Archive for June, 2009

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that have videos with subtitles, sometimes in Portuguese. This week I discovered a website that goes one better – It is built for the language learning community and has a selection of videos from many genres and topics that you can watch with two streams of subtitles – English and another language. The subtitles are generated within the community of users on the site and then peer checked and approved. There seems to be a large Brazilian Portuguese presence on the site and I’ve already watched a few videos this way with a Brazilian Portuguese stream of subtitles. Fantastic language resource, check it out here:

June 14, 2009 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

Book Review: Ron Martinez – Como se diz chulé em inglês?

Como se diz chulé em inglês? (How do you say “chulé” in English?) is a book written for Brazilians learning English, but in my opinion its just as useful if not more so for English people learning Brazilian Portuguese.

Some time ago, Ron Martinez (who has a background of teaching English in Brazil) started a group on the social network site Orkut for learners of English. Students posted questions about words in Portuguese they couldn’t find an equivelent for in English. This book is Ron’s attempt to answer those queries. Basically, it’s a fascinating study of phrases and words that are common in Portuguese which no English word seems to quite capture.

The best way to illustrate this is through some examples. An oft-cited Portuguese word that has no English translation is “saudades” which roughly translates to “longing” – basically the feeling we have when we miss something. Other useful words which Martinez picks up on – Picanha (the prime cut of meat so popular at Brazilian barbeques/churrascos which butchers in the northern hemisphere don’t use!), caprichar (sort of means “to embellish”, “to treat well”, “to put extra effort in”), cadê (that wonderful word which doesn’t need to be conjugated which means – Where is/are..?) and, from the title, chulé (smelly feet!).

As the book is written in Portuguese you will need at least an intermediate grasp of Portuguese to get everything, but the chapters are short, witty and the examples clearly laid out in boxes. A great way to get under the skin of both English and Portuguese and how the two languages actually work in practice…

Here is a listing for the book on

June 9, 2009 at 6:31 pm Leave a comment

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.