Photo of Porto Alegre as illustration of post about gaúcho accent and gaúcho style Brazilian Portuguese .

Brazilian Portuguese – Gaúcho Style

In this post, you’ll get a bit more familiarized with the gaúcho accent and typical expressions from the Rio Grande do Sul state.

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, so here’s your chance to hear the gaúcho accent!

Lager brand Polar (produced in the South), 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!

Cerveja Polar Advert

 

Eu não aguento mais vir no bar e tá todo mundo no celular!

I can’t stand it anymore – coming to the bar and everybody’s on their cell phones!

aguentar: to stand, to tolerate

Ex: Eu não aguento mais esse barulho! / I can’t stand this noise anymore!

Ah… Fica aí, ó, dando mais importânia pra frase falsa do Shakespeare, do que pra essa guria linda aqui, tchê!

They’re there giving more importance to a fake Shakespeare quote than to this beautiful girl here, tchê.

tchê: see the list of common gaucho expressions.

Olha aí, o teu celular foi embora.

Look, your cell phone’s gone.

ir embora: to leave, to go

Ex: Já são dez horas. Vamos embora? I/ t’s already ten o’clócl. Let’s go?

Fica de cacaca, de fofoquinha no celular.

(They) keep going blah blah blah, gossiping on their cell phones.

fofoca: gossip

fofoquinha: the diminutive of fofoca

Polar… com licença… dá mais atenção pra foto de comida do que pra essa baita ceva aqui.

Polar… excuse me. they pay more attention to photos of food than to this awesome beer.

dar mais atenção para: to give/pay more attention to

Tchê, eu não sei vocês, mas eu não posso mais admitir uma situação dessas e ainda bem que a minha ceva também não.

Tchê, I don’t know about you but I can’t take this situation anymore and the good thing is that my beer can’t either.

ceva: slang for beer (cerveja)

Por isso ela criou a solução definitiva pra esse problema: anulador de celular Polar.

That’s why it created the definitive solution to this problem: The mobile phone nullifier.

Funciona assim: quando a Polar entra na cervegela que está na mesa, ela emite um sinal que anula 3G, 4G, GS<, Wi-Fi, papapah.

It works like this: When Polar goes into the beer cooler on the table, it emits a signal that cancels out 3G, 4G, GSM, Wi-Fi, blah blah blah.

cervegela: beer cooler

Porque vamos combinar: se tem os amigos e tem polar gelada na mesa, não tem nada mais importante que isso né meu velho.

Because let’s agree on this: if you’ve got friends and a cold Polar on the table, there is nothing more important than that, right?

velho: old (literal translation), also a slang used among friends as ‘pal’, ‘mate’, ‘bro’, ‘man’.

Anulador de celular Polar. Saiba que bares encontrar no facebook.com/cevapolar.

Polar cell phone nullifier. Find out which bars you can find them on facebook.com/cevapolar.

Beba com moderação.

 

Drink with moderation.

Common words and expressions used in Rio Grande do Sul:

Click on the audio files for each expression to hear my gaúcho accent!

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. Gaúchos sometimes use it with bem, for emphasis:

Bem capaz! 

(literally: It’s quite likely!, but in fact, it means No way!
Ex:
– Tu vai sair hoje à noite? Are you going out tonight? (Note the use of tu, instead of você. Ga

Gaúchos, in general, tend to use tu instead of você. Some gaúchos, especially in Porto Alegre, tend to use the verb conjugated with você, though. So, here, instead of tu vais… (the right conjugation of the verb ir with tu), we have tu vai (vai is the conjugation of ir with você). They are aware that it is grammatically wrong, but it’s become acceptable in colloquial conversation. Sometimes, depending on the situation, it sounds too formal and ‘correct’ to use the right conjugation of the verb with tu.

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

 

bah 

an 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, que frio que tá hoje!  Gosh, how cold it is today!

 

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 / young man

guria 

girl / young woman

So, what did you think of the gaúcho accent? Is it harder or easier to understand, compared to the accents you’re used to hearing? And did you know about these expressions before? Let me know in the comments!

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