Surviving Rio: A Few Portuguese Words All Swimmers Should Know

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By Christian Hanselmann

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, July 10. AS the FIFA World Cup comes to an end, the anticipation builds for the 2016 Olympics taking place in Brazil. While the host country is obviously one of the most football crazed nations in the world, this does not mean that Brazilians dislike other sports. Actually, quite the opposite is true; I would be preaching to the choir in stating that Brazil is home to many talented swimmers.

In preparation for these Olympics, I will regularly post an article about some aspect of swimming and teach some Portuguese words to go along with it. I spent two years in Brazil on my mission, and was able to become fluent in the language.

Keep in mind, this is not conversational Portuguese; this is Portuguese to survive a swim meet. At the end, I will include a paragraph in Portugues and highlight a couple of keywords (I’ll also provide a translation and phonetic pronunciation.)

Daqui a dois anos, as olimpíadas vao comecar em Rio de Janeiro. Uma das esportes que muitas pessoas esperam ver ansiosamente e a natacao. Porem, muitas das pessoas que gostam de assistir as nadadores atravessar a piscina nao entendem tudo o que as nadadores fizeram e fazem para estar la. Espero que eu possa explicar um pouco mais sobre o treinamento e o que mais as nadadores fazem por anos antes da competicao.

In 2 years, the Olympics will start in Rio de Janeiro. One of the sports that many people look forward to the most is swimming. However, many of the people that like to watch the swimmers cross the pool don’t understand all that the swimmers did and do to be there. I hope that I can explain a little more about the training and what else the swimmers do for years before the competition.

As Olimpíadas (The Olympics) [Oh-leem-PEE-ah-das]
A natação (The swimming) [Nah-tahs-oww]
A nadador (The swimmer) [Nah-dah-door]
A piscina (The pool) [Pee-seen-ah]
Touca de natação (Swim cap) [Tow-cah G Nah-tahs-oww]
Óculos de natação (Goggles) [OH-ku-los G Nah-tahs-oww]

Christian Hanselmann swam for three years with the Brigham Young Cougars, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Sports Psychology. He also served two years as a missionary in Brazil and is fluent in Portuguese.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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