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Parabéns for Congratulations!

Week 4, Episode 8

No, no, no, we are not going to talk about some preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. We're still surfing the Portuguese language. And it just happens that the word for "Congratulations!" in Portuguese is "Parabéns!"

You think it is the only funny word? Well, fasten your belts, we're in for a ride. 

Meet carioca — a person born in Rio de Janeiro, capital of Brazil. Same word will mean anything related to the city of Rio. Those from the state of Rio de Janeiro, though, are called fluminense (from the Latin word "flumen", meaning "river"). The carioca accent and sociolect is dominant in Brazil, due to lots of Brazilian TV programs made in Rio with and by its citizens. And here are some words any carioca uses:

When I learn a language, I like to discover how to say this often used word —"Cool!" as in "You're Batman? Cool!". It has so many different "shapes" in different languages. And if in Italian it has something to do with figs —"Figo!"— and in Spanish with your intellect —"Genial!" —, in Portuguese it is protected by law —"Legal!". Good to know, though, that all the fun in lusophone countries is legal :). By the way, if something is way cooler than you've ever imagined, just triple it in Portuguese: "Tri legal!" means "Super cool!", sometimes it is just shortened to "Tri!".

If somebody sneezes, wish them health. How? Think "Arabian peninsula": "Saúde!" (sah-oo-deh) means "Bless you!" And if you invite somebody over for a party or just to sit and chat, this is where "Coca-Cola" might be quite helpful: "Cola aí" (koh-lah ah-ee) means "Come on over". And you can expect that this offer will demoralize even your mortal enemies, because they sure will answer back: "Demorou!" (deh-moh-roh-oo)—"Hell yeah!" After everybody got to your place, especially your best friend Tim, pour them something tasty to drink and toast together—"Tim-Tim!", i.e. "Cheers!"

I am not done yet. There is more fun in learning Portuguese. For example, one of the craziest, most amuzing expressions I found is Portuguese "Viajar na maionese" that literally means “To travel in the mayonnaise”. Make your wildest guess what it can mean and how mayonnaise might help you in your travels. It sounds crazy, it means crazy—actual meaning is: "To say something crazy." Yeah, I know, this creamy sauce is nuts! :)

They speak in Portuguese!

Guess what? The dialog on the picture above is an actual conversation in Portuguese! Don't believe me? Check out what an interaction: "Pó pô pó?Pó pô!" means. And while you are on it, discover the range of emotions that a horse ("égua") brings to your Portuguese.

That is how we came to a point where it is time to say "Tchau!" (Bye!) to this exciting and vivid language. It was quite a journey and I truly enjoyed it. There is so much for anybody to learn in Portuguese, and if you got inspired to do so, well, it's a good choice. 


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