Posted in English

Super Ego-Trip Humilde 🔞

Carrying on the translation tradition, I thought I’d have a go at this rap by Gandim because I can understand most of it but not quite all and I thought it would be fun to do the research and really understand it from top to bottom. Gandim means something like “workshy person”. He isn’t a real rapper, he’s a character invented by Guilherme Duarte. Duarte originally trained as a computer scientist (that’s relevant context for the song, believe it or not!) but he’s famous as a comedian who has been involved in a few different podcasts and media projects such as “Por Falar Noutras Coisas” (“Speaking of Other Things”). Here, he’s having a rap battle with himself in his “real” persona. It’s quite funny and has lots of good slang. It’s ABSOLUTELY FILTHY though. Seriously – this is definitely the rudest thing I’ve ever translated on here, so if you’re of a sensitive disposition you might want to skip this one!

It’s also interesting how they’re using some english words and expresions in ways that are close to but not quite identical to the way we use them ourselves: even in the title, “ego-trip”, seems just to mean a boastful rap and “feat” is obviously just “featuring” but later in the lyrics they seem to be using it as a noun, roughly equivalent to “collaboration”

Ya, Gandim feat Guilherme Duarte / Yeah, Gandim, feat Guilherme Duarte
Juntos no mesmo som mesmo / Together in the same track
Ninguém estava à espera / Nobody was expecting it
Não sei se a tuga está preparada para isto / I don’t know if the Tuga was ready for this
Vamos mostrar como é que se faz / Let’s show them how it’s done

Isto nunca foi visto / This has never been seen
Porque nunca foi feito / Because it’s never been done
Parece que viste o anti-cristo, boy / It looks like you’ve seen the anti-christ, boy
Até te cai o queixo / Even your jaw is drooping
Vai deixar mazela / It’s going to leave a wound
Ainda nos vão pedir sequela / They’re going to ask us for a sequel
As rimas são como as cricas / The rhymes are like pussies
Aparecem tipo dicas / They appear like tips
De todos os lados / From all sides
Eu e o Guilherme (Olá Olá) os mais pesados / Me and Guilherme (Hello, Hello) the heaviest
Espera lá… isto é uma egotrip? / Wait… is this an ego-trip?
Ya, faz sentido pelo beat / Yeah, that makes sense from the beat
Devia ter visto a tua parte antes de gravarmos o feat / I should have watched your part before we recorded the “feat
Mas obrigado por me fazeres o convite / But thanks for the invitation
Mas é melhor falares por ti / But it’s best to speak for yourself
Eu nem sou bem rapper / I’m not really a rapper
Há muitos melhores do que eu por aí / There are a lot better than me round here

Não vale a pena essa humildade / This humility is no good
Nu sta* rebenta sociedade / We are blowing up society
O game vai mudar, a gente veio para ficar / The game is going to change – we came to stay
Este som é bomba atómica, vai incinerar / This track is a nuclear bomb. It’s going to incinerate
Calma, man / Calm down, man
Não é preciso exagerar / There’s no need to exagerate
Tipo exibicionistas / Like exhibitionists
Não vamos estar aqui a criar / We didn’t come here to create
Sei lá, expectativas irrealistas / I dunno… unrealistic expectations
É um som razoável / It’s a reasonable track
Um flow confortável / A comfortable flow
Não vai ser nada memorável / It isn’t going to be memorable at all
Nem raro de outro mundo tipo marte / Not rare, from another world like Mars
Falo, claro, da minha parte / I’m speaking of course, from my own perspective

As damas até ficam loucas, desvairadas, malucas / The women go crazy, frenzied, insane
Desapertam as blusas e abanam as bundas / They loosen their blouses and shake their asses**
Ficam com água nas bocas / Their mouths water
Quando vêem as nossas bazucas / When they see our bazookas
Vocês fazem cara de mau a pensar que têm pila grande / You make like a badass, thinking what big dicks you have
Mole já mete respeito mas olha ainda expande / Soft, they give respect, but then they expand
O que vocês têm de pau a gente tem só de glande / Our glans alone is the size of your whole dick***
Pah, o meu é médio, não vou mentir / Mate, mine is pretty average, not gonna lie
Não é grande nem vale a pena medir / It’s not big but I’m not going to measure it
Nem grosso nem fino, é banal quando estou contente / It’s not thick or thin, it’s OK when I’m happy
E quando está murcho até é bastante deprimente / And when it’s soft, it’s pretty depressing
Mas dizem que o tamanho não importa / But they say size doesn’t matter
E mesmo que seja um bocado torta / Even if it’s a little bent
Desde que não esteja morta / As long as I’m not dead
O que conta é o que se faz com o membro peniano / What matters is what you do with your penile member
E nisso, confesso, sou mais que mediano / And with that I am above average
Aguento tipo 7 ou 8 minutos / I can last like 7 or 8 minutes
Parece pouco, mas 5 é a média / It doesn’t seem like much but the average is 5
Não estou a gozar, li na Wikipédia / I’m not kidding, I read it on Wikipedia

Cus e mamas, everywhere / Tits and ass everywhere
Comemos com as mãos, sem talher / We eat with our hands, no cutlery
Lambemos o prato todo da tua mulher / We lick your wife’s plate clean
Até cai pó lado como Feher / Until she falls over like Fehér****
Ela quer mais diz que tu só reclamas / She wants more and says you only complain
Nem é preciso férias nas Bahamas / A holiday in the Bahamas isn’t necessary
É mesmo aí nas vossas camas / It’s right here in your beds
Que vamos comer as vossas damas / that we eat***** your women
Vamos? os dois ao mesmo tempo / “We”? Both at the same time?
É um bocado estranho (caga nisso bro) / That’s a little bit weird (fuck this, bro)
Tenho alguns complexos com o meu corpo / I have a few body issues
E nem é pelo tamanho / And it’s not about the size
Estar assim nu ao pé de outro homem / To be right there next to another man
É demasiada nudez / That’s too much nakedness
Não sei, dá para ir à vez / I dunno, maybe we could take turns
Não quero ser mau companheiro / I don’t want to be a bad companion
Mas se é para ir, vou em primeiro / But if I’m going, I’m going first

A gente derrapa, drift fast and furious style / We slide in, Fast and Furious style
Elas ficam molhadas com o nosso flow 8 mile / And they get wet with our 8 Mile flow
Quer boleia a tua hoe / Does your ho want a ride?
E não é só no meu lambo / And not just in my lambo******
Tem mudanças automáticas, 7 / It has seven automatic gears
Mas ela tem a mão na manete / But she has her hand on my gearstick
Não tenho guita para lambos / I don’t have the money for lambos
E até acho que é muito show off / And I find them a bit showy
Não curto dar nas vistas / I don’t enjoy showing off
O meu bote é um clio de 99 / My ride is a 99 Clio
Patina quando chove, faz barulhos da panela / It skids when it rains, makes a noise from the oil pan
Tem pelos de cadela, rádio só à capella / It has dog-hairs everywhere and the radio is only a capella
Não liga à primeira quando a noite gela / It doesn’t start first time on cold nights
Deve ser problema de velas / It must be some problem with the spark plugs

Aqui é faroeste, a lei é nossa / Here in the wild west******* the law is ours
Tu estás a leste, baza ou levas coça / You are from the east, get the hell out of here or get spanked
O que tu cospes cai no meu spam / What you spit******** falls into my spam folder
Mas quem não cospe é a tua irmã / But your sister doesn’t spit
Aqui é conflito, não é meninos da mamã / This is war, not mummy’s kids
À noite é delito, dormir de manhã / the night is sin, sleep in the morning
Vens dar para gangster com o teu clã / You’re coming like a gangster with your posse
Ainda deixas a tua filha orfã / You’ll just leave your daughter an orphan
Gandim, não sei se te consigo acompanhar assim / Gandim, I don’t know if I can carry on like this
Eu não sou gangster nem g / I’m not a gangster or a G
Só houve aquela vez que roubei uns cromos da panini / The only thing I have ever stolen is some Panini stickers
Sempre fui bom aluno, calminho / I was always a good student, calm
Eu sou bué humilde, mano / I’m really humble, man
Já na autoavaliação pedia baixinho / In the self-evaluation I asked for a lower mark
Menos do que achava que merecia no ano / Less than they thought I deserved that year

Manda vir a tua crew / tell your crew to come
E ainda sais daqui todo nu / And you’ll leave here naked
Andas aí armado em clown / There you go, acting like a clown
A tua tropa sai daqui tipo black hawk down / Your soldiers will leave here like Black Hawk Down
Eu e o Guilherme a gente arrebenta / Me and Guilherme, we destroy
Venham todos que a gente enfrenta / No matter who we face
Tag team ninguém aguenta / Tag team nobody can withstand
Humilhação tipo shot à panenka / Humiliation like a Panenka********* penalty kick
Depende, quantos é que são / It depends how many there are
São muito grandes ou um deles é anão / Are they very big or is one of them a dawrf?
Se for malta da pesada ainda ficamos em maus lençóis / If these guys are heavy, we could be in a tight spot
Consigo andar à porrada, mas não há cá heróis / I can fight but there are no heroes here
Prefiro resolver de forma sensata / I prefer to resolve this sensibly
Ser diplomata, sou franco / To be diplomatic, I am frank
Mas se tem de ser, siga / But if it has to happen, go ahead
Eu cubro-te o flanco / I’ll cover your back
Fiz jiu jitsu, sou cinturão branco / I did ju-jitsu, I’m a white belt

Invejas o don perignon / You envy the Dom Perignon
O chamon, os diamonds e o rolex / The weed, the diamonds and the rolex
Desculpa lá o flex / Pardon the flex
Mas por isso é que a dama que me dá sex é a tua ex / But it’s because of this that the woman who gives me sex is your ex
Tanto money no corpo uso o pulso como expositor / So much money on my body, I use my wrist like a showoff
E tu honey, só lhe dás uso em frente ao computador / And you, honey, you only use it in front of your computer
Eu nem tenho relógio / I don’t have a watch
Vejo as horas no telefone / I check the time on my phone
Que não é topo de gama / that isn’t top of the line
Nem é sequer é um iphone / I don’t even have an iphone
Não curto gastar assim / I don’t like splashing out like that
Em booze, drugs e ostentação / on booze and drugs and ostentation
Prefiro poupar e chegar / I prefer to save up and reach
Aos setenta são / my seventies

Os cães ladram e passa a caravana********** / The dogs bark and the caravan passes by
E nós aqui a chillar com a marijoana / and we’re here chilling with marijuana
Somos demasiado fat para ser fit / We’re too fat to be fit
All day smoking weed, we don’t give a shit / All day smoking weed, we don’t give a shit
Mais ou menos / More or less
Não fumo há bué anos, mas não condeno quem fuma / I haven’t smoked in years, but I don’t judge those who do
Só acho que há malta muito nova a fumar / I think it’s mostly young people smoking
Não quero influenciar / I don’t want to influence them
Porque depois o pessoal abusa / because then people abuse it

Man, dá lá aí uma passa ya, fuma aí / Man, take a hit on this, smoke up
É mesmo assim, Guilherme ya, somos os maiores deste a tuga até pequim / That’s how it is, Guilherme, we’re the greatest from Portugal to Peking
é mesmo assim, os mais pesados / that’s how it is, we’re the heaviest
Não curto gabar-me assim / I don’t enjoy boasting like this
Não dá para fazer uma ego trip humilde / It’s no good making a humble ego-trip
E deixar de parte ego / and leave out the ego part
às vezes acordo tão negativo / Sometimes I wake up so negative
Que me sinto abaixo de zero / That i feel less than zero
Tenho as minhas inseguranças / I have my insecurities
Acho que me está a bater a ganza / I think that weed is kicking in
Dias depressivos, sem vaidade / Depressive days, without vanity
Dias que não me acho capaz de fazer nada com qualidade / Days when I don’t feel able to do anything well
O meu ego tem síndrome de Estocolmo / My ego has Stockholm syndrome
Estou a ficar meio zonzo / I’m getting a little dizzy
Estou a ficar meio zonzo / I’m getting a little dizzy
Complexo deus aplaude o meu complexo de fraude / My god complex applauds my imposter syndrome
Bué deep / Really deep
Sou mil folhas / I am a thousand layers
Flow bue quick / Real quick flow
Beep beep / Beep beep
Tenho bué camadas / I’ve got so many levels
No sleep, horas acordadas / No sleep, awake for hours
Porque na cama tenho sempre muitas queridas bué dadas / Because in bed I always have many well-endowed babes

Sabia que tinha isso dentro de ti / I knew you had this in you
Estava a ver que não / I was thinking you didn’t
E se é para me gabar feito patrão / And if I have to boast, it’s done, boss
Sou ganda boss da programação / I’m the big boss of computer-programming
Tua cabeça não aguentavas a pressão, meu / You can’t stand the pressure, man
Ainda te dava uma como a Maria João, Abreu / I even gave you one with Maria Joao Abreu***********

Ai, olha aí, há limites, mano / Hey look, there are limits, bro
Acho bué falta de respeito dizeres uma cena dessas / I think it shows a lack of respect to say something like that
É uma egotrip, tudo bem, mas calma lá / It’s an ego trip, OK, but calm down
Não é preciso atirar com essa da programação à cara do pessoal / It’s not necessary to throw this computer-programming thing in people’s faces
Nem toda a gente tem o mesmo acesso à educação / Not everyone has the same access to education
Vou bazar, não curto estar aqui com gabarolas / I’m going to get out of here. I don’t want to be here with showoffs

*= Not sure what’s going on here – short for “nos esta(mos)” I think…?

**=I’ve gone against my principles and written this the american way because british spelling and rap do not mix

***=Look, I’m sorry, I’m just the translator, don’t blame me

****=I think this must mean the hungarian footballer who died of a heart attack on the pitch – hence the reaction!

*****=Comer a tua dama means “eat your lady” but comer is also a slang word for “have sex”, so I probably could have translated it less literally than this. The other relevant piece of information here is that the game we call drafts is called Damas in portuguese, and when you take the opponents piece, the word for taking can be “capturar” or “comer” so he could be talking about playing draughts. but in this context, probaby not!

******I guess he means Lamborghini here but the fact it’s so close to “lamber” is setting my double entendre radar pinging)

*******faroeste = far west? I’ve never heard this before, but I googled faroeste and it does indeed bring up a load of wild west films dubbed into portuguese!

********=-I assume this is the same as the slang use of spit in english – spitting lyrics, spitting facts. He’s dissing your rap lyrics, basically

*********= Panenka… he’s a footballer apparently. Good at penalties. Google him, I can’t explain

**********=This is an expression that comes up sometimes in exercise books – it just means something like – “we just carry on as normal, no matter what happens or who complains”

***********= Maria Joao Abreu was an actress who had died a few months before the video was released, so you’re meant to think that the shocked reaction that follows is as a result of the extreme bad taste of what he’s just said.

Posted in English, Portuguese

Ready (Mulher Batida)

Another translation post. I’m in a translatey mood, I guess. This one is by Orelha Negra with A Garota Não (again!) on guest vocals. Like yesterday’s, it has a strong feminist theme, but whereas that was just calmly wishing for more representation, this one is about domestic violence so it’s pretty raw: far moreso than I would have guessed from the general vibe of the music. Batida can mean beat in the musical sense as well as “beaten” or “beating” in the violent sense, so I think I had an idea that it was jsut a song about making music until I started trying to translate it line by line.

To be honest, it comes across as pretty bleak, but I don’t think it’s *just * that: there seems to be sense of wanting to move beyond the situation and reassert dignity. For a start, you have the dialogue at the beginning and the end of the song in english, talking about being ready for something. Then there’s the woman who does the live painting in the video (below). She’s called Mázinha and she’s obviously got a positive sense of the song being about forgiveness and redemption (quote here) so she’s painted a really upbeat image, indicative of a new start – presumably after leaving the dude. There isn’t much of that in the song lyrics though, as far as I can see!

E tu tás pronto, honey? / And you – are you ready honey?
Estarás pronto para ver / You’ll be ready to see
Como é que a cor da batida fica na mulher / How the colour of a bruise looks on your woman
Ela não é santa / She isn’t holy
Só um santo para o ser / Only a saint for being it
Como é que esses argumentos servem pra bater / How these arguments lead to beating

Cala esses demónios / Silence those demons
Já te podes perdoar / You could forgive yourself
Não levantes essa mão se não for pra lutar / Don’t raise that hand unless it’s to fight
Por um dia mais claro / For a brighter day
Por um tempo mais doce / For a sweeter time
Não trocava um abraço p’la jóia que fosse / She didn’t exchange an embrace for any jewel

O tamanho da mini saia / The size of a mini skirt
É inverso a essa cobardia / Is the inverse of that cowardice
Se não aguentas a mulher que tens / If you can’t stand the woman you have
É porque te fica em demasia / It’s because she’s too much for you

O tamanho do sorriso dela / The size of her smile
Não precisa de autorização / Doesn’t need permission
A liberdade é um barco à vеla / Freedom is a sailboat
E o amor não é uma prisão / And love is not a prison

Liberta logo esse ciúmе amargo / Just let go of that bitter jealousy
Porque o ciúme deixa o Homem bruto / Because jealousy makes a man brutal
Já nem sequer vês o mundo direito / You don’t even see the world clearly
Mas tu és o teu próprio instituto / But you’re your own boss

Quantos deuses / How many gods
É que o medo cria / Does fear create
Semear a morte / To sow seeds of death
Sangue à terra fria / Blood in the cold ground
Desce mais um corpo / Another body falls
A história é igual / The story is the same
Quando os cintos dançam / When the belts dance
Chora a catedral / The cathedral cries

Quantos deuses / How many gods
É que o medo cria / Does fear create
Semear a morte / To sow seeds of death
Sangue à terra fria / Blood in the cold ground
Desce mais um corpo / Another body falls
A história é igual / The story is the same
Quando os cintos dançam / When the belts dance
Chora a catedral / The cathedral cries

Posted in English

Que Mulher é Essa?

Here’s a translation of “Que Mulher é Essa” by A Garota Não, because why not? I think it literally comes out as “What woman is that” but I’ll translate it as “Who’s that woman” because it sounds better in English.

Que Mulher é Essa

Que mulher é essa /Who’s that woman
Que eu vejo na telenovela /That I see in the soap opera?
As mulheres à minha volta /The women around me
Não se parecem nada com ela /Don’t look anything like her.

É só mulher sexy /It’s only a sexy woman
Que desliza quando passa /Who glides by
A coxa* não entra /No lame woman appears
E se entra é pra dar graça /And if she does its only as comic relief.

Que mulher é essa /Who’s that woman
Que eu vejo na publicidade /That I see in the ads
Será que as feias /Do the ugly women
Vivem todas na minha cidade /All live in my town?

Só mulher bonita /Only a beautiful woman
Todas altas e esguias /All tall and slender
E só entra a gorda /And the fat woman only shows up
Para perder calorias /To go on a diet

A preta não entra /The black woman doesn’t appear
A baixa não entra, não /The short woman doesn’t, no
A velha não entra /The old woman doesn’t appear
A torta não entra, não /The disabled** woman doesn’t appear, no
Quanto talento gasto em vão /How much talent is wasted?

Que mulher é essa /Who’s that woman
Que desfila lá na passarela /That parades up there on the catwalk
Nunca há-de entrar na moda / It will never be fashionable
O pé descalço da Gabriela /To have bare feet like Gabriela

Só mulher com estilo /Only a woman with style
Com glamour e muito brilho /With glamour and lots of polish
Toda a roupa assenta /Whose clothes all fit
Só à gente é um sarilho /We’re the only ones with problems

Que mulher é essa /Who’s that woman
Que aparece tanto na revista /Who’s in the magazines so often
Três folhas só de fotos /Three pages of nothing but photos
E um cantinho de entrevista /And a tiny corner for the interview

E o que é que importa..? /And what does it matter?
Quem quer saber do que fala? /Who wants to know what she talks about?
Muito mais importa /It’s much more important
Que vestido leva à gala… /What dress she wears to the gala.

A preta não entra /The black woman doesn’t appear
A baixa não entra, não /The short woman doesn’t, no
A velha não entra /The old woman doesn’t appear
A torta não entra, não /The disabled** woman doesn’t appear, no
Quanto talento gasto em vão /How much talent is wasted?

A Garota Não

*Coxa usually means thigh but I think the sense here is the feminine form of “coxo”, which is defined as “pessoa que coxeia” – a person who limps. So I have opted for “a lame woman” which I hope is what she meant!

**Torta, in this context, is a bit confusing. It means twisted or bent, and priberam gives a few informal meanings including rowdy, cross-eyed, disloyal. I’ve also seen twisted in the sense of having a crooked face after local anaesthetic at the dentist, so possibly someone with an asymmetrical or disfigured face…? I originally published this with the translation as “twisted” but I’ve edited it subsequently because some people I spoke to on reddit indicated that we’re supposed to picture someone whose bones are deformed in some way and who essentially has some form of physical disability or impairment.

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, Portuguese

Ornatos Violeta – Ouvi Dizer

Here’s another song that keeps coming up in my YouTube recommendations. It’s really popular but it’s never really appealed to me. I think it’s the singer’s voice: it reminds me of a certain kind of American Rock bands the nineties like Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Blind Melon: that sort of grumbly, sulky way of singing that I find a bit off-putting. But I also know it’s really popular so I wanted to focus on it and try to understand it better. There are a few versions of it on YouTube, including an official video, a really good live version at the Nos Alive Festival, some audio/lyrics versions and a whole range of covers including this really nice one by Serena Kaos and this Fadofication by Camané but I think the easiest one to follow is probably this one because its pretty clear and has veteran actor/musician Victor Espadinha on guest vocals

Ornatos violeta

Here are the lyrics. I’m not totally sure I nailed the grammar in verse 2. Might ask my wife about that later. I read the third verse to my daughter and she said it was “emo”. Correct. I wonder if the female form of emo is “ema”. Probably not.

Ouvi dizer que o nosso amor acabou /I heard them say our love was over
Pois eu não tive a noção do seu fim / But I had no idea it had ended
Pelo que eu já tentei / As much as I tried
Eu não vou vê-lo em mim / I can’t see it in myself
Se eu não tive a noção de ver nascer um homem / If I had no notion of seeing a man emerge
E ao que eu vejo / And from what I can see
Tudo foi para ti / It was all for you
Uma estúpida canção que só eu ouvi / A stupid song that only I heard
E eu fiquei com tanto para dar / And I had so much to give
E agora /And now
Não vais achar nada bem / You aren’t going to like it at all
Que eu pague a conta em raiva / That I pay the bill with anger

E pudesse eu pagar de outra forma / And could I pay any other way

Ouvi dizer que o mundo acaba amanhã / I heard the world ends tomorrow
E eu tinha tantos planos pra depois / And I had so many plans for later
Fui eu quem virou as páginas / I was the one who turned the pages
Na pressa de chegar até nós / In a hurry to arrive at us
Sem tirar das palavras seu cruel sentido / Without taking from the words their cruel meaning
Sobre a razão estar cega / As for my reason being blind
Resta-me apenas uma razão / I only have one reason left
Um dia vais ser tu / One day it’s going to be you
E um homem como tu / and a man like you
Como eu não fui / Like I never was
Um dia vou-te ouvir dizer / One day I’m going to hear you say

E pudesse eu pagar de outra forma / And could I pay any other way
Sei que um dia vais dizer / I know one day you’re going to say
E pudesse eu pagar de outra forma / And could I pay any other way

A cidade está deserta / The city is deserted
E alguém escreveu o teu nome em toda a parte /And someone wrote your name everywhere
Nas casas, nos carros, nas pontes, nas ruas / On the houses, on the cars, on the bridges, on the roads
Em todo o lado essa palavra / everywhere that word
Repetida ao expoente da loucura / Repeated to the point of madness
Ora amarga! ora doce / Now bitter, now sweet
Pra nos lembrar que o amor é uma doença / To remind us that love is an illness
Quando nele julgamos ver a nossa cura / When we see on it our cure

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.

Posted in English, Portuguese

Primavera – Amália Rodrigues

Well, I mentioned it’s spring here in the northern hemisphere, so here’s my attempt at a translation of Primavera. I can’t find any videos of Amália singing it but I’ll drop a live recording of Mariza’s version here for those who don’t know it.

Ai funesta Primavera!

Todo o amor que nos prendera /All the love that had stuck to us
Como se fora de cera /As if it were wax
Se quebrava e desfazia /Broke apart and disintegrated
Ai, funesta Primavera! /Oh terrible spring!
Quem me dera, quem nos dera /If only I, if only we
Ter morrido nesse dia /Had died on that day
Ai, funesta Primavera /Oh terrible spring
Quem me dera, quem nos dera /If only I, if only we
Ter morrido nesse dia /Had died on that day

E condenaram-me a tanto /And they condemned me so much
Viver comigo o meu pranto / To live with myself and with my mourning
Viver, viver e sem ti / To live to live without you
Vivendo sem no entanto / But living without
Eu me esquecer desse encanto /forgetting that enchantment
Que nesse dia perdi / That I lost in that day
Vivendo sem no entanto / But living without
Eu me esquecer desse encanto /forgetting that enchantment
Que nesse dia perdi / That i lost on that day

Pão duro da solidão / The stale bread of loneliness
É somente o que nos dão / Is all the give us
O que nos dão a comer / What they give us to eat
Que importa que o coração / What does it matter if the heart
Diga que sim ou que não / Says yes or no
Se continua a viver / If it keeps on living
Que importa que o coração /What does it matter if the heart
Diga que sim ou que não / Says yes or no
Se continua a viver /If it keeps on living

Todo o amor que nos prendera /All the love that had stuck to us
Se quebrara e desfizera / Broke apart and disintegrated
Em pavor se convertia / It converted itself into dread
Ninguém fale em Primavera /Nobody talk about spring
Quem me dera, quem nos dera / If only I, if only we
Ter morrido nesse dia / Had died on that day
Ninguém fale em Primavera /nobody talk about spring
Quem me dera, quem nos dera / If only I if only we
Ter morrido nesse dia / Had died on that day

Posted in English, Portuguese

Lisboa Não é Hollywood

Here’s an attempt at translating the song “Lisboa Nao é Hollywood” by Os Azeitonas. It doesn’t seem to haave a translation on lyricstranslate so I thought I’d make one. Seems like quite a simple song but it’s really, really tricky!

Chega Cândida de capeline 
Cândida arrives wearing a capeline*
Como ela respira saúde**
She's glowing with health
Quase que parece a Marilyn
She almost looks like Marilyn
Ao chegar*** a Hollywood
On her arrival in Hollywood
Mas sem tapetes encarnados
But with no red carpets
Sob os seus pés de dama
Under her ladylike feet
Os seus sapatinhos delicados
Her delicate little shoes
Apenas pisam na lama
only step in the mud
Lisboa é paleio de Aljube****
Lisbon is well known to criminals
Por entre ruas, esquinas
Among its streets and corners
Também tem suas colinas, mas
It has its hills too, but
Lisboa não É Hollywood
Lisboa isn't Hollywood
Lá vai Cândida a correr atrás
There goes Cândida, chasing
Seu peito diz sorria
Her spirit***** says smile
Mas nos seus dentes nunca brilha o flash
But the flash of a photograph has never
Da fotografia
Lit up her teeth
Lá vai Cândida a mandar beijinhos
There goes Cândida, blowing kisses
Com o seu jeito rude
In her rude way
Como quem atalha caminho
Like someone taking a shortcut
Para chegar a Hollywood
To arrive in Hollywood
Lisboa é paleio de Aljube****
Lisbon is well known to criminals
Por entre ruas, esquinas
Among its streets and corners
Também tem suas colinas, mas
It has its hills too, but
Lisboa não É Hollywood
Lisboa isn't Hollywood
Como ela cai na trama
How she falls into the trap******
E vai esbanjando******* virtude
And squanders her virtue
Pelo passeio da fama mas
On the walk of fame, but
Lisboa não É Hollywood
Lisboa isn't Hollywood
Olha Cândida na solidão
Look at Cândida, all alone
De capeline, rouge e baton
In her Capeline, rouge and lipstick
Não foi parar ao panteão
She didn't end up in the pantheon
Morreu na vala comum
She died in the gutter
Lisboa é paleio de Aljube****
Lisbon is well-known to criminals
Por entre ruas, esquinas
Among its streets, and corners
Também tem suas colinas, mas
It has its hills too, but
Lisboa não É Hollywood
Lisboa isn't Hollywood

* = It’s a kind of hat apparently. Never heard of it!

**=Respira Saúde = Literally “breathes health” so visibly healthy, confident and in good form, not just “is healthy”. Researching this on the web, there’s some use of it in a more loreal way, meaning “breathing in a healthy way”, eg giving up smoking, but it is used as an expression too.

*** = I wrote about this “Ao + infinitive” construction a couple of months back and I seem to have seen it everywhere since.

**** = This line is a real enigma. The word aljube with a small letter can be a dark prison or a cavern. The fact that it’s written with a capital letter in all the sources I can find seems to imply that it’s a reference to A Cadeia do Aljube, which was the name of a prison (cadeira) that has been in existence since the peninsula was colonised by the muslim imperialists in the 8th century. The name Aljube comes from the arabic for a well. After the reconquista, its use changed but certainly by the twentieth century it was being used for political prisoners of the fascist Estado Novo, and had a pretty terrible reputation. These days, it’s a museum of resistance and liberty. “Paleio” means gossip or small talk, so the sentence “Lisboa é paleio de Aljube” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. My wife didn’t know what they were driving at. I asked around on reddit and had four different replies, all different. The two closest guesses were along the lines of “a rumour in the prison”, meaning it was something lowlifes and criminals talk about, which is why I’ve translated it as “well known to criminals” but others have suggested “A trick in a cavern”, or even “pillow talk” (because Aljube can also mean alcove, and “de alcova” in Brazilian Portuguese can imply something relating to sex). Meh, its slightly odd that there’s a lyric like this that no two listeners can agree on the meaning, but there are plenty of songs on English that are obscure and ambiguous so I suppose I shouldn’t be that surprised!

***** = Not sure about this one either. “her chest says smile” just sounds weird but one of the lesser meanings of peito is “ânimo” so I’m interpreting it as she’s making an effort of will to smile…? But at least one of the people who replied to my question about paleio said that there was an implication that Cândida is a prostitute so maybe there’s some sort of implication that people are smiling at her cleavage…?

****** = Another iffy one: Trama can be a thread, either literal or in the sense of a unifying plot-line of a book (in fact, I think I used it in a a book review a couple of days ago!) or even a tram line. I wondered if we were supposed to imagine her literally tripping on a tram track but it didn’t seem to fit well with the next line.

******* = fantastic! I only learned this word a week or two ago, doing one of Paulo Freixinho’s old crosswords and here it is again!

By the way, I see Os Azeitonas are candidates for this year’s Eurovision but they’ve come down a long way since they lost their most talented dude, Miguel Araújo, and the song is vanilla AF.

Posted in English

Buarque Life

Cover of the album "construção" by Chico Buarque
Cover of the album “Construção” by Chico Buarque

Continuing to fanboy about this song. Here’s a translation, highlighting the “Proparoxítono” words.

I’ve borrowed pretty heavily from some of the many versions on Lyricstranslate. They’re all by brazilians, I think, and they’ve done a great job, so I’ve cleaned up the english and made a few other changes but generally assumed they know more than I do about the point of the song. I found “flácido” really difficult to translate. It obviously means “flaccid” but that word just sounds so wrong in a song. I’ve gone for “sagging” since it fits in both the lines it’s used in. I think that’s the best I can do but this is the sort of thing that makes you realise how hard the job of the translator is.

A couple of interesting things to add:

Firstly, I didn’t notice when I heard it but the first two lines end in the same word. That’s a bit of a cheat, Chico, come on! It’s the only example of that though.

Secondly, he keeps the rest of the line unchanged almost all the time but there are a few other small changes, which I’ve highlighted in orange. The fact that portuguese doesn’t use many subject pronouns helps in this regard. In the first line, “fosse” goes from “it was” to “he was” with no need for other changes. You just get it from the context, because “única” changes gender, meaning it is now referring to the man, not to the (a) vez.

Amou daquela vez como se fosse a última
Beijou sua mulher como se fosse a última
E cada filho seu como se fosse o único
E atravessou a rua com seu passo tímido
Subiu a construção como se fosse máquina
Ergueu no patamar quatro paredes sólidas
Tijolo com tijolo num desenho mágico
Seus olhos embotados de cimento e lágrima
Sentou pra descansar como se fosse sábado
Comeu feijão com arroz como se fosse um príncipe
Bebeu e soluçou como se fosse um náufrago
Dançou e gargalhou como se ouvisse música
E tropeçou no céu como se fosse um bêbado
E flutuou no ar como se fosse um pássaro
E se acabou no chão feito um pacote flácido
Agonizou no meio do passeio público
Morreu na contramão atrapalhando o tráfego
He made love that time like it was the last time
He kissed his wife like she was the last woman
And kissed each child like they were the only one
And he crossed the street with his timid steps
He climbed the construction like he was a machine
He built up four solid walls at the next level
Brick after brick in a magical design
His eyes were crusted with cement and tears
He sat down to rest like it was Saturday
He ate rice and beans like he was a prince
He drank and sobbed like he’d been shipwrecked
He danced and laughed like he was listening to music
He tripped on the sky like he was a drunk
And he floated on the air like he was a bird
And he ended up on the ground like a sagging package
He agonized in the middle of the public pavement
He died on the wrong side of the road disrupting the traffic
Amou daquela vez como se fosse o último
Beijou sua mulher como se fosse a única
E cada filho seu como se fosse o pródigo
E atravessou a rua com seu passo bêbado
Subiu na construção como se fosse sólido
Ergueu no patamar quatro paredes mágicas
Tijolo com tijolo num desenho lógico
Seus olhos embotados de cimento e tráfego
Sentou pra descansar como se fosse um príncipe
Comeu feijão com arroz como se fosse o máximo
Bebeu e soluçou como se fosse máquina
Dançou e gargalhou como se fosse o próximo
E tropeçou no céu como se ouvisse música
E flutuou no ar como se fosse sábado
E se acabou no chão feito um pacote tímido
Agonizou no meio do passeio náufrago
Morreu na contramão atrapalhando o público
He made love that time like he was the greatest
He kissed his wife like she was the only one
And kissed each child like they were the prodigal son
And he crossed the street with his drunk steps
He climb the construction like it was a solid
He built up four magic walls at the next level
Brick after brick in logical design
His eyes were crusted with cement and traffic
He sat down to rest like he was a prince
He ate rice and beans like it was the greatest meal
He drank and sobbed like he was a machine
He danced and laughed like he was the next one
He tripped on the sky like he was listening to music
And he floated on the air like it was Saturday
And he ended up on the ground like a timid package
He agonized on the middle of the shipwrecked pavement
He died on the wrong side of the road distrupting the people
Amou daquela vez como se fosse máquina
Beijou sua mulher como se fosse lógico
Ergueu no patamar quatro paredes flácidas
Sentou pra descansar como se fosse um pássaro
E flutuou no ar como se fosse um príncipe
E se acabou no chão feito um pacote bêbado
Morreu na contramão atrapalhando o sábado
He made love that time like he was a machine
He kissed his wife like it was logical
He built up four sagging walls at the next level
He sat down to rest like he was a bird
And he floated on the air like he was a prince
And he ended up on the ground like a drunken package
He died on the wrong side of the road disrupting Saturday
Construção – Chico Buarque

The song was written in the seventies, during the dictatorship when Buarque was living in exile. There are a lot of theories about exactly wht he’s trying to do, but he hasn’t really spelled it out, preferring to let people speculate. There’s a definite shift between the three stages: the first one seems quite factual, the second sort of carefree, the third nightmarish. The social criticism is about the fact that, at the time, a lot of people were moving to the cities in search of a better life but finding that living conditions and working conditions were pretty terrible.

Posted in English

Come+A’s you are

Closely related to the post about vir and chegar: what’s the difference between “vir a saber” and “vir saber”? Well, I’m glad you asked!

Vir a saber, as you’ll know if you read “The Spy Who Chegged Me” is a way of saying that you came to know something, perhaps in a slightly roundabout way, by chance, but the light dawned and then you knew.

Vir Saber is more like “I came to find out”.

This is good because I had been wondering how to interpret a line in one of the poems (it’s a song, actually) that I learned a week or two back. the people in the next room either “finally got to know about us” or “came to find out about us”. Well, now I know so here we go with a translation of the whole thing

PortugueseEnglish
Bem te avisei, meu amor
Que não podia dar certo
Que era coisa de evitar
I gave you fair warning, my love
That this wasn’t going to turn out well
And it was something best avoided
Como eu, devias supor
Que, com gente ali tão perto
Alguém fosse reparar
Like me, you have to suppose
That with people so nearby
Someone was going to notice
Mas não
Fizeste beicinho
E como numa promessa
Ficaste nua para mim
But no
You made a pouty face
And as if in a promise
Got naked for me
Pedaço de mau caminho
Onde é que eu tinha a cabeça
Quando te disse que sim
Bit of a wrong turn
Where was my head at
When I said yes to you
Embora tenhas jurado
Discreta permanecer
Já que não estávamos sós
Although you had sworn
To remain discreet
Since we weren’t alone
Ouvindo na sala ao lado
Teus gemidos de prazer
Vieram saber de nós
Hearing in the room next door
Your moans of pleasure
They came to find out about us
Nem dei pelo que aconteceu
Mas mais veloz e mais esperta
Só te viram de raspão
I didn’t even know what had happened
But being faster and smarter
They only caught a brief glimpse of you
A vergonha passei-a eu
Diante da porta aberta
Estava de calças na mão
I went through the shame
In front of the open door
With my trousers in my hand

It’s great isn’t it! Lots of really good stuff in there. The one line that I really had trouble understanding was the first line of the last stanza “A vergonha passei-a eu” which seems like he’s saying “I passed her the shame” as if he were trying to blame it all on the girl, but that doesn’t make sense for all sorts of reasons. The “-a” on the end of passei is actually referring to “a vergonha”. So it’s like “The shame, I passed through it”. Normally in conversation you’d say “passei pela vergonha” but poetic license applies. Here’s the full thing. I’ve probably posted it on here before but I just love it so much it’s worth repeating.