In the quadrinho (comic strip) Grump by Orlandeli, last year’s acordo ortográfico (spelling reform) was used as the subject matter of a series he did in January of 2009. Little by little, I will be going over the spelling reform here on Eyes on Portuguese because most sites teaching Portuguese haven’t adjusted their lessons to the new reform. Below, I will translate each quadro (square) of the comic.
“I had an idea. I am going to ask for help from my nephew to understand the agreement. For these kids, it’s a cinch. They are learning now. They don’t have our bad habits because we have been using the old rules for a long time now.”
“Hello, nephew. Everything good? By chance, are you in the know about the rules of the spelling reform?”
“Wazzzzuppp Tuimmmm! What’s crackin? Ain’t no thang, yo. Why don’t u roll on thru cuz we can learn dat ish togetha! looool”
“It’s probably best I come up with another idea.”
In the first square of the comic, the words molecada and moleza are used, both of which are slang. Moleque (often misspelled ‘muleque‘) is how you would call a bratty kid in English a “little punk”. It is also used in a general sense to speak of someone who is immature or not yet acting like a man. Since in Portuguese the suffix -ada can be used to speak of a group or of an action (see the end of this post I just linked), molecada means a group of moleques. The second term, moleza, is equivalent to saying something is easy, a cinch, nothing complicated.
For the third square, I improvised in the translation to best represent what it might sound like if an American teenager (influenced by hip-hop culture) would have said it. In Portuguese, the sad state of the nephew’s writing is called miguxês or neo-miguxês, something which I will address in the next post. The second line of the third square is what I would consider the equivalent in English to what was written in the comic.
Thanks to Street Smart Brazil for emailing this comic a while back.