Brazilian Portuguese – Gaúcho Style

A friend of mine sent me a link to this video a while ago, and being a gaúcho myself, the first thing I noticed was that the guy in the advert had a gaúcho accent, and (I’m guessing) from Porto Alegre (the capital of Rio Grande do Sul).

I thought it would be interesting to write the transcript of the advert alongside a translation and highlight a few typical expressions from the South, and of course some more general ones as well. I always advise Brazilian Portuguese learners to try and hear as many different accents as possible, not just the ones from Rio and São Paulo that they are normally more exposed to.

The advert is by lager brand Polar (produced in the South), which has developed a bottle cooler that blocks cell and mobile internet signals to stop people constantly checking their devices when enjoying a beer in a bar with friends.

The video from youtube has already been translated into English (you can switch the subtitles on if they don’t come up automatically). As always the translation I provide next to the Portuguese transcription is a little more direct and literal, which in my view is more helpful when analyzing a language for learning purposes.

Below the transcription I’ve included a short list of other typical gaúcho expressions, not included in the video, but that you are likely to hear if you’re travelling around Rio Grande do Sul.

To all gaúchos out there: Do you think I should have included any other common gaúcho words and expressions? Please let me know in the comments box and I’ll add them to the list!

Anulador de Celular Polar

Common words and expressions used in Rio Grande do Sul:

capaz! The literal translation of capaz is capable, able, likely. However, when gaúchos use it, normally they mean the opposite (you can tell by their intonation or context): doubtful, unlikely to happen. It’s sometimes used with bem, for emphasis: – Bem capaz! (literally: It’s quite likely!, but in fact it means No way!


– Você vai sair hoje à noite? Are you going out tonight?

– Bem capaz! Tenho que estudar pra prova! – No way! I have to study for the exam!

bah interjection of surprise.

Ex: Bah! Que casa bonita! Wow! What a pretty house!

tchê another interjection that doesn’t have a direct translation, it’s normally used at the end or beginning of a sentence, as a way to stress the point you’re trying to make. It could be translated as a normal English interjection of surprise, such as Gosh!

– Tchê, mas que frio!  Gosh, how cold!

tri literally means ‘three times’, and it’s normally used with the adjective legal (cool), but it can be used with basically any adjective.

Ex: Esse relógio é tri caro! This watch is very expensive. /   Esse filme é tri legal. This film is really cool. /  Sometimes people drop legal altogether and just say – Que tri! How cool!

guri boy

guria girl




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