Tuesday 28 April 2009

Spelling mistake

I'm also a wee bit iffy about the Portuguese rendering on the bottom line. Feijoes looks like an attempt at pluralising the word feijao meaning beans. In Portuguese, beans are a singular thing as if in English we would say "bean" like we say bread, sheep etc. irrespective of the quantity involved. So to my mind, it should be just Feijao Cozido. Also, I've never seen two dots above an o in Portuguese ...

EDIT - I've just looked up my Portuguese dictionary and it does offer a plural of feijao which is feijoes with a tilde (squiggle - can't do it on this computer and don't know the HTML for a tilde) above the o. However, I wonder if this is only for very small quantities of beans (as in Blackadder "If I have two beans and I add one more bean, what does that make?" Baldrick "a very small casserole") as opposed to a whole tinful of them. Why else are tins of green beans labelled just Feijao Verde?


Kathie said...

Hmmm, the fact that the can is marked "Backed beans" was my first clue that there might be other errors on the label as well ;-) Also, the fact that Portuguese is the last language listed is not a promising sign.

You can easily reconfigure your computer keyboard to type Portuguese diacritical marks. My Portuguese professor gave me the directions years ago for changing the settings (so long ago, however, that I don't recall how to do it any more). Anyhow, I just sent him an email requesting the instructions for you, so will forward them as soon as I hear back.

If you select this option for your keyboard, it'll function like the ones in Portuguese public libraries and Internet cafés (except for no discrete "Ç/ç" key), in case you've ever used a computer in any of those places. On the rare occasions my husband has used my computer, it's annoyed him that the quotes, apostrophe and a few other symbols are unable to appear solo until one makes a subsequent keystroke, but to me that's a small price to pay and besides, one quickly adapts.

Kathie said...

The following directions for converting your keyboard to Portuguese-capable are courtesy of my esteemed professor of Portuguese. Ótima sorte!
= = = = = = = = = = =

1) Go into the Control Panel, which you can access through the Start Menu, then Settings.

2) Do NOT click on Keyboard! Instead, you need to click on the Regional and Language Options icon.

3) Once the box comes up, click on the Languages tab at the top, and then on the Details button to the right.

4) On the Default Input Language pull-down menus, make sure that English-United States -- United States International is designated. (If I'm not mistaken, you have to click on the Add button to the right).

5) Once you have the designations I mentioned above, then you need to OK or confirm everything you have done in the appropriate boxes on your way out.

A word about how to type vowels with accent marks (or c cedilla [Ç/ç]):

To get what you want to type on the page, you'll have to type the diacritic first (e.g., single quotation mark ['] for acute accent, backwards apostrophe for grave accent [`], caret [^] for circumflex accent, OR apostrophe ['] for cedilla), followed by the letter in question (either lower case or upper case. You can no doubt figure out the other keys that produce the various accent marks).

One drawback: From now on, in order to type a real apostrophe on the page, you'll have to put in a space (hit Space Bar) after pressing the apostrophe. This can send people who don't deal with languages other than English up the wall. But if the computer in question is a single-user computer, there should be no problem in that regard.