Posted in English

Expressões Idiomáticas, Climáticas e Palavráticas com Preposições hum… Aleatoriaticas?

So here are a couple of videos from the same guy. They are quite sweary so if you have a portuguese relative within earshot, you might want to use headphones. I was interested in the prepositions more than the swearing and I’ll tell you why when you’ve watched them. In fact, the whole post is quite sweary, even the English bits. If you are a child, reading this, please ask your parents to hide your device until your eighteenth birthday and then carry on reading.

OK, ready? Good. Happy birthday, by the way.

As you can see, he’s pretty funny. In each case he’s giving versions of the same expression:

Não faz frio nem orvalho mas está a chover para caralho.

Não faz chuva nem orvalho mas está um frio do caralho

If you don’t already know, caralho is one of the rudest words in the language. But what’s going on with those prepositions just in front of each? Why is it para in the first instance and do in the second? I threw the question open to the floor.

In both cases we’re using the bad word to emphasise how strongly we feel about the situation, but you lead into it with para when what you are emphasising is a verb. “Esta a chover para caralho”, “Os ovos andam caros para caralho”, for example.

On the other hand, if its a noun you’re emphasising, you lead in with do: “Está um frio do caralho”, “Cão do caralho passa toda a noite a ladrar”

Caralho!

It’s hard to draw a direct analogy to English swearing, not least because we wouldn’t even say “está um frio…” (“it’s a cold”). We’d treat frio as an adjective, not as a noun. But I’m sure you’ll be familiar with the fact that swear words are pretty flexible in how they’re used. So you could have ‘It’s cold as fuck” or “It’s raining like fuck” or “It’s a huge fucking storm”. Portuguese seems to have a rule about how the caralho is linked to the thing it’s referring to though so it seems to be one of those rare cases where portuguese is less complicated than English.

Posted in English

Cats vs Dogs

Spotted on twitter and laughed my head off.

I think it’s Brazilian, by the way. Not that different though. I think in european portuguese they would have dropped the “eu” in the first cat dialogue and used cão in place of cachorro. Obviously the punctuation is all over the place but that’s memes for you!

Posted in English, Portuguese

Apparently, That Was All Wrong

I wrote a post a couple of days ago, based around a joke. I was a bit surprised because the person who corrected my text said that I had made hardly any mistakes and that, contrary to what I thought, the joke worked well because “levar (…) ao jardim zoológico” and “levar (…) para o jardim zoológico” were interchangeable.

Well, that was all bollocks. The person in question was Brazilian and not very “picuinhas” at all. I had, of course, made plenty of errors, and the joke doesn’t work either. Sorry if any of you told it at a party and were met with blank stares. Taking a penguin to the zoo on a visit and taking it to be permanently housed at the zoo are too different in Portuguese for this misunderstanding to arise.

Um agente da PSP viu um homem num carro com 6 pinguins no banco de trás. Fez-lhe sinal para encostar o carro.

– Isto não pode ser, disse o polícia. O senhor tem de levar estes pinguins para o jardim zoológico.

O homem concordou e arrancou em direção ao zoológico.

No dia seguinte, o agente viu o mesmo homem a conduzir na Avenida Almirante Reis* com os mesmos pinguins. Mais uma vez, fez-lhe sinal para que estacionasse e aproximou-se do carro, parando várias vezes para evitar os ciclistas.

– Ó meu senhor, o que é que está a acontecer? Eu disse-lhe ontem que tinha de levar estas aves para o zoológico zoológico.

-Sim, disse o motorista. E curtiram muito. Hoje vamos para o cinema.

*this bit about the cyclists on the Avenida Almirante Reis is irrelevant and I only put not in to demonstrate my familiarity with urban planning controversies in Lisboa.

Posted in English, Portuguese

O Jardim Zoológico

(This post is completely wrong – I’ve posted an update here and I suggest you ignore this and read that instead!)

Here’s a joke I translated and asked if it worked. The person who marked it said it was fine, but he also offered very few corrections so maybe he’s just an easy-going type who makes allowances. Anyway, the reason I thought it would flop was the difference between “levar ao jardim zoológico” (take them to visit) and “levar para o jardim zoológico” (take them for the long term) would make it hard for a misunderstanding like this to occur. But he seemed to like it so maybe its OK. Try telling it to a Portuguese person and see what their reaction is.

Um agente da PSP viu um homem num carro com 6 pinguins no banco de trás. Indicou-lhe para encostar o carro.

– Isso não dá, disse o polícia. O senhor deve levar estes pinguins para o jardim zoológico.

O homem concordou e arrancou em direção ao jardim.

No dia seguinte, o agente viu o mesmo homem a conduzir na Avenida Almirante Reis* com os mesmos pinguins. Indicou-lhe mais uma vez para se estacionar e aproximou-se ao carro, pausando de vez em quando para evitar as ciclistas.

– Ó meu senhor, o que é que está a acontecer? Eu disse-lhe ontem que devia levar estas aves para o zoológico zoológico.

-Sim, disse o motorista. E curtiram muito. Hoje vamos para o cinema.

*this bit about the cyclists on the Avenida Almirante Reis is irrelevant and I only put not in to demonstrate my familiarity with urban planning controversies in Lisboa.

Posted in English, Portuguese

O Limerick

I enjoyed this as a challenge. And let me pass along the challenge to you, gentle reader: can you write a Limerick in Portuguese? Whack it in the comments and show me what you’ve got. All entrants win a free subscription to Luso Premium. That’s like ordinary Luso except you are allowed to read it out loud to yourself in a Michael Caine voice.

Um Limerick é um poema humorístico com 5 linhas. A primeira, a segunda e a quinta linhas rimam umas com as outras e a quarta rima com a terceira. Desafiei-me escrever um Limerick em português. Desculpem – acho que contem asneiras…

Havia um jovem do Porto
Cujo pénis era bastante torto
Mijou de maneira errada
Salpicou a tomada
Por isso o homem é morto*

*Apparently “é um homem morto” sounds more natural but I liked the rhythm better like this so I’ve left it.