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.


About sinpolaris

sinpolaris is the psuedonym of a guy who likes to write.

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

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