Mineirês: Part 1 Posted by Transparent Language on Oct 15, 2007 in Uncategorized
Have you ever heard someone from Minas Gerais speak Portuguese?
The Portuguese spoken in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is quite distinct from that spoken in other parts of the country. Full of idiosyncrasies, the Mineiran ‘dialect,’ or Mineirês can be hard to understand and even painful to listen to for some Brazilians. Indeed many Brazilians think of this way of speaking as very provincial; Mineiros are stereotypically thought of as caipiras (hayseeds).
The journalist and writer Felipe Peixoto Braga Netto has written a fantastic piece about Mineirês, that is well worth a look. A well-detailed summary (and perhaps apology) for the peculiar speech of the Mineiros, Felipe discusses some of its prominent characteristics. Here are some highlights:
- Mineiros hate to use complete words. ‘Pode parar’ turns into ‘pó parar.’ ‘Onde eu estou?’ becomes ‘ôndôtô?’ Mineiros also don’t say ‘você,’ instead they shorten it to just ‘cê.’
- Mineiros don’t say ‘tudo bem?’ instead they say ‘cê tá boa?’ Felipe thinks this is unnecessary since asking a Mineiran if they are happy is like asking a fish if he knows how to swim… ha!
- Mineiros use the verb ‘mexer‘ to mean a lot of things, one of the most common being ‘to work’ instead of ‘trabalhar.’ ‘Cê mexe com isso?‘ means ‘do you do that for work?’
- Also, Mineiros use some grammatically incorrect constructions; this is perhaps one element that sounds hrash to non-Mineiro native speakers. One example is the insertion of ‘de‘ into phrases like ‘preciso sair.’ A Mineiro would say ‘preciso de sair.’ Also instead of ‘apaixonado por,’ a Mineiran would likely say ‘apaixonado com.’
On top of these differences, there are a lot of slang terms that one finds only in Minas. These expressions are typically fodder for jokes outside of Minas, but in the state itself, one must know them to understand what is going on at all! Here are some of the best gírias from the region…
- Trem thing (coisa)
- Bão Good (bom)
- Uai! exclamation with no good translation (‘uai é uai, uai!’ -andré barbosa)
- Aqui So look… (olha só)
Here’s a terrific story that has been passed around the internet for a while now, that is written in Mineirês (click here to listen!):
ói qui: “Sapassado, era séssetembro, taveu na cuzinha tomano uma pincumel e cuzinhano um kidicarne com mastumate pra fazê uma macarronada com galinhassada.
Quascaí disus, quando uvi um barui vino di denduforno, pareceno um tidiguerra. A receita mandopô midipipoca denda galinha prassá.
O forno isquentô, o mistorô e a galinha ispludiu! Nossinhora! Fiquei branca quineim um lidileite. Foi um trem doidim, uai!
Quascaí dendapia!Fiquei sensabê doncovim, proncovô, oncotô. Oi procevê quelucura! GrazaDeus ninguém simaxucô!”[audio]
Be sure to listen to hear a real mineira demonstrate the pronunciation! Ok, confused? You should be, it’s a mess! But let’s go ahead and piece together what the ‘real’ Portuguese underlying this passage is, and then go for the English.
Olha aqui: Sábado passado, era sete de setembro, eu estava na cozinha tomando uma pinga com mel e cozinhando um quilo de carne com massa de tomate para fazer uma macarronada com galinha assada.
Quase caí de susto, quando ouvi um barulho vindo de dentro do forno, parecendo um tiro de guerra. A receita tinha madado pôr milho-de-pipoca dentro da galinha para assar.
O forno esquentou, misturou e a galinha explodiu! Nossa senhora! Fiquei branca que nem um litro de leite. Fou um trem doidinho, uai!
Quase caí dentro da pia! Fiquei sem saber da onde que eu vim, pra onde que eu vou, aonde que eu estou. Olha pra você ver que loucura! Graças a Deus ninguém se machucou!
Now here’s the English…
Check it out: Last Saturday, it was the seventh of September (Brazilian Independence Day), I was in the kitchen having a cachaça with honey and cooking a kilo of meat with tomato sauce to make spaghetti with roasted chicken.
I almost fell from shock when I hear a noise coming from inside the oven that sounded like a gunshot. The recipe had called for the chicken to be stuffed with popcorn to roast.
The oven got hot, mixed up, and the chicken exploded. Oh my God! I was as white as a liter of milk! It was ridiculous!
I almost fell into the sink! I had no idea where I came from, where I was going, or where I was. Look how crazy it was! Thank God no one got hurt!
Hope you enjoyed. Coming soon will be another post about the culture and history of Minas Gerais!
Text of the ‘Kitchen Episode’: unknown
Audio, Portuguese translation, and lots of advice: Ana Carolina Macêdo <– Obrigado!
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