Translating Digital Marketing Content Part 2: Get

As promised, today I’ll discuss the translation of the verb ‘to get’ into Portuguese in the marketing field.

We know that this verb is a bit of a wild card in English, but unfortunately, there is no equivalent wild card in Portuguese. Therefore, we’ll need to use different verbs and structures on a case-by-case basis if we want to sound natural and avoid always using the verbs ‘ter’ and ‘obter’.

Below are some real examples and their suggested translations.

‘Get everything you need to attract more customers’

This phrase is often used by software companies to sell their product. Instead of translating it literally as ‘obtenha tudo o que você precisa para atrair mais clientes’, try stepping back a little and saying ‘implemente uma solução completa para atrair mais clientes’ or ‘aumente sua clientela com nossa solução completa’.

‘Get started’

Depending on the context, ‘get started’ could be ‘comece hoje mesmo’, ‘introdução’, or even ‘fale conosco’ when it is a link that leads the viewer to a contact page.

‘Get better results’

Here we have a more obvious option on the one hand — ‘obtenha melhores resultados’ — and less obvious ones on the other — ‘melhore os resultados’ or ‘aumente sua receita’.

‘Get inspired’

It’s much more natural to say ‘inspire-se’ than ‘fique inspirado’.

‘Get smart’

The other day, I saw this phrase translated as ‘fique inteligente’ in a revision task. I understood the reader might feel offended and think we’re saying he isn’t intelligent and should become so. To avoid this friction, how about ‘explore o seu talento’, ‘aguce sua inteligência’, ‘estimule sua capacidade’, or something similar?

‘Get access to people-based marketing platforms’

Sometimes, it is just a matter of researching a little or asking for context. Here, instead of saying ‘tenha/obtenha acesso a plataformas de marketing baseado em pessoas’ we could say ‘garanta seu acesso a plataformas …’ or ‘solicite seu acesso a plataformas …’, or even ‘acesse plataformas …

‘Get our free guide’

I have nothing against ‘obtenha nosso guia gratuito’, but if it is a direct link to copy, then we could say ‘baixe o nosso guia gratuito’. If we have to place an order first, how about ‘solicite o nosso guia gratuito’? We could also say ‘garanta uma cópia gratuita do nosso guia’.

Final Thoughts

To avoid being repetitive and always translating ‘get’ as ‘ter’ or ‘obter’, we should find the most suitable Portuguese verb in every situation to sound as natural as we can. There are many different options out there, including ‘ter’, ‘obter’, ‘receber’, ‘adquirir’, ‘comprar’, ‘pegar’, ‘conseguir’, ‘buscar’, ‘procurar’, ‘acessar’, ‘ficar’, ‘garantir’, ‘solicitar’ and more. It’s all about getting the right option for the right context.

The next tricky verb on my list is an idiom: ‘make sure’. If you have any suggestions for verbs that should be added, please leave a comment. See you soon!

Photo by Nigel Tadyanehondo on Unsplash

Translating Digital Marketing Content

For about two years, I’ve been working as a translator and as a reviser of marketing material for companies of all sizes, mostly from English into Portuguese. Some colleagues understand and classify this type of translation as a different field of specialization called transcreation. Others say it´s just translation. The truth of the matter is that we must be a bit more creative than usual and convey not only the message, but the impact it has on the public, using idioms and proper syntax. And this is not easy. In this post, I’d like to share two thoughts on this.

Firstly, in my opinion, in order to deliver quality marketing translations, we have to be constantly reading good magazines in the field and reviewing the latest, most relevant advertising in the target country. But more often than not, the quality of the text in Brazilian magazines and ads is not of a high-level. As a result, to improve our text we should rely on our best writers, no matter what the genre is: novels, articles, short stories, poetry, or plays. And marketing translators should start to think about becoming good marketers as well to deliver top-notch translations in this field.

Secondly, we should be aware that some verbs (mainly in the imperative form) and expressions that marketers typically use in English don’t sound good or natural when translated literally into Portuguese. If you don’t search for creative solutions, your text will smell like translation. I see this mostly in my job as a reviser. And as translators, we must develop the ability to detect the pitfalls and avoid them. I’ve made a small list of tricky yet appealing English verbs and expressions, and would like to share it with you in a series of posts. Here is the first verb on my list.

Drive. Definition (entry #8) in the Oxford Dictionary: cause something to make progress, drive something to influence something or cause it to make progress. Examples: drive success, drive unique experience, drive growth.

Translators almost always translate this verb as ‘impulsionar’. This Portuguese verb is being used more than ever. Nothing against it, but as far as I’m aware, we don’t say ‘impulsionar’ very often. So why use it all the time when it comes to writing digital content?

Sometimes a different solution conveys the message more naturally: ‘oferecer experiências’ instead of ‘impulsionar experiências’, and ‘oferecer/entregar melhores serviços’ or ‘aperfeiçoar/atualizar/modernizar os serviços’ instead of ‘impulsionar melhores serviços’. Sometimes it is better to step back from the source and think in the target language. Example: ‘to create experiences that drive more impact for customers’: ‘criar experiências de maior impacto sobre os clientes’ instead of ‘criar experiências que impulsionam mais impacto sobre os clientes’.

The next tricky verb on my list is to get. If you have any suggestions for verbs that should be added, please leave your comment. Thank you for reading and speak soon!

Photo by Merakist on Unsplash