Como dizer "Formalidade e Boa Educação" em inglês


Uma pessoa pode ser muito mal educada mesmo sendo muito formal, como acontece nos SACs das empresas. Quais palavras se encaixariam para traduzir essa diferença entre formalidade e boa educação?


Como eu tenho o hábito de traduzir a mim mesmo para aprender a falar inglês, estava rememorando a conversa que tive com uma cliente sobre um fenômeno que tem acontecido nos dias atuais: as pessoas estão confundindo formalidade com boa educação.

Um exemplo extremo disso, a gente pode encontrar nos centros de atendimento pelo telefone das grandes empresas. Recentemente um provedor de conteúdo me cobrou por um serviço que eu havia repetidamente insistido que não queria, quando liguei para reclamar o atendente foi extremamente formal mas muito mal-educado:

- Na contratação do serviço me ofereceram o antivírus e eu disse mais de uma vez que eu não queria.
- Senhor, se está sendo cobrado é porque o senhor pediu o serviço.
- Como eu disse, eu não pedi, inclusive insisti que não queria.
- Senhor, o serviço foi autorizado pelo senhor.
- A ligação está boa, você tá me ouvindo bem?
- Sim.
- Eu disse que me foi oferecido o antivírus, eu não quis, e agora veio cobrado na minha conta.
- Senhor, o senhor autorizou o serviço.
- Olha, há 10 anos uso antivírus gratuito, são ótimas as várias opções do mercado - o AVG, o Avast, o Avira - por que você acha que eu iria querer pagar por essa m.? Esse antivírus que vocês empurram como venda casada é inútil num ambiente doméstico, pra que eu iria pagar por isso? Entendeu agora?

No dia seguinte me ligaram perguntando se o atendente tinha sido educado, e eu respondi que tinha sido formal mas muito mal educado, insistindo em ignorar minhas palavras até me fazer perder a paciência.

A minha cliente disse que foi a um ginecologista tão formal que não esboçou a mais ínfima reação a nada que ela dizia, segundo ela, parecia uma máquina de auto-atendimento. Aliás, a partir daí surgiu o nosso papo.

Uma caixa de supermercado é mal educada quando não espera o cliente empacotar suas compras e vai misturando as nossas coisas com a do outro, mas é formal o bastante para dar bom dia compulsoriamente a cada santo cliente que passa por sua caixa. Você entra numa loja, está pensando sobre o que vai comprar e um mal educado vendedor lhe interrompe bruscamente com um formal "boa noite".

Algumas pessoas falam "para" em vez de "pra", "estamos" ou "está" em vez de "'stamos" ou "tá" achando que estão sendo bem-educadas, mas passam uma imagem formal e iletrada, porque uma pessoa bem educada fala um bom português e fala "para" ou "estamos" apenas quando "pra" e "'stamos" vai ferir os ouvidos e vive-versa.

Enfim, a minha questão: como dar essa nuance às palavras em inglês? Well-mannered, polite, formal, cerimonial, etc, quais as palavras têm a nuance necessária que se encaixaria melhor às ideias de formalidade e boa educação que expus acima?

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10 respostas
Thomas 7 60 288
ter boa educação / to have good manners, to be well bred, to be polite, to be courteous, to be considerate

Dude, for "formalidade" you're on your own. Perhaps "to be correct". (By "correct", I do not mean the other person is right, only that he is NOT being insulting, demeaning, unprofessional, etc.)

I understand your problem. I guess we have all had similar experiences.

In an Asunción photo studio I asked for a photo of a specific size, and I was given one much smaller than what I needed. When I complained, the clerk said several times. "Now you are asking for a photo in size XYZ." He was very "correct" and "formal", but he was calling me a liar. That is "mal educado" regardless of how politely it was said. He simply could not say, "Let me correct the problem." His goal was to make it look like my fault. I had no interest in fixing the blame; I wanted to fix the problem.

In a Cochabamba hotel, I politely advised the desk three times that my toilet was about to fall over. It was on about a 30 degree angle. Apparently, nobody had told them about the practice of bolting toilets to the floor. The fourth time I contacted the desk, it was to complain. I was told that I was "mal educado" for complaining that nothing had been done in about 12 hours to fix the toilet or give me another room. Maybe they thought I was an acrobat and enjoyed doing things sideways. LOL

Let me disagree with you about something. The vendor did not make you lose your temper. You lost it without anyone's help. When we get angry, the other party wins because anger clouds our thinking and we do some pretty stupid things. I know, because it has happened to me. Keep your cool. Out think them, don't try to out shout them.
timphillips 10
Hi Dude Spell,
I think Thomas hit the nail on the head.
Being "correct" in this context certainly means observing the formalities of the situation but not necessarily with any warmth or consideration.
Henry Cunha 3 17 182
I guess it's the technique of appearing to be courteous while being patronizing.
Thomas and Tim,

Thank you, guys, with your help I found this old essay called "Good Manners vs Correct Form" that states something very similar to the ideas I put on this post.


I'm sure you're right. There's a book by Guy Durandin about propaganda and publicity that exposes some of these foul techniques.


A toilet leaning at a 30 degree angle? What did they expect from you? To poop like an astronaut? :shock:

You're right, I shouldn't have gotten angry, but I should have pretended to be angry anyway, doing what Carlos Castaneda called "controlled folly". Brazilian people (based on the movie "Idiocracy" it may be a world phenomenon, I don't know) has become dull and sometimes only respond to a strong attitude, or worse, violence. The Brazilian writer and journalist Martha Medeiros wrote a highly emotive article about this subject, you can read it here.

I'm a pacifist myself, but I have to deal with some situations when people mistake well-manners for weakness, a peaceful man for a powerless one. Up to now, controlled folly is my only tool to be a pacifist in the midst of wild environment. Showing the teeth, I don't have to bite or be bitten. However, violence is out of question.
Henry Cunha 3 17 182
This story from 18th Century England about robberies, good manners, pacifism, and outrage sounds vaguely familiar.

"Two Purses And Bad Money
Highwaymen had often their own particular beats. There was Claude Duval who robbed and danced on Hounslow Heath, Johnnie Abershaw who frequented the Surrey commons, the Golden Farmer who looked after the Exeter road. Many of these men had been soldiers and when peace came they found themselves thrown upon a cold world, having lost any aptitude or taste for work which they might formerly have had. Sometimes a bankrupt tradesman would take to the road. Sophie de la Roche tells us how she, with a party of friends, were held up by a single highwayman. One of them, a young lady, seeing that the robber was young and shy and obviously new to the job, remonstrated with him and pointed out the probable end of his career. Sophie says that he thanked her for her kindness and rode away without robbing them. On the next day the ladies collected 150 guineas between them and put an advertisement in the papers saying that he might have the money if he called for it. The highwayman arrived full of contrition and gratitude, vowing that the young lady's voice "had resounded in him like an angel's and had moved his soul". He took the money, paid his more pressing debts and went to an uncle in the country who received him, promised to help him and "blessed the lady". It was another of the pleasant adventures which befell the delightful Sophie. Besides an armed guard, travellers adopted other means of circumventing highwaymen. "We English " said Sir Augustus Hervey to Casanova "always carry two purses on our journeys, a small one for the robbers and a large one for ourselves." Casanova took the advice and when he was travelling to London from Lord Pembroke's he put six guineas for highwaymen in a separate purse. He was, however, not attacked. Other people collected bad money and offered it to robbers; some had boots made with cavities in the heel in which they put their valuables and hid their money about their persons. This, however, was not always of much use, for if the highwaymen found nothing, they would sometimes search the travellers."

From ... roads3.htm
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Henry Cunha escreveu:This story from 18th Century England about robberies, good manners, pacifism, and outrage sounds vaguely familiar.

"The high rewards offered no doubt led to the apprehension of many highwaymen, but it also encouraged the informer. Readers of Fielding will remember the classic example of Jonathan Wild; and there were many more of his trade. In 1768 five men made a kind of syndicate, and having persuaded some poor wretches to rob the coaches, they collected as much as £960 in rewards."
Man, this is as funny as a leaning toilet, but not that tragic, after all, "ladrão que rouba ladrão, tem 100 anos de perdão". :lol:
Thomas 7 60 288
I don't remembering hearing of carrying a second wallet "para o ladrão" until a visit to Brazil in 1999. I found that it was a common practice. I've been in about 15 Latin countries, and I've lived in two. To date, I've never been robbed, although my pocket has been picked in Buenos Aires and La Paz. (A map was taken from my pocket in Rio. Does that count?) The stolen wallet was "para o ladrão". I lost nothing of great value because my identification, bank cards, lion's share of cash, etc. were carried in a moneybelt under my trousers. After losing my wallet to thieves in Buenos Aires, I tied my "para o ladrão" wallet with paracord (nylon cord) to my belt and I started carrying the wallet in a front pocket. In La Paz, the thief cut the cord! I then adopted the Bolivian method of using a steel chain. If a thief wants the wallet bad enough, he will find a way to steal it. The chain, however, hopefully will direct his attention to an easier target.

The Leaning Tower of Porcelain -- I mean, leaning toilet -- was a bit much. As I recall, when I returned to the hotel that night, I asked about the toilet and was told that a maintenance crew had seen to it. Baloney. When I entered the room, it was still on an angle, as if ready to be launched to the moon or beyond.
Thomas escreveu:The Leaning Tower of Porcelain -- I mean, leaning toilet -- was a bit much. As I recall, when I returned to the hotel that night, I asked about the toilet and was told that a maintenance crew had seen to it. Baloney. When I entered the room, it was still on an angle, as if ready to be launched to the moon or beyond.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Pretty good tips we have here; you are a very experienced man, fortunately, experienced in preventing been robbed. :mrgreen:

Henry Cunha 3 17 182
I've never carried two wallets in Brazil, but I've always carried enough cash not to irritate a thief to the point of wanting to search me. Actually, the most sophisticated scheme I've ever fallen victim to happened in Miami, where "they" put a slow leak in the rear passenger-side tire of my rented van, and while I was busy changing the tire by the side of a busy highway, "they" approached the car from the driver side and stole a shoulder bag with money, documents, etc. We never saw them at all. Admirably professional, in my opinion.
timphillips 10
Well guys I have never used two wallets but I have used a money belt to good effect. But once, in São PAulo, I went downtown with some mates and we took little cash andno cheque books in case of pickpockets. At 6 a.m. this Imbuia-wardrobe-door bouncer brought us and shone a liitle torch on what was for us an unpayable bill. One of my friends got a taxi home, got his cheque book and reurend and payed the "ransome". We avoided doing the washing-up or getting beat up in some dark alley. So I recommend other strategies like (i) two wallets (ii) a money belt (iii) avoid drinking gallons of imported Scotch whisky at the traditional (Scottish) Burns Night in the Hilton Hotel before setting out to go clubbing.
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