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9 Portuguese Words That Can’t Be Directly Translated Into English

9 Portuguese Words That Can’t Be Directly Translated Into English

Some languages have words to describe things that another language cannot translate. The Inuit people have 50 words for snow, we have one or two. The language developed in an environment that was full of snow, sometimes year round. They had a lot of conversations about snow and developed a dialogue of words that describe one thing they know so well most can’t be translated. Likewise, there’re some Portuguese words that cannot be directly translated into English.

Apaixonar

Is a romantic word that describes an aspect of love. It’s not the feeling of love, it’s a verb, that when applied is basically the act of falling in love. This process is so romantic an Englishman has yet to think of a better way of describing it. I have no idea how to pronounce it but I know I enjoy it. The word could have an equivalent in the English word of “impassion” But Apraixonar holds a tenuous position. It is not the act of loving, it seems to be the moments before someone says “I love you”. This is a romantic language and love has many synonyms.

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Cafuné

This is described as “The act of running your fingers through someone else’s hair’. No one had ever thought of something like that in English speaking countries. How common does running your fingers through your hair have to be for a whole word to be designated for it?

Lindeza

Meaning “prettiness” but something that is also used as a term of endearment. It now becomes a noun in certain instances, maybe even a verb.

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Futevôlei

This is a crazy sport that combines volleyball and soccer. The sport is like beach volleyball but is not played with hands. “Footvolley” could be a rough translation but nothing can come close to Futevôlei.

Xodó

This means significant other or love. There can’t be any translation for it because this has many meanings as well. Your, love, pet, object of adoration and sometimes exodus. The fact that it has a contradictory definitions means there can be no full translation, like many English words.

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Farofa

This is a tradition dish that is hard to describe and even harder to translate. This food is served at barbecues in Brazil and is a traditional casserole and has an ingredient list that includes bananas.

Tapioca

You’ve seen Tapioca pudding before but I bet you didn’t know that this was a staple for some households and another untranslatable Portuguese word. You might think you know Tapioca but this is not actually a synthetic bubble in your pudding. Tapioca refers to a flat-bread that can be eaten alone or stuffed with delicious meats.

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Desenrascanço

This one is magical. So magical that we as Americans have no equivalent. The equivalent would be a fake word that we have coined from a fictional television show. The word describes getting out of a situation only with the available means one has. We could call it a McGyver but there is nothing that compares to a Desenrascanço.

Saudade

This word may mean that you seek out something bad that you enjoy. It hurts you, like an addiction but you like it anyways. Some say that it is nostalgia or remembrance of a long forgotten past that was not so good for you. You can be nostalgic about bad things, like the terrible cooking of a relative you’ve not seen in a while. A bad relationship pulls you in because love makes everyone crazy, but they’re just bad for you, maybe that’s saudade.

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

I’ve stood on the edge of my own personal cliffs many times. Each time I jumped, something different happened. There were risks that started off great, but eventually faded. There were risks that left me falling until I hit the ground. There were risks that started slow, but built into massive successes.

Every risk is different, but every risk is the same. You need to have some fundamentals ready before you jump, but not too many.

It wouldn’t be a risk if you knew everything that was about to happen, would it? Here’re 6 ways to be a successful risk taker.

1. Understand That Failure Is Going to Happen a Lot

It’s part of life. Everything we do has failure attached to it. All successful people have stories of massive failure attached to them. Thinking that your risk is going to be pain free and run as smooth as silk is insane.

Expect some pain and failure. Actually, expect a lot of it. Expect the sleepless nights with crazy thoughts of insecurity that leave you trembling under the covers. It’s going to happen, no matter how positive you are about the risk you are about to take.

When failure hits, the only options are to keep going or quit. If you expect falling into a meadow of flowers and frolicking unicorns, then you’re going to immediately quit once you realize that getting to that meadow requires you to go through a rock filled cave filled with hungry bats.

2. Trust the Muse

Writing a story isn’t a big risk. It’s really just a risk on my time. So when I start writing a story, I’m scared it will be time wasted. Of course, it never really is. Even if the story doesn’t turn out fabulous, I still practiced.

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When I’ve taken risks in my life, the successful ones always seemed to happen when I followed the muse. Steven Pressfield describes the muse,

“The Muse demands depth. Shallow does not work for her. If we’re seeking her help, we can’t stay in the kiddie end. When we work, we have to go hard and go deep.”

The muse is a goddess who wants our attention and wants us to work on our passion.

If you’re taking a risk in anything, it’s assumed that there is some passion built up behind that risk. That passion, deep inside you, is the muse. Trust it, focus on it, listen to it.

The most successful articles and stories I write are the ones I’ve focused all my attention on. There were no interruptions during their creative development. I didn’t check my phone or go watch my Twitter feed. I was fully engaged in my work.

Trust the muse, focus your attention on your risk, let the ideas and path develop themselves, and leave the distractions at the side of the road.

3. Remember to Be Authentic

Taking a risk and then turning into something you’re not, is only going to lead to disaster. Whether you are risking a new relationship or new opportunity, you must be yourself throughout the entire process.

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How many times have you acted like you loved something just because the men or woman you just started going out with loved it?

For example, I’m not an office worker. I have an incredibly hard time working in a confined timeline (ie. 9-5). That’s why I write. I can do it whenever the mood strikes, I don’t have somebody breathing down my neck, telling me that I’m five minutes late, or missed a comma somewhere. I don’t have to walk on eggshells wondering if what I’m writing will get me fired or make me lose a promotion. I can just be myself, period.

One girlfriend didn’t understand that. She believed solely in the 9-5 motto, specifically something in human resources because that was a very stable job. I was scared for my future, but I stuck with the relationship because of my own insecurities and acted like I would do it to make her happy.

Here’s a tip: NEVER take away from your happiness to make somebody else satisfied (note I didn’t say happy).

Making somebody else happy will make you happy. Doing something to satisfy somebody is murder on your soul.

4. Don’t Take Any Risks While You’re Not Clearheaded

I’d been considering the risk for a couple weeks. It all sounded good. I was 22 and I could be rich in a couple of years. That’s what they were selling me, anyways.

One night, while at a house party with some friends, I found myself at a computer. A couple of my friends were standing nearby and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was considering starting my own business and it was only going to cost me $1,500.

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Of course, when a bunch of drunk people are surrounded by more drunk people, things get enthusiastic. It sounded like the best business venture in the world to everybody, including me. So I signed up and gave them my credit card number.

A few painful months and close to $4,000 dollars lost later, I quit the business. I was young and fell into the pyramid scheme trap. It was an expensive drunk decision.

Drinking heavily and making decisions has a proven track record of failure. So when you have something important to decide, don’t let your emotions take over your brain.

5. Fully Understand What You’re Risking

It was the start of my baseball comeback. I got a tryout with a professional scout and killed it. After the tryout, he talked to my girlfriend and myself, making sure we understood I would be gone for up to 6 months at a time. That strain on the relationship could be tough.

We understood. I left to play ball, chose to stay in the city I played in, and a year later we broke up. Not because of baseball, see point 3 above. Taking big risks can have massive impacts on everything in your life from relationships to money. Know what you’re risking before you take the risk.

If you believe the risk will be worth it or you have the support you need from your family, then go ahead and make the leap.

You can get more guidance on how to take calculated risks from this article: How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve More and Become Successful

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6. Remember This Is Your One Shot Only

As far as we know officially, this is our one shot at life, so why not take some risks?

The top thing people are saddened by on their deathbeds are these regrets. They wish they did more, asked that girl in the coffee shop out, spoke out when they should have, or did what they were passionate about.

Don’t regret. Learn and experience. Live. Take the risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.

Now go ahead, take that risk and be successful at it!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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