Quick Portuguese Podcasts

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Luiz Costa Pereira Junior, the editor of Revista Língua Portuguesa started doing quick Portuguese podcasts (titled “Em bom português” and recorded in Portuguese) on the magazine’s site and via the radio station Band AM840. You can check out the latest here and find the previous 2 or 3 near the blog’s comment section.

Close, but not the same – Portuguese

Due to a comment I got on my last Portuguese post (Brazilian Portuguese Badly Said), I decided to write about a few words that are so similar in writing and meaning that they get easily confused. Two words are ones that I actually used in the last post.

Acostamento (shoulder, roadside) – the place where one pulls over
Encostamento – the act or effect of pulling over

* Keep in mind, in the previous post, I mentioned that some people say the second word when they mean to say the first. However, you’ll rarely, if ever, come across the second word when used correctly since it’s almost always used as a verb (encostar) rather than a noun.

Deformação – the process of being deformed
Deformidade – the result of that process

Observação (observation, remark)
Observância (observance, of the law or in a religious context)

The last two sets come from an article at Revista Língua Portuguesa. If we’re listing all words that are similar in writing and/or meaning, we’d be here for a long time. If you’re a stickler for correctness, I suggest one of the “100 erros de português” lists (here’s one, PDF) and using Houaiss as your main Portuguese(-only) dictionary. If you want to test your knowledge of a list like the one I linked to, play this game at level 5!

Brazilian Portuguese Badly Said

These are words sometimes said by crianças, other times by people without formal education. The correct words are in bold. If you know others that people sometimes pronounce incorrectly, add them in the comments.

Problema (Problem)

– Pobrema
– Poblema

Dificuldade (Difficulty)

– Dificulidade

A gente (We)

– A hente

Estômago (Stomach)

– Estrombago

Mas (But)

– Mais

Advogado (Lawyer)

– Adevogado

Cabelereiro (Hair stylist)

– Cabeleleiro

Cérebro (Brain)

– Célebro

Acostamento (Shoulder, Roadside)

– Encostamento

Gerund verb endings

– Ex. Você tá brincano? Ex. O que tá fazeno?

Listening comprehension? Youtube has you covered

(a shot of the TV Folha newsroom)

After all this time, I still really love hearing Brazilian Portuguese, and I also love finding new ways to hear it. With the Internet these days, doing so is not so hard but finding a sustained listening experience isn’t always as easy. Over the years, I’ve come across a few means of finding a fix for my needs and I’d like to share them with you.

TV Cultura

One Youtube feed I discovered just recently is the TV Cultura channel which, among other things, hosts an interview show called Provocações with presenter Antônio Abujamra. The show, which went on the air in 2000, shows interviews that are interweaved with recited poems and “vozes das ruas” (opinions from people on the street). Abujamra interviews intellectuals, artists, celebrities and even everyday people. Check out his recent interview with Serginho Groisman, presenter of another show, Altas Horas.

(if Provocações isn’t your thing, try out Repórter Ecoalso on TV Cultura)

TV Folha

Another Youtube channel I discovered last year is that of TV Folha, part of São Paulo’s Folha newspaper. The format is different, in that it’s news-oriented, and the topics are varied. Below is part of last week’s show, and on their channel you can find many more like it.

Globo Rural

While not a channel, there are many videos on Youtube with episodes or segments of Globo Rural which, as its name infers, covers rural topics. I’ve seen only a few but the ones I saw were interesting. Below, you’ll see a segment on Zabé da Loca, a flute player from the northeast.

25 Interesting Expressions used in Brazil

25 IEUIBIntroducing my third ebook (PDF) for learning Brazilian Portuguese which, as the title says, includes 25 interesting expressions used in Brazil, as well as their origins. If you’re looking to come a little closer to your goal of being fluent, this will help you get there. According to the introduction inside,

“This e-book is for anyone with an interest in Brazilian Portuguese and gaining knowledge that would be considered pretty common within Brazil. The phrases and expressions, being idiomatic, aren’t used every day, nor should they be, but they are interesting to know, fun to use, and useful to keep in your linguistic toolbox (and, of course, it makes you feel smart to recognize something seemingly nonsensical in another language).”

To purchase it, just click the Paypal image below (you don’t need an account, just a credit card), and I’ll send it to you by email!

Price: US $2.99



My other ebook links (Paypal)

150 Tricky Words – $4.99 USD

103 Tricky Verbs – $4.99 USD


Two “Tricky” Ebooks – $9.99 USD

All Three Ebooks $12.98 USD

150 Tricky Words in Brazilian Portuguese ebook

150 TWBP cover


After successfully launching my first ebook, 103 Tricky Verbs in Brazilian Portuguese right here on Eyes On Brazil, today, I’m announcing my second ebook (PDF), 150 Tricky Words in Brazilian Portuguese. It is based on content I created for this blog several years back, only I’ve reworked and improved it, in addition to having it edited by a native Brazilian Portuguese speaker.

Just like the first ebook, as a PDF, it can be viewed (via Apple’s iBooks app) on iOS devices as well as on Amazon’s Kindle devices (or any device or computer that allows for PDF viewing).

The ebook is aimed to make Brazilian Portuguese easier for those of you who are finding yourselves unsure of when to use one word over another. As the title states, there are (technically more than) 150 Tricky Words, spread out over 44 Word Sets (groupings of words that have similar meanings) which include example sentences and, in many cases, additional information on the word(s).

Here’s an actual Word Set you’ll learn about in my e-book:

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I’ll be selling 150 Tricky Words in Brazillian Portuguese using PayPal’s Online Invoicing, which allows you to pay with a credit or debit card on PayPal’s site (even without the need for a PayPal account). Click on the link(s) below the PayPal image and, once you’ve paid, PayPal will tell me so and then I’ll send you the ebook(s)!

150 Tricky Words – $4.99 USD

103 Tricky Verbs – $4.99 USD

25 Interesting Expressions – $2.99 USD


Two “Tricky” Ebooks – $9.99 USD

All Three Ebooks $12.98 USD

Achismo – New Word

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From Dicio: “achismo (achar+ism) – Tendency of evaluating situations according to one’s own opinions or intentions, many times unjustified.”

Dicionário Informal: “Culture of making groundless comments, without knowledge, deducing by personal experience something that you’re not sure of.” Examples are when people say things like: “Acho que não se deve correr riscos desnecessários, acho que vai dar certo...”


We all know the verb “Achar”, but did you know it has an “-ism”? On WordReference, I found some possible creative suggestions for translating it into English, one was “as-we-now-knowism” and “as-I-now-thinkness”. On Orkut, I found someone suggesting “armchair quaterback” (which means “a person who offers advice or an opinion on something in which they have no expertise or involvement”) and another person simply said “assumption”. Linguee, on the other hand, suggests “guesswork”. Perhaps something more along the lines of “presumptuousness” or the made-up “assumptivness” would work, too.

The problem with most of the Portinglês suggestions is that none of them speak of a tendency to do such things. In the comments of this post, “self-opinionated” was suggested. Fits pretty well.

A Little More Patience


I was reading a Brazilian newspaper the other day when I noticed a new phrase used in the comments section of an article. The phrase was “ter paciência de Jó” (to have the patience of Job, which apparently is a phrase in English, too) and it means to have a lot of patience. The origin of the phrase is in the Bible (James 5.11) and refers to Job’s refusal to condemn God in the face of losing his family and livestock. It is said that obtaining patience is the hardest, yet most rewarding, of the seven heavenly virtues, thus why having the patience of Job means having it in good measure.

For those in need of patience (or a relaxing tune), I thought I’d share one of Lenine’s songs called “Paciência”, with the translated lyrics below. Before starting, I thought it important to mention the meaning of two phrases. One is “faço hora” (from “fazer hora”, which is an informal way to say “to delay“). The other is “vou na valsa“. This comes from the phrase “vai-da-valsa” which basically means “to live it up” while “ir no vai-da-valsa” means to let things happen as they may. Here’s an example of the phrase, “Jack Nicholson no filme The Bucket List, vive na base do vai-da-valsa.” (Jack Nicholson in the film The Bucket List lives life based on the spur of the moment). I wouldn’t say it is a common phrase but I go by the motto that all phrases learned are good phrases. On to the song!

Mesmo quando tudo pede
Um pouco mais de calma
Até quando o corpo pede
Um pouco mais de alma
A vida não para…

Even when everything requires
a little more calmness
Even when the body requires
a little more soul
Life doesn’t stop…

Enquanto o tempo
Acelera e pede pressa
Eu me recuso faço hora*
Vou na valsa*
A vida é tão rara…

While time
goes faster and asks us to rush
I refuse I delay
I take things as they come
Life is so rare…

Enquanto todo mundo
Espera a cura do mal
E a loucura finge
Que isso tudo é normal
Eu finjo ter paciência…

While everybody
waits for a cure for everything bad
And craziness pretends
that all of this is normal
I pretend to have patience…

O mundo vai girando
Cada vez mais veloz
A gente espera do mundo
E o mundo espera de nós
Um pouco mais de paciência…

The world keeps spinning
going slower and slower
We hope from the world
and the world hopes from us
for a little more patience…

Será que é tempo
Que lhe falta pra perceber ?
Será que temos esse tempo
Pra perder?
E quem quer saber ?
A vida é tão rara
Tão rara…

Is it that time
is too short to perceive?
Do we have this time
to lose?
And who wants to know?
Life is so rare
So rare…

Portuguese Life: Part One

I’ve mentioned a few of these differences on the blog in previous years but it seemed a good time to reiterate them. 


After leaving Brazil at the end of the year, I didn’t end up staying in California for long. In fact, a few months in, I left for Lisbon. Living abroad is something I’ll probably always continue to do because, once you do it, it’s hard to stop. I find that people generally have the wrong idea about it, but then again, maybe my circumstances are merely different. I don’t work in an office, I don’t care about being rich, and I don’t have a family (wife and kids). But enough about me, I’m here to shed some light on living in another Portuguese-speaking country.

It’s a nice feeling to touch down in a foreign place and know the language won’t be an issue. While being a nice thought, it actually is a bit of an issue, since the accent is quite different (it catches me off-guard on a regular basis), as is the syntax/grammar and preferred word choices. In fact, I feel like I left a country where I was fluent and landed in another where I’m not. People speak with a mouth that’s more closed than open and there’s a lot of “chiado” (basically, a hissing sound) when they talk. Cariocas are also known for their use of chiado but where a Carioca would say “maish” for “mais”, a Portuguese would say “mâsh”. A Brazilian might say “key” for “que” while a Portuguese would say “kuh” in most cases. Yet another example would be “pela”, where Portuguese people will “eat” the “e”, making it sound like “pla”.

Syntax and grammar-wise, where a Brazilian would say “está chovendo” for “it’s raining”, a Portuguese would say “está a chover”. Another major difference is the use of the enclisis (ie, “Eu quero-te bem” vs. the Brazilian use of the proclisis, “Eu te quero bem”). Many times when “lá” (there) is used, it’s put at or towards the beginning of the sentence, rather than at the end (the Brazilian way).

As for word choices, there are quite a lot of differences, though Portuguese people will understand pretty much everything you say if you speak like a Brazilian. Here’s a breakdown of several words starting with the word in English, then Brazilian Portuguese, then Continental Portuguese:

Trolley – Bonde – Eléctrico

‘Gang’/Group – Galera – Malta

Mall – Shopping – Centro comercial

Bus – Ônibus – Autocarro

Cell phone – Celular – Telemóvel

Bathroom – Banheiro – Casa de banho

Funny – Engraçado/Graça – Piada*

* The Portuguese “piada” carries the same meaning as the Brazilian “graça”. Like in the Continental Portuguese examples, “Não tem piada” / “Não acho piada.” 

In Part Two, I’ll be writing about non-language related differences between Brazil and Portugal. Stay tuned!

Brazil Com S – Portuguese Language Abroad

“BraZil com S – the Portuguese language spoken outside of Brazil is an unique documentary produced by Brasil em Mente and sponsored by the Brazilian General Consulate of NY. Documentary from 2012. 32 minutes. Rated G.

Participants: Bela Gil, Carlos Saldanha, Lucas Mendes, Luiz Ribeiro, Ambassador Luis Felipe de Seixas Corrêa, Vinicius Dônola, Roberta Salomone, Edison De Michelli, Maria Olinda De Michelli, Francesca Damato, Ana Maria Machado, Sandra Peres and Paulo Tatit, of the musical group Palavra Cantada, Felicia Jennings-Winterle and Patricia Almeida.” – Source (PT)

(It’s basically about the importance of passing Portuguese along to one’s children.)