Wheels Within Wheels

I enjoyed our cruise during late-January/early-February. I had a good time seeing landmarks and cities I had never seen before and probably will not be able to view for quite some time. The photos of those places will wait until another post because I wanted to highlight an interesting aspect of being on a vessel mainly composed of folks who conversed in Portuguese.

I live in Peru and I have a difficult enough time as it is speaking and understanding Spanish. I have written before about how I view my brain as having a translation engine where the Spanish word goes in, the cranks, wheels, and gears turn, and the output that pops through my head is the word in English.

When I had to chat with the Brazilian crew or passengers, my engine developed another layer.

When I heard or read a word in Portuguese, I found I was translating the word into its closest Spanish equivalent. From that Spanish approximation, my regular translation engine would kick in and I could then understand the word.

If I may provide a minor, yet illuminating, example, it is the Portuguese word Atenção. I knew from experience that the suffix -ção was equivalent to the Spanish ending of -cion. So the word now became Atencion, which I knew was the Spanish word for “Attention”. Good to know as a sign that had Atenção on it was something I wanted to be aware of.

Other than the usual exhaustion one feels after a relaxing vacation, I was doubly-tired from having my translation engine work overtime.

Considering the experience of other cruise passengers over the same time period in a different body of water, I can’t complain too much.

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About sinpolaris

Xavier Humes is the psuedonym of an American living in Lima, Peru, with his wife and family. That's about all's ya need to know concerning me...except to enjoy the posts.

Posted on February 21, 2013, in Difference and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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