Monday, 11 January 2016

crosslinguistic opposite homophones

A little thing that amused me.

We're just back from a four-night visit to Lisbon (highly recommended!), which gave me my first real taste of Portuguese. I knew that 'x' is pronounced like 'sh', so of course, when I saw this sign on a door...

...I pushed.

Reader, it means 'pull'.  'Push' is empurre.

(You can hear it pronounced here.)


  1. The link to pronunciation is not very accurate for someone taking your suggestion to visit Lisbon, it's a quite Brazilian one. The vowel at the end would be severely reduced in Portugal and the word would subsequently sound even more like "push".

  2. Thank for the tip! I'm finding that most online support for Portuguese relates to Brazilian Portuguese. But I suppose it would be better to speak Brazilian Portuguese in Portugal than to not speak Portuguese at all?