Archive for September, 2008

Globo quizzes

The Globo website has some nice animated, interactive quizzes on different topics. They only take about 5 minutes to do.

September 21st was International Day of Peace so there’s a Q&A on famous peacemakers of our times. Click here for that.

And if you’re keeping a close eye on the US President election. Test your knowledge of who’s who with this short interactive quiz in Portuguese. Click here for that one.


September 23, 2008 at 1:19 am Leave a comment

Haunted houses

I read a strange article on – about a haunted mansion in Nottinghamshire in the UK. It had some good vocabulary in, any road…

Click here to read it. There is some word help and a short quiz if you want to test your comprehension.

Word Help

batidas = knocks / hits
fantasmas = ghosts
manchas de sangue = stains of blood
mal-assombrada = haunted
paredes= walls
prestações da hipoteca = mortgage installments


Can you put these elements of the story in the order in which they appear?

A Details of Mr.Rashid’s family
B The price of the mansion when Mr.Rashid bought it
C Mr.Rashid’s beliefs about the paranormal
D Mr.Rashid’s business background
E Details of Mrs.Rashid’s reaction to blood stains
F The location of the mansion

September 23, 2008 at 1:14 am Leave a comment

Book Review: Haraldo Maranhão – Dicionário de Futebol

If you’re a fan of football you’ll love this book. And, let’s face it, even if you’re not but you want to find out a bit about what makes Brazilians tick then a dictionary of football terms is a good place to start.

Haraldo Maranhão – a jourmalist and writer who has worked for various prestigious Brazilian newspapers and co-authored several titles about Brazilian football and the World Cup – has set about putting in one place all those little words, phrases, expressions and idioms that make talking football seem like talking a new language altogether. At 274 pages long he’s not skimped on his duties. If you’ve read football reports and been confused by the expression “holding the lantern”  then this is going to help a lot. (Holding the lantern = the team in last place in the table). The definitions are clearly written and often contain examples from newspapers and real uses of the words or phrases in question.

I genuinely think non-football fans would find it interesting as it has a lot to say about how flexible Portuguese is and how slang is generated from other more common words . For example, “Comer a Bola” = to eat the ball is “to jogar excepionalmente bem” = to play very well. Similarly, as football is so fundamental to the makeup of Brazilian identity football slang is often also the slang of everyday life. For instance, “pontapé inícial” = kick-off (=lit, I guess, the first contact of the foot!) is used throughout life as an idiom to mean the start of anything. Lastly, if you’re intersted in etymology you’ll see a lot of words that have been incorporated from English or other languages and been “Portugesised” along the way. So, words such as “baque” and “alfe” are distortions of the English words “back” and “half” respectively and are occasionally used in Brazilian Portuguese football terminology.

To conclude, this book may not be the most useful reference book you’ll ever buy and I wouldn’t recommend reading it from cover to cover. I also have no idea how possible it is to get hold of outside Brazil but it’s certainly a lot of fun and would make a great Christmas present for a serious Portuguese-speaking fan of football or the Brazilian Portuguese language.

Click here for more information about the book.

September 14, 2008 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Quiz: Who are you…? Who? Who?

Twenty well-known bands or personalities from the past and present world of Rock are listed below. Their names have been literally translated into Portuguese. Can you translate back into English all 20? Click answers above for the solutions.

1 Cabeça-de-radio
2 Floyd cor-de-rosa
3 Movimento rápido de olho (M.R.D.O.)
4 Friyo jogar
5 As portas
6 A cura
7 Moça de ferro
8 A polícia
9 Picada
10 Estreitos perigosos
11 Mentes simples
12 Contando corvos
13 Senhoras realmente nus
14 Esmagando abóboras
15 Raiva contra a máquina
16 O quem
17 Sábado preto
18 Lutadores de Foo
19 Pimentas vermelhas bem quentes
20 Página e Planta

September 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm 2 comments

They don’t speak Spanish, you know!

This website has practice activities for people learning Brazilian Portuguese at Intermediate level or higher. Please browse around or click on ABOUT to find out more about how to get the most out of the site.