Posted in English

Eu é Mais Bolos

Eu é mais bolos

I keep seeing people write this on twitter. The context is usually a bit iffy, but I can tell its not just a random collection of words thrown together, despite the slightly confusing use of “é” after “eu”.

Apparently, it comes from an old sketch, done by veteran comedian Herman José in which he plays José Severino, a pastry chef who has accidentally been invited onto a talk show to discuss radiography. When it came out – exactly thirty years ago – it was immediately successful and people started saying it to each other, and even now, in 2022, it lives on on social media.

Posted in Portuguese

Diogo Bataguas

Tentei ver um vídeo de Diogo Bataguas há anos mas não entendi patavina. Hoje de manhã experimentei mais uma vez, com o link sugerido pela Dani.

Consegui entender muito mas continuo a não achar engraçado porque ele fala tão rapidamente que os meus ouvidos mal conseguem decifrar as palavras antes de ele começar a a próxima frase e daí a diante, ando atrás da piada à espera de perceber o humor. Mas temos um ditado em inglês “O segredo da grande comédia é…. Hm… Como se diz ‘timing’*? Tempo? (Hm… Piadas tem mais graça quando o sol está a brilhar?) Sincronização? Acho que não. ‘temporização’? ‘cronometragem’? Pois… O meu problema é que, ainda que entenda as palavras, chego ao entendimento um meio segundo depois, e o humor fica estragado pelo atraso.

Tenho o mesmo problema com outros comediantes: Joana Marques (que aparece inesperadamente no vídeo), Salvador Martinha (estrela do primeiro programa português do Netflix, antes do Glória!), Bruno Nogueira e Mariana Cabral, entre outros. É frustrante.

Mas tenho ganas (ah ah, ainda estou a utilizar as frases de anteontem!) de rir com a comédia portuguesa, por isso continuo a experimentar vídeos de vez em quando. Um dia, vou conseguir!

*=There’s a very boring answer to this: they say “timing”. A couple of people pointed me to this Gato Fedorento sketch where a “javardola” (disgusting slob) seems elegant when he uses French words, but part way through he slips into using English words instead and doesn’t realise it. Timing is one of the words he uses.

Posted in English


Spotted on Twitter

What the troubled brain is saying is “And what if we’re living in a simulation or matrix and the OVNIs are the mouse pointers”

OVNI is “Objeto Voador Não Identificado” – A UFO in other words. I’ve heard Disco Voador (flying disc, flying saucer) too, but that was easier to decipher. This one needed a bit more legwork.

Posted in English, Portuguese

Anatomy of a Dad Joke

My plot to demoralise the Portuguese Republic by inflicting terrible puns on its citizens until they are unable to function continues apace. Here’s one I did yesterday – with a translation and explanation below.

Fui expulso da Sociedade Geográfica por ter insistido que o Terramoto de 1755 foi causado por moluscos marinhos. A partir daí, os sócios recusaram de falar comigo.
Foi um ostrasismo.

So the translation is:

I was expelled from the Geographical Society for insisting that the great earthquake of 1755 was caused by marine molluscs. From then on, the other members refused to speak to me. 
It was an ostracism

It’s probably obvious *where* the pun is. Ostracism is the word that sticks out as unusual. So why is it meant to be funny? Ostracismo is supposed to be spelled with a C, not an S, as I’ve written it. Ostra means oyster and Sismo is another word for earthquake. So… Ostra Sismo.

Posted in Portuguese

Halloween Special #2 – Contos de Terror No Escritório – Sangue, Morte e Folhas de Cálculo

My Portuguese practice texts are in Hallowe’en mode, and I’m still getting good mileage out of a book called “Between the Spreadsheets” which I read and reviewed on my other blog, The Data Swarm. Its last chapter is called “Data Horror Stories” and that seemed like a pretty good subject to work with. This one is quite a lot less serious than the data swarm one but it was a lot more fun to write [props to Dani Morgenstern for the corrections]

Cover of “At The Spreadsheets of Madness” by X L Lovecraft

Na semana passada, li um livro chamado “Entre as Folhas de Cálculo” (“Between the Spreadsheets” em inglês) que explica o problema dos “dados sujos” em projetos* informáticos e como resolvê-lo antes de ligar o novo sistema.

No último capítulo, a autora fala de “contos de terror” em relação aos dados que prejudicaram as reputações das empresas e causaram problemas graves aos funcionários. Mas parece-me que “conto de terror” não é a analogia certa. Os terríveis monstros dos clássicos do terror nunca utilizaram folhas de cálculo. Por exemplo, quando o Drácula foi apanhado com a boca na botij….hum…na senhora**, era só por causa da sede. Se tivesse um portátil com uma janela aberta com o MS Excel, a história seria muito diferente. Melhor? Pior? Quem sabe?

Igualmente, se o Chthulhu e os seus amigos não fossem deuses antigos mas sim contabilistas, teriam inspirado um sentimento de pavor nas mentes dos seres humanos com as suas tabelas dinâmicas arrepiantes e isso seria… Diferente…

Acho que todos nós podemos concordar que há apenas duas coisas piores do que um deus antigo que utiliza o MS Excel: (1) uma bruxa licenciada em gestão de projetos e (2) um lobisomem que quer explica os seus motivos com ajuda do MS PowerPoint durante 3 horas.

*=I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed but when I used to write my texts in italki the person who did most of the corrections hated the AO and always insisted I used old spellings. In this case it would have been “projectos”. But on WritestreakPT they are a bit more modern. This is probably for the best since the AO is the standard you should use for tests and so on.

**= “Apanhado com a boca na botija” means “caught with your mouth on the bottle” and it’s equivalent to “caught red handed” except in this case, he’d be caught red-mouthed slurping blood from the neck of his helpless victim.

OK OK I know botija isn’t strictly speaking a bottle it’s a sort of big jar thingy but it’s hard to translate OK, leave me alone.

Posted in English

Synonymous Bosch

Found our today that the word nora has two meanings. One is Daughter-in-law (I already knew this one) and the other is Waterwheel. Why those two things? I dunno.

Anyway, i was straight in there with a pun. I asked my wife to proof-read it for me to make sure I hadn’t ballsed up the grammar too badly. She’s very patient.

Posted in English

Attempts at Twitter Jokes

It’s really, really hard to make jokes in another language. Here’s an attempt that I think would have been OK in English but I tweeted it out in Portuguese, knowing I was on thin ice.

Every year it’s the same thing: as soon as the 21st of September is over the shops fill up with Day-to-Wake-that-guy-from-Green-Day cards.

Allow me to overexplain.

Green Earth, Green Wind and Green Fire

Obviously to understand it, you need to understand the cultural reference points: firstly that shops always start advertising Christmas merch as soon as Halloween is over (a pretty common trope in the UK) and secondly that there are running gags on twitter based around dates mentioned in songs: the twenty first night of September (because of Earth Wind and Fire’s song “September”) and the end of September (because of Green Day’s song “Wake Me Up When September Ends”). But I think even someone who knows all those things will find the magic broken if the grammar is off or the word order less than perfect. “Todos os anos a mesma coisa acontece” seems like a wordy, clunky way of saying “Every year it’s the same thing” and I’m sure it’ll come across as a bit off. And “ficam cheia de…” Does that sound like something a real Portuguese person would say? “as (prateleiras das) lojas enchem-se”? I dunno.

Well, I put it in the WritestreakPT forum and got a verdict from dani_morgenstern

Firstly, no the word structure is off. A better rendering would be

Todos os anos é a mesma coisa: assim que acaba o Dia 21 De Setembro às lojas ficam cheias de cartões do dia de Acordar Aquele Gajo dos Green Day

I chose to capitalise the whole of “Dia 21 De Setembro” as if it were a special day but setembro, like all months, is supposed to be in lower case.

As for cards, no, cards aren’t really a thing. I should have known that. I was so fixated on the timing that I didn’t stop to think about the more fundamental problem. D’oh!

The rest…. Well, you either know the songs or you don’t but I suspect a lot of people were pretty non-plussed. I was reminded that we should just let Billy Joe Armstrong rest because that Green Day song is about the death of his father but I never let respect for the dead stand in the way of a joke even if that joke is a grammatical and cultural train wreck.

Anyway, all in all, not a successful joke but a good learning experience, and that’s the whole idea, after all!

By the way, the tweet it’s quoting is in Brazilian Portuguese. “O carinha” looks weird but they use “cara” (“face”) to mean “guy” so carinha is just “the little guy”

Posted in English

Low Quality Memes For Your Consideration

I made these yesterday and tried translating them into Portuguese… Seems straightforward enough but humour is a bit tricky to get right.

… Obviously I realise the first one seems a bit douchey out of context, but the idea is to contrast vaccinated people with conspiracists, not to pretend Covid is no longer a problem. There are plenty of ways you can overthink it, but in the original context I think they made sense, so just try and relax and bask in the memishness.

Words for pandemic deniers can include negadores (“deniers”) negacionistas (“denialists” i guess) and I believe a conspiracy theorist is “o teórico da conspiração”

Ive used “disparates” for “nonsense”. I think “tretas” might have worked too. I feel that’s more like a deliberate, strategic falsehood rather than just straightforward nonsense. There are probably other options: maybe “bitates” (which I think is like waffle) or “palpites” (guesswork), or just the all-out rudity like merda. I’m sure there are dozens more. There certainly are in English!

Have I mentioned we had an outbreak of covid in the house? I don’t think I have on this blog. It’s all a bit mysterious really. I’ve written a text about it in Portuguese though so that will be popping up later today.

Posted in Portuguese

Um Trocadilho Inglês

A minha filha marcou uma consulta com a dentista ontem às duas e meia da tarde. Para nós, uma família que adora piadas (ou melhor dois de nós adoramos), este facto é mesmo engraçado porque em inglês, “as duas e meia” (two thirty) soa igual a “dorzinha de dente” (tooth hurty).
“two thirty” diz a macaquinha
“sim” respondo eu
“tenho de ir ao dentista” diz ela
“ah ah ah ah” respondo eu.
Coitadinha da mãe.

Posted in English, Portuguese

Piadas de Tiozão

Apparently piadas de tiozão (“big uncle jokes) are what Brazilians call dad jokes. Older subscribers who have endured three or more years of this blog (I raise a glass of Licor de Beirão in your honour) may remember that the European equivalent is “Piada Seca

I inflicted two in the world today.

Como se chama um cantor que tem muita sede?

Justin Beber

Como se chama um cantor que tem um leque e um tambor?

Justin Tamborleque