Jovial Natal


Jovial Natal
Originally uploaded by viralbus

While I was waiting for the bus the other day, I spotted this Christmas tree in a shop window. It was full of cardboard baubles saying Merry Christmas in various languages.

However, one of them was odd, I thought: It said Jovial Natal, and that didn’t ring any bells. I checked it the next day, and Natal is definitely Portuguese, but the normal greeting in that language is Feliz Natal.

The word jovial does exist in Portuguese, however, so I wonder what’s happened here. Has somebody made their own translation, dictionary in hand? It doesn’t make sense, though, since jovial isn’t a conventional translation of merry. Or is it a rarely used alternative in Portuguese? A Google search doesn’t give many results, and they don’t look native to me. Or is it not Portuguese after all? It would have to be a very rare language, though, to not show up in Google searches.

Comments

  1. If you look in the CETEMPúblico-corpus (consisting of ‘cerca de 180 milhões de palavras extraídas do diário’, translation: 180 mio words newspaper text), you get the following message:

    “A expressão jovial natal não está correcta. Se quer mais de dois tokens, tem de os especificar entre aspas, por exemplo “de” “facto”… Tente de novo!”

    Translation: ‘stop mangling our beautiful language, you North-european dog, this phrase does not exist!’. But I think you are right that it is supposed to be Portuguese.

    /Søren

  2. Hey Big Tam,
    I’m worried about you ,, You haven’t blogged in nearly a week now ,, You getting a bit jumpy or something ? Anyone would think this is your 1st we’an ??
    Calm down and blog something ,, that’ll keep your mind off it ,,, and it may be the last time you get to blog for the next 5-years !!

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