Posted in Portuguese

A Crónica Dos Bons Malandros

Ontem à noite vi a última parte d’A Crónica dos Bons Malandros. A série estreou na RTP há um ano. É fixe / legal (há uma personagem brasileira e uma piada recorrente é o fingimento por parte de várias pessoas que não compreendem os sotaques de outras).

Há muuuuiiito calão na série e as personagens falam muito depressa* mas não faz mal porque há legendas que ajudaram-me** entender. Além disso, desenrola-se nos anos oitenta, portanto há muitas referências à cena daquela época: terrorismo, política, cultura, futebol e música pop. Aprendi muito por pesquisar várias palavras e frases.

Vi alguém a descrever a série como, e cito “Ocean’s Eleven à Portuguesa”. E acho que esta é uma descrição adequada, até certo ponto. Os protagonistas são menos competentes e a história inteira enfatiza o lado engraçado em vez de imitar o estilo do Clooney e Pitt, mas é suave na mesma. Gostei tanto quanto de uma série da Netflix, por exemplo.

*i used “rápido” but it’s describing the word “falam” which is a verb so we need an adverb, not an adjective.

**Another example where a change of mindset is needed, at least in my case I wrote ajudou instead of ajudaram. In English you’d just say “which helped”, and there isn’t a difference between single and plural versions of “helped” so i suppose I’d always thought of that as meaning “the fact (singular) that there were subtitles helped” but in Portuguese it’s a lot starker that no, actually, “the subtitles (plural) helped” so the verb has to be plural to match.

Posted in English

A Crónica Dos Bons Malandros – Vocabulary

I’ve been watching the TV adaptation of Mário Zambujal’s novel, A Crónica dos Bons Malandros (the chronicles of the good… scoundrels…? hmm… it doesn’t sound as good in english though does it?), about a bunch of chancers who set out to steal some valuable jewels from the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian. It’s on RTP1 and it has portuguese subtitles which helps when the dialogue is fast (most of the time) but even so, it’s really challenging. Lots of slang, lots of period detail from the early eighties. Here are a few words and phrases that I collected along the way. It’s pretty far from being a full glossary, but they were the things that caught my intetrest

Os Bons Malandros – the Portuguese Ocean’s Eleven

A trouxe-mouxe

In a disorderly manner, helter skelter

Isso são pilha-galinhas. Vamos embora

When the gang get arrested early in the series, the cops get a call on the radio a abiut a more serious crime and so they decide to let them go because they are just “pilha-galinhas”: small-fry, literally chicken thieves.

Gamar 

To steal something in a sneaky way. Nick it, pinch it, ‘ave it away.

Enxame

A swarm of bees. You can’t really miss this one because when they release it there are bees everywhere

Prateleira

Usually means shelf but it comes up in a slightly surprising context. According to Priberam it can also mean “Os seios”

Isto é uma cena muito política, ‘tás a ver? Cunhas

Cunhas just means wedges, and when people use it like this it’s meant to convey that the person has contacts who can help them get a foot in the door. In other words, it’s a gripe about being treated unfavourably by insiders making way for their friends.

Carlinhos dança que se desunha

Literally “desunhar” is what it sounds like: unhas are nails, as in fingernails, so des-unhar might literally mean to remove someone’s claws or nails, but more likely, when used as a pronomial verb with se, as in the example, it means working so hard that your nails come off. So Carlos dances a lot, puts everything into it. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s good (although he seems to be that too!)

Trigo limpo, farinha Amparo

This one comes from an old advertising slogan for Amparo, a brand name of a kind of wheat meal popular in the seventies and eighties. I think when it’s used in the show he’s using it to mean it’s all good, nothing to worry about.

Pentelho

A public hair – or by extension any trivial, insignificant thing

Borla

Literally means a tassel, but can also mean a freebie. I’m not sure how informal this is though: the character who says it is asking a prostitute if she’ll “fazer uma borla” and I think he’s asking for a freebie as a regular customer. Whether you can use the same expression when asking your friend to fix your laptop for free, I don’t know. Caveat emptor.

“És anti-religiosa?” / “Nao, sou anti-mirones”

Said by Zinita when o doutor turns the statue of Jesus to face the wall. A mirone is a rubbernecker, peeping tom, lookie-loo, that kind of thing

Alcunha

This one comes up a few times and it means nickname

Figurante

A film extra

Não enche meu saco

Don’t annoy me.

Népia

Nuffink, Nope

FP-25

Forças Populares 25 de Abril was a left wing terrorist organisation in the eighties.

Fuça

The nose, mouth area of an animal – the snout or the muzzle, so when the guy in the prison yard says he’s going to esmagar Flávio’s fuça he means he’s going to give him what PG Wodehouse would call “a poke in the snoot”

Olarila

Something like “oh yes indeed” although I don’t think the justiceiro means it when he says this to the fascist banana seller because in the next line he reminds him that his father is…

A gritar bravos ao Botas no cemitério do Tarrafal

Tarrafal was a concentration camp in Cabo Verde where the Estado Novo kept its political prisoners, so if someone was shouting bravo there they were probably a collaborator or a lickspittle of some kind. I’m not sure who or what Botas was – I can’t find a reference to him in any of the pages I’ve seen.

Bófia

The cops, the fuzz

Futre

Is just the name of a footballer. You probably already know gthat but I’m a bit slow on the uptake. I think the joke is that they’ve just heard about the robbery on the news and they ask Justiceiro his opinion but he’s distracted by another story, about the footie.

Engavetar 

This one is pretty straightforward and just means to put something in a drawer (Gavete), but can also be used the way we might talk about “shelving” something – just put it aside and ignore it. In episode 6 there’s a scene where the police officer who has arrested Bitoque asks him if he will “engavetar” his grandmother and he’s using it in another sense, namely, to put someone in jail. So he just wants him to give them information about her crimes.

Defendo que Camarate foi um atentado

This comes during a really confusing scene half way through the last episode where there’s been a double cross, and nobody know where the jewels are or what’s going on, and people are pretending not to be able to understand each other’s accents and slinging around insults. Barbosa accuses his son in law of being an esquerdalha (leftist) and he replies that “I support the theory that the Camarate Case was an act of terrorism”. I’m not quite sure how this situates him on the political map TBH. The Camarate Case was a plane crash in the Camarate district outside of Lisbon in 1980. the then prime minister, Franciso Sá Carneiro and his finance minister, Adelino Amaro da Costa were both among the dead. This was shortly after the Carnation Revolution and there was a lot of shady stuff going on. Some think he was killed by the CIA because he was going to stop America from using the Açores as an air base, (that was a huge deal at that stage of the cold war), but I’ve also spent an awkward taxi ride listening to the taxista rant about how it was that bastard Mario Soares who had him killed. Soares was in the Partido Socialista whereas Sá Carneiro was in the Partido Social Democrata. You can read more about it here (Portuguese) or here (English). Or just ask a taxista.

Taxi drivers – they’re the same the world over!

Posted in Portuguese

Leve a Minha Sogra… Se Faz Favor

Mais uma personagem que gostei no programa é a mãe abelhuda do Ivo, a Zélia. Confesso que não entendi tudo o que ela disse porque tem um sotaque forte, mas as primeiras palavras dela foram basicamente “Quem vai escolher a mulher perfeita para o meu filho sou eu!”

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Depois, ouvimos mais pensamentos tal como que a nora dela deveria de ser carinhosa tanto para ela quanto ele, e deveria presenteá-la com netos o mais cedo possível. Não há dúvida que os realizadores do programa repararam na personalidade controladora dela e pediram-lhe para dizer coisas ultrajantes para acrescentar drama à cena. Mas por mais que ela diga coisas típicas da sogra estereotipa, não ultrapassou os limites da simpatia. Ou seja, uma determinada nível de “sogrice” empresta tempero ao programa mas ninguém quer que todas as potencias noivas bazem por ódio ou medo de uma mulher insuportável.

Ela é um pesadelo mas acho que será a estrela escondida do programa.

Thanks, Sophia, for the corrections

Posted in Portuguese

Voltei A Escrever Sobre Agricultores e Amor

No início da semana, escrevi um texto sobre um programa parvo chamado “Quem Quer Lutar Contra Outras Meninas Para Engatar O Agricultor” ou algo do género, e tinha a intenção de voltar ao tópico mas ando atarefado portanto, até hoje, não tive tempo.

O que mais me chamou à atenção era a rivalidade entre as mulheres na festa na casa de campo, em meados do episódio de estreia. Havia um agricultor que ainda por cima de tudo que era muito jeitoso, com olhos cheios de alma e uma história cheia de drama, com roupas de moda e um penteado fixe. Em redor dele, as mulheres mais novas e mais giras pairaram. Às vezes, uma delas “roubava” o agricultor lindo para ter uma conversa privada mas quando as outras percebiam, andavam atrás deles e diziam, de modo delicado “podemos atrapalhar?” (por quê “atrapalhar*”? Nunca ouvi a palavra neste contexto mas entendo a essência da frase!)

A Raquel é quem tem a minha simpatia. Parece que ela fez um grande esforço para estar sozinha com ele mas depois da primeira tentativa ser cortada, havia uma cena desconfortável e, afinal, o jeitoso não a escolheu. Antes preferiu escolher duas loiras idênticas. Ficou com o coração despedaçado e eu também fiquei.

joão-bettencourt

 

*=as my teachers would always say: “Look it up!” https://dicionario.priberam.org/atrapalhar

Thanks, Sophia, for the corrections

Posted in Portuguese

Quem Quer Namorar Com o Agricultor?

Vi recentemente um programa na SIC que se chama “Quem Quer Namorar Com o Agricultor?“. É um exemplo do género reality TV. O mesmo programa já deu noutros países (não faço ideia de quais, mas um deles é Espanha, tanto quanto sei). Chegou em Portugal no ano passado, acho, ou talvez no ano anterior, 2018.

O padrão do programa é muito parecido com vários outros programas tal como “The Bachelor” nos Estados Unidos. Confesso que nunca vi nenhum, mas ouvi falar deles. Há cinco agricultores portugueses que querem encontrar o amor. As idades deles são compreendidas entre 20 e 50 anos. Depois da apresentação destes cavalheiros, encontramos as senhoras que também desejam um marido. No programa de estreia, estes dois grupos encontram-se um ao outro. Os agricultores conhecem as mulheres e as mulheres tentam deslumbrar os agricultores por serem bem educadas, bonitas e trabalhadoras.

Depois, cada agricultor escolhe cinco mulheres para acompanhá-lo num encontro romântico na sua terra. Para mim, acho que pode haver momentos cómicos quando as raparigas da cidade têm que encarar o dia-a-dia do campo: a lama, os animais a necessidade de acordar com as galinhaa. Mas vamos ver, até agora só vi um episódio.

Pretendo escrever mais dois textos sobre o mesmo assunto porque fiquei viciado!

Posted in English

The Farmer Wants A Wife

I’ve just restarted Portuguese lessons after a long drought over the Christmas and New Year period. I kicked off with a nice easy session, with a teacher who does sessions where you watch, listen or read something together and she explains cultural references. This time I went for something super-lowbrow, namely a show called  “Quem Quer Namorar Com o Agricultor?” (“Who wants to date the farmer?”). It’s a reality TV franchise that has been shown in quite a few countries and arrived in Portugl last year. You can guess the premise: 5 farmers of various ages go to a fancy house where they are introduced to about 20 broody ladies and they have to decide which to invite home to the farm where they will be filmed reacting with horror to various unfamiliar smells and getting theatrically stink-eyed by the farmer’s mother/sister/teenage daughter. Presumbly at the end there will be a marriage or two but I haven’t got there yet.

Untitled

I don’t really have much time to watch TV, and I’ve never got into any reality TV apart from hate-watching a couple of series of The Apprentice, so it was sort of nice to have an excuse to watch something as unapologetically shit-headed as this. The languge level is pretty basic too, so it wsn’t hard to follow. I actually liked it and will definitely watch more but only when my wife isn’t there to take the piss out of me (which I will deserve of course because I mean really…)

I’ve also been watching, on my own time, a documentary series about the colonial wars in Africa, which is more educational but much, much harder work.

Posted in English, Portuguese

Gente Que Não Sabe Estar

Another of those lessons I mentioned a couple of posts ago: we went through an episode of “Gente Que não Sabe Estar”, which is a sort of portuguese version of those american late night satire shows fronted by Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Kimmel or Seth whatsisface. In this case, it’s Ricardo Araújo Pereira, who has the requisite mixture of humour and ability to look credible in a suit. This is a challenging lesson for me because aside from the usual problems of trying to follow rapid-fiire portuguese, I have very little clue about who is who and what the hell it’s all about so I have had to do quite a lot of research. Here are some pointers, some from my teacher and some cribbed from Wikipedia and elsewhere

Joe Berardo (the creepy-looking dude in black, flanked by two very overworked lawyers) is a businessman who is somehow mixed up in a scandal regarding the recapitalisation of the Caixa Geral de Depósitos when it got in trouble a few years after the 2008 crash. It emerged that he had 980 million euros in debt to the bank and refused to pay interest because er… it would cause some sort of unspecified harm. He was fished out and dragged in front of the Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito, and that’s what the footage is in the show. It’s a strange mixture of careful distancing of himself from the scene of the action and ridiculous failure to read the room. “This is costing the people a lot of money” / “Not me though!” being just one example.

Right at the start there’s a missed pun opportunity owing to this being in Portguese and not english, so “Bearardo” does not happen.

“Se queres ajudar um homem não lhe dês o peixe” at around 1:25 is the first half of the portuguese equivalent of the old saying “give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach him to fish and he’ll eat for life”

“pipa de massa” = “a load of dough”, where dough is money, just like in an old american gangster movie

“Os juros” = interest

“as dívidas” = debts

“As ações” = stocks and shares

“Os títulos” = share certificates

“a garantia” = collateral

Floribella is a sort of soap opera about a young singer. Lots of bright colours and shonky acting, but it has heart. I skimmed through the pilot (below) and was sort of fascinated by the spectacle of someone speaking portuguese with a strong german accent. I thought she was spanish at first but her name’s Helga Schneider apparently. The theme is “não tenho nada mas tenho tenho tudo” ( don’t have anything but I have everything), which as he says, is an astute allegory about high finance.

I thought the “coleção” was a charitable institution that collects money for good causes but it turns out, no, it’s an actual collection of artworks and he’s a bit confused about whether he owns it or the foundation he runs owns it. Hence the hand-waving from the lawyer. He also seems to have given share certificates as securities for the loan, but they are valueless because the paintings can’t be sold without his permission… oh god, my brain is starting to hurt.

There’s an analogy with “monopólio” (Monopoly, the game) around 11.00-11.30 just before the magic trick with the cups.

Spooky bit at 20:30. Where did the lady in the light jacket go after disappearing behind Margarida Mano?

“Comer” in the context of the bit about Rui Rio at around  21:35 means “shag”. He’s not talking about cannibalism.

 

Postscript. Apparently my wife met Berardo when she was young in Funchal and is far from impressed with him as a human being.

Posted in Portuguese

1986 A Série – Opinião

34983707_1693274110769703_6285563171725901824_n(1)Uma das contas portuguesas que eu sigo no Instagram é a do Nuno Markl. Durante o ano passado começou a deixar indicações dum novo projecto – uma série de comédia que estava a escrever sobre as eleições de 1986 entre o socialista Mário Soares e o conservador Diogo Freitas do Amaral. O Markl é conhecido (entre outras coisas) pela sua nostalgia dos anos oitenta e o seu amor pela cultura daquela época. Fiz 17 anos em 1986 e por isso fiquei muito entusiasmado para ver o resultado. Não temos canais portugueses aqui em casa – ou seja, se existem, não faço ideia de como encontrá-los, porque há demasiados botões no comando. Mas não me importo porque o site da RTP está disponível para os coitados dos cidadãos do Brexitland, o site deixá-nos ver os programas culturais dos nossos amigos e vizinhos.

Cá para mim, como estrangeiro, o estilo da série parece uma mistura de dois estilos: o da série americana de hoje, e o duma comédia daquela época. Há 13 episódios, cada um entre 40 e 45 minutos. A cinematografia é bastante moderna mas às vezes os actores utilizaram duplos olhares e expressões faciais muito exageradas, como os actores de comédias tradicionais. A trama trata-se dum grupo de adolescentes. O primeiro é o Tiago, fã dos Smiths (a minha banda preferida!), e filho dum comunista que deve “engolir o sapo de Soares”. Ele apaixona-se por uma “betinha”, cujo pai é apoiante do “sacana de facho”. Os dois e os amigos deles enfrentam-se os desafios da vida escolar.

29094830_206249366629505_2264383208869068800_nHavia muitos aspectos engraçados, tal como o sarcasmo da rapariga gótica e a raiva exagerada do pai do Tiago. Também gostei da nostalgia da cultura compartilhada pelos dois países – música, filmes, computadores, roupas e livros. Às vezes tornou-se ligeiramente auto-indulgente, mas gostei apesar disso.

Claro não sou especialista em televisão portuguesa, e custa-me muito entender os sotaques e os ritmos da fala dos actores, portanto é provável que a minha opinião não conte para nada, mas se quiseres saber o que é que pensei, lá está!

Spoiler: Soares venceu. Então não precisas de ver