Read The Alienist by Machado de Assis in Portuguese

In Interlinear, the Portuguese text is followed by an English translation below each word or phrase.

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How the Interlinear translation method works
How the Interlinear translation method works, vertical display

Interlinear is like subtitles for books…

Explanation of the Interlinear method in two steps
Explanation of the Interlinear method in two steps
More about Interlinear

What is The Alienist about?

The Alienist (O alienista) is a novella written by Machado de Assis and published in 1882. Later adapted into a successful comedy film, the story is a witty exploration of the uncertainty of life and the new science in the 19th century Brazil. It explores the thin lines between sanity and insanity as well as science and politics.

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Machado de Assis's entertaining classic Brazilian novel!

Machado de Assis was a 20th century Brazilian writer who is widely regarded as the greatest writer of Brazilian literature. He has influenced multiple Brazilian and Portuguese artists like José Saramago or Carlos Fuentes. He became the first president of the Brazilian Academy of Letters and the most famous literary award in Brazil is also named after him.

How was this Portuguese translation made?

Literal but understandable

We translate Portuguese words to English individually and literally except where such literal translation hampers understanding. See this:

Temos We have
ganho income
muito. much.

While the natural English word order would be We have much income, we keep the Portuguese word order in English because the phrase would still be clear.

However, we sometimes merge words together. Here is one other phrase:

Rir Laugh
às at the
bandeiras flags
despregadas unfolded

As you can see, when translated literally, the expression makes little sense. Thus we use a more understandable translation:

Rir às bandeiras despregadas Laugh massively

Embracing cognates

Our Portuguese Interlinear book tries to make the most of the fact that English and Portuguese share a lot of words together. We highlight such common words, called cognates. We believe this helps learners remember the Portuguese word better, and sometimes it even helps understand the original better too.

For example, the original text includes the word começou. The standard dictionary translation of this word is began. Yet the word has an English cognate: commenced, which is listed as a synonym of began. Therefore we translated começou as commenced and not as began in the book.

Similarly, we have translated the Portuguese word alienista as alienist (and not psychiatrist as in many other translations), enterro as interment (and not funeral), sentimento as sentiment (and not the more usual feeling), etc. We hope our attempt to use cognates will help you have an easier time learning Portuguese words from the original text.

This Interlinear book includes:

  • 131 standard-book pages of text
  • over 15 thousand translated words and expressions
  • the original text with modernized spelling and language & aligned Interlinear translations
  • files in the printable/electronically readable PDF and EPUB formats as well as the MOBI format for Kindles
  • we also provide a link where you can download the audiobook!

Available to order right now.

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