Wednesday, February 5, 2014


When you "realize" something, you "perceive" it… almost like a revelation. It could be a "Eureka" moment, where you suddenly become aware of something. This false cognate in Spanish and Portuguese would be to achieve/ reach/ accomplish in English. 

1.      Do you know the story of how Archimedes jumped out of the bathtub naked and shouted, "Eureka! Eureka!"? Do you know what he had realized at that moment?

2.      Have you ever woken up, gotten ready and started to head out the door, and then suddenly realized that it was not a work day, and that you could have stayed in bed?

3.      I didn't realize that "Nossa!" (in Portuguese) was an abbreviation for "Nossa Senhora!", the equivalent of saying, "Oh my God!" Is there anything in English that you have just realized?

4.      I don't think the people of North Korea realize that there is a world full of technology out there. They are basically living in a bubble, isolated from the rest of the world.

5.      In the book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Steven Covey says that many people work hard and climb the ladder of “success” very efficiently and productively... But he goes on to say that once they reach the top of that ladder, many people realize they've been climbing the wrong ladder - that it was leaning against the wrong wall. Are you climbing the right ladder?

6.      It is the same story the world over; when we chase after success and wealth, and we finally achieve what we want - when we reach our dreams and goals - there is the inevitable realization that these riches, in themselves, do not make us happy.

7.      Is it possible that really, really bad people sometimes don't realize how bad they are? Do you think Hitler realized how bad he was?

8.      Have you ever seen someone walking around with their zip down? The chances are, they didn’t realize it. When some teenagers wear loose, baggy jeans, you can see their underwear sticking out… Most of the time that is on purpose. They are totally aware of it.


  1. I"ve always confused realizing and notice. From what I understand in your explanation, realize is a perception whereas notice is more a physical observation. Have I got it right?

  2. Exactly Sergio! I'm glad you noticed this and gave us this observation. I explained it like that once to a student of mine who challenged me with that question. Realize could be: "se dar conta" or "perceber".