O fardo da formiga

O fardo da formiga (title in Portuguese) is a novel loosely based on a true story that occurred in 2001 in Reggio Calabria. Written by Demetrio Verbaro, the book tells us about a young man, Carlo Fante, whose life was marked by a tragic event when he was only a kid. Carlo, now thirty years old, married, and father of a four-year-old son, is hired as a gardener at the San Gregorio psychiatric institute. There he meets Filippo, Mimì, Bart, and Vera, and a true friendship is born among them. Each one, though, has a heavy ache in their heart, resulting from past mistakes they carry on their shoulders as a burden like the ants do every day in their lives.

Filippo is overwhelmed by his burden while Bart and Mimì managed to free themselves, live and reintegrate into society. Carlo falls in love with Vera and faces a difficult choice: the love for his family or the passion for a fascinating woman. He takes this doubt with him until the last chapter of the book which has an unpredictable ending. Demetrio Verbaro was born in Reggio Calabria in 1981. Being used to the wonderful natural landscape in that Southern Italian region, he let his passion for nature show up in his book, contrasting a grayscale of pain and affliction, experienced by the characters, with the colorful Calabrian scenarios, meticulously described by him. O fardo da formiga (The burden of the ant in free English translation) tells us about friendship, acceptance, understanding, loyalty, overcoming, and love. It’s a story full of empathy and twists.

Originally written in Italian (Il carico della formica), the book was already translated into Portuguese, French, and Spanish. The Portuguese edition is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.com.br, and Amazon.it in Kindle edition format and paperback.


Source language – Italian

“Carlo ripensò alle ultime parole pronunciate da suo nonno materno, poco prima di morire: “Ho vissuto come una formica: su e giù dal campo al formicaio e viceversa, a testa bassa, sotto il peso di un enorme chicco di grano. La mia mente non è stata nemmeno sfiorata dall’idea che potessi scuotermi dalle spalle quel peso, quell’ opprimente carico che mi impediva persino di alzare gli occhi al cielo, ed andarmene semplicemente via. Ero una formica operaia che sognava di abbondonare la colonia, inoltrarsi nel bosco e scoprire la vita. Ma non l’ho mai fatto!!! Questo è il mio lascito per te, un semplice consiglio: non seguire il mio esempio! Tutti gli esseri umani portano un carico sulle spalle, scopri il tuo e liberatene subito! Vattene daReggio Calabria, gira il mondo, insegui i tuoi desideri. Promettimelo!” Carlo aveva solo nove anni, non aveva capito niente di quello che suo nonno gli aveva detto, non capiva nemmeno che fosse in fin di vita, anzi la stessa morte, per lui, era un concetto ignoto. Capiva, però, che quel vecchio di fronte a lui stava soffrendo. Mosso a compassione, gli baciò la mano rugosa, tempestata di macchie nere, sussurrandogli: “ Va bene, nonnino, seguirò il tuo consiglio. Te lo prometto!”

Target language – Portuguese

“Carlo se lembrou das últimas palavras pronunciadas pelo seu avô materno pouco antes de morrer: “Eu vivi como uma formiga: pra cima e pra baixo, do campo para o formigueiro e vice-versa, com a cabeça baixa, sob o peso de um enorme grão de trigo. Nem sequer passou pela minha cabeça que eu pudesse sacudir aquele pesado fardo dos meus ombros, aquele fardo esmagador que me impedia de olhar para o céu, e simplesmente ir embora. Eu era uma formiga operária que sonhava abandonar a colônia, ir mato adentro e descobrir a vida. Mas nunca fui!!! Este é o meu legado pra você, um conselho simples: não siga o meu exemplo! Todos os seres humanos carregam um fardo sobre os ombros, conheça o seu e livre-se dele o quanto antes! Vá embora de Régio da Calábria, gire pelo mundo, vá atrás de seus sonhos. Você me promete!” Carlo tinha apenas nove anos, não compreendia as palavras do avô, nem sequer entendia que ele estava morrendo; de fato, a morte para ele ainda era um conceito desconhecido. Ele compreendeu, porém, que aquele velho ali diante dele estava sofrendo. Movido pela compaixão, beijou sua mão enrugada, cravejada de manchas escuras, e disse baixinho: “Tudo bem, vovô, vou seguir seu conselho. Prometo!”

  Purchase “O fardo da formiga” from Amazon.com


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“Angels in the sky speak Italian.” (Thomas Mann)

Dante in Paradiso - Divina Commedia

«But sir, what are you asking me? I’m truly in love with this beautiful language, the most beautiful in the world. I just need to open my mouth and unintentionally it becomes the source of all the harmony of this celestial tongue. Yes, dear sir, for me there is no doubt that angels in the sky speak Italian. Impossible to imagine that these blessed creatures use a less musical language.”

This is a true statement of love for the Italian language. Thomas Mann, Nobel Prize laureate in Literature in 1929, made the protagonist of his novel, “Confessions of Felix Krull, give this answer to a hotel manager who asked him if he knew Italian. Mann, born in Germany, beyond this fascinating confession has gifted us with works such as “Death in Venice, which later originated an award-winning film.

So, if it is the language of the angels, I bet it is also the official language in the sky, don’t you think? I’m not surprised Italian crossed to the sky and even went abroad as the most romantic, sweet, melodic, harmonious, and seductive of all languages. Everyone knows that beauty is subjective and that a language is not more beautiful than another, but in the case of Italian, how can we explain the fact that so many people share the same feeling? It’s true that famous linguists and many of us modest words ‘laborers’ have carried out many studies trying to explain all of this, but I have the intuition that surely the angels will someday explain it better. (Photo: Dante Alighieri in Heaven vy Gustavo Doré 1832-1833 – Gustave DoréPublic domain Mark 1.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Italian was born from Dante’s poetry

      Dante and his poem, fresco by Domenico di Michelino in the                   Cathedral of Florence (1465)  [Domenico di MichelinoPublic                 domain Mark 1.0, via Wikimedia Common] 

In the past, Italy was a babel of dialects most of them derived from Latin. The division in fiefdoms frequently warring with each other also set up the fragmentation of the language. The inhabitants of the peninsula in the many regions spoke local dialects, incomprehensible to each other. As the Unification of Italy became a reality in 1861, a concern about the language came up. Italian intellectuals gathered and chose Florence’s dialect as Italy’s official language. “They had to reach back in time two-hundred years to find the most beautiful dialect and have decided by the personal language of the great Florentine poet Dante Alighieri”, says the American writer Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-seller “Eat, Pray, Love. Therefore, Italian as a language was born from Dante’s poetry.

When the “Divine Comedy” was released, in 1321, Dante sparked a reaction in the world of letters by not writing it in Latin. To tell his journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, he looked to the streets for the true Florentine dialect, spoken by the people. “The language that we speak today is basically Dante. No other European language has a lineage so artistic”, highlights Gilbert. She adds that everyone who knows modern Italian can easily understand the Italian written by Dante: “In the last line of the Divine Comedy, in which Dante meets the vision of God himself, he writes that God is not just a dazzling image of glorious light, but first of all, he is l’amor che muove il sole e l’altre stelle… (the love which moves the sun and the other stars…).”

The fourth most studied language in the world

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In 1861 only 2,5% of people in Italy spoke Italian correctly; another 10% could understand it even though they did not speak it. In the 1950s, Italian still lost against the dialects: 18% of Italians communicated in the official language, another 18% did it alternating between the two while 64% still spoke only the local dialects. It became the main language only about 60 years ago with literacy in the schools and the advent of television. According to the 2015 statistical data by ISTAT-National Institute of Statistics, 45,9% of the population speaks primarily in Italian, 32,2% in both Italian and dialect, and 14% predominantly in dialects (6,9% speaks other languages and are characterized by immigrants).

Currently, Italian is the fourth most studied language in the world. This news, published exhaustively by Italian newspapers and blogs, was broken by “Ethnologue: Languages of the World“, a SIL International publication in print and online. The first three are English, Spanish and Mandarin, respectively. So, Dante’s language overcomes French and German, among others. In the ranking by number of speakers, English keeps the leadership, Portuguese appears in 10th, and Italian occupies the 21st place.

There are probably several reasons why Italian is the fourth most studied language in the world and certainly among the most important ones is the Italian culture. I believe that spoken Italian musicality impacts a lot and also the food. Some

time ago I read an article in an Italian newspaper in which an Italian teacher said something along the lines of: “Perhaps, many foreigners feel motivated to learn our vocabulary only to read our divine recipes”.

From the beginning of my university studies in Brazil, I enrolled myself in an Italian course. The main motivations were my familiar roots, the bonds with the culture, and the appealing songs, but not only. The beauty of the words, the literature, cinema, history, art, food, the crave of visiting Italy someday, and the feelings experienced by the language. All of these made Italian my second language. Later in life, I felt the need to learn English, and if today I’m proud of having Portuguese as my mother tongue which I love, Italian for me became the language of pleasure.

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Spoken in heaven and abroad

Again, it is Elizabeth Gilbert who explains to us the Italian language’s power of seduction. “The interesting thing about my Italian class is that nobody really needs to be there. There are twelve of us studying together, of all ages, from all over the world, and everybody has come to Rome for the same reason—to study Italian just because they feel like it. (…) Everybody, even the uptight German engineer, shares what I thought was my own personal motive: we all want to speak Italian because we love the way it makes us feel. A sad-faced Russian woman tells us she’s treating herself to Italian lessons because ‘I think I deserve something beautiful“.

After having made us cross Hell, go through Purgatory, and reach Paradise where the angels possibly learned to speak Italian, the language of Dante’s Divine Comedy overcame not only the barriers within the Italic peninsula but went beyond the borders and conquered new and incurable enthusiasts. Not even in the neighboring lands, it stopped as it slowly showed itself irresistible to those living in the Americas and now too in the Asiatic world. The latest news comes from Elaph, the first independent Arabic newspaper online that states: “Italian is the most beautiful language.

This conclusion is the result of a personal analysis by journalist Sarah al-Shamali about the most known languages. In her analysis, Sarah al-Shamali took into consideration English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Hebrew. Arabic and Chinese, among others. The Elaph’s journalist evaluated the sonority, structure, versatility, and use of the languages concluding that Italian is by far the most beautiful. According to her, Italian is the best language due to its strong expressiveness and eloquence. In addition, the romantic tone and the gestures used by Italians give it a more human dimension”. The news was published by ArabPress and has a link to the original release.

So, based on Elaph’s article and the Italian teacher’s words we can conclude that whether by Dante’s Divine Comedy or by the divine recipes of the Italian cuisine, the fact is that Dante’s language seduces. This reminds me of a book which I studied called “L’italiano, una lingua maliarda (Italian, a bewitching language), by Romolo Traiano, published by Centro Studi Ca’Romana, in 1987. Well, Traiano already knew at that time that Italian is a seductive language.

The Italian language in Brazil

During the most intensive period of Italian migration, between 1875 and 1935, one million and a half Italians arrived in Brazil. Among them, more than half were from Veneto, as were my great-grandparents Valentino Fasolato ed Elvira Pressato, and spoke a Venetian dialect that aligned with Portuguese. Then, it happened that during World War II, Brazil’s president, Getúlio Vargas, prohibited the spoken and written use of the Italian language in Brazil closing all its schools. The prohibition caused the Italians and their descendants to communicate with each other using a mixture of Venetian and Portuguese which allowed the birth of a new language: Talian. Also known as ‘Brazilian Veneto’, in 2014 it was officially recognized as a language and became part of Brazil’s historic and cultural heritage. Ma cos’elo sto Talian? (But what is this Talian about?) Well, we will talk about this in another post.

Antonio Prado (RS) cidade italiana

Antônio Prado (RS) one of the most important Italian cities in Brazil – Gateway by Marinelson Almeida – Flickr Attribution CC BY 2.0


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O tradutor insubstituível

tradutor insubstituivel book

A book by translators for translator. O Tradutor Insubstituível (title in Portuguese) has just arrived to conquer Portuguese readers. Written by Marco Cevoli, it shows the importance of specialization to translation professionals. It also teaches how to present effectively to stand out in the marketplace and become unique… irreplaceable. Cevoli is specialized in the technical field and started his career as a translator in 1997. After having worked in companies and translation agencies, he founded in 2008 the Qabiria Studio, a translation and localization agency in Spain. At Qabiria, he provides consulting and training services for translators, as well as translating from Spanish, English, and Germany to Italian.

O Tradutor Insubstituível is the result of a series of webinars led by STL Formazione. Thus, it gives advice and shows strategies that will help a professional to build a successful career. In its more than 100 pages, it brings together practical solutions for those who seek their uniqueness. The topics range from how to fulfill the dream to build your own brand, write a CV that stands out, create an online portfolio, and even a video presentation on how to use QR codes and brochures to promote yourself. Furthermore, each of all seven chapters is concluded by an interview with qualified professionals. They talk about their experience and prove to be true guides for the newbie or for those who want to boost their career.

Originally written in Italian, Il Traduttore Insostituibile, the book was published in 2017 and has now been released in Portuguese. So, if you are determined to be an irreplaceable translator, you can pick up the e-book by clicking this link. Soon the paperback version will be available on Amazon.

Good reading and happy translating! 


Source language – Italian

“Si tratta di un percorso non facile, che costringerà il lettore ad analizzarsi a fondo, ma che porterà benefici concreti alla sua reputazione e alla sua attività. L’obiettivo finale è che i clienti scelgano proprio noi, perché siamo unici, perché offriamo un servizio diverso da quello offerto da tutti gli altri, perché lo offriamo in un modo diverso, in modo migliore, con maggiori garanzie, perché trasmettiamo fiducia, professionalità, sicurezza, perché risolviamo problemi anziché porne di nuovi. In una parola, perché siamo insostituibili.”

Target language – Portuguese

“Não se trata de um percurso fácil, o leitor será forçado a fazer uma análise minuciosa, mas que trará benefícios concretos para sua reputação e seus negócios. O objetivo final é que os clientes nos escolham, porque somos únicos; porque oferecemos um serviço diverso daquele oferecido por todos os outros, de uma forma diferente, melhor, com maiores garantias; porque transmitimos confiança, profissionalismo, segurança; porque ao invés de criar novos problemas, nós os resolvemos. Em uma única palavra, porque somos insubstituíveis.”

                                      Purchase “O Tradutor Insubstituível”


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O meu gato odeia Schrödinger

I’ ve shown the content to my friends, relatives, parents, cats and I tell you, it was frenetic (especially when it comes to the cat)”. O meu gato odeia Schrödinger (title in Portuguese) is a not so serious but deep introduction to the principles of quantum physics, as defined by the author, Luca Montemagno. Inspired by his cat, he explains in a funny way how quantum physics and the universe work. Montemagno is an engineer, lives in Naples, Italy, and has been working in information technology for more than 15 years.

After explaining why his cat hates Schrödinger (certainly, all kitties do), Montemagno introduces us to several basic concepts of quantum physics. Among the terms addressed we have classical and quantum physics, space-time, relativity, Big Bang, Universe, Multiverse, and Black Holes. In addition, he describes the String and Everything Theories, the Schrödinger Equation, and a universe of other subjects. All of them are explained in order to arouse curiosity and interest in further exploration.

Originally written in Italian and published in 2015, “Il mio gatto odia Schrödinger” soon reached the top position at Amazon.it in the Physics category, becoming a best-seller. Besides the Italian edition, the book was already translated into Portuguese and English (My cat hates Schrödinger). The Portuguese edition is available from Amazon.com.br, Amazon.com, and Amazon.it in kindle format. Well, at this point it should be better to follow the author’s recommendations: “That’s enough for now. We’ve already spent too much time chatting. Science awaits us, I’ll see you on the other side of the mirror.“ Have a good reading!


…but not before to confess to you that translating “O meu gato odeia Schrödinger” to Portuguese was frenetic! 



Source language – Italian

“Ed ecco quindi profilarsi davanti ai nostri occhi il famoso esperimento felino. Ve lo spiego con calma.
Dinanzi a voi avete una scatola perfettamente isolata dall’esterno:

– prendete un gatto (consenziente ed a cui avete fatto firmare apposita liberatoria legale)
– un atomo radioattivo
– una lattina di materiale radioattivo.

Mi raccomando di non confondere le tre cose: prendere un gatto radioattivo, una lattina di atomi di gatti fluorescenti, o del materiale scritto da gatti consenzienti non darebbe lo stesso risultato.
Chiudete la scatola e mettetela da parte (pregando che il gatto non tenti di vendicarsi).

Il punto è che l’atomo decadrà, ipotizziamo entro un giorno, ed in quel momento verrà attivato un dispositivo che farà aprire la lattina, la quale di conseguenza farà morire il gatto a causa dei gas tossici emessi (ecco il motivo della liberatoria).

SCIENTIFICAMENTE: un attimo prima dell’apertura, lo stato che descrive il sistema totale della scatola (atomo più lattina più gatto) sarà con probabilità del cinquanta per cento nella configurazione:

Gatto vivo – atomo integro
Gatto morto – atomo disintegrato

Abbastanza chiaro finora. O no?

Ciò che potrebbe però spiazzarvi è che la meccanica quantistica, dice che il gatto si troverà in una condizione stranissima: né VIVO, né MORTO.

A me sta cosa mi spiazza. È affascinante.

Il gatto è in uno stato INCAZZATO sì, ma INDEFINITO.


Target language – Portuguese

“E eis que aparece diante dos nossos olhos o famoso experimento felino. Explico com calma para você. 
Na sua frente tem uma caixa completamente isolada do ambiente externo:

– pegue um gato (voluntário e ao qual você fez assinar uma declaração de consentimento)
– um átomo radioativo
– uma latinha de material radioativo.

Recomendo não confundir essas três coisas: pegar um gato radioativo, uma latinha de átomos de gatos fluorescentes, ou material escrito por gatos voluntários não daria o mesmo resultado. 
Lacre a caixa e deixe-a de lado (rezando para que o gato não tente se vingar).

A questão é que o átomo decairá, digamos dentro de um dia, e naquele instante será ativado um dispositivo que abrirá a latinha e, como consequência, matará o gato devido aos gases tóxicos emitidos (aqui está a razão do consentimento).

CIENTIFICAMENTE: um instante antes da abertura, o estado que descreve o sistema completo da caixa (átomo mais latinha mais gato) apresenta 50% de probabilidade na seguinte configuração:

Gato vivo – átomo íntegro
Gato morto – átomo decaído

Até aqui está claro o suficiente. Ou não?

O que poderia desorientá-lo, no entanto, é que a mecânica quântica diz que o gato se encontrará em uma condição “estranhíssima”: nem VIVO, nem MORTO.

A mim isto desestabiliza. É fascinante.

O gato está em um estado EMPUTECIDO sim, mas INDEFINIDO.

Nem VIVO, nem MORTO.”

     Purchase “O meu gato odeia Schrodinger” from Amazon.com


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O homem das pipas

O homem das pipas (title in Portuguese) tells the tale of a    sensitive teenager who meets an old, solitary, wise fisherman.  Luis, the old man, lives on a deserted beach. He is socially rejected, feared, and laughed at due to the way he lives. But to him, what people think is not important. His amusement is flying the kites he builds. Isaac, the boy, is eager to understand life. Every day he asks himself existential questions and tries hard to understand people’s behavior. Thus, told by Erik Minghini, a magical encounter occurs.

The author claims to live a permanent dualism between science and spirituality. He works as a chemist and has been practicing yoga for several years. O homem das pipas is his first novel. In the book’s foreword, Minghini writes: “if by reading this story someone finds some point of reflection (of agreement or disagreement) I’ll be happy. I believe that activating the mind and questioning yourself is a good way of living.” He believes in life and in the growth of people making it clear through the values shown in his work.

The book was originally written in Italian (L’uomo degli aquiloni) and was already translated into Portuguese, Spanish and French. The Portuguese edition is available in Kindle format from Amazon.com.br, Amazon.com e Amazon.it. O homem das pipas is a timeless story. A book to be read at any ago.


Source language – Italian

— Non ce la faccio… vorrei essere sempre felice ma a volte non ci riesco.

— Non devi cercare di essere sempre felice… se insegui la felicità non riuscirai mai a godertela appieno.

— Tu dici?

— Certo! Non sai quella storiella del gattino che si rincorre la coda credendo che sia la felicità. Con più la rincorre, con più quella gli scappa. Se lui invece non la insegue, sarà la coda che gli starà sempre appresso. È così perché la felicità è dentro di noi. Non cercarla, vivila. Non inseguire la felicità: vivi e la felicità sarà il tuo premio.


Target language – Portuguese

— Não consigo… eu queria estar sempre feliz, mas às vezes não posso.

— Você não deve tentar ser feliz sempre… se você vai atrás da felicidade jamais conseguirá desfrutá-la ao máximo.

— Você acha?

— Claro! Você não conhece aquela história do gatinho que corre atrás do rabo acreditando ser a felicidade? Mais ele persegue o rabo, mais o rabo lhe escapa. Se, ao invés, ele não o perseguisse, o rabo estaria sempre ao seu alcance. É assim, a felicidade está dentro de nós. Não deve procurá-la, mas vivê-la. Não corra atrás da felicidade: viva e a felicidade será o seu prêmio.


  Purchase “O homem das pipas” from Amazon.com


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