Different words – same meaning

Posted on 23. Nov, 2015 by in Culture, Vocabulary

Hi everyone.

Did you know that sometimes Brazilians from different parts of the country don’t understand each other even though we speak the same language? That is not only due to the accent, it is also because some of the words people use are regional. We have different names for objects and sometimes even different verbs which have the same meaning.

  1. Mandioca, macaxeira ou aipin: cassava. It is a very popular root in Brazil, it is eaten as a side to many different dishes and it can be boiled or fried.
Photo by Danuta Ferreira Bezerra e Silva

Photo by Danuta Ferreira Bezerra e Silva


  1. Arredar ou afastar: to scoot over; to move something.

Exemplo: Me ajuda a arredar/afastar o sofá? – Can you help me move the sofa?

Afasta/arreda um pouco para eu sentar também? – Can you move a bit so I can sit down as well?


  1. Biscoito ou bolacha: cookies; biscuits

Exemplo: Em São Paulo se fala bolacha, mas no Rio de Janeiro é biscoito. – In São Paulo people say bolacha, but in Rio de Janeiro it is biscoito.


  1. Mexerica, tangerina ou bergamota: mandarin; tangerine


  1. Sinal ou semáforo: traffic light


  1. Encanador ou bombeiro: plumber. The word bombeiro also means firefighter.


  1. Zelador ou porteiro: superintendent of a building. Some of the supers are also doorman, for this reason they could be called either zelador (which would be the same as super) or porteiro when one of the super’s responsibilities is to let people in and out of the building.


  1. Pivete ou trombadinha: young man who steals money and objects from people on the streets.

Exemplo: Ontem um pivete roubou o celular do José na frente da faculdade. – yesterday a pivete stole José’s cellphone in front of the university.


  1. Guardador de carro ou flanelinha: it’s used to refer to the boy or man who makes money helping people park on the streets. It is very common in Brazil and they expect payment for the service even when you haven’t asked for it or want it.

Exemplo: O flanelinha riscou meu carro com uma chave porque eu não dei dinheiro para ele. – The flanelinha keyed my car because I didn’t give him money.


  1. Passeio ou calçada: side walk; path.


  1. Carta de motorista ou carteira de motorista: driving license.


  1. Carteira de cigarro ou maço de cigarro: pack of cigarettes.


  1. Balão ou bexiga: party balloon.

It seems like a lot of words to memorize, but the good news is you don’t have to. You can learn only the word which is most used in the region where you live. Even native speakers sometimes don’t know some of them.

When you travel to a different place in Brazil, it is good to keep in mind that if you talk to people and they can’t understand what you are saying, it could be because they don’t know the word you are using and not the other way around.

Tenham uma ótima semana!

Comics in Brazil

Posted on 19. Nov, 2015 by in Uncategorized

Semana passada (Last week), the 9th (nona) edition of FIQ – Festival International de Quadrinhos (International Comic Festival) was held in the city of Belo Horizonte. The event reúne (gathers) representative names of the graphic arts a cada dois anos (every two years), and it was elected the largest comic convention in Brazil . In 2011, its audiences outnumbered the Comic Con in San Diego, thus making it a maior (the biggest) in America. Creators dedicated to the genre from all around the globe are present to mostrar e vender (show and sell their work) and take part in lectures, workshops, exhibits and signings.

A entrada é gratuita (admission is free of charge), and há espaço (there’s room) for all kinds of graphic novels and revista em quadrinhos (comic books) and it includes diverse themes and styles, from children’s stories and super-heroes to more underground productions, from large publishers to independent newcomers.

Though FIQ is an international event, I am taking this opportunity to introduce you to three of the major authors in the comic universe in Brazil. Due to their widespread acclaim, all of these cartoonists have been translated into English and their work is widely available at online bookstores.

FIQ promo

FIQ promo

Maurício de Souza

Maurício de Souza is the most popular and influential cartoonist in the Brazilian comic industry. He started out as a reporter, which gave him the opportunity to create and publish his first comic strips. Mauricio começou a escrever (began writing) his comics in the ‘60s. His most famous and successful series is called Turma da Mônica (Monica’s Gang), set in the Limoeiro neighborhood in São Paulo. The humorous stories revolve around the lives of the four most beloved characters in the Brazil: Mônica (Monica), Cebolinha (Jimmy Five), Cascão (Smudge) and Magali (Maggy),   many of whom are based on his own children. As of 2008, a series of comics in manga-style featuring the regular Monica characters in the adolescent stage started running as well.

Its reputation cresceu tanto (grew so much) that Mauricio’s publications now dominate the national comic book market. He has over a billion published comic books and his work has been translated to several languages, and é vendido (is sold) in over quarenta (forty) countries. It has been adapted to cinema, TV, games, and merchandise. Besides, Turma da Mônica can be considered a meaningful part of everyone’s childhood in the country.

Here are the links to his websites both in English and in Portuguese:



Monica's Gang

Monica’s Gang


"Monica, Cascão told me he saw you fall into a hole" -"You don't have to be sad. Nothing happened" -"That's not why I'm sad. I wanted to have seen it too!"

“Monica, Cascão told me he saw you fall into a hole” -“You don’t have to be sad. Nothing happened” -“That’s not why I’m sad. I wanted to have seen it too!”


Fábio Moon e Gabriel Bá

Paulistanos (from São Paulo), the talented twins Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá are possibly one the most valued cartoonists of today. They started with an underground zine and were first published in America in 1999. Soon os irmãos (the brothers) conquered the American and international marke, being published in many countries like France, Italy and the USA. This thriving partnership made them the first Brazilians to ever win the Eisner awards.

Moon and Bá’s most notable work is called Daytripper, an involving graphic novel that follows the story of a man named Brás. The narrative is structured in a fragmented, non-linear fashion that focuses on different time periods of Brás’s life, and by the end of each chapter, the lead character dies. This unconventional story, along with fantastic linework and amazing details earned them international recognition. Besides Daytripper, they were involved in other projects like Casanova, Umbrella Academy, and Sugar Shock.

Para aprender mais (To learn more) about them, check out their bilingual website: http://fabioandgabriel.blogspot.com.br/



Daytripper cover

Daytripper cover


Rafael Grampá

The Gaúcho (from the state of Rio Grande do Sul) comic book artist Rafael Grampá is another eminent author in Brazil. He collaborated with the Moon and Bá brothers to publish an anthology and was invited by Marvel to write for the Strange Tales series with complete creative freedom. Grampá also worked for Vertigo and DC comics.

He is best known the graphic novel Mesmo Delivery, a work inspired by the twilight zone and Western movies. It tells the story of an ex-boxer named Rufo who becomes a truck driver and meets an Elvis impersonator. The plot unfolds into wild action and energy through an artful script and drawing techniques. Mesmo Delivery may also be adapted into a movie.

For more information, check out Grampá’s bilingual blog: https://furrywater.wordpress.com/


The latest tragedy in Brazil

Posted on 17. Nov, 2015 by in Brazilian News, Brazilian Profile, Environment

On 6th November 2015 11 people lost their lives, 12 are desaparecidos (missing) and another 600 were left sem casa (homeless) after a barragem (dam) holding waste from an iron ore mine rompeu (collapsed) in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. At 60km/h, rivers of thick mud are flowing down valleys, and have already completely destroyed the small town of Bento Rodrigues located in the district of Mariana.

Because the waste water contained heavy metals and chemicals, the extent of the impacto ambiental (environmental impact) is massive. So far, the lama (mud) has reached an area of 62 million m², contaminando (contaminating) Rio Doce, the biggest river in the north-east region of Brazil. Hundreds of thousands of people are left without water and the damage caused to the ecosystem is so vast that specialists suspect some species endemic to the region will become extinct.

Brazilian environmental agency IBAMA has fined the mining company responsible for the collapse of the dam, Samarco, $66.3m. Samarco also agreed on a $260m payment in compensation, which many people feel is not even nearly enough if taken into consideration o estrago causado (the damage caused).

Brazilians have felt that the media is not talking about this issue as much as it should, so the public created a Facebook page with updated noticias, fotos e vídeos (news, photos and videos) in order to keep people informed. Click here if you wish to follow what has been happening.

Cidadãos (citizens), especially people from Minas Gerais, have been actively helping out the population who have lost their houses, providing comida, água, roupas e abrigo (food, water, clothes and shelter). There are many Facebook pages where they post what you can do to help, here are some of them:

Unidos por Bento Rodrigues – Mariana – MG

Bento rodrigues MG


Mutirão de doação para os atingidos pelo rompimento da barragem da Samarco em Bento Rodrigues

Not to mention the groups of people getting together and traveling to the region in order to rescue animals affected by the muddy flood. Many dogs, cats, horses and other animals have been rescued and are now under the care of veterinarians and animal lovers, waiting to get a new home.

If you wish to give a helping hand, I am sure you will find ways to assist people as well as animals by checking out the Facebook pages mentioned above.

Minas Gerais e o Brasil agradecem a sua ajuda!

(Minas Gerais and Brazil thank you for all the help!)