Miguxês (Neo-Portuguese) – Curiosities

In 2007, I was in São Paulo for a month on vacation and it was right about the same time that the Museu da Língua Portuguesa (Portuguese Language Museum) opened at the Estação da Luz train station near the Sá neighborhood of São Paulo. On the second floor, which usually holds interactive exhibits, there was a timeline of the Portuguese language and it ended with a sort of Portuguese shorthand that kids use on the Internet.

However, Internet shorthand isn’t the worst of it, now there’s miguxês (and neo-miguxês), as it’s been deemed. The term comes from the miguxês-ation of the word “amigo”, which in miguxês becomes “migu”. Below, you’ll find all three levels of it, each one worse than the last. Feel free to try out the MiGuXeiToR translation tool.

Miguxês Arcaico (ICQ)
Ex. Isso eh o miguxês!

Miguxês Moderno (MSN)
Ex. Issu eh u miguxês!!

Neo-Miguxês (Orkut, Fotolog)
Ex. IXXu EH u MIGUxXxeIxXx!!!!!

Spelling reform comic – Part 1

(click to enlarge)

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.

Primeiro quadro

“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.”

Segundo quadro

“Hello, nephew. Everything good? By chance, are you in the know about the rules of the spelling reform?”

Terceiro quadro

“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.