novembro 24, 2009 por fabiobossard


This term may be confusing at first but once you get in the swing of things, it gets easier. Random in a dictionary entry means something aleatório. But sometimes you can’t translate like that in Portuguese. It won’t make sense. For example: You went on a trip to Paris and took a lot of pictures. Later back home you show your pictures to your family and they ask who is that guy smiling the picture. You say: oh, just a random guy. It means “um cara qualquer“. You don’t know him. He just jumped in front of the camera when you took the picture. In this case, you can’t use the word “aleatório” in Portuguese.  Now in the sentence:

The computer will generate  random numbers.

In this case, the word aleatório makes sense in Portuguese.

There is also the phrase at random, which means in a random way.

They picked numbers out of the telephone book at random

3 pensamentos sobre “random

  1. Elena disse:

    hi 🙂 I just discovered your blog, and although I’m a native english speaker learning portuguese (and not the other way around), I’m learning a lot from it! I have a question about the translation of ‘random’. Can you think of any way to translate the phrase “that’s so random!”? For example, when you’re involved in a conversation on one topic, and then your friend interrupts with something on a completely different topic that seems unrelated. I’m not sure how you could say that in portuguese…

  2. fabiobossard disse:

    Hi Elena. Although this blog is intended to those learning English. It works the other way around as well, people learning Portuguese. You know, your questions is exactly why I decided to post the word “random”. I realized in my conversations with American friends that they use “random” a lot more than Portuguese speakers. We don’t have an exact phrase or word in this context. Thanks for your question and keep reading the blog.

  3. Elena disse:

    Thanks for your reply Fabio! And thanks for stopping by my blog and suggesting those others, I’m always looking for new Brazil related blogs 🙂 Keep up the good work!

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