Archives par étiquette : tongue twister

Language of the Week: Portuguese

portuguese

 

Portuguese is the official language in Portugal and Brazil of course, but did you know that it is also the official language of Macau?

Its alphabet is pretty straight forward, with a few added new accents:

There are two official standards for written Portuguese, European and Brazilian and 10 different dialects spoken in Europe.

As always, here are a few simple phrases you can try out:

Portuguese English
Oi!/ Olá! Hi!
Bom dia! Good morning!
Bem-vindo (for man)/ bem-vinda! (female) Welcome
Como vai você? How are you?
(Muito) obrigado (men)/ (Muito) obrigada! (female) Thank you (very much)
Estou perdido/ perdida (female) I’m lost

 

While doing some research, I came upon what seems to be the most famous tongue twister in Portuguese:  O rato roeu a roupa do rei de Roma
In English it means: The rat gnawed the king of Rome’s clothes

As I tried to pronounce it to test its difficulty, I didn’t find it too hard to pronounce, however I’m not sure just how much of the sentence I pronounced right  😛

Now here comes the big question, what do Portuguese speakers like to joke about? Well I’ve been told its Mother in Laws, blondes; lawyers and, corrupt politicians. Here are a few jokes:

PORTUGUESE: A sogra chega para uma visita surpresa. O genro abre a porta:
« Olà! Não nos vemos há tanto tempo! Quanto vais ficar conosco desta vez? »
A sogra sorri, querendo ser gentil:
« Até vocês se cansarem de mim. »
« A sério? Não vais nem tomar um cafezinho? »
ENGLISH: The mother-in-law comes for a surprise visit. The son-in-law opens the door:
« Hi! Long time no see! How long are you staying this time? »
The mother-in-law smiles, trying to be polite:
« Until you get tired of me. »
« Really? You’re not even staying for a coffee? »

Joãozinho, Little John, is the most mentioned character in Portuguese jokes:
PORTUGUESE: Tia Lídia pergunta ao Joãozinho:
« O que vais fazer quando for grande como a titia? »
O Joãozinho responde:
« Um regime! »
ENGLISH: Aunt Lidia asks Joãozinho:
« What are you going to do when you are big like Aunty? »
« Go on a diet! » he replies

I hope you enjoyed!

Adeus!

 



Who are we?

Agence de traduction AlltradisAlltradis is today a key player in translation and conference interpreting.

Since its creation in 1995, Alltradis has translated over 19,000 written projects in various language combinations, organized simultaneous interpreting for the largest international conferences and gathered a long list of loyal clients. Alltradis has truly become a fundamental part of their success. We specialize in diverse industries such as; medical/pharmaceutical translation, cosmetic/luxury product translation, technical and industrial translation, marketing/finance/HR translation, legal translation, etc.

Many world leading companies trust our expertise – what are you waiting for? For more information, visit our website: www.alltradis.us


 

Language of the Week: Chinese

Chinese

The Language of this Week is Chinese!

It is estimated that over 1 billion people in the world speak some form of Chinese: Other than being the most spoken language in the world, it is also one of the more difficult languages to learn.

This will forever be my excuse when asked why I never managed to master the language. Although Chinese is my first language, I am a little embarrassed to say that I am not fluent. This does not mean that I didn’t spend hours and hours after school and on weekends devoting my time and effort to the language.

So let me give you a quick introduction on the language. For starters, chinese is separated into Cantonese and Mandarin, Cantonese is written in traditional characters and usually used in Hong Kong and other parts of southern China while Mandarin is the more dominante language in China and written in simplified characters. Traditional characters tend to be more complex than simplified.

The character horse in Chinese: 

traditional: 馬

simplified: 马

The phonological system (it tells you how to pronounce the Chinese characters) is called pinyin

a e i o u    
m t f n r d q
z y p h b k l
s g j w c x  
ai ei ui ao üe    
ou iu ei ue er    
an en in un ün    
zh ch sh
ang eng ing ong      

Each letter or combination of letters in a box is called a pinyin, and every pinyin can be pronounced using 4 tones. And with the pronunciation of each tone, there are many possible characters that have are pronounced using the same tone.

For example:

pinyin
character
meaning mom numb horse to scold

However, for mă, it can also be written in a different character.

code

 

This does not only apply to this sole character, there are many characters in Chinese that are pronounced in the same tone but have different meanings. The different tones are difficult for new beginners to learn as the intonations are very close in sound and a slight change can completely change your intended meaning.

If you’re feeling brave, try this commonly used tongue twister to practice pronouncing the tones:

Sì shì sì, shí shì shí, shísì shì shísì, sìshí shì sìshí, sìshísì zhī shí shīzi shì sǐ de.

四是四,十是十,十四是十四,四十是四十,四十四只石狮子是死的。

Four is four, ten is ten, fourteen is fourteen, forty is forty. Forty four stone lions are dead.

After mastering pinyin, next comes learning how to write the Chinese characters, which when written correctly are very beautiful. Through learning the construction of the characters, you will also be able to gain insight into the Chinese mind. It is said that a person needs to memorize 2000 Chinese characters in order to be able to read a Chinese newspaper, which is far less than the 4000 english words required to read a newspaper.

As you all know, there are many lessons to be learnt from Chinese proverbs, so with this, I leave you with one that will hopefully motivate you to start your journey in whatever you choose.

千里之行,始于足下
Qiān lǐ zhī xíng, shǐ yú zú xià
A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

再见 (Zàijiàn) bye !

 



Who are we?

Agence de traduction AlltradisAlltradis is today a key player in translation and conference interpreting.

Since its creation in 1995, Alltradis has translated over 19,000 written projects in various language combinations, organized simultaneous interpreting for the largest international conferences and gathered a long list of loyal clients. Alltradis has truly become a fundamental part of their success. We specialize in diverse industries such as; medical/pharmaceutical translation, cosmetic/luxury product translation, technical and industrial translation, marketing/finance/HR translation, legal translation, etc.

Many world leading companies trust our expertise – what are you waiting for? For more information, visit our website: www.alltradis.us