Posted in Portuguese

Politicamente Correcto

Questions posed after a lesson based on this video. Answers in blue.

1-o que achas do politicamente correcto

Acho que o politicamente correcto representa um experimento* que não correu bem. Claro está que existem um monte de palavras feias que as pessoas usam no dia-a-dia, que representam e reforçam modos de pensamento que prejudicam os direitos e o auto-estima de outras pessoas. Ainda pior, pode resultar em violência, contra as mulheres, contra estrangeiros e imigrantes, por exemplo. Vale mesmo a pena para pessoas de boa intenção evitar estas palavras porque não é necessário usá-las quando existem outras palavras melhores. Até certo ponto, politicamente correcto é igual a “ser bem educado”.

Mas claro está que hoje em dia, não é simplesmente uma questão de bom gosto ou respeito. Há quem queira mostrar a sua superioridade ao censurar mais do que qualquer outra pessoa. Vasculham os redes sociais para revelar os pecados dos seus inimigos, ainda que os inimigos são desconhecidos e os pecados imaginários. 

O Ricardo tinha razão quando disse que “a direita rejeita o politicamente correcto porque querem celebrar a estupidez e a esquerda apoiam-na porque querem proibi-lo.” (ou algo do género) mas acho que o problema ultrapassou estas categorias.

*I was told this should be “expressão” or “experiência” but I think either of those would change the meaning of what I was trying to say. That said, it’s possible that what I actually have said doesn’t make sense in portuguese culture.

2-achas que os músicos “sacam” mais gajas que os comediantes

Realmente não faço ideia. Espero que não. Os comediantes merecem mais.

3-qual é a situação das drogas no RU?

Ao contrário de Portugal, não temos uma política de tratar drogas como problema de saúde publica. Ainda é um assunto para a polícia, mas dado que os nossos serviços de polícia não tem orçamento suficiente, uso de drogas está a crescer. 

Além disso, assim como os EUA, queremos afastar o tabagismo da nossa sociedade e substituir o seu lugar de dependência de cannabis. Cá para mim, isso parece um erro. 

4- há temas tabus?

Depende do sítio. Por exemplo, Brexit é um tabu na sala de jantar (sobretudo na casa dos pais porque eles votaram sim) mas nas redes sociais, falo de brexit todos os dias!

5- como era normal antigamente ou no tempo? Faziam queixinhas?

Relacionado com este sujeito de politicamente correcto… não existia, mas a sociedade era  muito, mas mesmo muuuuiiiito mais racista do que hoje. Era uma cena diferente com racismo mais informal ou passivo, mas era por todo o lado (e o eu nos anos 80 não era inocente!). Não era uma cena boa. 

Não quero regressar lá. E pensei nisso quando o Ricardo disse que o politicamente correcto faz os idiotas parecem heróis da liberdade de expressão, mesmo que a “liberdade” que eles apoiam é liberdade de estar voltar ao comportamento ruim de antanho.

6- o que estás a achar?

Gosto bastante

(I actually wrote something else here because I didn’t understand what was being asked but it was just “what do you think of the video as a whole, not relating to the previous question?)

7- o que achas das pessoas que só elas é que podem dizer o que pensam

São hipócritas, sem dúvida. Ainda pior, sempre pensam que as suas opiniões são “factos” e os opiniões dos outros são baseadas em emoção e preconceito.

8- agora há informação sobre mais doenças. O que achas das pessoas que aderem aos produtos por moda, mas não por necessidade

A raiz é sempre vaidade ou sede de atenção.

9- o que achas das pessoas que criticam e julgam certos assuntos e situações só por não gostarem de algo

O que acho? Eu sou uma pessoa dessas! 

10- o que pensas das expressões usadas

Gostei da expressão “Benfica é merda” logo no final!

Obviously not what was being asked, but…

Posted in English


A portuguese teacher I know has started a new informal lesson package where she lets the student choose a TV show, film, book, album, or whatever and you watch/ listen/ read/ whatever together, screen-sharing over skype and she explains the cultural references and obscure phrases and so on. I thought I’d give it a whirl so I chose Salvador Martinha’s Netflix Special “Na Ponta Da Língua”, which I’ve listened to before but ages ago and at the time “não entendi patavina” as they say.

TBH, I’m still struggling because like most stand-up comedians, he talks quickly, uses a lot of slang and so on. I got a pretty good chunk of it though – maybe 70%. I already knew a lot of the cultural references: Casper the Friendly Ghost, The Gypsy Kings, knocking on the cieling with a broom and pillow-fights are all universal experiences, and I’d come across DAMA (An unbearably bland Portuguese boy band), in my search for decent portuguese music, but they weren’t it.

It was a bit embarrassing at times though because I’d underestimated the awkward factor of having so much rudity in the dialogue. She explained “orgia” (an orgy, obviously) and Picha (“dick”: like english, there are more words for this than there are for snow in Innuit) but discreetly passed over other bits like “começaram sacar um broche”. I got from the context that this was probably a bit off colour. Sure enough “um broche”, which just means “a brooch” has a calão meaning too – common enough to be in my paper dictionary: “blowjob”. So, I’m glad I left it, really.


Saving other tips & vocabulary for later references:

Dakar – just the race. It’s a marathon, I think…?

The Aparição de Fátima… ask your priest

Bollycao – dodgy looking prepackaged cakes – they look like some sort of mutant hybrid between a twinkie and a swiss roll. They used to come with a free sticker (“cromo” – also mentioned) but not these days.

Elvas is a place in Portugal and so is Covilhã.

MEO is a cheap cable/phone package that has a few seconds delay on it – hence the joke about someone clapping at the wrong time

Picha = Dick. Like in english, there are more words for this than for snow in innuit.

Macacos – can mean bogeys as well as monkeys

Lixívia – some sort of bleach or disinfectant brand

Top = very cool

50 = average price of… Cocaine, I think, although to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s that or Coca Cola. I probably need to go back and watch that bit again

Pitas = teenagers

Caipirinha = a kind of cocktail from Brazil. You probably knew that already but I don’t get out much.

Rebenta a bolha – literally means ‘burst the bubble’ but it’s something kids say when they’re playing out and they have to suspend the game – say while one of them has dinner.

O jogo ao sério – a game where you have to stare each other out and make faces and the first one to laugh or show teeth loses.

Posted in English, Portuguese

Raul With It

One of the chapters in Reaccionário Com Dois Cês is an obituary for Raul Solnado, who I’d never heard of. He died in 2009 and was recognised as one of the greats of portuguese comedy. Here he is in front of an audience in the sixties or seventies, telling a rambling story of the war of 1908. Top quality R-rolling.

Posted in English, Portuguese

Two Countries Separated By A Common Language

I was sent this video by my Brazilian language partner and its a pretty good illustration of the language barrier between the two sides of the atlantic. Note that the Portuguese guy (Caesar Mourão, one of the comedians on the line-up of the comedy festival I mentioned yesterday) understands the tourists because the Portuguese are so used to listening to Brazilian “Novelas” but they have no idea what he’s on about.

Posted in English

Chuckles Call to Chuckles Everywhere

I’ve found myself getting a bit more feminist lately. I have tended to be a bit dismissive of some claims of 21st-century feminism, to the point of wondering whether the word had outlived its usefulness, but have been energised lately by… well, it’s a long story. Suffice to say that having a daughter makes you want to punch more misogynists in the balls. I am all about the punching. I’m a regular Jean-Claude Van Dad.

Anyway, representation in comedy is not one of my main avenues of interest, but I was struck by this tweet earlier today, by Safaa Dib, who I know nothing about but seems to be a publisher and a candidate in a sort of left-green party called Partido Livre. She posted about the Festival de Humor, FamousFest 18. You can see why she was annoyed from the picture below. Literally not one single woman in the line-up. I know 6 of the names and 2 of those are not even comedians. Miquel Esteves Cardoso is a columnist and writer, and Filipe Melo is a producer and a graphic novelist. She doesn’t seem wildly impressed with some of the others either, judging by the comments.

If you click through to the thread, Guilherme Duarte, a comedian who uses the name Por Falar Noutra Coisa chips in and says a couple of women were invited but declined. Hm… well, fair enough up to a point… but then goes on to say (and this is less fair enough) that he didn’t want to have a quota system at the expense of quality (gasp… but wait, it gets worse…) that work was needed in the background to encourage women to try and be funny instead of making makeup tutorials. He salvages this mess of a tweet to some extent but not much. I was left with the impression that the scene is even more of a boy’s club than here.

Update 25/9/18