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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 December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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