Posted in English

TFW you’re being Microaggressioned

As a result of a recent conversation about racism (following on from a book I read – there’ll be a review here in a day or two) a Brazilian guy on reddit pointed me to an account on Instagram called brasileirasNaoSeCalam. It’s basically one of these accounts that seeks to ginger people up for a particular cause by telling you how absolutely terrible everything is. In this case, quite a lot of the posts are just quotations from Brazilians in other countries recounting times they were victims of racism. The vast majority of them are in Portugal.

It’s quite interesting from a sociological point of view because of course there are racists in every country and knowing what kinds of stereotypes people have about each other tells you something interesting about the country. There is definitely racism against Brazilians in Portugal. I’ve seen videos and I have spoken to people who have some really unpleasant views about them all being thieves and whores, but I’m a bit unclear about the extent of that racism and I’m curious to know more.

But just as there is racism in every country, microaggressions (ie perceived slights which are held to be evidence of a deep seated hostility) are everywhere too, mainly thanks to the steady creep of absolutely terrible ideas from the USA. And my sense is that a lot of these posts fall under that heading. And in a way, that’s interesting in itself because learning what people see as a microaggression can tell you something about the shape of paranoia in a particular demographic. Take this for example:

(I’m doing an online course and my teacher always turns up with two video options for us to watch: one in Brazilian and one in English “for anyone who doesn’t like Brazilian”

From the comments, the reason for the complaint is that some people find the use of “brasileiro” in place of “português de Brasil” to be evidence of hatred, and the fact that she thinks some people might prefer to hear a foreign language rather than a São Paulo accent just adds insult to injury. This seems a little over-sensitive, but more importantly, I think it’s pretty obvious that there are plenty of alternative explanations for why English is being offered alongside Brazilian. For example, Portugal has a pretty good record of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers from Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine, among others. It must be a hard transition for those people to make given how much harder it is to learn portuguese than English. Of course it’s not practical to have videos in every language, but English is practically a universal esperanto these days, and it seems very likely that someone who is still struggling to learn portuguese might find it easier to follow an English language video than one that is in a strong, unfamiliar accent.

The irony is I think the teacher is being unfairly accused of racism just because they are making the course more accessible for all immigrants, and not exclusively catering to the needs of oversensitive Brazilians. Quite a lot of the quotes on the site are in the same vein: they’re minor or open to more charitable interpretation or just frankly unlikely-sounding.

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some real racist incidents on there, but I get the impression it’s one of those accounts where all the followers want to tell their victimhood story and the net effect is that it becomes a huge echo chamber and everyone inside is in a state of constant fear and rage, way out of proportion to the real situation. I’d love to find some good journalism on the subject though. When I say good journalism I mean (a) uses data competently and thoughtfully and (b) doesn’t pepper their narrative with the word ‘privilege’.

Posted in English


Beto (Lauro Corona)
Beto (Lauro Corona)

I’ve heard the word “Beto” or its diminutive, “Betinho”, being used a few times as a sort of derrogatory word for a rich, posh person – someone the kids today would call privileged. I think I first came across it in 1986 A Série but didn’t really wonder where it came from. Apparently it’s from the early eighties when a Brazilian Telenovela called Dancing Days first aired on portuguese TV. There was a character in that called Beto, who was the son of well-off parents. He was played by Lauro Corona. The series aired in the late seventies and made its way to Portugal in the early eighties, so it still would have been quite a new word in 1986 when Nuno Markl puts it into the mouths of his protagonists.

Anyway, here’s a clip from the original series. It has strong eighties vibes to me, but I guess these trends don’t fit precisely into decades, do they?

Posted in English, Portuguese

Odeio Pessoas

I did a translation of “Super Ego trip Humilde” by Gandim a while ago and I fancied doing a second one. It took me a while because the page kept crashing and losing my work but I finally finished the bugger, Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you an english translation of The senstiment is pretty familiar – standard observational comedy – so it’s relatable content for pretty much anyone, but he manages to end it in a way that saves it from being cliché.

Este é um som bué positivo, bué lá em cima /This is a really positive sound, really uplifting
Alegria, dedicado a todas as pessoas do mundo inteiro / Happiness going out to everyone in the whole world
Yeeeeehahhhh / Yes
Estou a gozar… isto é para todas as pessoas que eu odeio / I’m kidding… This is for all the people I hate
E que vocês deviam odiar também / And that you should hate too
Se por acaso alguém ficar ofendido /If by chance anyone gets offended
I don’t give a shit / I don’t give a shit
Odeio pessoas que pedem francesinha vegetariana / I hate people who ask for vegetarian francesinha
Odeio pessoas que querem pizza sem queijo ou com banana / i hate people who want pizza without cheese or with banana
Odeio pessoas que mastigam feitas vacas de boca toda aberta / I hate people who chew like cows with their mouths wide open
Odeio pessoas na faixa do meio com a estrada deserta / I hate people in the middle lane with the road deserted
Odeio pessoas que usam comic sans como fonte /I hate people who use Comic Sand as a font
Odeio pessoas que dizem tou a chegar mas inda vão na ponte / I hate people who say I’m about to arrive
Odeio pessoas com música sem phones no autocarro / I hate people who listen to music without headphones
Odeio pessoas que passeiam na rua a puxar catarro / I hate people who walk in the road and cough up phlegm
Odeio quem chega sempre atrasado / I hate people who always arrive late
Odeio quem pede bife do lombo bem passado / I hate people who order sirloin well done
Odeio quem não responde às mensagens / I hate people who don’t reply to messages
Odeio quem mostra mil fotos de viagens / I hate people who show a thousand holiday photos
Odeio pessoas que usam a palavra top / I hate people who use the word “top”
Dizem face e insta / And say Face and Insta
Falam à tia tipo de snob / Speak to their aunt like a snob
Odeio velhas a pagar as contas no atm / I hate old ladies who pay their bills at the ATM
Adultos com boné / Adults in baseball caps
Quem come o último m&m / Who eat the last M&M
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
Podiam morrer todas / They can all die
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
De qualquer idade / Of whatever age
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
Velhos e crianças / Old people and children
Odeio pessoas na generalidade / I hate people in general
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
Anseio a extinção / I yearn for extinction
O fim do mundo / The end of the world
É a melhor solução / Is the best solution
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
Anseio a extinção / I yearn for extinction
O asteroide / The asteroid
É a melhor solução / Is the best solution

Odeio pessoas que falam alto na sala de cinema / I hate people who talk in the cinema
Odeio pessoas que ainda acham cool dançar o esquema / I hate people who still think it’s cool to dance the esquema
Odeio pessoas que se guiam pelos signos / I hate people who follow the signs (I think this is about people followijg astrology rather than road signs)
Odeio pessoas que acham tarólogos fidedignos / I hate people who believe astrologers
Odeio pessoas que usam sunga na piscina sem ser natação / I hate people who wear speedos when they’re not even swimming
Odeio pessoas com bebés a chorar no avião / I hate people with babies who cry on the plane
Odeio os bebés… a chorar em qualquer lado / I hate babies crying anywhere
Odeio os pais que não os calam um bocado / I hate parents who can’t get them to be quiet for a bit
Odeio quem diz que tem wi-fi, mas é lento / I hate anyone who says they have wi-fi but it’s slow
Odeio quem sorve a sopa, é nojento / I hate anyone who serves sleep, it’s disgusting
Odeio quem diz que não precisa de beber para se divertir / I hate anyone who says they don’t need to drink to have fun
Odeio quem entra no metro antes de te deixar sair / I hate anyone who gets on the metro without letting people get out
Odeio pessoas que puxam o lençol / I hate people who hog the sheets
Não sabem fazer rotundas / They don’t know how to use a roundabout
E riem-se com lol / And they laugh by saying “lol”
Odeio betos que sinalizam virtude / I hate posh people who virtue-signal
Activismo de hashtag / Hashtag activism
Não há quem os ature Nobody can put up with them
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
Podiam morrer todas / They can all die
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
De qualquer idade / of whatever age
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
Velhos e crianças / Old people and children
Odeio pessoas na generalidade / I hate people in general
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
Anseio a extinção / I look forward to extinction
O fim do mundo / the end of the world
É a melhor solução / Is the best solution
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
Anseio a extinção / I look forward to extinction
A peste negra / The black plague
É a melhor solução / Is thebest solution

Odeio pessoas de óculos escuros em espaços fechados / I hate people who wear sunglasses indoors
Odeio pessoas que passam à frente nos supermercados / I hate people who get in my way in the supermarket
Odeio pessoas que metem a toalha em cima com a praia vazia / I hate people people who put out a towel on an empty beach
Odeio pessoas que não respondem a um bom dia / I hate people who don’t reply when you say hello
Odeio pessoas que publicam indirectas nas redes sociais / I hate people who talk shit on the internet**
Odeio casais com facebook conjunto siameses digitais / I hate couples with joint facebook pages like digital siamese twins
Odeio pessoas felizes logo de manhã / I hate people who are happy first thing in the morning
Odeio pessoas com unhas de gel a bater no ecrã / I hate people with gel nails tapping on their phone screen
Odeio quem deixa o carro estacionado em segunda fila / I hate anyone who leaves their car double-parked
Odeio quem diz que é doce de ovos mas afinal é de gila / I hate anyone who says that they’ve made egg custard but actually it’s made of gila***
Odeio quem tem iphone e não arranja os dentes / I hate anyone who has an iphone but doesn’t get their teeth fixed
Odeio quem estaciona no lugar dos deficientes / I hate anyone who parks in the disabled parking space
Odeio a namorada que não queria nada / I hate a girlfriend who didn’t want anything
Come as tuas batatas / She eats your potatoes****
E ainda fica indignada / And still gets annoyed
Odeio as pessoas que dizem “as ‘soas” / I hate people who say “peeps” *****
Fanhosos a fungar / Snotty people sniffing
Porque é que não te assoas / Why don’t you blow your nose?
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
Podiam morrer todas / They can all die
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
De qualquer idade / of whatever age
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
Velhos e crianças / Old people and children
Odeio pessoas na generalidade / I hate people in general
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
Anseio a extinção / I look forward to extinction
O fim do mundo / the end of the world
É a melhor solução / Is the best solution
Odeio pessoas / I hate people
Anseio a extinção / I look forward to extinction
Holocausto nuclear / Nuclear holocaust
É a melhor solução / Is the best solution

Ainda tenho muito ódio em mim / I still have a lot of hate in me
Mas a música está quase no fim / but the song is almost over
Por isso sem rodeio / So without further ado
Aqui vão mais umas quantas pessoas que odeio / Here are some other people I hate
Quem faz espuma nos cantos da boca / People who froth at the sides of their mouth
Gémeos adultos com a mesma roupa / Adult twins with the same clothes
Quem diz que anda aí com um projecto / Anyone who says it’s out with a project
Quem diz sande, apesar de estar correcto / Anyone who says “sande” (even though that’s correct)
Odeio quem não sabe cortar queijos / I hate anyone who doesn’t know how to cut chese
Odeio quem se dá um em vez de dois beijos / I hate anyone who gives one instead of two kissed
Odeio quem se despede com abreijos / I hate anyone who signs off with “abreijos
Odeio quem se queixa que em agosto está sol / I hate anyone who complains that the sun is shining in August
Que são os mesmos que em dezembro dizem que faz briole / They’re the same people who say it’s chilly in December
Quem não fez o trabalho de grupo, mas aparece na apresentação / Who doesn’t pull their weight in the team but still turns up at the presentation
Quem filma concertos inteiros nas stories, mêmo pitas sem noção / Who films the whole concert on their stories – they really are clueless kids
Odeio pessoas que interrompem as outras a falar / I hate people who interrupt when others are talking
Puto olha aqui uma cena… man, não vês que estou a gravar? / “Dude, look at this thing…” Man, can’t you see I’m recording?
Odeio quem usa chinelos com meias / I hate anyone who wears sandals with socks
Modelos de Instagram feias / Ugly instagram models
Com os seus pezinhos sapudos, enfiados na areia / With their podgy feet stuck in the sand
Odeio quem luta pelo ac no trabalho, / I hate people who fight for air conditioning at work
Dói-me a garganta, eh pá, vai pó caralho / It hurts my throat, hey man, fuck off!
Quem não sabe conjugar o verbo haver / Anyone who doesn’t know how to conjugate the verb “haver”
Quem não sabe usar palavra literalmente, podia morrer / Anyone who doesn’t know how to use the word “literally” can die.
Odeio pessoas que só se queixam e dizem mal / I hate people who only complain and say bad stuff
Odeio pessoas e seres humanos no geral / I hate people and huiman beings in general
Odeio quem está no reflexo do espelho / I hate the person reflected in the mirror
Por isso é que tenho tanto ódio / That’s why I have all this hate
Não gosto do que vejo / I don’t like what I see
Odeio-me a mim mesmo, ganda plot twist / I hate myself. Huge plot twist
Afinal o misantropo / Ultimately the misanthrope
Era só um inseguro triste / was just a sad, insecure man
Ya, ganda final / Yeah, big finish
Não é cómico, mas tem boa moral / It’s not funny but it has a good moral
Ya, ganda final / Yeah, big finish
Não é cómico, mas tem boa moral / It’s not funny but it has a good moral

*It says “inda” in the original and I’m pretty sure it should be “ainda” but whether that’s a typo or just slang like “tou” and some of the other words in the rap.

**Uma indirecta is a comment that appears to be nice but has a hidden, malicious intent. It’s not a straightforward personal attack and… actually, it’s a little hard to know how to translate it. Subtweet? Trolling? Something like that.

***I don’t know why it has taken me until now to find this out but apparently Gila is a kind of green squash that’s often used in sweets. Sounds weird, but then pumpkin pie exists, so is it really that strange? So he’s protesting about “doce de ovos” (egg custard type stuff) turning out to just be nasty pumpkin goo. Well, fair enough, I can see how that wold be annoying!

**** I wondered if this was some sort of expression, but no, it’s just literal. You ask someone if they want a portion of chips and they say no but then proceed to eat all of yours

***** I think ‘soas is short for “pessoas” so I’ve used the closest equivalent I could think of but I could be wrong…

Posted in English

Tia Angústia

I used the phrase “Tia Angústia” as the original title of yesterday’s post and that made me wonder if there really was a Portuguese equivalent to the English expression “Agony Aunt”, that would be better than my all-too-literal translation. I asked…

Acabei de usar esta frase no meu texto dia. Foi uma piada, porque aposto que a expressão não existe em português mas “agony aunt” em inglês significa alguém que dá conselho, principalmente sobre amor, por exemplo num jornal ou numa revista. Tipo: “Cara Tia Joana, Amo um rapaz mas é casado com um caranguejo. O que é que devo fazer?” / Já consideraste vestir-se a vermelho e andar de lado para chamar-lhe a atenção? Será que tais pessoas existem/iam lá? E se existem mesmo, qual é a… Sei lá… O título deste cargo…?

A Revista Maria
Yeah yeah, we believe you, José Nuno Martins

Anyway, it turns out that, no, agony aunt columns were never really a thing in papers, but that seems to have been largely because there was a magazine called Maria, launched in 1978 that absorbed all this action. People would address their letters to “Maria” and so having another personality, an agony aunt figure, wasn’t really necessary. A lot of this is based on people speculating so it’s not an authoritative answer or anything.

Maria still exists but it has modernised and moved on to fashion and lifestyle tips, but you an find old advice from it if you look around. Here, for example. Apparently the letters were real, and the people who answered them were psychologists, according to the magazine’s own account of itself.

So, bottom line, nobody will know what you’re on about if you refer to a Tia Angústia but if you need a cultural reference point in the same sort of area to drop into conversation, a revista Maria is probably the right one to reach for.

Posted in English

Se Me Agiganto

I’d like to thank Heike Dio who commented under a recent post about the Dulce Pontes / Moonspell collab. She suggested I have a look at the Linda Martini performance on Antena 3 with Ana Moura on guest vocals. It’s good: very stylish and original, so I’m really glad to have it on my YouTube music playlist. I must say, I still prefer the chaos energy of the Dulce Pontes one though. I’ve been watching that at least once a day since I first found it. Here is Heike’s recommendatiin though, and I’ll try and translate the lyrics underneath because that’ll help me understand it.

If I Grow*

Espero que te venha o sono /I hope sleep comes to you
Que te deites cedo, antes de eu chegar /That you go to bed early before I arrive
Que isto de ser dois, longe do plural /Because this thing of being a couple, far from being plural
É tão singular /Is so singular

Paredes de empena / Gabled walls
Já nem vale a pena /It’s not even worth it any more
Resta-nos arder / Now it’s time for us to burn
Que esta chama lenta /Because this slow flame
Já virou tormenta** / Has become a firestorm
E ao entardecer / And as it gets late

Ninguém me diz / Nobody told me
O que há depois de nós / That there was something after us
E se depois de nós / And that after us both
Os dois me Agiganto / I’ll grow.

Eu já fui embora / And i left
Já marquei a hora / And i marked the time
Pra não me atrasar / So as not to be late
Já comprei bilhete / i bought a ticket
Deixei-te um bilhete / i left you a ticket
E a descongelar / And once thawed out
Os restos de ontem / Yesterday’s leftovers
Dão pra o jantar / Will be enough for dinner

Ninguém me diz / Nobody told me
O que há depois de nós / That there was something after us
E se depois de nós / And that after us both
Os dois me Agiganto / I’ll grow.

*=Agigantar literally means become a giant, but with that little reflexive pronoun, it becomes a verbo pronomial meaning “get bigger” so “grow” seems like a better translation.

**=Tormenta looks like it ought to mean “torment”. It actually means “storm” but I translated it as firestorm because a flame becoming a rainstorm doesn’t seem right.

Posted in English


It’s hard to think of two musical. Genres that would be harder to turn into a crossover performance than Fado and Death Metal. And yet, if you think about it, is it that surprising a combination? They both deal in heavy stuff like death and despair, everyone’s wearing black and it’s all guitar-based (albeit a different kind of guitar). Fado is usually more subtle of course, but could it ever work? Well, here’s Dulce Pontes and Moonspell coming to test the theory at the Play Awards a few days ago.

It starts out with her singing fado and him not really able to keep up, and they go along together for a while, but by the end she’s pretty much reigning supreme over goth metal and he still can’t really keep up. The bit right at the end where he roars and she shrieks, but she can keep up the shrieking about four times as long as he can keep up the roar so he’s just left there staring at heaven from whence God’s vengeance cometh while she’s still belting out the same note. No prisoners taken!

The song they’re singing at the start is “Porque”, from Dulce’s latest album, and it’s based on a poem by Sophia De Mello Breyner Andresen. It’s expressing admiration for another person’s bravery and independence of spirit (“because others wear a mask but you don’t, because others use their virtue to pay for what can’t be forgiven – because others are afraid and you aren’t”) After the beat drops at about the half way mark, they’re onto Moonspell’s “In Tremor Dei“* which is a doom laden song about the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake “Lisbon in flames – a lantern lit, when a city falls another empire arises…” On the face of it, the two songs don’t seem to go well together, but the segue works because of the lyrics: at the end of the second verse of the fado, they sing together “porque os outros se calam mas tu não” – “because others keep quiet but you don’t.” Cue drums, guitar, crowd chanting and first pumping. Epic.

There were some other crossovers at the same show, like one between Nenny and Ana Moura, or between Camané, Agir and the Ukrainian Orthodox Choir, all good in their own ways of course, but this one is by far the most epic.

I’ve got tickets to see a Dulce Pontes concert that was delayed from last November to this November and I’m hoping she brings these lads with her now.

*Don’t panic if you’re struggling to translate the title – it’s Latin, not Portuguese!

Posted in English

Eating Cyclists – Finally An Answer to the Cost of Living Crisis?

Someone I follow in twitter showed a picture of his lunch which he described as “Bolos de bacalhau com uns ciclistas, molhinho verde e um outro ‘molhinho'”. Cod-cakes, with cyclists, green sauce and another ‘sauce’. The other sauce was wine, in case you’re wondering. What about the cyclists though? It looked like a plate of black-eyed beans to me – I couldn’t see any meat that looked like it has been carved off an oil-smeared leg, but my daughter is obsessed with cannibalism at the moment (that’s normal for a teenager, right?) so my interest was piqued.

Cyclist cannibal
I ate his lycra with some feijões fradinhos and a nice chianti

Further down the comments, he explains that he’s always referred to black-eyed beans as cyclists but wasn’t sure why. Cue another bout of research… Yeah I know, “Research” is one of those words that gets misused a lot on the Internet: it sounds like it involved a lot of hard work in a library but let’s be real: it just means the person did a bit of googling. “Do your own research” says some bro on twitter who’s just skimmed a medium article written by an seventeen year old who shared the exact same prejudices as him. OK, OK, I’m not writing a PhD thesis here, or trying to get a university professor sacked, and a Google search will do, so here are the fruits of my Extensive Academic Research.

The first link I found said something about how in the old days, there were always little bugs (“Bichos”) that used to turn up in bean salads and people would describe the bugs as cyclists (eh?) and after a while the name got transferred to the beans themselves.

This sounded like absolute bollocks to me so I carried on looking and came across this link on a blog called Rodas de Viriato, which seemed a lot more believable. First of all, the guy who wrote the tweet didn’t quite have it right: the name “ciclistas” seems to have originated not with black eyed beans (“Feijão Fradinho”) but with another kind of bean native to Alentejo which doesn’t even have an official name, but which has two different nicknames – “Feijão Ciclista” or “Feijão Boneco”. Its easy to see, if you look at the pictures on the site, why it might have got those names – the pattern on it looks like a cyclist seen face-on, or like a doll. I don’t have permission to use the images and they are watermarked so I won’t reproduce them but click through and see for yourself.

Sadly, the bean is pretty rare these days – it’s a “heritage” variety and apart from this blog there is almost no mention of it anywhere. If you search for “feijão boneco” Google shows you lots of beany babies – dolls stuffed with beans, not beans with doll patterns on them. And maybe that’s why the name has transferred to the more common black-eyed bean.

Posted in English

Uma Maria-Rapaz

Ooh, I was intrigued by this passage in the book I’m reading. Are you ready for a couple of new expressions and some incoherent ramblings about gender? You are? Then come with me!

Had his colleague noticed that he admired her?

But what creature had bitten him? He had never thought about Marta that way. He had always seen her as like a Maria-rapaz, a partner who, although she was a woman, was able to talk like a man.

Sex is like that. It changes everything completely.

There are a couple of cool new things here. First of all, “que bicho lhe mordera” (“what beast had bitten him”) could be taken literally – there are certainly sites online that use some version of that as a headline to inform readers of how to figure out the origin of an insect bite or sting. In this case, though, it’s figurative. It just means something like “what had got into him?” or “why was he acting so strangely”.

The second phrase is even better. “Maria-rapaz”, as you can probably guess from the context, is a tomboy. According to the Wikipedia entry, there are quite a few different versions of this idea in popular usage, such as “moleca” and “maria-homem”. The meaning of it seems pretty congruent with the English equivalent. The Portuguese article is mercifully straightforward (at the time of writing), in contrast with the English version which has been larded with gender-studies buzzwords because, obviously, girls can’t just play with skateboards without well-meaning adults sticking labels on them. Ugh.

As the article says, the feminine male equivalent – “maricas” is much more likely to be seen as implying that the person is gay, which isn’t present in the idea of a tomboy, and – male gender stereotypes being more rigid – it’s generally seen as a more negative, derogatory word. There isn’t a Wikipedia page for maricas but Priberam sets out the different meanings pretty clearly.

I think that’s all for today. I had an extended side-note about that word “bicho” in the first expression, that was going to unpack the beastliness but I think I’ve decided it needs a blog post of its own so I’m going to do part 2 in this discussion tomorrow.

Posted in English

Mother’s Day /Labour Day

I’m a day late with this so I’ll backdate it: Feliz Dia da Mãe to all Portuguese mothers, and Feliz Dia Do Trabalhador to all members of the Classe Operária (Portuguese working class)

If you’re both a mother and a labourer, make sure the people in your household bake you two cakes because you’ve earned it.

I was talking to m’wife this morning about May Day and how we don’t really register it as a big deal here apart from having a bank holiday and an excuse to sit in the garden (weather allowing) reading and drinking. If we think about it hard enough we might remember that there’s a socialist celebration known as May Day which happens to fall roughly on the same date as the older, pagan May Day festival, but there isn’t usually a lot of fuss about it. We don’t drive tanks down Pall Mall like the Soviets would have, and Hallmark don’t sell Tony Benn greetings cards or Hallowe’en-style costumes depicting the Spectre of Communism haunting Europe. It does seem to be a bigger deal on Portugal though, with its socialist tradition, dating back to the resistance to the Novo Estado. In fact, according to this tweet from the Assembleia da República, almost the first thing the revolutionaries did after overthrowing the Fascists on April 25th was to give themselves a holiday a few days later. Nice!

Posted in English

Dia De S Receber

I have been listening to other Xutos and Pontapés songs after getting over my mental block with A Minha Casinha the other day, I like this one: Dia de S Receber. I’m not a catholic so the title is a little bit alien to me, but saints’ days seem to be more of a thing in Portugal than they are in britain, at least if my Twitter feed is anything to go by. the S in the title is short for Sao (“Saint”) so São Receber means “Saint Receive” and that means o Dia de Sao Receber is payday, right? I’m not wrong about that am I? I hope not or this translation is going to be a right old mess….

This is the best kind of video, by the way: It has the lyrics appearing as part of the video, not just as inaccurate subtitles, which is really helpful for us learners. If you want to find out more about them you shouldn’t find it hard: there’s loads of their stuff on Youtube, on Spotify and all the usual places. I’m sort of intrigued by a book I came across on bertrand’s website too: there’s a comic book about them with a free CD. It’s part of a series including eight well-known portuguese bands. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it but I might bung it in the basket next time I’m shopping for books, I shouldn’t be doing any such thing of course, because I’m on a book-buying ban, but it’s nearly my birthday so I might just treat myself.

Dia de S receber

Aaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiii a minha vida / Oh my life!
Aaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiii a minha vida / Oh my life!
Embora falar da arte / Let’s talk about art
Da arte de sobreviver / About the art of survival
Daquela que se descobre / Of what we find out
Quando não há que comer / When there’s nothing to eat
Há os que roubam ao banco / There are those who rob banks
Os que não pagam por prazer / Those who don’t pay for pleasure
Os que pedem emprestado / Those who borrow money
E os que fazem render / And those who earn money
Este dia a dia é duro / This day-to-day is hard
É duro de se levar / It’s hard to get up
É de casa pró trabalho / It’s from house to work
E do trabalho pró lar / And from work to home
Leva assim uma vida / A life could get taken up that way
Na boínha* sem pensar / Fair enough if you don’t think about it
Mas há-de chegar o dia / But the day has to come
Em que tens de me pagar / When you have to pay me
Ai é o dia / Oh** it’s the day
De S. Receber / The day of São Receber
Dia de S. Receber / Day of São Receber
Já não chega o que nos / It’s not enough what
Tiram à hora de pagar / They take from us on payday
É difícil comer solas / It’s difficult to eat
Estufadas ao jantar / stewed shoe soles for dinner
De histórias mal contadas / By badly-told stories
Anda meio mundo a viver / Half the world is living
Enquanto o outro meio / While the other half
Fica à espera de receber / Are waiting to get paid
Ai é o dia / Oh it’s the day
De S. Receber / The day of São Receber
Dia de S. Receber / Day of São Receber
Aaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiii a minha vida / Oh my life!
Aaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiii a minha vida / Oh my life!***
É assim esta diálise / That’s how it is, the dialysis****
Entre o deve e o haver / between owing and having
Sei que para o patrão custa / I know it’s hard for my boss
Enfrentar este dever / to face this duty
O dinheiro para mim não conta / Money doesn’t count for me
Eu trabalho por prazer / I work for pleasure
Mas o dia que eu mais gosto / But the day I like the best
É o dia de S. Receber / Is the day of São Receber

* You won’t find boínha in the dictionary. It’s just a diminutive though: Na boa + inha = na boínha. Ciberdúvidas says it shouldn’t have an accent but this is how I found it on the lyrics page so I’m leaving it in.

**Ai is an exclamation like “Oh!”, not to be confuised with “Aí” which means “There”. If you look at the video, it’s the same word he’s shouting at the beginning and in the middle as “AAAAAAAAIIIIII”

*** In the video, when he gets to the middle of the song at the second round of “AAAAAAAIIIIIII” etc, he adds a couple of extras in: first, a nursery rhyme called “Atirei o pau ao gato” (“I threw the stick at the cat”) which has been criticised for cruelty to animals (I wrote a blog post about this ages ago but it’s pretty much what you’d expect from people who have nothing better to do than to closely analyse nursery rhymes). Secondly, there’s a bit of swearing: “A puta da minha vida” – “My bitch of a life”, which seems to be quite a common expression. For a start, it’s used in the title of this very good collection of essays by Miguel Esteves Cardoso, which I read a few years ago when I was at B1 level and even then found very easy to read and very funny.

**** Weird word choice, this. According to Priberam it really does only have that medical meaning. I wondered if it was a misprint – maybe some other word meaning “dichotomy” or “dualism” or something but it’s right there in the video, so I asked Mrs L about it and she says yeah, it does just seem to be that idea some idea that there’s a medical procedure required to separate out the money owed and the money you have.