raw output

The curse of Galician-Portuguese words

By jacobo, on 2006-3-20 at 02:13, under General

Many Linux distributions suffer the curse of the Galician-Portuguese words. This means that many of such distributions have names which look or sound like (or are) Galician and/or Portuguese words.

For example, “Ubuntu” sounds, in Portuguese, like “O Ponto”, which means “The Point”. “Debian” means, in Galician, “They Should” or “They Owed”. “Centos” means “Hundreds” (and reminds Galician speakers of “Centolos”, “Spider Crabs”). “Fedora” looks like “Fedor”, which means “Stench”. “Nexenta” looks like the Galician word “Noxenta”, which means “Disgusting”.

AFAIK, “Red Hat”, “Slackware”, “Caldera OpenLinux”, “SuSE”, “Mandrake” (sorry, “Mandriva”) and “Yggdrasil” mean nothing in Galician or Portuguese, but I’m sure that, given enough beer, somebody will be able to think of something.

(As a speaker of Galician, I can offer my services as a naming consultant. My fees may look expensive, but think of the advantages of not having millions of Brazilians laugh at your distribution’s name!)


There are 5 comments for this post.

  1. Comment by Anonymous, on 2006-3-20 at 03:57 | permalink

    In portuguese:

    - “the point": “o pOnto”

    - “they should": “deViaM”

    - even though the word “centos” does indeed mean “hundreds", you’ll have a hard time finding someone that uses it on a day-to-day basis. The word “centenas” is much more common.

    And “Caldera” looks and sounds a lot like “caldeira", which is not surprising since they come from the same latin word.

    So I’m sorry, but I can’t recommend your services as a naming consultant. :-P

  2. Comment by Jacobo, on 2006-3-20 at 09:59 | permalink

    Anonymous: my defense is the “Galician” part :-)

  3. Comment by John Hughes, on 2006-3-21 at 10:59 | permalink

    What about poor old Hayao Miyazaki’s problem with spanish:

    Laputa - the castle in the sky

  4. Comment by Jacobo, on 2006-3-21 at 12:50 | permalink

    That was really of Jonathan Swift’s doing :-)

  5. Comment by stratus, on 2006-3-23 at 23:17 | permalink

    So, i comment about something you got wrong politely and then you hate me? heh, that’s the debian way you were approved! Don’t you want to be a DPL or our new troll master ? :P

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