Que Legal!

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Americans have an expression which describes something that is pleasing to the ear, sight or mind: how cool!

The Portuguese have a matching expression: que legal! (pronounced: keh lehgal).

In my home country, Guyana, people weren’t so fond of my last name, Carpen. Perhaps it’s not the most beautiful name in the book! And even I myself sometimes wished I could change at least one letter in that name.

However, in a different culture, with a different language, syllables and sounds can be interpreted differently.

When my Brazilian students asked me to pronounce my last name for them, their eyes lit up in amazement and they exclaimed “que bonito! que legal!” (How beautiful! How cool!)


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