Is disembarkation ok?

Only a few days ago, I got an email from a reader saying that TAM (or Infraero) employees should study English. Actually, the reader said that they should be reading Inglês na Ponta da Língua daily tips, so that they could learn English and avoid huge mistakes.

The reader said so based on the picture that you see below. The picture shows an airport information screen with the words “disembarkation started at 12:01“. Before I go on on this, see the picture for yourself and then keep reading.

For many people the word “disembarkation” sounds like an “embromation thing“. You know, when Brazilians don’t know the word in English they invent something crazy so as to kind of make their point. Anyway, in this case, some people believe that “disembarkation” is totally wrong and the person responsible for typing the information invented something totally non-English.

Well, I might say here that there’s absolutely nothing wrong there. That is, the whole thing is 100% right. The word “disembarkation” is a real English word. We can even find it in English language dictionaries. Actually, “disembarkation” is a derived word from the verb “disembark“, which means “get off a ship or airplane“. In the picture below you can see it as it appears in the Macmillan Online Dictionary.

So, the lesson is: We have to be careful before pointing out people’s mistake. The English language is so rich in vocabulary (lexis) that sometimes a word may not be a figment of someone’s “embromation“. By the way, read more on “embromationhere, a post I myself wrote last year for the Macmillan Dictionary Blog.

That’s all for now! Have a nice and woderful day! Oh, did you like this tip? So, leave your comment on out Facebook fanpage, join us and be part of the people who really want to be with Inglês na Ponta da Língua in 2012.

6 Comentários

  1. Let me give you more examples:Many a time = Many times.Adulation = flattery.PersonS = number of individuals.3 fish = fish is both sing and pl.Consultation = like in pt.Fiasco = like in pt.A Priori = like in pt.IncognitoNotorius Inauguration

  2. This is a comment from a native speaker of English. Disembarkation is a real word, but very awkward. In the US we say arrived, or at gate. It is obvious that when the plane is at gate, disembarkation has begun.

  3. Causa uma certa estranheza, mesmo. Muito mais por nossa falta de conhecimento de quantas palavras a língua inglesa 'pegou' do latim… Parece algo bom demais para ser verdade.Tive a mesma sensação quando li pela primeira vez a palavra conversate… achei que era embromation puro e simples e o fato é que não é!

  4. Hello Adam, how ya doing?I totally agree with you. However the point I was trying to make on the post is not "usage", but the fact that the word does exist in English. So, before people think less of a company or a person they should check first. Anyway, "disembarkation" is a real word, so no need to joke about it. Now if the issue is on usage, then we can say exactly what you mentioned. It's a word, but it's not commonly used.Thanks for dropping by and leaving your words.Take care!

  5. Ontem estava chegando a sao paulo e vi a palavra e comentei com um amigo que estava errada… Qual foi meu susto quando fui no Google e encontrei kkkk parece engraçado mas existe…. Virou comentário … Abracos

  6. O que realmente me fez pensar que era uma palavra errada era o uso do “K”, ficou totalmente estranho

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