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    untranslatable words…

    Everything’s connected somehow. This week, we talked about reading in other languages and the influence of foreign cultures in our countries. I also told you that MACUNAÍMA by Mario de Andrade is one of those books you can’t translate. There’s no equivalent to the words and even tones and sentence structures used in that book. You have to know Portuguese, and you have to know the Brazilian culture to understand the book. What I wrote on the blog about reading without a dictionary does not apply to this book, even for me. I’m a native speaker, and I didn’t know more words than usual there. That’s what makes it untranslatable.…

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    For English to See

    I love you, forget sclaine Maine Itapiru / Forguet five underwood I Shell no bonde Silva Manuel / Manuel, Manuel, Manuel / I love you too heavy Steven via Catumbay / Independence lá do Paraguai, Studbaker Jaceguai Lamartine Babo, “Canção Para Inglês Ver” You don’t have to understand that song. I don’t know everything in those lyrics either. But I know what Lamartine Babo was criticizing. Actually, many people might think that I do exactly what he’s protesting against in that song. The use of English instead of Portuguese, our mother tongue. Trying to do what the gringos do. Do things “for English to see,” which can mean a lot…