Racism in Brazil

Like I See It

_MG_2151One of the trickiest parts of learning a new language are “false amigos,” words that sounds the same as a word in English but don’t actually mean the same thing. With Portuguese, when I first learned the word “prejudicar” I thought great, now I know how to say prejudice. Wrong. Thanks to my mostly useful pocket-sized English-Portuguese dictionary I was able to discover it actually means “harm.” Prejudice is “preconceito,” which as you might guess translates literally into pre-concept. Digging into etymology here, English is actually more correct considering that the Latin is a combination of “pre,” or in advance, and “judicium” which means judgment, which is a pretty literal way to arrive at prejudice. Not that it’s a competition. (It is.) But it’s interesting that somewhere down the line Portuguese made the not so big leap from pre-judgment to harm.

No, it’s not, you say? Just to me? I…

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About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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