Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Funny language expressions

As kind of a follow up to Danielle's post. I wanted to mention a few expressions in Portuguese that I either found or still find pretty confusing.

As I just commented in her post, Pois e was a really tricky one for me.  I had finally mastered pode ser  (and use it of-ten) but I kept hearing Ro's mom answering things with 'pois e' and not understanding what she was saying.  Definitely sounded like a term of agreement but I just couldn't match it with anything and definitely couldn't use it.
It was finally explained to me that whenever someone is talking with you about something you:
a) don't know much about
b) don't have much to say about OR
c) don't have an opinion at all
you can answer with POIS E!  

Person A (talking to me): Don't you think they should have put Ronaldinho on the Brazil team? Isn't that coach Whatshisface such a dummy???

I like to think of it as "I guess so!" 

How about the first time I met this lady at the gym.   This was back in the beginning and up until that point everyone had been saying "Oi, muito prazer! Tudo bem/bom?"  Like a normal person does when they are speaking to someone who clearly doesn't speak the language.
Well why in the hell does this woman come up to me and in her fiery fast tongue shoot out,

What the F????

Well, now I know (and also know that there are several occasions where you may use partial comecseta talk).
It means COMO E QUE VOCE ESTA?  In other words,  How are you?

Anywho, short and sweet.  Shall add more when I think of more!


  1. seriosly pois e...i hate that one. i never use it because it sounds so much more affirmative than i guess so...does that make sense? that one had me stumped for a while too!

  2. haha! I suffered with both of these, too!

    I think of "pois é" as "yeah" with a little laugh. You know how when someone says something kind of obvious and you respond with "heh...yeah" but you say "heh" at the same time? This is so hard to explain over the internet. I'm trying to find a file online and I can't. Tell me if you get it and if you agree.

    With "comoseta", my Spanish speaking brain thought people were saying some kind of word, "estar-se", and I didn't get it. Then I wrote Alexandre a little note and I wrote "como se tá?" and he thought it was hilarious.

  3. Pois e, you're right, it's more like Heh, yeah, heh kinda beavis and butthead-esque. Totally what it means.

    But comoseta is different than comecseta because they actually pronounce it like COM-ECK-SE-TA. Maybe it's a Rio thing but it threw me off like you wouldn't believe.

    Actually the whole shortening of words (se, ta, to, etc) was tricky at first. Now, its like second nature though ;)

  4. You don't know how many times I looked up 'comecsta' in my dictionary. By the time I figured out what it was, I had already decided not to worry about what the words really meant and just say it exactly as I was hearing it. People use it here in RS. Also 'ondecsta'! (Onde é que está?)

    I still can't get 'pois é' into my vocab though...

  5. You made my Brazilian husband laugh. Enough said :)


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