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Your new trainers are ‘bad’ – similar but different words

I’m all for welcoming new words into the English language, well providing they’re actual words which bring some valid meaning to the world. I’m therefore not referring to the recent additions to the Oxford English Dictionary of krumping, glamper, awesomesauce and don’t even get me started on manspreading!

However, I do find it fascinating to see the English language evolve, not only through words but adaptations of their meanings as well. For example, the word ‘bad’, originally used to describe something of poor quality or a low standard can now be quite commonly heard being used as an adjective, to describe something which is good or positive. Albeit a more slang style of vocabulary the connotations of words are constantly being repurposed.

This is not a new phenomenon and is common among different languages which have similar or identical words which mean completely different things. As an international company we look to raise our communication skills especially where language is a barrier, recently issuing blogs in Italian and Swedish and translating comprehensive parts of the website with the view to release microsites very soon.

We also had a cross functional team who took on the task to learn Portuguese, as we have clients in Brazil, but we also had a focus on Portugal to increase our distribution networks. Not only is Portuguese  a very beautiful, but intensely complex language (speaking as one of those studying it), it’s also essential you know the differences between European and Brazilian, otherwise you risk not only looking rather stupid but potentially causing mass offence! Not ideal when you’re trying to conduct business.

It’s not what you said it’s how you said it

One of the biggest differences is the pronunciation, particularly words ending in s, like dois (two), pronounced doysh in Portugal and doyss in Brazil, or words ending in te like quente (hot), pronounced kenchy in Brazil, whereas in Portugal you say kent.

The importance of using the correct words can be crucial when speaking Portuguese, for example Your cooking is awesome would translate to sua cozinha é bárbara! in Brazilian Portuguese, however if you said this in Lisbon you’d more than likely be asked to leave and definitely not be welcomed back, and that’s the polite response! In European Portuguese, bárbara means barbaric.

Similar, but dangerously different

As experts in the gas world we come across the incorrect use of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide time and time again, and it seems that even news organisations can’t get it right. As outlined in our previous blog carbon monoxide v carbon dioxide- do you know the difference? They are completely different things but often get confused when making reference to an incident. If recognised authorities can’t get the right terminology, what chance do readers have?

Shakespeare famously wrote “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Turns out, quite a lot.

Author: Mel Smith, Marketing Executive

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Founded in 1981, Analox Sensor Technology provides niche and custom gas detection solutions to industries including beverage and fast food, commercial diving and laboratories. Analox has over 325 years of collective, specialist electronics and software engineering expertise, as well as a worldwide distributor network. Contact us to see how we can provide expert gas monitoring solutions and help you achieve your goals.

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