Pissing Off

How to piss off a Brazilian

Be dirty.

Never mind the nasty habit of throwing garbage out of car windows — Brazilians are tidy people, who sometimes shower twice a day. Everyone is expected to change clothes daily, wash hands when coming in from the streets, and brush teeth after every meal (have you noticed Brazilian teeth?).

So if you’re staying at a Brazilian guesthouse or hostel, keep it clean, take out the trash, make your bed, use deodorant. And always take a shower before going to bed. Always.

Speak Spanish.

Yes, the vast majority of Latin America are Spanish speakers. But this is not a country where people greet with “hola!” and thank with “gracias.” Brazil was colonized by many countries (oh, you hungry Europeans), but Portugal sort of won it and the land developed its own singular version of the language.

While it’s true that the languages sound similar, it’s easier to find someone trying to speak English than Spanish, especially in big cities, as that’s the second language in the school curriculum.

Still, when traveling outside tourist spots, chances are you won’t find anyone speaking anything other than the local language, or perhaps a regional dialect. If you’re planning on traveling to Brazil, it’s wise to learn a few words of Portuguese.

Make geographic mistakes.

Study your maps before crossing the border. I know it sounds silly, but some people really seem to believe the Amazon belongs to the US, which is just wrong.

Also, the capital is not Rio or São Paulo — it is Brasilia, in the geographical middle of the country. It was built in the ’50s by a team of architects and engineers led by Oscar Niemeyer, the longest-living architect to ever walk the Earth.

Do the Argentina thing.

It’s rude to name Buenos Aires as the Brazilian capital. It’s even ruder to conflate Brazil and Argentina in general. And it’s just horrible to be constantly comparing Brazilian and Argentinian soccer, churrasco, women, weather, transportation, or whatever. Don’t.

Criticize.

This is true in any country. You don’t walk into a house and say the couch is ugly, do you?

Still, we know: social injustice, lazy workers, corrupt leaders, the Brazilian jeitinho . It sucks, and we tend to spend hours criticizing our own ways. But foreigners are not allowed to, and if you decide to try it after two caipirinhas , you might get an angry look across the table or even a “you don’t know what you’re saying!” angry shout from someone who was bad-mouthing the country a second ago. Exception made to traffic in São Paulo, always a great conversation starter.

Note: The famous quote that goes “Brazil is not a serious country” wasn’t said by French President Charles de Gaulle, but by the Brazilian ambassador to France at the time, Carlos Alves de Souza — which instantly makes the sentence very much true.

Expect every gal to be slutty.

As a woman and a traveler, I know once you say you’re Brazilian, men start to flirt. While Brazilian women tend to be smiling, warm, and free-spirited (not to mention attractive), it doesn’t mean they’re always willing to make out with strangers or jump into your bed. Also: Unless you’re absolutely, 100% sure she’s a hooker, don’t offer money. Yes, it happens.

Be punctual.

I’m sorry, but Brazil’s just not familiar with the obligation of always arriving on time. Leave that to the Brits. Always arrive at a party around an hour and a half later than indicated, blaming the traffic, rain, or whatever.

In business meetings, being 10-20 minutes late is usually all right. Personally, I hate it, but it is what it is, and once you learn to let things flow and not care about the hour, you’ll be hooked. Try it.

Demand efficiency.

We Brazilians may mock our fellow Portuguese (the ‘português joke’ is truly a thing) for a number of reasons, but there’s something else we inherited from them other than language and centuries of slavery: a lack of efficiency.

Take a fast food drive-through, for instance. It isn’t rare to have someone take your order on a piece of paper, then make you stop at a window and deliver the paper to another person, then drive to another window and pay, then drive over to another line to wait to pick up your food.

Try not to force your Brazilian friend / coworker into doing something in a fast / efficient way. You’ll end up frustrated and annoyed.

Do the futebol thing.

If you’re in Brazil, you have to cheer for the yellow and green team. If you’re a gringo and really have to cheer for your country’s team during a match, do it at a friend’s house or an expat pub. Never the nearest boteco

Mock the way we speak English.

While you’ll often find English speakers among Brazilians, especially in business, it’s rare to talk to someone who can speak the language perfectly. Add to the mix the fact that Brazilians are prone to long and complex sentences.

When in doubt, just ask. Ignore any errors, say the accent is cute, and, if possible, compliment when someone makes the effort of trying to speak your language. It will be appreciated.

Wear Havaianas on a date.

C’mon, we’re informal people, and there’s this never-ending hype of coloured plastic flip-flops around the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to show your feet outside the house. No one does it. If you’re not at the beach / pool, wear proper footwear.

Demand privacy.

People will ask personal questions, take pictures without asking, show up unannounced, try to start a conversation while you’re busy, poke you to ask something trivial, expect you to change plans you already made…but we usually mean no harm.

If you think someone’s crossing the line, try to laugh about it and go back to your aloof ways, a quality not all my fellow countrymen/women are familiar with. Warm people, remember? It’s part of the charm and the reason we always get saudades when away from home — Brazilians, as with most Latinos, tend to feel people are very cold / distant / overly formal anywhere else.

Continue reading…

 

Key Terms…
  • Never mind ↔ Esqueça
  • nasty habit ↔ péssimo hábito
  • throwing garbage ↔ jogar o lixo
  • tidy people ↔ pessoas asseadas
  • Everyone is expected to ↔ Espera-se que todo o mundo
  • meal ↔ refeição
  • have you noticed ↔ você já observou
  • guesthouse ↔ pousada
  • deodorant ↔ desodorante
  • sort of ↔ meio que
  • sounds silly ↔ parece bobo
  • conflate ↔ confundir
  • whatever ↔ seja o que for
  • couch ↔ sofá
  • across the table ↔ do outro lado da mesa
  • angry shout ↔ grito zangado
  • bad-mouthing ↔ falando mal
  • Exception made to ↔ Com exceção do
  • ambassador ↔ embaixador
  • flirt ↔ flertar
  • warm ↔ calorosas
  • free-spirited ↔ de espírito livre
  • make out ↔ dar uns amassos
  • hooker ↔ prostituta
  • arriving on time ↔ chegar a tempo
  • let things flow ↔ deixar as coisas fluírem
  • you’ll be hooked ↔ você vai ficar viciado
  • mock ↔ zombar
  • fellow ↔ companheiro
  • we inherited from them ↔ herdamos deles
  • efficiency ↔ eficiência
  • for instance ↔ por exemplo
  • coworker ↔ colega de trabalho
  • end up ↔ acabar
  • annoyed ↔ aborrecido
  • an expat pub ↔ um pub de expatriados
  • Add to the mix ↔ Adicione à mistura
  • prone ↔ inclinados
  • compliment ↔ elogie
  • never-ending ↔ infindável
  • hype ↔ campanha publicitária
  • flip-flops ↔ sandálias
  • wear proper footwear ↔ use calçado adequado
  • show up unannounced ↔ aparecer sem avisar
  • poke ↔ cutucar
  • we usually mean no harm ↔ nós geralmente não causamos danos
  • aloof ways ↔ postura indiferente
  • overly ↔ excessivamente

 

Never mind Esqueça
ou “não se preocupe”
nasty habit péssimo hábito
The trouble with frozen conflicts is that they have a nasty habit of turning hot. ↔O problema dos conflitos congelados é que eles têm o péssimo hábito de esquentar.
tidy people pessoas asseadas
Are messy people more creative than tidy people? ↔Pessoas desleixadas são mais criativas que pessoas organizadas?
meal refeição
We had three meals today: breakfast, lunch and dinner. ↔Fizemos três refeições hoje: café da manhã, almoço e jantar.
sort of meio que
She’s sort of running the company, I think, but her parents are still involved. ↔Ela está meio que administrando a empresa, eu acho, mas seus pais ainda estão envolvidos.
sounds silly parece bobo
Also I think Rest In Peace sounds silly. Is there another way to rest once you die? Is there noise down there? ↔Também acho que Descanse Em Paz parece bobagem. Existe outra maneira de descansar uma vez que você está morto? Há barulho lá embaixo?
conflate confundir
› to combine two or more separate things, especially pieces of text, to form a whole: She succeeded in conflating the three plays to produce a fresh new work.
I really find it absurd when people conflate being smart with speaking good english. ↔Eu realmente acho um absurdo quando as pessoas confundem ser inteligente com falar bem inglês.
whatever seja o que for
You are in control of your own life. It’s up to you to make life whatever you want it to be. ↔Você está no controle de sua própria vida. Cabe a você fazer da vida seja lá o que você quiser que ela seja.
couch sofá
The patient was directed to lie on the couch, while the analyst sat and wrote notes. ↔O paciente foi orientado a deitar-se no divã, enquanto o analista se sentou e escreveu notas.
bad-mouthing falando mal
Why are you always bad-mouthing the medical profession? ↔Por que você está sempre falando mal da profissão médica?
ambassador embaixador
The agressive stance shown during his term as Ambassador to the United Nations hurt his country. ↔A postura agressiva mostrada durante o seu mandato como embaixador nas Nações Unidas atingiu o seu país.
warm calorosas
I like her warm manner. She really treats us well. ↔Aprecio suas maneiras afetuosas (or: ternas). Ela realmente nos trata bem.
make out dar uns amassos
Can we just make out and stuff already? ↔Podemos apenas nos pegar e outras coisas já?
arriving on time chegar a tempo
What do you expect in 2014? — Me arriving on time. ↔O que você espera de 2014? – Eu chegar a tempo.
let things flow deixar as coisas fluírem
Am I the only one without a new year’s resolution? I’m a just let things flow. ↔Eu sou a única sem uma resolução de ano novo? Eu sou um ‘apenas deixe as coisas fluírem‘.
you’ll be hooked você vai ficar viciado
Yeah its really good, you’ll be hooked! I was til my laptop died & now I’m stuck on season 4 I think. The banter is top notch. ↔Sim, é realmente bom, você vai ficar viciado! Eu estava (até meu laptop apagar) e agora estou preso na 4 ª temporada eu acho. A brincadeira é top de linha.
mock zombar
Some of the boys in the dorm loved to mock Roger’s British accent. ↔Alguns dos meninos no dormitório adoravam zombar do sotaque britânico de Roger.
fellow companheiro
He’s just some fellow I met on the bus. ↔Ele é apenas um cara (or: sujeito) que conheci no ônibus.
we inherited from them herdamos deles
Michael Jackson inherited Vitiligo from his grandfather and his son has it too. ↔Michael Jackson herdou vitiligo de seu avô e seu filho também tem.
annoyed aborrecido
Ads annoyingly interrupted the TV movie. ↔Propagandas irritantemente interromperam o filme na TV.
It’s annoying to have to explain this a second time. ↔É chato ter que explicar isso uma segunda vez.
He gave me an annoyed look and left without speaking. ↔Ele me deu um olhar irritado e saiu sem falar.
As soon as he saw me, a look of annoyance crossed his face. ↔Assim que ele me viu, um olhar de aborrecimento cruzou seu rosto.
I know you’re doing this only to annoy me. ↔Eu sei que você está fazendo isso só para me irritar.
prone inclinados
We decided my brother was accident-prone when he had two broken arms, a cracked skull, and a torn ligament all in one year. ↔Decidimos que meu irmão estava propenso a acidentes, quando ele teve dois braços quebrados, um crânio rachado, e um ligamento rasgado tudo em um ano.
compliment elogie
He was surprised by her remark, but decided to take it as a compliment. ↔Ele ficou surpreso com sua observação, mas decidiu tomar isso como um elogio.
show up unannounced aparecer sem avisar
When I’m older will it still be acceptable to show up to my friends’ houses unannounced just to hang out? ↔Quando eu for mais velho ainda será admitido aparecer na casa dos amigos sem aviso prévio só para passar o tempo?
we usually mean no harm nós geralmente não causamos danos
From then on, helpful microbes somehow convince the immune system that they mean no harm. ↔A partir de então, os micróbios úteis de alguma forma convencem o sistema imunológico de que eles não causam dano.
aloof ways postura indiferente
aloof (snobby) arredio, altivoaloof (uninterested) distante
overly excessivamente
Sales forecasts were overly optimistic. ↔As previsões de vendas foram excessivamente otimistas.

icon_promo_basic5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s