MV Times announces ‘O Tempo’

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Maurício Clemente, or Mau Mau, will perform at The Loft in Oak Bluffs on Sunday as part of what organizers are calling "Carnival Hangover." —Courtesy Mauricio Clemente/Mau Mau

This week we are starting a translation service into Portuguese for our readers from the growing Brazilian community, making The Martha’s Vineyard Times the first news organization on the Island to serve the community in this way. 

Our new Brazilian edition will be available online and we are calling it “O Tempo,” or “The Times” in Portuguese, which is the national language of Brazil. We will also be offering a translation capacity for other languages, such as Spanish and Serbian, for the increasingly diverse community that makes up the Island. 

“We need to reach out to the Brazilian community and invite them to be a part of our coverage of issues that directly impact their lives, such as education and housing and climate change,” said The Times’ publisher Charles M. Sennott. 

“We also want to celebrate this vibrant Brazilian community and its culture,” Sennott added. 

The translation can be found on the website, mvtimes.com, by clicking on any article page and looking for a small icon of an American flag and “EN,” for English. Click on that button and there is a small Brazilian flag with an option for drop down menu for Portuguese, and nine other languages. The translation is a service of GTranslate, which is powered by AI, or artificial intelligence. 

The service is far from perfect. We will be looking to you, our readers, for feedback on the translations and how we can make them better. It is clear that AI can be a big part of the future of how newspapers serve their communities, but we believe that is only true if the efforts are driven by human beings who live in the community.

What is clear is that a larger and larger percentage of our community is Brazilian, and we want to serve this part of the Island and open up a dialogue. So how did the Brazilian community start coming to Martha’s Vineyard? Over the last four decades, Brazilians developed a pipeline of immigration that was built upon an earlier wave of Portuguese immigrants that arrived in the 18th and 19th century through the whaling industry and on fishing boats. The Portuguese settled on Cape Cod, bringing with them their language and culture. 

Brazilian immigrants have followed in that wake. Brazilians now represent an estimated 20 percent of the Island’s year-round residents, or about 4,000 people. In the schools, a recent survey revealed that more than 30 percent of the students are enrolled in English Language Learning, with the vast majority of them hailing from Brazilian families where Portuguese is spoken in the home.

Too often the Brazilian community has existed largely out of view and has mostly been seen laboring as landscapers, carpenters, and cleaners. But there are also thriving business entrepreneurs and a whole network of professionals in this community. And there is a culture of music, food, and dance that is thriving, as the Times’ shares in the Community section this week. The hope is that the translation service will open a dialogue across the Island so we can all learn more from each other.

“The translation will be great for the Brazilian community. News is everything. If you know what’s happening you can speak up for your people,” said Meiroka Nunes, who runs a cleaning service but also manages a Facebook group called “Brazukada,” which is a lifeline of communication for the Island’s Brazilian community with 11,000 active members. 

Nunes added, “It will be good for Brazilians to get involved with American culture because they don’t know what’s going on and this is important because people will educate themselves. And information is power. If you have good information you know where to go, what to do to solve a problem.”

43 COMMENTS

  1. Granted, this is a very thoughtful gesture on behalf of the publisher and I hope as much as anyone that populations whose language is not preferably English come to know MV Times and its solid coverage, most especially our Brazilian community —you have to put in a good faith effort! This said, I am not holding my breath. While I value and welcome our Brazilian community humbly and deeply, over the generations they have been here very few have elected to participate in town and island government, in cultural activities, fairs, religious unity, etc. It is only fair to acknowledge this reality and it is unfair to blame ourselves for another’s lack of effort, for inclusiveness has always been available to all on this beautiful island. To need a welcoming and helping hand, well, when we look around and decide to participate, it is not because of culture and language, but because of community. The publisher is to be applauded, but I doubt anything will change. It’s very segregated here by choice, even by supermarkets—something the publisher was superlative at using to contribute to the community as a leader.

    • I should clarify that very clearly in the more distant past of several decades past and longer, this island was not always welcoming, certainly not to Jewish residents, for example, in some types of clubs and neighborhoods. But this is not the present reality and I am referring to recent decades. The island has never been a perfect place to live, but since at least the 1980s it has basically been welcoming to anyone who came…who could pay became the real decisive factor!

      • You are incorrect about the island being welcoming to all groups since the 80s, despite the arrogance of your comment. Denial of reality doesn’t make it any less real.

      • Exactly. This has been an issue with me for some time now the Brazilian community here for the most part to make money and send back to Brazil. They come here with a 10 year plan make as much as they can and then leave. How often do you see, any of these Brazilian companies donating to our local charities. Walk into any of the jobs where the Brazilians are working, and most of them do not even try to learn English maybe one person on the crew can translate. That is not trying to become an American. Seldom, do they even try to teach English to their own children and put the burden on the school systems. This is an overall problem with American society catering to every ethnic group that’s out there and why when you get a form from the government it comes in 10 different languages. The American taxpayer pays for all of this, and most of these international workers do not even pay taxes.

        • Bob, your statement that, “most of these international workers do not even pay taxes” is untrue. If they buy gas they pay taxes. If they shop in stores they pay taxes.

        • Bob, why should they speak English?
          Why would they want to become Americans?
          They are doing jobs Americans will not do.
          North American society has accepted non English speaking immigrants for over 600 years.
          Which Island citizens are employing these international workers without sending the required withholding to the government? Those people are criminals. And the people who cash, and pay less than minimum wage.

          How do you know that do not contribute to charities? The same way we know that you do?

      • You should clarify that very clearly in the more distant past of several decades past and longer, this island was not always welcoming, certainly not Portuguese residents, for example, in some types of clubs and neighborhoods.
        The current reality is that some of the descendants of our Portuguese population are not welcoming to our Portuguese speaking Brazilians.

  2. This is great! I have been taking Portuguese classes at ACEMV with Mari. Another way to practice my Portuguese that I am trying to learn in her wonderful classes. Muito bem!

  3. All you are doing is enabling. This gesture will have the opposite effect from people improving their English language skills.

  4. I’m sure in Brazil they have small local papers in English to make sure all the ex pats feel right at home. Keep bending over backwards for inclusion until English is the second language on island. Seeing it in the schools now seeing it our local media. Enough.

    • I don’t know if it’ll be like this, but it’s simply an opinion and not a “racist” one like some might claim in order to shut down conversation. Like I said in my comment, it is a well-meaning approach by a big-hearted publisher, but it misses the key picture: in order to be a part of a community you have to participate, whether it be in government, culture, religion, etc. There is a huge lack of participation and it is not based on language skills nor on openness to participating. Why sugar-coat that?

      • So, immigrants on the island don’t get to celebrate their culture, food, or religion because it keeps them from assimilating to the behaviors and lifestyle you wish to impose on them? Sounds kinda Nazi-ish, if you ask me. It’s a good thing you haven’t asked me, because I’d tell you.

        The ethnic food aisles in the larger markets leave much to be desired. Loved the Brazilian market! And they delivered during the pandemic. When I used to shop at Cronigs, for Passover they’d have a special display for their Jewish customers which didn’t do much if you were looking for kosher-for-Passover foods, but the Chanukah and yahrzeit candles were there for your shopping pleasure, just in case. White bread America doesn’t care about other cultures. It makes no distinction at all between kosher, kosher-for-Passover, and Jewish-seeming food.

        Brazilian neighbors should be celebrated and appreciated for making the island better. My grandmother, an immigrant who never learned to speak English in her 50 years in America, has descendants who range from a Broadway musical composer to a math genius college professor. There was only one pothead out of dozens. That’s pretty good for someone who never assimilated to white bread ways.

        How many news organizations are there on the island? I’m aware of two. Why would the other news org provide this translation service of news and events if the Times is doing it?

        • Again you have failed to see the point. We get it, you are Jewish and don’t like white people. Period. Your rants are racists and offensive. The issue here is language and the inability to communicate. They cannot understand when you are speaking to them in English and it creates problems on jobsites and hospitals. English is not an easy language to learn but you have to try. This is not Brazil where Portuguese is spoken 24-7. Again, so you understand, this is about language and not “white bread ways” . Very poor choice of words. Oh and by the way… what is wrong with being a pot head? A bit judgmental. Stick with what you know and keep your racist opinions in NY. Happy you are there and not here.

          • Mayna, the racism I see here is coming from someone accusing someone else of “hating white people.” Aside from the fact that from the intersectionalist, colonial-settler perspective, Jews are most certainly considered white, and therefore the oppressors, as well as on the US census, you say English is a difficult language to learn: I have never heard that from anyone who learned it–it is a very easy language to master the basics of, with a lot of weird exceptions, but the basics of how to say and understand the most ordinary of sentences, including verbs like “to go” “to work” “to learn” “to be” and a dozen more are mostly all you need on a basic level in *any* language. It does take effort, but there is ample opportunity to learn it when you are surrounded by it in immersion, as everyone is in America, whether they turn on the tv, the radio, go on the internet, or walk around the towns, etc. When the decision is made to stick to your own culture, that’s where the difficulty lies, not in the language. It doesn’t take too much to work on language, even 1/2 hour a day will get you far in a few months in English. But having the ambition to do it is not only a distinctly American quality, but it is what people do. So lay off it.

        • I do not view or interpret the comments in the same way as you. You say Brazilians make the island better. I agree. My interpretation of the original and secondary comment is that, *generally speaking*, Brazilians, who make up 20% of the island’s year round population, don’t participate in local government or volunteer, etc. and that’s not due to a language barrier and access. I questioned why that might be. My interpretation of your comment is that “white bread America” (which I took as you intending to be derogatory) is forcing them to conform – to what exactly? I don’t know. [Anyone know that famous Abraham Maslow quote about a hammer?]. I went deeper with it. I know for a fact many, but not all, are here without proper documentations (visas, green cards, etc.), perhaps they wish to remain ‘off the radar.’ Lastly, your final paragraph contradicts your point about larger food markets, and ending your position with a question weakens your point.

        • “Why would the other news org provide this translation service of news and events if the Times is doing it?”?

          Why not both?

          What about Arabic?

        • Jackie, the Jewish references won’t work, I come from a family of Holocaust survivors. Assimilation is important everywhere you go–you can retain cultural customs and adopt and get to know those of where you live both. In New York City, those who live there adopt the ways of NYC, right? Or do they treat it like Martha’s Vineyard? As for the kosher sections on the island, they have improved, but you weren’t going to find challah anywhere until very recently, the most basic of Jewish foods that would be used every Friday night on Shabbat.

          You also skip over town and island government, religious unity on the island, leadership on homelessness issues, school programs, and cultural offerings…it’s acknowledgement of the reality, if you’re ok with it, cool, but let’s be honest, the participation is not there. This island welcomes everyone who wants to be here to participate at the juncture in its history and those who participate are celebrated.

          • Thomas, the point is that it can take generations. First generations may not ever learn English. 2nd generations may not volunteer in town affairs. People give back in different ways. Grandchildren and great grandchildren are more Americanized. The different customs, foods, religious practices, and cultures bring richness to everyone. It’s a good idea to make people feel welcome but I’ve seen firsthand a lot of blanket statement resentments with no basis for it except prejudice, which always manages to find one example to prove the biased view.

        • Jackie– not everything has to be about Jews and nazis.
          Please give it a break once in a while.

    • I’m sure in Switzerland they have small local papers in German, French, Italian and English to make sure everyone feels right at home. Keep bending over backwards for inclusion until students can speak English, French, Spanish and Portuguese is the second language on island. Seeing it in the schools now seeing it our local media is where it belongs. Enough of your WASP attitudes.

    • I honestly do not see the point of this, other than virtue signaling..

      Google Translate is available to anyone who wants to read an MV Times article in Portuguese.

      This looks like an initiative by the new publisher, Charles Sennott—along with the weighty “By the Martha’s Vineyard Times Staff.”
      Perhaps Mr. Sennott should observe longer before making the kinds of changes i see already.

      One positivechange Mr. Sennott could make to the Times style guide would be to eliminate the generally completely superfluous and space-wasting use of the adverb (or adjective) “on-Island.”
      For instance “Animal health professional on-Island say the Vineyard can ill afford losing another practice” would sound a lot better if recast:
      “Island Animal Health Professionals say the Vineyard can ill afford the loss of another practice.”

      Everyone knows that “Island” means this island of Martha’s Vineyard.
      It does not mean Nantucket.
      It does not mean Bermuda. It does not mean Jamaica.

      “On-Island” is pointless wash-ashore wordiness. Let’s fix the style book on this.

      • We could do away with ‘wash-ashore’. ‘On-Island’ is harmless. Wash-ashore is often used to express a genuine feeling of superiority. Unless said in jest/self-referentially, it’s petty.

      • Some people have virtue, some people do not.
        Multilingual is a virtue.
        Why should people have to go to to Google to read local news?
        Google translates Portuguese Portuguese, MVT has access to local native Brazilian Portuguese speakers.

        “Everyone knows that “Island” means this island of Martha’s Vineyard.”
        The MVT is a paper of record for Dukes County.
        Not everyone on Naushon, Pasque, Nashawena, Cuttyhunk, and Pekinese are aware that “Island” means Martha’s Vineyard Island.
        Is Martha’s Vineyard Island the only shore onto which Katherine Scott has washed?
        Who should get to decide what is in the MVT style book?
        Perhaps a washashore?

        • Glad someone here has a sense of humor.
          I will say wash=ashore if I feel like it and really don’t care what the wash-ashore language nannies think.
          When it comes to “on-Island,” I am the language nanny.
          People who possess any feel for language can grasp what is wrong with “on-Island.”

        • With all due respect, your comments re Naushon etc. do not move the “on-Island” ball down the field.

          Since you missed it, I’ll explain the point. It is the addition of “on.”

  5. A great move by Charles Sennot and hopefully results in the Brazilian community feeling more included amd reconized as a vital part ofour Island economy. (My comment about the Dutch edition was somewhat glib as I believe there is one other Dutch speaking Vineyard resident;
    and I will forgive the Brazilian community for celebrating wildly when the Dutch lost the world cup back in’08 to was it Brazil or Spain?))

    • Sig, the Times has you covered! There’s a Dutch version in the drop down menu (let us know how it works). 😁

      • How many on Island can read Dutch?
        Portuguese?

        .16% of the world’s population speak Dutch.
        ~40% can get by in Portuguese

  6. This might be a good time to mention William Madison Wood, who considering from where he started was the most successful person in Vineyard history. He was born in a small house on Pease Point Way to parents from the Azores. His father was a whaler who died when William was 12. They never learned to speak English. Why is William not celebrated in Vineyard history? He was a robber baron! He also was a striper fisherman. When he was denied membership in the Cuttyhunk Fishing Club, he built his own.
    By the way any Brazilian can tell you that the first person to fly a plane from the ground was Alberto Santos Dumont.

    • It’s kind of funny Tom, but you answer your own question. Why is it up to the white islanders who handle most everything to celebrate William Madison Wood? This is what happens when everyone is subdivided into different groups, of course, the DEI movement. But if you think there ought to be celebration, look to those who would celebrate! Where do you think it comes from? It would be amazing to have some kind of a full-on celebration led by the Brazilian community to do the celebration–and without handholding!

  7. The amazing thing is that many of the DEI crowd and the progressives wring their hands about “white supremacy” and “systemic racism” and then, in a move of the utmost supremacy themselves go about attempting to fix it, frankly in the most white, colonialist of ways, all the while deciding what is racist and what is not, they should look in the mirror to see the real problem. America is not about dividing people into categories and should not be about equality of outcomes, but equality of opportunity. We have that here on Martha’s Vineyard. There is no one stopping anyone from participating in anything as far as I’ve known, maybe I’m wrong.

  8. Keller, as long as there are antisemites I will be pointing out the Jew-hated I see whenever I can and condemning it. People who care about the state of humanity have no objections.

    • It is the hammer/nail problem.
      Hammers have a way of searching out nails and finding nail-like objects wherever they look.

  9. Jackie, as long as there are anti-Muslims I will be pointing out the Muslim-hatred I see whenever I can and condemning it. People who care about the state of humanity have no objections.
    Since Oct. 7 how many dead Jews, how many dead Muslims? Let she without sin cast the first stone.

    • Hess, do you remember when you slipped up on here and hatefully referred to Israeli government policy as “the Jews”? I do. Do you remember in the first days after October 7th you called Israel “terrorist” and said not a word about incinerated Jews? I do. I think we all know what we’re dealing with here.

  10. “Antisemitism is the quest to make Jewish people unsafe, physically, emotionally, and psychologically. It’s a form of abuse, and like any abuser, antisemites will gaslight, lie, defame, and dehumanize us. That’s why every Jew is a survivor.”

    It’s clear I am am not anti-Muslim, as Hess’s antisemitic, gaslighting comment suggests. and Keller’s comment above urges me to shut up about the Jewish stuff. In a different thread, on immigration, Keller publicly announces I am a “disgrace” to my religion, that I only care about Jewish lives, that I have a “disgusting hatred and bigotry toward Palestinians”, and that I think it’s fine to incinerate Palestinian children. After employing every antisemitic trope he can think of in a personal and untrue attack against me (Jews support killing non-jewish babies, they are exclusive and only care about their own people, etc, etc) Keller then demands I explicitly tell him what antisemitic lies he and the liberal left have been screeching about. I’ve probably written 100 comments in this forum, detailing exactly that.
    I don’t know why this newspaper has allowed so much antisemitism, but it has. Those of us who know it, know it. Those who are in denial about their “acceptable”, updated form of the same old, same old Jew-hatred and stupid blood libel accusations that have been around for ever, will never know it. The gaslighting here is so obvious that I am surpised that anyone could think the public can’t see it for what it is.

    Israel will defend itself and do what it can to prevent the terrorists’ genocidal intent and promise against all jews. Israel is our ally, believe it or not, a democracy that protects its citizens, all of them, regardless of religion, gender, sexual orientation and color. Palestine is not even a country, but the groups running the show for Palestinian people are not an ally of us or of a democracy that protects ALL its citizens. Someone please tell that to the antisemitic liberal left because I’m done. Please, please allow this comment, Sam. It’s my last.

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