Monthly Archives: February 2013


Whoever is responsible for this logo is a creative genius.

The country of Peru has created its own marketing logo. Seen on clothing and even the national currency, it goes by the name “Marca Peru” and it looks a little something like this…

The logo of Peru

The logo of Peru

What I like about the logo is that it is clean (read: simple, not complex) and it imparts the information the creators want to convey (read: PERU!).

I have been here over a year and a half and have seen this logo countless times however it was not until recently that I discovered that Marca Peru is also used to convey two concepts about Peru.

The first idea is the deep history that this country contains. The lines that comprise “Peru” are similar to the famous Nazca lines. Specifically, the concentric circles of the “P” reflect the “Monkey” figure from Nazca. Take a look…


The designers of this logo have also managed to convey the future that is Peru. The concentric circles of the “P” are meant to represent the “@” that comprises all email addresses. This use of the “at sign” is designed to show that Peru embraces technology.

(Fun Language Trivia Fact: The “@” symbol, which is called the “at sign” in English, is called “arroba” in Spanish.)

So, Peru is therefore not only all about its rich roots (i.e., the cultures of Moche, Inca, Nazca, etc.) but is also a forward-looking technology-embracing land.

All of that from a logo.

Proof that the citizens of Peru know a little something about technology, I hereby offer this minor sample where the locals put their own spin on an on-line craze.

Ladies and gentlemen, a version of the Harlem Shake as done in the Lima suburb of La Molina as created by Publimetro, a free daily newspaper.

Other versions can be found here (you can tell they are in Peru because of the Inca Kola bottle on the table) and here and here (the box that the boy is thumping in the middle is a Peruvian percussion instrument called a cajon) also.

Travel Theme: Bridges

Continuing on the twin themes of weekly photographic challenges and showing pictures from our recent cruise, today’s post is the response to Where’s My Backpack and their theme of bridges.

For a pair of days at the start of February, the family and I wandered around the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.

One of the landmarks that we saw on our walking adventures was this bridge called the Puente de la Mujer (Women’s Bridge).

Argentinian structure that matches the theme

Argentine structure that matches the theme

While it is not a topic for this week’s theme, I did manage to catch another Argentine landmark in this photo. In the background, to the right, is the corvette Uruguay.

For Your Consideration

The presenting of the Academy Awards are nigh upon us.

With that in mind, I wanted to take this portion of my blog space and let you know how the names of the nine nominees for Best Picture were translated into Spanish. I have written before (here and here) about the odd twists and turns translations can wreak upon movies, so here we go again.

Of the nine films vying for the Oscar statuette and title of Best Picture, two of the titles underwent no modification. This was probably because they were proper names and those don’t translate too well. Those movies were Argo and Lincoln.

There are a pair of movies that did not have English titles. Here in Peru, for whatever reason, the powers-that-be did not keep the original name and did translate them into Spanish. The first was Les Miserables which is showing at our local Lima cineplex under the name Los Miserables. The second was Amour, which was been rebranded to Amor.

One movie was only slight changed and its translation doesn’t suffer much. Django Unchained was transmogrified into Django Sin Cadenas (Django Without Chains).

The remaining trio of translated titles had their meanings completely shuffled when the name is changed from English to Spanish and back to English.

Zero Dark Thirty became La Noche Mas Oscura (The Darkest Night).
To buy a ticket to see Life of Pi, one has to ask for Una Aventura Extraordinaria (An Extraordinary Adventure).
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence do not star in Silver Linings Playbook, but instead top the marquee for Los Juegos Del Destino (The Games of Destiny).

Astute readers will notice that I have only written about eight movies. The final movie vying for the Oscar has not been released in Peru. However, even when the local newspapers write about this movie for their articles about the Academy Awards, the writers do not translate the title into Spanish. For whatever reason, the newspapers refer to this movie by its English moniker, Beasts of the Southern Wild.

If this cinematic gem comes to Peru, I will let you know what title it appears as.

I’d say more, but I fear the music is about to cut me off right about here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

…and we’re back attempting the weekly photographic challenges offered by the fine folks over at WordPress.

This week’s theme is forward.

My submission comes from our recently completed cruise. One of our stops was the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, site of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. A striking and iconic landmark of this city is the geologic formation known as Pão de Açúcar or Sugarloaf Mountain.

To reach the summit, one has to take a pair of cable car trips. This is a shot from the first station as we are about to go forward to the second station.

All aboard

All aboard

As Doctor Who‘s Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant, would say at about this point, “Allons-y!”

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.

Nowhere near Kansas

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, the family and I went on a nine-day cruise off the eastern shoreline of South America. We started in Brazil and in fact the majority of the passengers and a large portion of the crew were from that large country.

That last sentence was just the set-up for this query…

How can you tell you are on a Brazilian ship?

Because when the Super Bowl was being held on February 3 while we were at sea, the cruise line did not broadcast the game between the Ravens and the 49ers. No TV anywhere on the floating vessel – not in the cabins, not in the sports bar, not on the giant video screen by the pool – showed the teams coached by the Brothers Harbaugh battling it out.

However, a few days later, when Brazil played England in a friendly soccer game…that contest was shown on every available screen. Even the giant video display by the pool.

By the way, England won 2-1 much to the dismay of 98% of the passengers.

Two Down, Five to Go

During the end of January and the start of February, the family and I took two weeks out of our summer and partook of a cruise around the eastern parts of South America.

There were many highlights to this getaway vacation, but this was the biggest takeaway for me.

The New Open World Corporation (NOWC) has a campaign called New7Wonders. One of the first results of this campaign was to name – via open voting over the Internet – the New 7 Wonders of the World. This designation was in homage to the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World, six of which have been lost to the ages. Only the Pyramids of Giza still exists, which is also the oldest of the Ancient Seven.

In addition, NOWC also launched a campaign to list the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

This most recent trip allowed us to visit sites on both the New Wonders list and the Wonders of Nature list.

Starting with Rio de Janeiro, we visited the statue of Christ the Redeemer, which is considered to be the largest Art Deco statue on the globe. I wonder the second-largest Art Deco statue is?

In December of 2011, we visited Machu Picchu, which was the first of the New 7 Wonders. With our stop in Rio, the second of the seven new man-made wonders can be crossed off our list.

Two Down

Two Down

I vote for this place to be the third to be checked off.

On the Nature-made side of the Wonder category, our trip ended with a visit to Iguazu Falls – a stunning set of waterfalls that straddle the border between Brazil and Argentina. These falls were the second Wonders of Nature location we had visited as the first was the Amazon, which we travelled to last year around this time.

There is no one picture that could capture the entire majesty of the falls, so this lone picture will have to suffice to give you a glimpse of its aquatic glory.

Another Two Down

Another Two Down

Perhaps the Puerto Princesa Underground River will be the third natural wonder we will see.