Monday, December 12, 2011

Em Vez de Crap

My blog isn't always particularly helpful for other expats or future Brazil expats. I'm not always full of information, more antidotes and rantings. But that is going to change right now!

While sifting through the last of our boxes, the most obnoxious ones that we saved for last, I found some notes from my first private Portuguese teacher. When I was fresh of the boat and speaking nothing, my Mother-in-Law recommended that Mr. Rant hire one of her friends. We had about 3 classes until I fired her. Way to start off on the good side of the Mother-in-Law, huh? In my defense, she didn't show up to one of our 8am classes. When I cancelled last minute I had to pay but she could not show up and I didn't get my money back. I called bullshit on that one quickly, especially because that was during my child-free days where waking up at 8am was a big freaking deal!

Anyway, I found one of her lists that was actually quite helpful. Words to know in Portuguese when you know none. Here they are in no particular order:

Valeu a pena: Worth it

Já: already: (ie. You: Let's go! Me: Já?)

Ainda: Still (ie. I still have this paper. Ainda tenho...)

Rapaz: Young man

Ontem: Yesterday

Ante de ontem: The day before yesterday

Em vez de: Instead of

Talvez: Perhaps

Com Licença: excuse me (interrupt)

Desculpa: Sorry (ie. you did something wrong)

Um momentinho: Just a minute/ a moment

Pois Não: It's ok or Can I help you

Não Posso: I can't

Não foi nada: It was nothing

Venha comigo (pronounced ven comigo): Come with Me

Valeu: Thanks (Carioca slang)

I know some of you have more to add. This is a beginner's list but go ahead and get crazy!


  1. Tou vez - Talvez
    Ante ontem- Antes de ontem

    Que fofo que deve ser vc falando português! <3


  2. Hahaha I hadn't noticed that I wrote some out for speaking purposes, thus they are written incorrectly. Oops ;) Thanks Ka!

  3. I have never figured out how "pois nao" makes any sense at all.

    Cuanto custo?: How much? As in how much will something cost. Always ask first.

    Mais um!: One more! As in beer. Or whatever.

    Show de bola: fun or cool, often used to describe a party or gathering.

    Ate a proxima (with an accent on the "e" in ate): Until the next time!

    Saideira (sp?): Most commonly used to signify "one for the road", but now with lei seca it is more like "last drink".

    Mentira!: literally means "lie!", but commonly used more like "really!" or "you don't say!" Also, fala serio. I hear them used practically interchangeably, though there may be some distinction between the two.

    Pra viajar: To go. As in take out food or liquor.

    Mais tarde: strictly translated, "later". More like "whenever".

    Beijos: kisses/goodbye, when speaking over the phone, or just plain kissing, which is done anywhere, everywhere, all hours day or night.

  4. Cara - slang for "dude"

    Po - slang usually added to the end of a statement for emphasis.

    Legal - means "cool"

    Poxa - Wow!

    Oi? - What?

    Jararaca - Mother in Law (smile)

    Nego - literally means "blackie" but is a term of endearment usually used for little kids.

    Sacanagem - dirty, unfair, underhanded, wrong.

    Grosso - crass, rude.

    Opa! - informal "hi" or can be an expression of surprise.

    Sai fora - "go away"

  5. I'll add some phrases that are useful to me (so in case you too are awesome this may be of service).

    - Você tem mostarda?
    - Do you have mustard?

    - Você não tem mostarda boa, tipo Heinz?
    - Don't you have good mustard, like Heinz?

    - Como você espera que eu coma o meu cachorro quente com a mostarda de merda oferecida aqui?

    - How do you expect me to eat my hot dog with the crap mustard offered here?

    - Se mostarda importada é muito caro então cobre mais daqueles que desejam utilizá-la, imbecil.

    - If imported mustard is too expensive then charge more from those who wish to use it, imbecil.

    -Apenas um leproso deixaria uma gorjeta para você

    -Only a leper would leave you a tip...(ok, this does not translate well, it is optional).

    - Foi ele quem começou seu guarda. E ele ainda discrimina leprosos.

    - He started it officer. Plus he discriminates against lepers.

  6. HAHAHAH gritty I was laughing out loud.

    I'm going to tell you some of my favorites


    If you see whats common in all of them then you know Portuguese.


  7. Good list! I spent five months studying Portuguese before my first weeklong visit to Rio, but my tutor never taught me "valeu"...within five minutes of arriving I freaked out that I didn't even know how to say thank you properly because no one around me was saying "obrigado/a"!!

    After two years of studying the language I have to laugh when I look back at my first words and expressions in Portuguese. To be fair, I was picking up words from a charming carioca who was trying to get into my pants so it makes sense I learned to describe myself as "pernuda" (leggy) before I could tell the time of day, and why I could curse before I could count higher than cinquenta...

  8. I can believe no one has mentioned porra (PO-ha) yet...or caraca...

  9. or carralho, or puta que pariu for that matter...these are indispensable expressions here (for those of you that know these, sorry for saying bad things in portuguese) :-)

  10. This list could go on and on if we added up all of the important phrases from all over the country. I realized once I left Manaus how much of my vocabulary was regional.

    Galeroso - thug (but only in Manaus)
    Bustela - booger (again only in Manaus)

    I had to learn synonyms when I moved but I still like to use these words with my husband.

    I learned the slang word "pastel" yesterday from my Carioca co-worker. He called my lazy student that.

  11. Great! Some of these I didn't even know, despite being here more than a year. Yikes! Thanks!

  12. Here's a few more:

    Terma - a place that the guys go to after work to have a few drinks and relax...LOL

    Ficante - a fling or one night stand

    Amante - a steady lover outside the marriage or relationship.

    Corno - a cuckolded guy

    Biscate - derogatory term for "loose woman". Usually used by other women toward the woman of ill repute.

    Gatinha - hot young woman.

    Eu preciso ir a casa de minha prima - Phrase used in the favela to tell your buddies you need to leave them to go see your amante.

  13. I pride myself in staying away from/not knowing the more vulgar words/phrases... I'm afraid I will be insulting at exactly the wrong moment.

    Great list!

  14. Speaking of using the wrong word at the wrong time... One of the malls here in Angra is named "Piratas" while attempting to have a conversation with a Brazilian friend in Portuguese, I told her I loved to go to "Piranhas" for fun..ooops! Also a former maid was named Vera. I occasionally called her Fera (beast)... double oops.

    My additions to the list-

    Entendeu? - You understand? I hear this used all the time in Brazilian conversions! It's used more like thinking pause, rhetorical phrase... similar to American's overuse of "You know?".

    Nossa!- wow or I can't believe this.

    Sai da frente- Literally leave the front. Used in a more rude way meaning "get out of the way!" I often want to say this when attempting to exit the bus but instead go with "Com licença" or just "licença"

    Perua- a posh Lady. Think well dressed with lots of sparkly jewelry.

    Fina Estampa- (a current popular novela here) means a something like stylish impression or a woman of class

    vagabunda, piranha, prostituta, puta,cachorra (I would not suggest using any of these)- all names that mean the opposite of Perua

    mão-de-vaca- tightwad, stingy

    bate(bater) papo- to chat

    curtir- to enjoy (replaces the "like" facebook button when looking at facebook in Portuguese)

    Abbreviations when writing or chatting-

    bjs = Beijos – Kisses
    vcs = vocês- You plural or you all
    kkkkk - laughing or hehe or haha

    Ok, I think I went crazy enough with my examples. kkkkk. Good list and other comments!