Friday 13 April 2012


If you've been tuning in recently for an update on progress with the Avenida Marginal or perhaps to hear how the first week of the Recolha Seletiva went (remarkably well!), then sorry I've been off air but it's been because I haven't had a camera to illustrate recent developments.

Anyway, I've now got a new camera - a Canon Powershot SX220 (pictured above), since you asked. It's got 14x optical zoom which is camera geek-speak for "my reproductive organ really is quite large". Though not as large as anybody with 18x optical zoom. But thank heavens I didn't let Carol persuade me to get a gay pink one (the colour being her only input) or I'd be remaining in therapy for quite a few months to come.

 Anyway, how did I get on to that? Oh yes! I was out with the new camera for the first time today and unleashed all 14x of its optical zoom (Ooh! Suits you, sir!) and took the picture below of the farolim at Fajã Grande. I thought it turned out quite well considering I was about 3 miles away from it at the time. That's an exaggeration - I was about 100 metres away but nevertheless ...

The thing is, there's a Portuguese word for a farolim (it's farolim) but not an English one. You wouldn't call it a lighthouse because a lighthouse (farol in Portuguese) is one of these:-

I'm not sure what you'd call a farolim in English and I'm a nautical cove as well and generally do know things like that. I think you'd just call it a "light". I can imagine non-nautical coves (and covettes) calling them "beacons" but that's not a maritme term of art. Just like there's no such thing as a "rope" at sea, there are only warps, halyards, sheets, braces (as in "splice the main ~"), painters - want me to continue?

But how interesting that Portuguese has a word that is effectively "lighthouse-let". And if you go to the excellent Linguee website (which is an online dictionary but much better because it gives you actual bi-lingual examples of words in context), you find that farolim can also be tail-lights whereas farol is headlights (although that could be Brazilian because they tend to refer to headlights as médios here).

Anyway, for those not so interested in nautico-linguistic trivia and more interested in the Avenida Marginal or recolha seletiva, I will report thereon shortly and leave you meantime with these pictures. Because I can.



Marisa said...

I want one in pink please.

The "marginal" looks good...... thank God!

Farolim means (I think) almost the same as Farolinho wich is a small/little lighthouse.

Kathie said...

1. Parabéns on the new toy, guys! We shall now expect many fine photos posted here of FG and environs, to stoke our saudades!

2. According to the esteemed Novo Aurélio Dicionário Elétrônico Século XXI:
farolim = pequeno farol; farolete.

And in Aurélio's infamously circular fashion:
farolete = farolim.

(These are the sorts of findings that leave translators weeping inconsolably over their keyboards.) I don't know the nautical term for "beacon," but at least it seems preferable to the accurate but artless alternative of "warning light on a pole" (not to mention "light-on-a-stick," which sounds rather dirty IMHO).

Aurélio adds a bonus Brazilian definition:

Cada um dos pequenos faróis [...] dianteiros e traseiros, destinados a assinalar no escuro a presença de um carro em movimento.
In other words, a car's front and back warning lights (but you already knew that).

Kathie said...

Neil & Carol, I sent your inquiry to a virtual friend in Wales who's retired salvage ship captain. He simply recommends "navigational beacon."

Kathie said...

This idea from a Yorkshireman who's moved to the Isle of Wight in order to pursue his sailing avocation more thoroughly (while still working at a real job and raising a family):

"[I]t's probably called something nothing more exciting than a 'light' or a 'mark.' If for instance there were two of these, one positioned higher than the other, they would probably be 'leading lights.' With these you keep them lined up to guide you through a safe channel. So it depends on its purpose."

Neil King said...

The fact your nautical connections came up with four possible renderings of farolim rather demonstrates the point I was trying to make.

"Navigational beacon" is an OED definition rather than a nautical term of art. As a matter of fact, it's not one of a pair of leading lights (there are leading lights at FG but the farolim pictured is not one of them). That leaves us with "light" or "mark". You'll recall "light" was the term I suggested. That's because I've always regarded a "mark" as being something that's unlit. But I wouldn't argue the point.