First off, these questions are for taking the pro level test. If I were doing this for I client I could just ask, but since this is a test, well, I can't. I've tried to find the answer in the style guide and in forums without any luck, so apologies if this is already answered somewhere.


1. What are the general guidelines for translating agency names with acronyms? I'll give an example which maybe someone can help me with a correct translation on.

"Os dados das emissões de CO2 foram publicados hoje pelo Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental (IPA)."

"The CO2 emission data were released today by the Environmental Research institute (ERI)." --- would this be ok or would you need to allude to the fact that it appears as IPA in the original?


2. When translating from countries that use the metric system (i.e. everywhere but the US) into English, is it ok to leave units of measurement in metric? I was going to translate something like "123,4 toneladas" to "123.4 metric tons" but I don't want to be called out on violating some protocol that says you have to convert the units as well. I imagine this might be a bigger issue with more common units, such as meters, liters, etc; in other words an article that gives a distance of "5 km" would need to be translated into "3 miles" to be suitable for a US audience, however in this case perhaps using metric tons would be ok?


3. My last attempt at this test was turned down for incorrect formatting of a Brazilian name that used diacriticals, it seems to me that it would be better to preserve the original accent markings of the name but I wanted to check what the standard is. For instance, would the names "João Gilberto" and "Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva" appear as-is, or would they be changed to "Joao Gilberto" and "Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva"?


Let me know, thanks!!




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    cleonilson barreto

    Sobre "Os dados das emissões de CO2 foram publicados hoje pelo Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental (IPA)."

    você deverá manter o original (IPA)

    exemplo: (FBI) Federal Bureau of Investigation, no Brasil (FBI) Departamento Federal de Investigação

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    Hi Drew! My name is Zoe and I'm the Managing Translator for the Portuguese > English language pair. My apologies for not providing some answers here earlier, but it just came to my attention. 

    Cleonilson has given good advice about acronyms above. The general rule is to keep proper nouns (including acronyms) in their original language, unless the agency or organization itself has an official English translation. So, FBI stays FBI, but ONU (Organização das Nações Unidas) becomes UN.

    You're a translator, not a mathematician (well, maybe you are, too, but for Gengo's purposes you're a translator!), so we expect you to clearly, accurately and elegantly translate Portuguese text into English, not perform mathematical operations. Converting units and numbers can get hairy very quickly, and expecting a translator to handle those calculations is getting into dangerous territory. Unless a client has specifically requested it, it's better to leave those to the client, however you can always leave a friendly note letting them know that units of measurement were left as is.

    Regarding the use of accent markings, I was able to track down your test, and I think if you'll go back and look you'll see that it was not actually marked wrong because of the accent marks. The name "Abílio" in the Portuguese original was turned into "Abílino", with an "n" in the English. Be extra careful with names in your translation and you may want to copy and paste to be sure you're spelling them correctly. It's always a good idea to read over your translation at least once before submitting to avoid those types of careless mistakes or typos that all translators can make. 

    I hope this clears some things up and let me know if you have any other questions!

    Best regards,


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