‘Ser’, ‘estar’, ‘ficar’, ‘haver’ e ‘ter’ contra ‘ha’, ‘bli’ e ‘være’: quem disse que era fácil traduzir sentimentos e sensações?


  • Diana Santos Universidade de Oslo




It is well known that some kinds of expressions with so-called “have” and “be” verbs behave differently across languages, as is the case with Portuguese and Norwegian ‘tenho medo/pena’ (have) or ‘være redd/lei’ (be). But to what extent is this difference important for the translation of this class of verbs (given that there are a few that literally correspond to English ‘be’ and ‘have’, in the two languages)? In this paper I discuss what a corpus of (student) translations between Portuguese and Norwegian (PoNTE) can tell us about eight very frequent verbs (five Portuguese and three Norwegian), that range from auxiliaries to full lexical verbs,and which stand out as some of the most challenging ones to learn for foreign learners. After presenting an overview of their occurrence, in original and translated text, I go deeper into the functions of the Portuguese verbs by classifying every case in the source texts according to fifteen categories, thereby providing an interesting bird’s eye view of their distribution. I then narrow my study down to the cases where feelings or sensations or moral judgements are expressed, and present their full range of translations to illustrate the many issues involved. I end the paper on the subject of translation complexities by presenting further interesting cases involving (the translation of) these verbs.

Author Biography

Diana Santos, Universidade de Oslo

Professor, departamento de lïnguas, literaturas e culturas europeias



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