Mineirês: Part 1 Posted by 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 ‘.’
  • 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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  1. Neimar Alves Guerra:

    Hi! My name is Neimar and I’m also mineiro. I have to admit our accent is quite difficult to understand.
    I’m an English student but I have been following your blog since some weeks ago and I really liked it.
    Just one correction: There is a part of the text in the mineirês version where say “mistorô”.
    You translate it in real Portuguese version as “misturou” or “mixed up” in the English version.
    Actually the meaning is different, in real Portuguese we would say, “o milho estourou” and in English I really don’t know how to say that, maybe something like the “the popcorn exploded”.
    Keep doing this nice work.

  2. Cesar Vasconcelos:

    Awesome blog dude. Keep up the good work.
    Uai de mais da conta so. :>)


  3. Leonardo Eiji Koshimura:

    (Programa Mineiro Compactador de Arquivos)

    * QUERO.
    * PODE POR O PÓ?
    * PODE POR.

    168 caracteres


    * CE KE KAFÉ?
    * KÉ.
    * PÓ PÔ PÓ?
    * PÓ PÔ!
    * PÓ PÔ PÃO?
    * KFOM KOTÔ.
    * OPCV!
    * NÓ!

    73 caracteres

    compressão de 44%! É bão memo, uai.

  4. anita:

    “preciso de sair”

    “apaixonado com”

    Nunca ouvi. Sou mineira. Vem cá: Minas é quase um país. A que parte do estado exatamente esse Felipe se refere? Just curious!

  5. Antonio Gati:

    Just a small comment… In the phrase “O forno isquentô, o mistorô e a galinha ispludiu”, the word “mistorô” actually means “o milho estourou” or “the corn has blew”.

    Brasprocê! (“abraço para você”)

    Antonio Gati, SP

  6. manel:

    uai, que trem legal sô? num é queu tava procuran esse tes? icrusive esse winzip mineiro! ô trem bão!

  7. Bruno:

    Hi, loved this article!!! I never could explain so clearly what happens with the language here in Minas. I love this place, here is where I belong to and I’d never want to be born in another land… Good luck for you and for your blog!

  8. Rodolfo(Mineiro):

    Funny thing this material.
    I never found speakers using this kind of Mineirês…perhaps because i live in a somewhat metropolitan region.

    But i must admit:
    “Uai” and “Trem” are the best slang, ever!

  9. Kika:

    This is sooo funny and true
    Tb so Mineira Uai!!!!
    I laughed so hard bc its soooo true i love it
    keep up the good work

  10. Mark:

    “Caipira” should not be translated as “hayseed”. A better word would be something like “hick”.

  11. Ângela:

    Here’s something not everybody knows about the word “trem”. If you look it up in the “Aurélio” (which is the most used dictionary in Brazil), guess what is the first meaning you’ll find?

    [Do fr. train.]
    Substantivo masculino.
    1.Conjunto de objetos que formam a bagagem de um viajante.

    Once I read somewhere an article in which a journalist tells the story about how the word “trem” ended up meaning, also, “comboio ferroviário”. An interesting derivation from the ensemble of things one would carry along on a trip. He warps it up by prising (he’s probably a mineiro himself) the patience with which mineiros put up with all the rest of us, Brazilians, making fun of their correct usage of the word “trem”.

  12. Daniel Souza Luz:

    What a great blog!
    I´m Mineiro too. I was born in a city in the south of Minas Gerais called Poços de Caldas. There´s a expression used there that I never heard in other cities: “por bosta”.
    An example: “O lugar é longe por bosta” = “The place is far away”.
    Or “Este carro está caro por bosta” = “This car is very expensive”.
    “Por bosta” means “muito”. “Por merda” is a variation also used. Both of them are very informal.
    Keep up the good work. Cheers!

  13. Marcos C. Nobre:

    Óia, es trem é danad de bão, sô!
    Eu numvõ vê unegóss dês notlugá
    qui numsejês site aí dossês, uai.
    Aqui… é mió quiumontão de gent
    fiqmês saben’cuméquié um minerês
    bem faladaí prês mundão d’Istads
    Unids ondaliás tá chei deminero
    ganhanunstutu indóla prá dispois
    vortá pracá e pudê montá um trem
    qualqué por amôde mexê cum aquil
    quel gosta.Êta minerada spevitada..!
    E vivomineirês!

  14. Antonio Gatti:

    Sou mineiro do sul do estado, onde o mineirês é mais largamente usado. Moro em SP há mais de 25 anos mas ainda consigo entender o que eles falam quando vou visitar a terra. Desculpem-me os queridos conterrâneos do meu querido estado natal mas acho a pronúncia mineira muito irritante (assim como a carioca e a nordestina). Embora eu saiba que isto é um juízo de valor pessoal, já que cada falar regional é legítimo, o fato é que alguns falares me são agradáveis e outros não são. Mas não deixei de dar boas risadas com o artigo e os comentários. Apenas para enriquecer o conteúdo, lembro-me bem como riram da minha cara, logo que cheguei a SP, e usei o verbo “coxar” no sentido de “rosquear” uma lâmpada no bocal. Riram mais ainda quando eu disse que para retirar a lâmpada, você tem de “descoxar”… Tratei de aprender a falar paulistano* rapidinho para não perceberem que eu era forasteiro. (Em tempo, tenho dupla cidadania, mineira e paulista, porque meu pai era paulistaníssimo da Barra Funda).

    * Mesmo dentro da cidade de SP, há vários registros de pronúncia. Desde o italianado dos bairros originais de imigrantes, passando pelo dialeto dos “mano” da zona leste (que saiu do armário!), bem como o falar elegante dos bairros de classe média.

  15. Louis:

    Ok, I love it! And the whole complete blog- just really great stuff!!
    Question: Mineires Part 1 implies more Parts?? If so, where can I find Mineires Part 2, etc??
    Thanks, Louis

  16. kelley:

    Hi there,

    i absolutely love this blog- my boyfriend is Brazilian (Mineiro, in fact :)) and this blog has been very helpful for me in learning Portuguese.

    i wanted to share this post with him, he would think it was hysterical, but the mp3 link ( is broken…any way it could be restored? thanks! 🙂

  17. leopoldo:

    Bão memo!