Translator giving wrong spellings?

I thought that Translator was European Portuguese but I have found three instances where it is either giving Brazilian Portuguese spellings ----. Or is perhaps not correct to the last acordo ortográfico.

Óptimo instead of ótimo — which has been corrected.
Recepçao instead of receção.
Eléctrico instead of elétrico.
There may be more.

This is very confusing if you are looking for the correct spelling of a word which is not in PP.

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It looks like the Practice Portuguese platform has integrated the Linguee / DeepL translator into the website rather than trying to make their own translator (which would be a monumentally HUGE task). This translator is the best I have found for distinguishing between the Portuguese in Brazil and in Portugal, but it isn’t perfect. I have also noticed that the Linguee / DeepL often give the pre-orthographic agreement spelling, probably because they used older texts to train the translator.

Unfortunately, this means that there isn’t much that the Practice Portuguese team can do about it. On the bright side, the DeepL / Linguee tools are constantly improving, so it should get better over time.

If you aren’t sure about a word, you can always check the Priberam online dictionary. This is a standard European Portuguese dictionary and not a bilingual dictionary, so it won’t help with translations. But you can look up a Portuguese word and read the notes on differences between Brazilian v European spelling and the pre- and post-Accord spellings.

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Thank you for the reply Sarah.

You are right, it is probably the pre-orthogrphic spelling rather than Brazilian version.

Thanks for the information on the Priberam online dictionary. I will refer to that in future.

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Thanks for your feedback on this! I think there is more we can do to improve this, despite the Deepl integration, so we will discuss this some more internally to come up with a plan :slight_smile:


I must say that the Priberem platform is very very slow for me and I have quick download speeds,
I am happy enough with Deepl…I am learning to understand and converse in Portuguese not to be too pernickity about spelling or the occasional Brazilian “infiltrator”.

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One potential solution I am thinking, which would be helpful for other purposes (such as expanding Smart Review usefulness)…

We could anonymously log all translations that members make, then have a Portuguese native admin review all of them a few times a week.

If there isn’t already a similar phrase in our database (from our lessons, Learning Notes or Shorty/Podcast/Video word lists), one would be created. That way in future searches, it would show up in the list of phrases that are our certified translations (which can also be added to your Smart Review).

Ours admins would also be able to add new replacement rules. For example, every time “óptimo” appears in a translation result, it would be replaced with “ótimo” to agree with the Novo Acordo.

I think there may be API’s we can integrate with to show some additional hints about potential spelling or translation issues…

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Just an update to follow up on what Joel mentioned yesterday: Alex has added a way for us to create replacements for the translator. The words mentioned above have been added. If you come across any other Brazilian or “pre- Novo Acordo” spellings hiding in there, just let us know!

I use Microsoft Translator. You can choose between portuguese and Brazilian language.

Hi Molly.

Just to let you know that nothing has changed------still getting pre-Novo Accord spellings. Has the new method of spelling replcement been actioned yet?

Hi David.
I reckon that about 30% of Portuguese people still use the old spellings so I am not that concerned about the minor changes under the “accord”…
Yes, I think that the team at PP will work hard to be perfect but for me it is not high on my list of priorities.
And of course the translator is an outside resource which I am so grateful that PP has provided.

Hi Mac.
I understand what you are saying but I am just keeping the team informed as this still an app under test.
I think this is a great resource but it needs to be correct.

Thanks David – so strange! It’s working on my end. Is it the same words as above that are still showing up with “extra” c’s and p’s for you? Ótimo, receção, and elétrico?

Oh wait, I just got a p. In the app only. I’ll talk to Alex and see what we can figure out. In the meantime, let us know if any other words come up with the wrong spelling.

I just want to complement the Practice Portuguese team. You guys are always so fast to respond and update the website and app!

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