what a wonderful thing you're doing

daisy101

Senior Member
English - UK
Olá!

I'm writing a letter and I'm trying to say: "Firstly, I'd like to say what a wonderful thing you're doing".

My attempt: "Primeiramente gostaria de dizer qué coisa fantastica que está a fazer"??

Also, this letter has to be quite formal so do I need to say "que voce está a fazer"/"que o senhor está a fazer" or is the politeness implied even if I leave out the subject pronoun?

Obrigada! :)
 
  • Carfer

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Olá!

    I'm writing a letter and I'm trying to say: "Firstly, I'd like to say what a wonderful thing you're doing".

    My attempt: "Primeiramente gostaria de dizer qué coisa fantastica que está a fazer"??

    Also, this letter has to be quite formal so do I need to say "que voce está a fazer"/"que o senhor está a fazer" or is the politeness implied even if I leave out the subject pronoun?

    Obrigada! :)

    'Primeiramente /[antes de mais} gostaria de dizer
    que coisa fantá
    stica que está a fazer'

    No, politeness is implied. An explicit subject pronoun is not mandatory in European Portuguese. Anyway, if it is formal and you prefer to write it, don't use 'você', use 'o senhor'.
     

    Eduardo Rodrigues

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (BR)
    "Primeiramente, eu gostava de apresentar-lhe meus cumprimentos pelo(a) seu(sua) excelente [thing: say what it is, e.g. trabalho, performance, etc.]."
    That one sounds more formal to me. Remember: it is important to respect the Portuguese gender of the thing he is doing, and the respective noun agreement, for example:
    a) "pelo seu excelente trabalho" - because 'trabalho' is a masculine noun;
    b) "pela sua excelente performance" - because 'performance' is a feminine noun.

    As for the said ambiguity of the possessive pronouns seu/sua/seus/suas, the context, directing the discourse to the 2nd person singular, renders that possibility obscure. Only in a strict purist sense there would be any, for it is clear that you would be talking to and about the person you adressed the letter to, and in fact you are. It would be simply illogical and unfactual to oppose it.

    In addition, a literal translation is more than usually a not so careful translation, since the syntax, semantics, pragmatics and etc. differ from one language to another.
     
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