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When in Buenos Aires… Posted by on Mar 30, 2011 in False Friends, Travel

I know some of you are thinking, “I knew Buenos Aires was the capital of Brazil!” (kidding!), but I speak of Buenos Aires, a spanish or castellano speaking city, because last week, I saw in the Folha de São Paulo, that there’s been a study where Buenos Aires has ousted Orlando as Brazilians’ favorite international destination. That’s right… 9 de julio is a bigger hotspot than Mickey Avenue for Brazilians.

There are obviously many factors as to why this is, from finding a cheaper Hotel in Buenos Aires (in pesos) vs a hotel in Orlando (in USD), to plain just being closer for most and therefore more accessible on a long weekend… but this is also one more reason for Brazilians to be even more careful with their portunhol.  And since I know many of you may be learning Portuguese after learning at least “some Spanish,” I figured this would be a good opportunity to go over some false friends between Portuguese and Spanish! Complete list here: Lista de falsos amigos.

Exquisita vs Esquisita

The pattern goes –

word: (P) Portuguese definition in English (S) Spanish definition in English

1. aborrecer : (P) to upset, to rile (S) to bore, to annoy.

Both are negative, but different kinds!

2. azar: (P) bad luck (S) accident.

An azar (S) can be an azar (P), but definitely aren’t the same thing.

3. boato: (P) rumor (S) ostentation.

If something’s a rumor, than someone has to have been ostentatious about it? No? Bueller?

4. cena: (P) a scene (S) dinner.

Imagine an Argentine inviting a Brazilian to a cena! Oi?!

5. doce: (P) sweets (S) twelve.

12 sweets please. Doce doces, por favor.

6. galo: (P) rooster (S) someone who’s French.

Confusing this would be awkward…

7. logo (P) means right away, or “now”, and luego (S), means in a while, or “then”

A Brazilian employee would probably considered pretty productive if he/she were to confuse this in Argentina…

8. rato: (P) a rat (S) time/a while

Nada a ver!!!

9. sucesso (P) means success and suceso (S) means an event!

Alright, alright… travelling to Argentina can be an event and a success!!

… And last, but certainly not least because this one gets me EVERY time –

10. taça (P) means a glass, as in a wine glass, and tasa (S) means a tax!

Imagine me in a restaurant in Argentina and the waiter insisting there is no tax on the wine glass…

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