English-Portuguese Translator’s Dictionary; Maintaining Your Second Language

New Ivo Korytowski’s English-Portuguese Translator’s Dictionary
(Now a Default Dictionary)


Reviewed by: Maria Helena Brenner-Kelly
Author: Ivo Korytowski
Publisher: Editora Sopa no Mel
Publication date: 2015
ASIN: B019WI0M76
Format: Kindle and bgl file (for tools like GoldenDict and Babylon)
Number of entries: More than 37,000
Available from: http://bit.ly/Amazon-Korytowski

It’s not easy to compare the New Ivo Korytowski’s English-Portuguese Translator’s Dictionary with other English>Portuguese unidirectional dictionaries on the market. What sets it apart is that Korytowski has been working as a translator since 1988, and this unique perspective allowed him to build something very different than a bilingual dictionary. The end result is a fantastic resource packed with translation solutions.

According to Korytowski, three main sources supplied the content for this dictionary:

  1. His translations of more than 150 books since the beginning of his translator career (with authors ranging from Richard Bach to Stephen Hawking).
  2. The translation solutions he learned during his studies under noted linguist Daniel Brilhante de Brito.
  3. The translations he found while searching other dictionaries and glossaries, which he makes sure to mention, always respecting copyright.

Korytowski is not a lexicographer, so the dictionary does not include such information as part of speech, transitivity, etc., but it does include usage notes in some cases.


The comparisons below show what you can expect to find in general-purpose bilingual dictionaries and what you will find in the Translator’s Dictionary. In these examples, I used two bilingual dictionaries: Webster’s Dicionário Universitário Inglês, Português, by Antônio Houaiss and Ismael Cardim, and Michaelis Moderno Dicionário Inglês-Português, by H. Michaelis.

As translators, we all know there are words that are more difficult to translate because their meaning cannot be expressed by a single word in Portuguese. Let’s take, for example, the word “accountability.”

English: Accountability

Michaelis: responsabilidade final

Hoauiss/Cardim: Not listed. For “accountable”: Responsável, Explicável

Korytowski: responsabilização, chamada à responsabilidade, contabilidade por responsabilidade, responsabilidade, prestação de contas, controle (give accountability = controlar), cobranças (do gerente aos subordinados)

The translator into Portuguese will appreciate the variety of alternatives Korytowski proposes for different contexts. Take the entry “Cobranças (do gerente aos subordinados),” for example. Although it would be a figurative usage, the “to hold accountable” meaning given is widespread in the Brazilian corporate world.

Other interesting examples are “attitude” and “landmark.” Korytowski provides several alternatives for the figurative meaning, while the general-purpose dictionaries lead with the literal meanings.

English: Attitude

Michaelis: atitude, postura, posição, jeito, intento, propósito, Aeron inclinação da nave relativa ao vento, ao solo ou a outra nave. to strike an attitude assumir uma postura ou pose

Houaiss/Cardim: atitude, porte, postura

Korytowski: maneira de ver e sentir, ar desafiador (a streetwise teenager with attitude)


Michaelis: marco, baliza,ponto de referência

Houaiss/Cardim: marco divisório, marco miliário, (fig.) ponto de referência

Korytowski: proeminente, memorável, (landmark account), fundamental (landmark paper), histórico (landmark elections), clássico (one of the landmark studies), ponto de referência terrestre, local importante (New York City landmarks)

Korytowski’s dictionary also brings good translation solutions to an area barely covered by bilingual dictionaries: adverbs of manner. Consider these examples:

English: Famously

Michaelis: famosamente, excelentemente

Houaiss/Cardim: Not listed

Korytowski: de forma memorável, notoriamente


Michaelis: Not listed

Houaiss/Cardim: acidentalmente, por acaso

Korytowski: aqui e ali, arbitrariamente, aleatoriamente, negligentemente, desordenadamente (Bullet-riddled bodies were piled
haphazardly in front of the execution wall.)


Michaelis: ironicamente

Houaiss/Cardim: Not listed

Korytowski: contrariando as expectativas, paradoxalmente, contraditoriamente


In some cases, Korytowski includes comments or, better yet, useful tips to help the translator avoid pitfalls. Here are some examples:

English: Balanced scorecard
Korytowski: balanced scorecard (normalmente não se traduz; tradução literal: cartão de escore balanceado)

English: Cross
Korytowski: cruz, cruzado (boxe), cruzamento (futebol), cruzeiro, cruzar, atravessar, fazer o sinal da cruz, discordar (no one ever
dared cross him), inter (hífen antes de H e R; p. ex., cross-cultural = intercultural), transversal; zangado, irritado

English: Divide
Korytowski: divisão, partilha, fronteira, divisor de águas, linha divisória (the divide between rich and poor); separar, afastar, dividir (divide a by b = dividir a por b, divide a into b = dividir b por a)

English: Economy
Korytowski: economia (mas a ciência da economia denomina-se economics)

Collocations and Idioms

This is an area where the Translator’s Dictionary really shines in comparison to general-purpose dictionaries, which for the most part do not cover them. Korytowski, on the other hand, does it with very natural, well-thought out solutions. Here are a few examples:

English: Come a cropper
Korytowski: fracassar, não dar certo, dar com os burros n’água

English: Cooking the books
Korytowski: fraude contábil

English: Fall between the cracks
Korytowski: passar despercebido

English: Have the cake and eat it
Korytowski: beneficiar-se duplamente, obter o melhor dos dois mundos

English: It goes without saying
Korytowski: desnecessário dizer

English: It is not surprising
Korytowski: é compreensível

English: Kick against the pricks
Korytowski: remar contra a maré, dar murro em faca de ponta, lutar/rebelar-se contra a sorte

English: Lame duck
Korytowski: fraco, inapto, ineficaz, ineficiente, incapaz, não reeleito, em final de mandato, politicamente derrotado

Domain-Specific Terminology

The Translator’s Dictionary includes lots of domain-specific terminology, probably acquired during Korytowski’s many years of translating translations. The following are a few entries in specialized fields:

English: By-law
Korytowski: estatuto, regulamento

English: Concealer
Korytowski: creme contra rugas

English: Core air
Korytowski: ar dentro do núcleo (nos motores a jato—ver também bypass air)

English: crawler
Korytowski: crawler (no contexto de mecanismos de pesquisa)

English: Cross-crease
Korytowski: através da área retangular (hóquei no gelo)

English: Disposal of assets
Korytowski: alienação de bens

English: Green fee
Korytowski: taxa pela utilização do campo (de golfe)

Even though the Translator’s Dictionary could be used as a first source for clues, it would probably be a good idea, as always, to double check it against specialized dictionaries. For example, “corretivo” could be a more precise translation for “concealer.”

Overall Evaluation

The New Ivo Korytowski’s English-Portuguese Translator’s Dictionary does not replace a general-purpose bilingual dictionary, but it would definitely be a great addition to any translator’s library. I have mine integrated with GoldenDict, and it is one of my most used tools. There’s also a bonus: Korytowski occasionally sends updated versions to those who bought his dictionary.

Korytowski states that one of his objectives is to offer translation solutions that are less literal and sound more natural in Portuguese. His dictionary has definitely achieved this goal.

Maria Helena Brenner-Kelly was born and raised in Brazil. After working for many years in information technology for the financial services industry, she embraced translation as a second career, specializing in IT, banking, and business. She has a B.Sc. in statistics and an MBA. An ATA-certified English>Portuguese translator, she is a member of ATA’s Portuguese Language Division. Contact: maria@sayitinportuguese.com.

Maintaining Your Second Language: Practical and Productive Strategies for Translators, Teachers, Interpreters, and Other Language Lovers


Reviewed by: Beth Smith
Author: Eve Lindemuth Bodeux
Publisher: Spectacle Book Press
Publication date: April 1, 2016
ISBN: 978-0997305401
Price: $21.95
Available from: amzn.com/0997305401 or https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1113756058

While at an event with a group of French teachers that was also being attended by a representative of the French Consulate, one of the teachers told me that she was afraid she would have to talk to him. This is definitely someone who could benefit from Eve Bodeux’s new book, Maintaining Your Second Language: Practical and Productive Strategies for Translators, Teachers, Interpreters, and Other Language Lovers. So could translators who are uncomfortable communicating with their clients in their non-native languages, interpreters who are looking for ways to perfect their skills, businesspeople who work with foreign clients, and anyone else who enjoys learning and practicing at least one foreign language. The book’s subtitle says it all: practical and productive strategies for translators, teachers, interpreters and other language lovers.

Something for Everyone

Whether you need to brush up on your listening skills, perfect your pronunciation, improve your writing, expand your vocabulary, practice reading, or all of the above, you will find many ideas to help you achieve your goals. Designed for advanced learners of a second language, the book is organized into sections related to various skills and resources (e.g., visual content, podcasts and radio, audio books, and taking courses). You can read through the entire book from beginning to end, trying different suggestions as you go, or you can jump to the section that addresses what you would most like to work on. Many of the suggested activities tackle several skills at once. For instance, if you decide to play a word game like Taboo in your second language, your listening, speaking, and vocabulary will all get a workout.

The sheer number of strategies and approaches ensures that there will be something for everyone. One person might embrace the challenge of trying to write poetry in their second language, while another person who wouldn’t willingly touch a poem in any language might love to get in some writing practice by keeping a journal, creating lists, or commenting on social media in their second language.

Want to improve your speaking fluency? Talking to native speakers is great, but we don’t all have a ready supply of native speakers on standby to help us practice. How about reading aloud, shadowing (which involves listening to a recording and repeating what the person is saying while they are still speaking), or memorizing and mimicking a scene from a movie, part of an interview, or a few minutes of a comedy routine?

Resources as Well as Techniques

One of the things that I really appreciate about this book is that it not only suggests activities, but also recommends resources. In the “Podcasts and Radio” section, for example, there are numerous suggestions for how and where to access podcasts and radio broadcasts. The book even offers an entire section on slowing down media playback, which can be used not only with podcasts, but also with audiobooks, videos, and more. To be honest, it had never occurred to me to slow anything down, but thanks to the very clear instructions in this section, I’m sure that I will try it not only for myself, but also for my students. The ability to slow down a video or a song just a little could make it so much easier to understand.

To offer another example, in the section dedicated to reading, there are ideas not only for how to decide what to read (like checking out what’s popular on Goodreads and similar sites), but also suggestions for finding books available for free online, ordering books, using foreign library materials online, and more. There is also a section dedicated to ordering resources from abroad that offers even more tips and tricks.

It’s Up to You

Near the beginning of the book, there is a series of eight questions designed to help you set your language goals. Bodeux suggests creating a formal plan, and the questions in this section are designed as a guide to help you choose specific goals (such as learning a certain number of new words per week) and to decide on specific steps you will use to achieve your goals (like reading one book per month in your second language). Once a plan is in place, you can assess your progress periodically and decide if you want to revise your goals. By doing so, you’re essentially setting your own curriculum for a personalized language class.

The book even includes a section on self-study techniques. The great thing about this is that nobody knows you better than you, and you probably know exactly what you should work on to enhance your language skills. The downside (at least for some of us) is that you’re not only the student, you’re also the teacher, so you have to be disciplined enough to find books to read, podcasts to listen to, choose MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), and so on, and then actually put what you learn to use. This is where having a formal, structured plan can be helpful. Plus we’re already people who love languages, so the chance to learn new things and improve our skills can be seen as a treat rather than a chore.

Overall Evaluation

As translators and interpreters, maintaining our language skills is a major job requirement. Yet working on those skills doesn’t have to be painful or boring; it can be fun. Yes, we have all spent many years studying our various languages, and yes, you will already be familiar with some of the suggested activities and resources in Maintaining Your Second Language. But I am willing to bet that everyone will also find some fresh ideas. For instance, it would have never occurred to me to improve my second-language skills by using them to study a third language!

I recommend Bodeux’s book for anyone looking for new ways to expand their language skills. Even if you only did the activities suggested in the “Try This” tips found periodically throughout the text, you would be busy for a long time.

Beth Smith is a French>English translator and high school French teacher near Houston, Texas. She specializes in advertising and marketing, travel and tourism, and literary translation. Her translation of Renaud Gaucher’s La finance du Bonheur was published in May 2016. Contact: BethSmith@itranslatefrench.net.

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