“Bogus Boatos on the Bossa Nova Buck”

The image “https://i1.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/moeda.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Source: BCB (2003)

The Banco Central do Brasil dispels a rumor (boato):

Em razão de boatos que circulam especialmente no Rio de Janeiro e em Fortaleza, o Banco Central esclarece que não há fundamento nas informações de que estaria recomprando moedas de 1 real com a figura de Juscelino Kubitschek e do prédio do Banco Central. Assim como as demais moedas bimetálicas de 1 real, as moedas com a figura de Juscelino Kubitschek e do prédio do Banco Central permanecem normalmente em circulação e valem o correspondente a seu valor de face, ou seja 1 real. O Banco Central somente recebe moedas que estejam danificadas, com suspeição de legitimidade ou em processo de recolhimento (perda de poder liberatório).

In reason of rumors that are circulating, especially in Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza, the Central Bank of Brazil announces that there is no foundation to reports that it may be buying back 1-real coins depicting former president Kubitschek and the Central Bank building.

Which is possibly even more of an architectural abomination than that Federal Gothic fortress that Ben Bernanke hangs out at. (I am not a big fan of Brazilian Brutalist hypermodernism, or Oscar Niemeyer.)

Continue reading


Against Babel: The World Bank Scrubs the Hubbub

The image “https://i1.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/translationbird.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Anti-Babel: A translation hub designed to reduce the hubbub.

A few years ago, the World Bank woke up to the fact that it sucked at translation.

So it decided to develop

A Document Translation Framework for the World Bank Group and Strengthening Public Information Centers

How has that worked out, I wonder? They promised to produce a progress report in 2004, but I cannot seem to find that on their Web site.

I hope the current availability of the online multilingual terminology database it has developed is not indicative of its progress since then:

The image “https://i0.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/multilingualdatabase.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

I ask because lately I have gotten more involved in thinking about how to help improve the process of translating financial reporting and investor relations materials of various types. And do it relatively cheaply. See, for example,

Who does this sort of thing well, and how do they do it?

NYSE-Euronext, for one, it seems to me, from a quick inspection, does this sort of thing pretty well. I should write to them and ask them how they do it.

The principal risk to the Bank lies in not undertaking the investment to manage translation needs more effectively. Without an integrated quality assurance process, or guidelines and criteria to help staff make decisions on languages or translations, the Bank is not carrying out its responsibilities to communicate effectively with stakeholders and people affected by its work.

The consequences of mistranslations:

Continue reading

Rio: Looting of Beer Truck Leads to Reshuffle of Military Police Blogging Brigades

The image “https://i2.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/alvocorrup.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
GloboNews segment cites the blog of the officer in charge of internal affairs for the state military police of Rio: “The poorly paid Soldier who lacks decent working conditions becomes easy ‘prey’ for corrupters.”

The film invaded the streets, the TV networks, public debates, the newspapers, the magazines, and, worst of all, the mind of every Brazilian, fascinated with the “hero” who tortures and kills criminals and is a member of the finest urban combat unit in the world, the Special Operations Battalion (BOPE), a troop of “SOCIAL HEROES,” the pride of all of us military policemen and the State Military Police of Rio de Janeiro.To our mind, the soldier is a hero, especially in the impressionable minds of young people, so that destroying this reality is an antisocial crime, pardon my emphatic way of putting it. –Col. Paul on the film Tropa de Elite, which depicts police corruption and indiscriminate, off-the-reservation ultraviolence.

Cabral exonera comandante da PM e pune oficiais que lideraram manifestação: “Rio de Janeiro governor Sérgio Cabral fires commander of state military police (PM) and punishes senior officers who led protest.”

O Globo reports. The story was covered extensively — and excitedly — by GloboNews. On whose Web site I now cannot seem to find the story. Okay, here is the segment we saw.

But it is hard to get a read on the significance of the change in command other than that it is extremely significant, and that it comes in the wake of a “videoscandal” in which Rio PMs are shown helping themselves to cases of beer from a hijacked truckload.

Also shown was an incident in which PMs from a reputed “narcobattalion” celebrated their release from the disciplinary barracks by shooting off fireworks, dancing in the street, and driving off in luxury cars.

The image “https://i0.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/celebrate-1.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
The narcobattalion whoops up it upon receipt of “get out of jail free” card.

The reporter quotes the state public security secretary as saying (but does not show, for some reason) that he will change the command of every single military police battalion in the state. The word faxina (“clean sweep, spring cleaning”) got used several times.

I would venture to say that the key message here from the governor and his security secretary, as they were shown talking on the TV last evening, was that (1) current police leadership has no control over its subordinates and (2) insubordination to civilian authority will not (no longer) be tolerated.

That is to say: The dog seems to be insisting that the tail stop wagging it.

Also dismissed was PM internal affairs command Col. Paul. Continue reading

“A Rumbling Wrack and a Hell of an Engeneer”


If you are looking to sink some capital into Brazil’s Bovespa, you might be interested in taking a look at the following sector, from the “industrial classification” section of its Web site:

Construction and Engeneering

Also of interest:

Consultive Engeneering

Which I suppose might be something like “engineering consulting services,” depending on the classification system one consults. Brazil’s is the

Further research on the term is required.

See also

Continue reading

“The Kenya National Human Rights Commission Is Enaged in Moral Panic”: Officer Kiraithe

Kenya Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe Responds to KNHRC Preliminary Report on 454 Killings (Google Video):

News of executed corpses being dumped in wooded areas to be eaten by hyenas is a case of moral panic, Kenyan police spokesman tells KTN TV.

The Kenyan police are “highly professional civil servants” forming “value-added partnerships” to “improve the quality of life of Kenyans,” but are constrained from discussing national security matters.

Strikes me as sinister doublespeak. You?

See also

Continue reading

“Who Stopped the Heart of Jango Goulart?”

The image “https://i2.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/golpe1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Goulart foi morto a pedido do Brasil, diz ex-agente uruguaio: A former Uruguayan spy imprisoned in Brazil tells the Folha de S. Paulo that deposed former João Goulart, who died of a heart attack in 1976, was poisoned “at the request of the Brazilian government.”

In an operation financed by your tax dollars.

We saw quite a bit of dismissive commentary on the claim last evening, including a verdict of “sensationalist and implausible” from the commentator on TV Gazeta’s evening news program.

“Why would Gen. Geisel, who drove the process of democratization, consider Goulart a threat who needed eliminating in 1976?” the fellow asked, “rather than during the late 1960s, when he formed the Frente Ampla with Lacerda and Kubitschek to push for redemocratization?”

Which seems like a fair question — as long as we are speculating rather than fact-checking. But then again, as Mrs. NMMist pointed out, under AI-5, the chain of command came to be regarded as optional, and a lot of the hardline officer corps simply opted for the “if it feels good, do it” approach to military order and discipline. See also

Jango morreu envenenado, afirma Mario Neira Barreiro

Jango died of poisoning, says Mario Neira Barreiro.  

Sérgio Fleury teria dado a ordem para o assassinato

Sérgio Fleury supposedly gave the order for the assassination.

Presidente deposto teria dito aos agentes que sabia da espionagem: “Sei que estão me vigiando, mas não sou inimigo de vocês”

Former president said to have told agent he knew he was being spied on. “I know you are watching me, but I am not your enemy.”

Preso desde 2003 na Penitenciária de Alta Segurança de Charqueadas (RS), o ex-agente do serviço de inteligência do governo uruguaio Mario Neira Barreiro, 54, disse em entrevista exclusiva à Folha que espionou durante quatro anos o presidente João Goulart (1918-1976), o Jango, e que ele foi morto por envenenamento a pedido do governo brasileiro.

Imprisoned since 2003 in the maximum security penitentiary in Charqueadas, Rio Grande do Sul, the former Uruguayan intelligence again Mario Neira Barreiro, 54, said in an exclusive interview with the Folha that he spied for four years on former president Goulart, and that Jango was poisoned at the request of the Brazilian government. 

Continue reading

A Working Note on Words Slurred, Preferred and Absurd

The image “https://i2.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/workingterm.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Dinking around with Glossword, a simple Web-based terminology database organized according to pretty good multilingual terminology and thesaurus-authoring practices, such as those employed by IATE.

As far as translators are concerned, terminology is primarily an ad hoc affair, more a matter of filling in the blanks in their knowledge than systematically studying a constellation of terms in a given universe of discourse. –Robert Bonnono, “Terminology for Translators—an Implementation of ISO 12620”

That, in a nutshell, is the problem that consumes my time these days.

A client has asked me to review a fairly huge collection of glossaries related to business reporting.

I have to find a an effective (and diplomatic) way of communicating to this client that the ad hoc method of constructing and compiling these glossaries means that using them in practice is likely to produce an unacceptable level of failures to communicate.

It is, to use one of my favorite New World Lusophone words, a gambiarra — a kludge.

Kludge: patched solution; a makeshift combination of hardware and software put together to solve a computing problem that is effective but not suitable for manufacture.

Continue reading