Distant, yet close


As you can see, today's post looks slightly unusual.
Como você pode ver, o post de hoje está um pouco diferente.
Как вы видите, сегодняшний пост не совсем обычный.

It is a multilingual text.
Trata-se de um texto multilíngue.
Это многоязычный текст.

Hopefully, you will feel an overwhelming desire to compare the three languages: English, Portuguese and Russian.
Com sorte, você vai ter uma vontade irresistível de comparar as três línguas: inglês, português e russo.
Я надеюсь, у вас появится огромное желание сравнить эти три языка: английский, португальский и русский.

They're among the ten most spoken languages in the world.
Elas estão entre as dez línguas mais faladas do mundo.
Они входят в десятку самых распространённых в мире.

Don't get frightened away by the third language, though. Russian is written with the Cyrillic alphabet, but it's not as difficult as it looks.
Mas não se assuste com a terceira língua. O russo é escrito com o alfabeto cirílico, mas não é tão difícil quanto parece.
Не пугайтесь третьего языка. По-русски пишут кириллицей, но она не такая трудная, какой кажется.

In fact, all of the three languages are related.
De fato, as três línguas são parentes.
На самом деле, эти три языка – родственники.

Even though they belong to different groups (English is a Germanic language; Portuguese is a Romance language; and Russian is a Slavic language), they all have the same "great-great-grandparents".
Embora pertençam a grupos diferentes (o inglês é uma língua germânica; o português é uma língua neolatina; e o russo é uma língua eslava), as três têm os mesmos "tataravós".
Хотя они из разных групп (английский – это германский язык, португальский – это романский язык, и русский – это славянский язык), у всех общие "прародители".

So if you watch closely, you'll see several similarities, such as the boldfaced words.
Então, se você prestar atenção, notará diversas similaridades, a começar pelas palavras em negrito.
Поэтому, если вы посмотрите внимательно, вы заметите сходство, например, слова, выделенные жирным шрифтом.

If you want to know what each of these languages sounds like, click on the links below to hear us read this text.
Se você quiser saber como soa cada uma dessas línguas, clique nos links abaixo para nos escutar lendo este texto.
Если вы хотите узнать, как звучит каждый из этих языков, нажмите на ссылки внизу, чтобы послушать, как мы читаем этот текст.

See you!
Até mais!

Audio - English/inglês/английский
Audio - Portuguese/português/португальский
Audio - Russian/russo/русский


Do you fancy some coffee?

Are you having some coffee right now? I am. As a Brazilian, I have a close connection to this energetic drink. My country has been the highest global producer of coffee beans for over 150 years. A Lebanese friend of mine once proudly told me coffee had come from the Middle East, which is true. Partly true. Although the plant is native from Ethiopia, the drink was created in Yemen. It coffeemade its way onto our tables by “subdueing” several cultures throughout the past 600 years. There is this very cool book about the drink’s history. In today’s post, however, we are going to talk about the word coffee.

Have a look at the picture on the left, or google something like “how to say coffee in different languages” and you will notice the word changes very little, regardless of which language you pick. Apart from very few exceptions, the world uses a lot of variations of an Arabic word: قَهْوة (qahwah), but even this one might have come from another language’s word.

The English word came from Italian caffè in the 1600s. On its turn, the word cafe (meaning a small restaurant selling light meals and drinks) only appeared in English two hundred years later, coming from French café. As we can see, Romance languages appear to have quite a pervasive impact in the lexicon of English language. I intend to write about that in a future post.

Back to the history of the word coffee, where did Italian get its caffè from? It is mostly agreed that it comes from Ottoman Turkish kahveh, which, on its turn, comes from Arabic qahwah mentioned above. As for the origin of the Arabic word, there are several theories. One of them suggests that the word qahwah – originally used to refer to wine – derived from the verb qahiya (قهي), “to lack hunger”. Another theory holds that the root of the word, q-h-h, comes from Proto-Central Semitic and means “dark”. There is also a possible connection with the region of Kaffa in Ethiopia, where the plant comes from.

The drink (and its name) got to Europe with the Ottoman Empire, and from there it traveled westward to the New World. Meanwhile, coffee accompanied the Muslim spread to the East. Now, the whole world drinks it and calls it basically the same.

How would you like your coffee today?