ponteiro (4)
Computador de notas
Na Rede/Na Internet
Operational System
Sistema operacional
Peer-to-peer Network
Rede entre-colegas
Reiniciar (parametros, (5))
Reiniciar (computador)
Run a scan
Roda o escaneador
Screen saver
Economizador de tela
Pecas nao-solidas (virtuais) (6)
Oportunismo (7)
Troiano (do tipo ‘cavalo de Troia’) (8)
Verme (virtual)

(1)    Firewall is a wall of fire, but that does not make sense in Brazilian Portuguese or it does not make more sense than saying ‘muralha’, which is like a ‘wall-type of thing’, huge one (‘muralha da China’, for instance. See
(2)    Hardware is formed from ‘hard’ and ‘ware’. We use ‘ware’ in English to mean, basically, ‘stuff’. Hardware, in the case of Computer Science, is used as the extreme opposite to software: One is soft, the other is hard. In terms of computers, it means solid parts of the computer, whilst software would point at the virtual parts, what cannot be touched by us.
(3)    The ethical organ for Translators and Interpreters in Brazil, SINTRA, suggested publicly, as I say in my course on ethics with Udemy, that we used this expression in place of Internet. This could be called ‘Brazilianism’, a trial to preserve the national language.
(4)    Mouse is a very tricky case. We are definitely used to mixing Portuguese with English when speaking Portuguese. We frequently say ‘mouse’, ‘Internet’, and ‘modem’. The purists, however, condemn this choice of action, therefore the ethical organ for Translation and Interpretation of Brazil also does (Rede Mundial). I am ‘with them’ on this one. We should try to make it all ‘sound Brazilian’ or make it all ‘sound like Brazilian Portuguese’, therefore we should force ourselves to say ‘ponteiro’, ‘Rede Mundial de Computadores’ or simply ‘Rede Mundial’, and ‘modulador’. A good reason not to say ‘ratinho’(little rat or mouse, the animal) is because that is repulsive in the Portuguese language (Brazil, culture) and naturally creates aversion for the computer accessory. 'Ponteiro' is because it is a pointer. When we say ‘click with the mouse there’, we must actually also say ‘aperta o ponteiro la’.
(5)    Reset is also a tricky case. We are definitely used to seeing people saying ‘resetar’ in Brazilian Portuguese. The word could have been included in the best dictionary for the Brazilian Portuguese ever, Aurelio, but it is not part of the dictionary yet ( We do acknowledge that there was a modification of the word when it went from English to Brazilian Portuguese (informal language), so that the purists, as I myself must be, could be accepting this one.  The idea is setting the parameters again, that is, clearing all their contents and inserting new contents or the same contents, but deleting all the original contents first. This is something that is done in programming and, in Brazil, we have called this process ‘reiniciar parametros’, therefore ‘reiniciar’ sounds just right here.
(6)    One could wonder why ‘pecas nao-solidas’ instead of, for instance, ‘pecas macias’. This is because 'macia', which would be the Brazilian Portuguese equivalent to soft, points at ‘soft when we touch’, but what we mean here is virtual, therefore simply ‘non-solid’ or ‘nao-solidas’.
(7)    We call spam the unwanted postal items, like those we have never requested or accepted. In this case, it is the opportunism of those who send those items that has made that all possible, so why not call that ‘opportunism’? We notice that we see the term in sentences of the type ‘This is spam!’. All we mean, with this one, is 'this is opportunism'.
(8)    The term Trojan definitely relates to the expression ‘Trojan Horse’. We do have a Brazilian Portuguese term for that (troiano, see

Once more, we notice that context makes all difference in this world and, even in technical language (all we printed here), there is a huge difference 'in-between' senses that will appear at least sometimes in a proportional way to the difference 'in-between' contexts.
Notice, for instance, that hardware may be used in the sense 'useful gadgets/accessories', as in 'hardware store'. In the World of the Computers, however, it can only be 'solid parts'.
From here we see that Google Translate cannot really survive close scrutiny not even in terms of technical lingo.
Yesterday I tried ‘Quinta do Conde’, which is a place in Portugal. Google Translate returned Fifth Earl.
Quinta, however, in this sense, means Land, not Fifth.
In Brazilian Portuguese, we say ‘Estava nas quintas do inferno’ and we mean ‘I was in the lands that are part of hell’.
I am not yet convinced that we cannot automate technical translation ( I have discussed this topic in my article with Semiotica on automation of the Translation processes).
I am thinking that if we insert an option for context, then Google Translate will be able to give a good translation of ‘Quinta do Conde’. We could, for instance, have an option there to say it is a location.
Notice however that that means that ‘we are there’ and ‘we know it is a location’, therefore ‘we must be professional translators’ (!).

Sunday, 6 October 2013

X or Y cartridge? - We wish we could ask ourselves this sort of question... .

On the 2nd of October of 2013, we were after a certain cartridge for a certain printer for the second time. The printer is called HPDESKJET 930c, but the cartridges that we should buy for it are HP 45 and HP 78 (black and other colours). 

The questions that occurred to us, as we went through all the other brands of cartridges, were:

1) Why do they not have an Epson 45 cartridge? Is it possible that they do?
2) This 45 has to do with shape, right? Why so many shapes? 
3) Why do they have to have one cartridge for color and another for black? That makes it all be so expensive!

These cartridges should cost at most AU$ 20 each, not mattering whether they are black or color. If there were competition, as with all other items of consumption, and Epson, for instance, also produced a 45 cartridge, then we would be paying what they deserve, that is, at most AU$ 20 per each, so that we should have competition in that area.

We asked the seller and the seller had only one possible answer: You have to buy the number that they say is the number for your printer and only that number will be suitable. We only have one brand for that number, which is the brand of your printer.

Looking for information on the Internet helped with nothing, since the websites look as if they have been written by people on high heights, basically: We were wondering about the numbers, the title refers to the numbers, yet their writing refers to letters!

In a rational world, the number would mean shape and dimensions, like each different number would give us a different geometric shape for the cartridge, and a geometric shape that has precisely certain dimensions. In a rational world, all ink cartridges manufacturers would sell all numbers, so that we would have the so healthy (for the consumers) competition. In a rational world, the government would not let the printer manufacturer change the shape of the cartridge without presenting a scientific reason to do that, since that would imply problems for the consumers in terms of supply and the appearance of what could be seen as illicit profit for the manufacturers. 

We check on the company Epson, for instance, and Epson does not have a 45. 

We check on the company Canon, and Canon does not have a 45.

However, for our shock, all three companies have a 45 in what comes to printers… . 

Epson has got an Epson Stylus c45, for instance ( The cartridge used with this one is called T038 ( however and is very different from the HP 45 in shape.

HP has got an R45 ( Interesting that, according to the same website, we could be using the HP 45 with this one.

Canon has got a Canon mp45 according to the website However, the website of the company refuses to believe such a model exists, … (

Oh, well, all in all, we should fight for our rights also in this area.

Let the knights assemble, and, please, to fight!

 Obs.: All the links have been visited on the 2nd of October of 2013.


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