Posted in English

Proparoxítono

This ūüĎá

Is exactly the sort of thing I love. The writer is Ricardo Ara√ļjo Pereira, comedian, columnist and all round good guy (well, as far as I know) Anyway, in the passage above, he’s describing a song I don’t know and saying that if a foreigner were to hear it, although they would rightly spot that it sounds lovely, they probably wouldn’t understand it and certainly wouldn’t notice that the last word of every line is “proparox√≠tona”* and nor would they understand that the word “proparox√≠tono” itself is proparox√≠tona**. And he’s right: it is a lovely song and when I read this in bed last night I had no clue what Proparox√≠tono meant but I knew I had to find out as soon as I woke up.

First of all, let’s hear the song

Oh my god, that is the good stuff alright. I know it’s Brazilian Portuguese, not Portuguese Portuguese but Jesus Christ it’s good. Inject it directly into my veins! There is something slightly strange about the rhythm of the verse though isn’t there? And I never would have spotted what it was.

Before I get I to it, let’s lay a bit of groundwork by thinking about where the stress falls in a Portuguese word.

The vast majority of words in Portuguese put the stress on either the final syllable (if the last letter is r, l, z, m, u, i or n) or the penultimate one (basically, all other letters). Any exceptions to the rule need an accent to be added as a hint to the reader. So for example there are a lot of words that end in – √°vel or – √≠vel that are pronounced with the stress on the a and the i respectively. If the accent wasn’t there you’d have to say incrivEL and confortavEL. But it’s pretty easy and you get used to it, and before you know it, you’re just used to the rhythm of Portuguese speech without even being conscious of it.

Proparox√≠tono means that the stress falls on the antepenultimate (last-but-two) syllable. These always have to have an accent because they break the normal rules, like b√™bado (B√ä-ba-do) and m√°gico (M√Ā-gi-co) and s√°bado (S√Ā-ba-do) and √ļltima and √ļnico and t√≠mido and… Well, and every other word he finishes a line with in the song, which is why you get this effect that’s really unusual in a Portuguese song, where the last two syllables of every line are unstressed.

Oh my god, that’s so satisfying. I love it! It’s the most value I’ve ever got out of a single paragraph, I think: a new word, a new song and a new way of noticing the rhythm of Portuguese music.

Anyway, if you want to know more, this video has some good analysis. It’s in Brazilian Portuguese too, so be warned if you’re trying to avoid the dialect. It’s worth making an exception for though.

*it has an a in the end here, unlike in the title, because its an adjective and palavra is feminine

**Now I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t that the stuff Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying think should be used to cure Covid?” Close, but no, it’s not that either.

Posted in Portuguese

S√≠sifo – Greg√≥rio Duvivier e Vinicius Calderoni

Sísifo РEnsaios obre A Repetição em Sessenta Saltos By Gregório Duvivier and Vinicius Calderoni

#BRAZILIANPORTUGUESEKLAXON

Oi galera, estou escrevendo um comentário sobre um livro brasileiro embora eu aprenda português europeu. Blz!

Eu j√° conheci a obra de um dos autores, Greg√≥rio Duvivier por causa de uma conversa p√ļblica com Ricardo Ara√ļjo Pereira e ouvi falar dos seus programas televisivos. A cara √© legal!

Neste livrinho, os dois rescrevem o mito de S√≠sifo, mesclado com outros fios culturais: Hamlet, a crise ambiental, memes, o teatro do absurdo. Nas palavras do Duvivier “‘A hist√≥ria se repete’ dizia Marx, ‘a primeira vez como trag√©dia e a segunda como farsa’. Acrescentamos ‘a terceira vez como um gif'”. Para mim, esta explica√ß√£o vale o pre√ßo do livro em si. Fez-me rir “kkk” disse eu. uh-oh, vem a√≠ o cancelamento. “kkkkkk”, acrescentei, porque tr√™s c√°s* s√≥ n√£o d√° para ganhar amigos no mundo angl√≥fono.

Apparently in Brazil K is written “c√°”, not “capa” which makes sense because c√°c√°c√° sounds like laughter whereas capacapacapa just sounds like a bunch of rooks fighting over a bag of chips.

Sísifo
Posted in Portuguese

Ana Paula Henkel

Recentemente vi uma entrevista com Ana Paula Henkel numa programa brasileira. A Senhora Henkel √© uma ex-jogadora de v√īlei brasileiro. Hoje em dia, √© licenciada em Ci√™ncias politicas na universidade de Calif√≥rnia, e √© activa na vida politica do pa√≠s. Ora bem, n√£o concordo muito com as suas opini√Ķes: durante a entrevista, ela n√£o mencionou o presidente actual do pa√≠s, o Jair Bolsonaro, mas falou com o apresentador (um comediante chamado Danilo Gentili) sobre Trump, sobre os jornais tendenciosos, e sobre o assunto mais chato e sobrecarregado no mundo: o excesso do politicamente correcto. N√£o tenho paci√™ncia para tudo isso: pol√≠ticos que justificam quaisquer pol√≠ticas ruins, ou quaisquer crimes contra o estado por m√©todo de dizer que as queixas v√™em exclusivamente das pessoas hipersens√≠veis da esquerda.

Du4daSUWkAAhB7v

Ao final da entrevista mostrou a sua top, com uma imagem de Margaret Thatcher, a ex-primeira ministra do Reino Unido. e a legenda “lute como essa garota”!

A Ana Paula √© uma das personalidades desportistas que tem falado contra o fen√≥meno de pessoas trans, com corpos masculinos que jogam contra atletas femininas, que √© algo muito pol√©mico nesta altura, mas isso n√£o fazia grande parte da entrevista e por isso n√£o sei se recebesse muitos insultos, tal como a Martina Navratilova, que disse algo semelhante. Por acaso, este assunto √© a √ļnica dela com qual eu concordo.

Falou do seu dedo deslocado, a a sua coragem em continuar a jogar com aquela les√£o. Enfim achei-a uma personagem interessante, apesar das suas opini√Ķes conservadores.


Sorry – so much Brazil lately! I need to get back on point here!

*=I wrote “muito abuso” but I don’t think you can use “abuse” in that context. Abuse of power but not “I got a lot of abuse”

Posted in Portuguese

Machado de Assis – Quem √© um dos Maiores Escritores Brasileiros

Beco das Palavras

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis foi um dos maiores escritores da literatura brasileira. Suas obras literárias foram traduzidas para diversos idiomas e é lido assiduamente nas escolas de todo país. Ele ousou criar sua própria forma de escrever transformando o português em seus livros. Apesar de ser considerado por muitos difícil de se ler, suas obras ainda são consideradas as melhores do Brasil.

Vida e criação

Machado de Assis nasceu em 21 de junho de 1839 no Rio de Janeiro, filho de pai de ascendência africana e mãe branca açoriana, sob a proteção de uma madrinha, dona Maria José de Mendonça Barroso.

Os pais de Machado viviam como¬†agregados¬†(dependentes) dessa mulher rica, uma vi√ļva portuguesa de um senador imperial.¬†Como resultado, a inf√Ęncia de Machado caracterizou-se por uma estreita rela√ß√£o com realidades econ√īmicas, sociais e raciais muito distintas e at√© contrastantes.

O escritor prol√≠fico manteve uma vida excepcionalmente privada ‚Äď seus pontos de‚Ķ

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Posted in English

Transatlantic Witterings

images

I’m going to use this post as a notepad for brazilian language notes.

Abbreviations

I’ve been having skype language exchanges with a brazilian PE teacher who lives in Portugal, and that’s not too bad because he knows the euopean dialect, but I’ve also joined a sort of online gaming board made up of some brazilian dudes who talk in abbreviations, and that’s like being buffeted about inside a washing-machine full of abbreviations.

vdd=verdade
tva=estava
cmg=comigo
vlw=valeu (“thanks”)
√Ī=n√£o

One that flummoxed me was “blz” which, from the context I thought was a borrowed “please” (they use borrowed americanisms like “man” a lot so this is not as mad as it sounds) but it’s actually “beleza” which is a regional way of saying “ok” or “understand?” You reply with “beleza” if you get it and “n√£o entendi” if not.

Galera

Galera seems to be used in more or less the same way as the portuguese “malta” in my group but I think it’s more like “team”

PQP

Means “Puta que pariu” literally ‘bitch that gave birth’ but less literally just a general all-purpose swear. Linguee translates it as “fucking hell”

Posted in English

Latest Monkey/Branch News

I came across another reference to monkeys and branches in Bruno Nogueira’s Mata Bicho podcast: “Cada macaco no seu galho”. It reminded me of the one I mentioned a few weeks back. I guess Portuguese speakers must really like monkeys because I can think of at least two other monkey-related expressoes: “Vai pentear macacos” and “macaquinhos na cabe√ßa” (here). This new one means “Each monkey on his own branch” or, less literally “people should mind their own business”.

It’s mentioned in a song here (#braziliandialectklaxon)

By the way, I always thought Mata Bicho meant something like “bug killer”, which it kinda does but it’s an expression that can mean a tip (in some places) or a little drink taken at breakfast time. So I guess “hair of the dog” then…?