Portuguese is the fifth most spoken language in the world, with a significant number of speakers in Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, and other countries. Investing in translation allows you to tap into these markets and increase your potential customer base. 

Providing content in Portuguese allows your Portuguese-speaking customers to access and understand your products, services, instructions, and support materials easier. Clear and accessible information enhances the customer experience, making it more likely for customers to engage with your offerings and make informed purchasing decisions.

But how do you choose the best Portuguese translation services? 

LinguaeMundi has been in the translation industry for more than 25 years so we know a thing or two about Portuguese translations. As a matter of fact, we worked with numerous Portuguese organizations, including the government. Here’s what you need to know about evaluating different language solution providers offering Portuguese translation services.

1. Firstly, be clear on what you need
Determining your translation needs is a necessary step in finding the right Portuguese translation services and ensuring that your specific requirements are met. If you’re not clear on what you need, you cannot evaluate whether a certain language service provider would be a good fit. You can do so in five simple steps.


Identify your target audience

The Portuguese language has variations and dialects across different regions. Identifying your target audience helps you determine the specific variant of Portuguese that is most appropriate for your translations. For example, European Portuguese differs from Brazilian Portuguese in terms of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Adapting your translations to the preferred variant of Portuguese ensures that your content resonates with your audience and feels more natural to them.

Additionally, each country or region within the Portuguese-speaking market has its own cultural norms, traditions, and preferences. You need to consider these cultural nuances in your translations, and that’s where your chosen language service provider can help through cultural consulting. Adapting your translations to the cultural context of your target audience helps you establish a stronger connection with them and avoid any cultural misunderstandings. This includes understanding local customs, idioms, humor, and cultural references that may impact the way your content is received. 

Assess the type of content you want to translate
Different types of content require different language registers or styles. For example, legal documents have a formal and precise language, while marketing materials may adopt a more persuasive and creative tone. By assessing the type of content you need translated, you can communicate the intended tone and style to the LSP, ensuring that the translations align with the desired register.

It’s also important to take formatting and layout into account. Translating a website or an app requires different approaches compared to translating sales collateral, for example.

Additionally, different industries and subject matters have specific terminology and jargon. Assessing the type of content helps you identify any specialized terminology that needs to be accurately translated. This is particularly important in technical, medical, legal, or scientific fields where precise terminology is crucial for conveying the intended meaning. Translators with expertise in the specific subject matter can ensure accurate translations of specialized terms.

This brings us to next step.

Understand the purpose of your translation
The purpose of the translation influences the way the content is translated and conveyed to the target audience. Whether you aim to inform, persuade, instruct, or entertain, understanding the purpose helps the translation service provider adapt the language, style, and tone of the translation accordingly. This ensures that the translated content effectively achieves its intended communication goals.

Let’s say you want to translate legal contracts, terms of service, or regulatory documents to Portuguese. This type of translation requires strict adherence to legal and regulatory requirements. It’s the language service provider’s responsibility to adhere to necessary legal standards and accurately convey the intended legal or regulatory information.

Identify subject matter expertise you need
Translators with subject matter expertise are familiar with the industry-specific language and can provide translations that are linguistically and technically accurate. This is why when evaluating an LSP offering Portuguese translation services, you should also ask about their domain of expertise.

Additionally, subject matter experts can effectively communicate and collaborate with clients, project managers, and other stakeholders involved in the translation process. They understand the intricacies of the subject matter, allowing for smoother communication, effective problem-solving, and better alignment with your objectives. This way, a more efficient translation workflow gets established. Experts are there to answer any questions you may have.

Define translation turnaround time and your budget
The last thing you need to do to precisely define your Portuguese translation needs relates to time and budget you have. The level of urgency can impact the prices offered by the LSP due to the rush fee. 
While on the discovery call, you need to ask your potential Portuguese translation service provider if they can deliver the translated content within your desired timeframe. This is especially crucial for time-sensitive projects or when you have specific deadlines to meet. Always communicate your expectations upfront to avoid delays.

Defining your budget for Portuguese translation services helps you and the LSP align expectations and avoid any financial surprises. It allows the LSP to provide you with accurate pricing information and tailor their services to fit within your budget constraints. For example, some content might be translated with the help of machine translation, which will decrease your translation costs. Always ask questions and evaluate different options with your LSP to ensure the best value for your investment.

2. Look for social proof and successful Portuguese translation projects 
Social proof and previous successful projects serve as indicators of the Portuguese translation service provider's quality and reliability. Positive testimonials, client reviews, or case studies demonstrate that the company in question has a track record of delivering high-quality translations. It helps you assess their competence, accuracy, attention to detail, and commitment to customer satisfaction.

By reviewing previous successful Portuguese translation projects, you can also get insights about the service provider's industry expertise. If their team has experience in your specific field or have successfully translated content similar to yours, it signals their ability to handle your project effectively, too. It’s important for you to check if the company has a proven track record of understanding the nuances, terminology, and requirements specific to your industry.

Positive feedback from previous clients indicates that the service provider has a history of meeting or exceeding client expectations when translating to Portuguese. It helps you assess their professionalism, responsiveness, and willingness to address any concerns or issues that may arise during the translation process.

Check how LinguaeMundi’s Portuguese translation team works and why we’re the number one choice for Portuguese translations.

While assessing social proof and previous success, prepare questions for the discovery call. Here’s what you should pay attention to:
  • Check if the Portuguese translation service has appropriate measures in place to protect your documents and ensure confidentiality
  • Consider the availability and responsiveness of the translation service's customer support
  • Request samples or examples of their previous work, or references from clients in similar industries
3. Start with a smaller scope until you build trust 
Would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive? We didn’t think so. This is why it might be a good idea to negotiate a project with a smaller scope as a test before committing to a larger one. Of course, this depends on the time you have at your disposal.

You can assess translators’ accuracy, attention to detail, adherence to instructions, and overall linguistic proficiency. This evaluation ensures that the company meets your expectations and delivers Portuguese translations that align with your requirements. 

Smaller projects also enable you to test:
  • Compatibility and communication
  • Workflows, processes, and overall efficiency
  • Quality assurance procedures 

In a nutshell, it’s all about risk management.

A small project serves as a foundation for building trust and rapport with the Portuguese translation company. It establishes a working relationship where you can assess their professionalism, reliability, and commitment to client satisfaction. If the company delivers high-quality translations and demonstrates excellent customer service during the small project, well – then you’re in luck! It means you found a potential long-term partner for future Portuguese translation projects.

By the way, LinguaeMundi offers a test translation (up to 1000 words) completely free of charge. This way you can assess the quality of our service upfront.

LinguaeMundi’s experts know Portuguese translations like the back of their hand

Portuguese translations can be tricky which is why you should pick your language partner carefully. For example, Portuguese is known for its intricate verb conjugation system. Translators must accurately convey the verb tenses and moods to maintain the intended meaning. Paying attention to verb forms, such as past, present, future, conditional, and subjunctive, is crucial for conveying precise information.

Then there’s the issue with gender and agreement. Portuguese nouns, adjectives, and pronouns have gender distinctions (masculine and feminine) and must agree in number and gender. Translators need to be mindful of gender agreement when translating sentences and ensure consistency throughout the text.

Additionally, Portuguese sentence structure may differ from English or other languages. Expert translators always consider the proper word order, syntax, and sentence structure to maintain clarity and readability. Rearranging sentences may be necessary to match Portuguese language conventions. 

It’s good to mention the limitations of AI when it comes to Portuguese translation. You see, AI tools are connected to the Internet and that’s where they get the data from. However, Brazilian Portuguese dominates the online space. This means that, if you were to use machine translation for Portuguese, you will likely get the output in Brazilian Portuguese, which may not be your target language variant. Brazilian Portuguese differs from other variants in terms of grammar, sentence structure, as well as vocabulary.

Luckily, at LinguaeMundi – we have almost three decades of experience when it comes to Portuguese translations. If you’re in need of translation and localization services in Portuguese, you came to the right place: reach out to us today to discuss your project. We’re always happy to hear from you!