October 13, 2013 | Review Period
A Question About Beer
It is a lazy Sunday afternoon with my books, and a theoretical question about alcohol containers has arisen.
Sundays are bewildering, as are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, because so many choices are involved.
I Struggled Between These This Morning
Like: Italian or Portuguese or French? Then: book or audio lesson or flashcards? Then: which book, audio lesson, or flashcards?
This is not an actual complaint. I love this stuff, and I love choice. But I confess I am once again succumbing to an intoxicated delirium state that involves my flitting around from book to book in a very undisciplined way. My head is spinning, and the centrifugal force is causing words to fly from my brain.
At this particular sunny moment on a New York Sunday afternoon, I am working through a book labeled as intermediate in the Living Language series for Portuguese. It is not in fact intermediate; it is still rather beginning, in my opinion. However, label levels do not affect my enjoyment.
I am posting just now because in this book I have come across a translation for beer bottle that is inspiring skepticism in me. In case a native Portuguese speaker strolls by, here is a question for you: does a garrafa de cerveja really translate properly into English as “beer bottle”? Or should it instead be “a bottle of beer”?
A Bottle of Beer
A Beer Bottle
If someone ordered a beer bottle at a Manhattan bar, they might get an odd look, plenty of glass, and very little beer. It is a funny thought.
I do see that neighboring examples in my Portuguese book are frasco de xampu (offered up as “shampoo bottle”) and xícara de café (translated as “coffee cup”), which pattern is leading me to suspect that my beer portraits have been for naught.
But still, I will leave the question resting here on a bench for passers-by.