Posted in Portuguese

That Bad Mother, Ficar

Ficar is one of the verbs that can be used in lots of ways, so you’ll often hear it followed by a preposition and the combination of ficar +preposition makes a compound verb that has its own meaning. Some examples for today’s homework. Thanks to Dani Morgenstern for the corrections.

Ficar a (1) = “to stay around” (Não fiquei a assistir à conclusão do discurso)

Ficar a (2) = “to be somewhere” (Slough fica a cerca de 30km de Londres)

Ficar com = “to keep”, “to get” (Fiquei com o livro após o incêndio na biblioteca) – can also be used to mean keeping hold of a feeling (Fico sempre com medo quando ouço aquela canção)

Ficar de = “to commit to” (ele ficou de consertar a bicicleta)

Ficar em = “to stay in” (Fiquei em primeiro lugar até ao final da corrida quando Mo Farah me ultrapassou. Bolas!)

Ficar para (1) = “to be for” (Este livro fica para ti)

Ficar para (2) = “to be delayed” (A reunião fica para a próxima semana)

Ficar por (1) = “to support” (Nas eleições, ele fica sempre pelo partido do Roderick Spode) (This one seems to be pretty rare. Consensus seems to be that “ser por” is better in these kinds of cases. “…é pelo partido…”

Ficar por (2) = “To stand in for” (Não consigo participar na reunião mas a minha colega fica por mim)

Ficar por (3) = “To cost” (O livro fica por 100 €)

Fico por (4) = “To stop” (Hoje ficamos por aqui; preciso de um copo de vinho)

Ficar por + infinitive = “to not be done yet” (O meu trabalho de casa fica por fazer porque sou preguiçoso)

Ficar sem = “To go without” (Ficámos sem papel higiénico durante as primeiras semanas da pandemia porque uns idiotas entraram em pânico e compraram os pacotes todos)

Ficar-se por = “To limit oneself to” (Sendo incapazes de derrotar o governo, os apoiantes do presidente ficaram-se por gamar portáteis e tirar selfies no escritório de Nancy Pelosi)

Posted in English

Buarque Life

Cover of the album "construção" by Chico Buarque
Cover of the album “Construção” by Chico Buarque

Continuing to fanboy about this song. Here’s a translation, highlighting the “Proparoxítono” words.

I’ve borrowed pretty heavily from some of the many versions on Lyricstranslate. They’re all by brazilians, I think, and they’ve done a great job, so I’ve cleaned up the english and made a few other changes but generally assumed they know more than I do about the point of the song. I found “flácido” really difficult to translate. It obviously means “flaccid” but that word just sounds so wrong in a song. I’ve gone for “sagging” since it fits in both the lines it’s used in. I think that’s the best I can do but this is the sort of thing that makes you realise how hard the job of the translator is.

A couple of interesting things to add:

Firstly, I didn’t notice when I heard it but the first two lines end in the same word. That’s a bit of a cheat, Chico, come on! It’s the only example of that though.

Secondly, he keeps the rest of the line unchanged almost all the time but there are a few other small changes, which I’ve highlighted in orange. The fact that portuguese doesn’t use many subject pronouns helps in this regard. In the first line, “fosse” goes from “it was” to “he was” with no need for other changes. You just get it from the context, because “única” changes gender, meaning it is now referring to the man, not to the (a) vez.

Amou daquela vez como se fosse a última
Beijou sua mulher como se fosse a última
E cada filho seu como se fosse o único
E atravessou a rua com seu passo tímido
Subiu a construção como se fosse máquina
Ergueu no patamar quatro paredes sólidas
Tijolo com tijolo num desenho mágico
Seus olhos embotados de cimento e lágrima
Sentou pra descansar como se fosse sábado
Comeu feijão com arroz como se fosse um príncipe
Bebeu e soluçou como se fosse um náufrago
Dançou e gargalhou como se ouvisse música
E tropeçou no céu como se fosse um bêbado
E flutuou no ar como se fosse um pássaro
E se acabou no chão feito um pacote flácido
Agonizou no meio do passeio público
Morreu na contramão atrapalhando o tráfego
He made love that time like it was the last time
He kissed his wife like she was the last woman
And kissed each child like they were the only one
And he crossed the street with his timid steps
He climbed the construction like he was a machine
He built up four solid walls at the next level
Brick after brick in a magical design
His eyes were crusted with cement and tears
He sat down to rest like it was Saturday
He ate rice and beans like he was a prince
He drank and sobbed like he’d been shipwrecked
He danced and laughed like he was listening to music
He tripped on the sky like he was a drunk
And he floated on the air like he was a bird
And he ended up on the ground like a sagging package
He agonized in the middle of the public pavement
He died on the wrong side of the road disrupting the traffic
Amou daquela vez como se fosse o último
Beijou sua mulher como se fosse a única
E cada filho seu como se fosse o pródigo
E atravessou a rua com seu passo bêbado
Subiu na construção como se fosse sólido
Ergueu no patamar quatro paredes mágicas
Tijolo com tijolo num desenho lógico
Seus olhos embotados de cimento e tráfego
Sentou pra descansar como se fosse um príncipe
Comeu feijão com arroz como se fosse o máximo
Bebeu e soluçou como se fosse máquina
Dançou e gargalhou como se fosse o próximo
E tropeçou no céu como se ouvisse música
E flutuou no ar como se fosse sábado
E se acabou no chão feito um pacote tímido
Agonizou no meio do passeio náufrago
Morreu na contramão atrapalhando o público
He made love that time like he was the greatest
He kissed his wife like she was the only one
And kissed each child like they were the prodigal son
And he crossed the street with his drunk steps
He climb the construction like it was a solid
He built up four magic walls at the next level
Brick after brick in logical design
His eyes were crusted with cement and traffic
He sat down to rest like he was a prince
He ate rice and beans like it was the greatest meal
He drank and sobbed like he was a machine
He danced and laughed like he was the next one
He tripped on the sky like he was listening to music
And he floated on the air like it was Saturday
And he ended up on the ground like a timid package
He agonized on the middle of the shipwrecked pavement
He died on the wrong side of the road distrupting the people
Amou daquela vez como se fosse máquina
Beijou sua mulher como se fosse lógico
Ergueu no patamar quatro paredes flácidas
Sentou pra descansar como se fosse um pássaro
E flutuou no ar como se fosse um príncipe
E se acabou no chão feito um pacote bêbado
Morreu na contramão atrapalhando o sábado
He made love that time like he was a machine
He kissed his wife like it was logical
He built up four sagging walls at the next level
He sat down to rest like he was a bird
And he floated on the air like he was a prince
And he ended up on the ground like a drunken package
He died on the wrong side of the road disrupting Saturday
Construção – Chico Buarque

The song was written in the seventies, during the dictatorship when Buarque was living in exile. There are a lot of theories about exactly wht he’s trying to do, but he hasn’t really spelled it out, preferring to let people speculate. There’s a definite shift between the three stages: the first one seems quite factual, the second sort of carefree, the third nightmarish. The social criticism is about the fact that, at the time, a lot of people were moving to the cities in search of a better life but finding that living conditions and working conditions were pretty terrible.

Posted in Portuguese

Futebol Escolar

I wrote this text to use some of the interjections (interjeições) mentioned in an exercise of the C1 Textbook exercise. It’s probably a bit stilted as a result.

Thanks for Dani Morgenstern and Gui R11 for the corrections.

A equipa correu para o campo, cheia de confiança.

Força! Coragem!” gritaram os pais deles, que ficaram de pé* perto da entrada .

Logo que os jogadores chegaram ao centro, um defensa ajoelhou-se brevemente para assinalar o seu apoio ao movimento de “Vidas Negras Importam”.

Chega!” bradou uma voz vinda de uma localização** indeterminada “Credo! Livra!” Evidentemente alguém desaprovou.

Logo depois houve algumas respostas de outros espectadores em redor: “Chiu!” “Caluda” e ainda mais francamente “Cala a boca*** seu parvo”****
Enquanto os jogadores se preparavam, havia murmúrios de “Irra! Ora, despache-se, árbitro, estamos todos congelados!”

O jogo começou e quase imediatamente o novo avançado-centro marcou um golo.

Oh! Viva” berraram os adultos da linha lateral.
Mas de repente o barulho acabou quando um defesa da equipa adversária foi deslizando até às pernas do atacante, fazendo-o tropeçar com força*****.

“Cuidado!”

O rapaz caiu ao chão. Houve um suspiro coletivo e o campo ficou sossegado.

Oxalá não esteja assim tão mal” murmurou uma mulher perto da baliza******. “Tomara!”*******

“Claro! Sim!”

O árbitro chegou ao sítio e dobrou-se ao lado do jogador. Uns momentos depois, os dois levantaram-se.

“Ufa! Arre!” disse o pai da vítima. “O meu heroizinho vai lutar mais um dia!”

“Ah ah” riu o seu amigo

“Que pena” disse o pai do guarda-redes da outra equipa, mas ninguém ouviu.

Far cry from small boys in the park
Jumpers for goalposts

*=i keep muddling “a pé” (on foot) and “de pé” (standing)

**=I wrote “locação” but that only means “the act of finding something”. If you want to talk about something’s position it has to be localização

***=”Cala-te” or “Cala a boca”. I wrote “Cala-te a boca” which I now realise must have made me sound like that Joe Dolce song, “shaddap you face” (if you’re too young to remember that, ask auntie YouTube)

****=This form of words seems really odd in English. It sounds like it should mean “your fool” but that “seu” is just how it’s done if you want to say “you fool” (or you anything else) in an emphatically disdainful way.

*****=This whole sentence was a mess and I obviously didn’t have the slightest idea how to describe this sort of action.

******=golo is a goal as in “scored a goal” but the frame and net of the goal is a baliza. The same word has a few other uses. For example, it also means “parallel parking” – the act of backing into a parking space and then swiveling the wheels to tuck in the front.

*******=According to the book, Pudera has the same meaning as Tomara so I used that but the book seems to be wrong – the corrector didn’t recognise it as such and priberam doesn’t either, so that’s good enough for me.

I’ve used quite a lot of football terms here. A lot of them are variable and they are definitely all different in Brazil. There’s a wiki page that describes the various positions in football if you’re interested.

Posted in Portuguese

A Crónica Dos Bons Malandros

Ontem à noite vi a última parte d’A Crónica dos Bons Malandros. A série estreou na RTP há um ano. É fixe / legal (há uma personagem brasileira e uma piada recorrente é o fingimento por parte de várias pessoas que não compreendem os sotaques de outras).

Há muuuuiiito calão na série e as personagens falam muito depressa* mas não faz mal porque há legendas que ajudaram-me** entender. Além disso, desenrola-se nos anos oitenta, portanto há muitas referências à cena daquela época: terrorismo, política, cultura, futebol e música pop. Aprendi muito por pesquisar várias palavras e frases.

Vi alguém a descrever a série como, e cito “Ocean’s Eleven à Portuguesa”. E acho que esta é uma descrição adequada, até certo ponto. Os protagonistas são menos competentes e a história inteira enfatiza o lado engraçado em vez de imitar o estilo do Clooney e Pitt, mas é suave na mesma. Gostei tanto quanto de uma série da Netflix, por exemplo.

*i used “rápido” but it’s describing the word “falam” which is a verb so we need an adverb, not an adjective.

**Another example where a change of mindset is needed, at least in my case I wrote ajudou instead of ajudaram. In English you’d just say “which helped”, and there isn’t a difference between single and plural versions of “helped” so i suppose I’d always thought of that as meaning “the fact (singular) that there were subtitles helped” but in Portuguese it’s a lot starker that no, actually, “the subtitles (plural) helped” so the verb has to be plural to match.

Posted in Portuguese

Fintech

Vejo que a Websummit está a decorrer* em Lisboa onde, todo os anos os convidados apresentam novas ideias  sobre tecnologia, a Internet e fintech. Embora saiba o significado de “Fintech” (utilizamos a mesma palavra cá em Inglaterra) “fin” significa “barbatana” e acho isso muito engraçado.
Tenho uma imagem mental de um golfinho no palco a dar palestras**.

“k-k-kkk-k-k” diz o golfinho (porque não fala português) e depois o tradutor explica “No futuro toda a gente será capaz de nadar”

“kkkk-k-kk-k’k”

“com as nossas barbatanas robóticas”

(salva de palmas e barbatanas)

“kk-k-k-kkkkk”

“adeus Lisboa e obrigado pelo bacalhau todo”

This dolphin would like to tell you about his startup
His only porpoise in life is to disrupt the market

*=I used “passar-se” but “decorrer” or “ter lugar” (literally “take place”) work better for events

**=I used “dar discursos” but it’s “fazer discursos”. The corrector also suggested “dar palestras” where a palestra is a verbal exposition on. A specific theme so I switched to that cos it’s a new word.

Posted in Portuguese

O Dia Dos Dois Dedos

Em Inglaterra, quando eu era jovem, se quiséssemos insultar alguém, além de simplesmente dizermos “vai-te blabla”, mostraríamos um gesto de mão com o indicador e o dedo médio estendidos assim ✌️ mas no inverso – ou seja com a parte de trás da mão apontada para a vítima. Hoje em dia, o sinal vai-se tornando cada vez mais raro porque a gente utiliza mais o gesto americano equivalente que é igual mas só tem um dedo – o médio.

Por isso, já existe um dia chamado National V-sign Day (Dia Nacional do Gesto de V???)

Posted in English

Come+A’s you are

Closely related to the post about vir and chegar: what’s the difference between “vir a saber” and “vir saber”? Well, I’m glad you asked!

Vir a saber, as you’ll know if you read “The Spy Who Chegged Me” is a way of saying that you came to know something, perhaps in a slightly roundabout way, by chance, but the light dawned and then you knew.

Vir Saber is more like “I came to find out”.

This is good because I had been wondering how to interpret a line in one of the poems (it’s a song, actually) that I learned a week or two back. the people in the next room either “finally got to know about us” or “came to find out about us”. Well, now I know so here we go with a translation of the whole thing

PortugueseEnglish
Bem te avisei, meu amor
Que não podia dar certo
Que era coisa de evitar
I gave you fair warning, my love
That this wasn’t going to turn out well
And it was something best avoided
Como eu, devias supor
Que, com gente ali tão perto
Alguém fosse reparar
Like me, you have to suppose
That with people so nearby
Someone was going to notice
Mas não
Fizeste beicinho
E como numa promessa
Ficaste nua para mim
But no
You made a pouty face
And as if in a promise
Got naked for me
Pedaço de mau caminho
Onde é que eu tinha a cabeça
Quando te disse que sim
Bit of a wrong turn
Where was my head at
When I said yes to you
Embora tenhas jurado
Discreta permanecer
Já que não estávamos sós
Although you had sworn
To remain discreet
Since we weren’t alone
Ouvindo na sala ao lado
Teus gemidos de prazer
Vieram saber de nós
Hearing in the room next door
Your moans of pleasure
They came to find out about us
Nem dei pelo que aconteceu
Mas mais veloz e mais esperta
Só te viram de raspão
I didn’t even know what had happened
But being faster and smarter
They only caught a brief glimpse of you
A vergonha passei-a eu
Diante da porta aberta
Estava de calças na mão
I went through the shame
In front of the open door
With my trousers in my hand

It’s great isn’t it! Lots of really good stuff in there. The one line that I really had trouble understanding was the first line of the last stanza “A vergonha passei-a eu” which seems like he’s saying “I passed her the shame” as if he were trying to blame it all on the girl, but that doesn’t make sense for all sorts of reasons. The “-a” on the end of passei is actually referring to “a vergonha”. So it’s like “The shame, I passed through it”. Normally in conversation you’d say “passei pela vergonha” but poetic license applies. Here’s the full thing. I’ve probably posted it on here before but I just love it so much it’s worth repeating.

Posted in English

The Spy Who Chegged Me

Structures I’ve seen in books and never been quite sure how to parse. According to Ciberdúvidas,

Vir + A + Infinitive

Is a periphrastic form of a verb. Wait, wait, hold it right there, what is a periphrastic form? It just means you use extra words to give the verb a slightly different dynamic or even to change the tense. In english it’s things like “You shall go to the ball” or “I do like chips”. It might change the verb’s tense or it might just make it sound more complete and more dynamic. Maybe like in English: How do you come to be in a place like this? It has the sense of ending up somewhere by chance, and it sounds more interesting than “How did you get here?” or “Why are you here?”

There’s an example in the book I’m reading now. Talking about Bolsonaro’s attempts to blame minorities for everything Ricardo Araújo Pereira says “Acredito que a gente ainda venha a descobrir que há inúmeros gays negros e índios na Lava Jato”.

Chegar + A + Infinitive

“Chegar a”, on the other hand is more like “finally managed to…”. It’s stressing the end of the action coming after a long time or a strenuous effort. Searching for an example similar to the one above, I hit on this one which is from a religious website talking how, after a lot of prayer, the believer can finally come to understand the project that God has laid out:

A oração também se torna caminho para o discernimento vocacional, não só porque Jesus mesmo convidou a rogar ao dono da messe, mas porque é somente na escuta de Deus que o crente pode chegar a descobrir o projeto que Deus mesmo traçou: no mistério contemplado, o crente descobre a própria identidade, «escondida com Cristo em Deus»

Posted in English

Toe Long And Thanks…

Fazes-me tanta falta como o dedo mindinho

I felt sure when I saw this t-shirt from Cão Azul that it would turn out to be some sort of idiomatic expression but as far as I can tell, it’s not. “Fazes-me tanta falta como o dedo mindinho” just seems to be something they decided would be a cool slogan. Interesting vocabulary though

Fazes-me tanta falta como… = I miss you like

Dedo mindinho = little toe or little finger. You can specify “dedo mindinho do pé” if you like, but I guess they thought it wasn’t necessary with the picture.

I have already done a post about the names of fingers a little while ago but it’s not vocabulary I use very often so I’d forgotten all about it, and I see I used a different word – “Dedo Mínimo” at the time. I checked in priberam though, and either will do. Neither is brazilian or anything, it’s just like we use “little finger” and “pinkie finger”.

Incidentally, if you don’t already know this, walking around with a portuguese t-shirt on is a great way of announcing to everyone around you that you speak portuguese. That’s nice if you like boasting, but it’s even better if you want portuguese speakers you happen to meet out in the real world to say “Oh! Do you speak portuguese?” whereupon you can clutch at their elbow and not let them go until you have wrung half an hour of conversation practice out of them. For more terrible ideas like this, have a look at the portuguese language hacks page.

Anyway, the point is, I recommend Cão Azul as the internet’s most useful language learning resource.