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Celebrating International Women’s Day in Brazil

International Women’s Day in Brazil is a holiday dedicated to valorização da mulher, or “woman appreciation.” In this article, you’ll learn all about special traditions for Women’s Day in Brazil, some history behind the holiday, and relevant vocabulary!

Let’s get started.

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1. What is International Women’s Day?

On Women’s Day, Brazil focuses on showing appreciation, respect, and love for women. This is an important holiday around the world, and the same is true in Brazil.

Looking at the International Women’s Day history, the first celebration was in the United States in 1909. The Socialist Party of America hosted an event for women in New York, and the idea quickly caught on in Europe, which had its first Women’s Day in 1911. Since then, International Women’s Day has grown in popularity throughout the world.

In Brazil, women’s rights are still being fought for, and Brazilian women continue to claim more achievements. They’ve progressed a long way since 1879, when they won the right to study at institutes of higher learning, until 2011, when the first woman was elected to the Presidency of the country.

2. When is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is on March 8

Each year, International Women’s Day is celebrated on oito de março, or “March 8.”

3. How to Celebrate International Women’s Day in Brazil

In Brazil, this date is remembered with flowers and small homages to the women. Many husbands, sons, and employers present the women in their lives with a buquê, or “bouquet,” of flowers or potted plants, accompanied by a brief note. The children prepare little offerings for their mothers at school. In some colleges, female students receive a small card with a message, and a small gift, like some chocolates or bomboms (“bonbons”), for example.

Many town councils, associations, and shops also prepare tributes to women, organizing special events for them! The most common tributes involve distributing roses and offering beauty treatments; sometimes free medical consultations are even offered. On this day, Brazil often organizes lectures on women’s rights and subjects connected to career development or healthcare.

4. Some Very Powerful Women

Do you who the world’s most powerful women are, according to Forbes?

In 2019, the three women heading Forbes’ list of powerful women were Angela Merkel (Germany), Christine Lagarde (France), and Nancy Pelosi (United States).

5. Essential Vocab for International Women’s Day

A Bouquet of 
flowers

Ready to review some of the Portuguese vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important words and phrases for International Women’s Day!

  • Mulher — “Woman”
  • Amor — “Love”
  • Celebração — “Celebration”
  • Flor — “Flower”
  • Direito — “Right”
  • Buquê — “Bouquet”
  • Oito de março — “March 8”
  • Bombom — “Bonbon”
  • Homenagear — “Honor”
  • Valorização da mulher — “Woman appreciation”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, check out our Portuguese International Women’s Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about International Women’s Day in Brazil with us! Do you celebrate this holiday in your country, or honor women another way? Let us know in the comments! We look forward to hearing what you have to say.

If you’re fascinated with Brazilian culture and can’t get enough, you can check out the following pages on PortuguesePod101.com:

Whatever your reasons for developing an interest in the culture or language of Brazil, know that PortuguesePod101.com is the best way to expand your knowledge and improve your skills. With tons of fun and immersive lessons for learners at every level, there’s something for everyone!

Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning with us.

Happy International Women’s Day from the PortuguesePod101 family!

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The Independence Day of Brazil: History & Celebrations

Did you know that Brazil is the only country in the Americas that uses Portuguese as its national language? This is because, for nearly three-hundred years, Portugal colonized Brazil. In 1822, freedom and independence finally became a realistic goal for Brazil, and as you can imagine, Brazil’s Independence Day is the country’s most important holiday.

How did Brazil gain its independence after so long a colonial period? In this article, you’ll learn about the history behind the Brazil Day of Independence, as well as Brazil Independence Day celebrations.

At PortuguesePod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative. So let’s get started!

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1. What is Brazil’s Independence Day?

Brazil was a colony of Portugal for 285 years. However, when Napoleon invaded Portugal in 1815, the Portuguese court was forced to move to Rio de Janeiro, thus creating the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarve.

The Portuguese Court remained in Brazil until 1820, when the Liberal Revolution of Porto in Portugal forced King John to return to Europe. The Portuguese Government sought to make Brazil a colony once again, but the country was never to return to its former colonial status.

In 1822, a Court Order was issued to Pedro de Alcântara, prince regent of Brazil, for his return to Portugal. However, Pedro was petitioned to stay by the Brazilian people and decided accordingly to remain in Brazil. The day of his decision became known as the Dia do Fico (I’ll Stay Day), marking the first step toward the country’s independence.

Seeing that independence was inevitable, on September 7, 1822, after receiving a letter from his father demanding his return to Portugal, Pedro declared Brazil’s independence on the banks of the Ipiranga River with the famous words “Independence or Death!”

2. When is the Independence Day of Brazil?

Independence Day on September 7

Each year, Brazil celebrates its Independence Day on September 7.

3. Brazil Independence Day Celebrations

This holiday is also known as the Homeland Day or Seventh of September Day.

On Independence Day, Brazil celebrations throughout the country include civilian-military patriotic parades in all the city centers. Various public and military colleges participate in these parades.

The most famous of these celebrations is that of Brasília, held at the Esplanade of the Ministries, in the presence of the President of the Republic. In general, this event gains an audience of about fifty-thousand people.

And for Brazilians outside Brazil? The Brazilian Day is also celebrated worldwide, usually during the month of September, as an event to commemorate the independence of Brazil, accompanied by much Brazilian music and food.

4. How Did Brazil Get its Name?

A Marching Band

Do you know where the name of Brazil comes from?

It comes from the name of a tree called Brazilwood that is native to the Atlantic Forest. Its wood is reddish in color and used to be used for dyeing textiles, but today this tree is under risk of extinction.

5. Vocabulary to Know for Brazil’s Independence Day

Brazil's Flag on Map of Brazil

Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for Brazil’s Independence Day!

  • Dia da independência — “Independence Day”
  • Dia da independência do Brasil — “Independence Day of Brazil”
  • Banda — “Band”
  • Desfile — “Parade”
  • Sete de setembro — “September 7”
  • Discurso do presidente — “president’s speech”
  • Semana da Pátria — “Motherland Week”
  • Pátria — “Motherland”
  • Independência ou Morte! — “Independence or Death!”
  • Independência — “Independence”
  • Hastear a bandeira — “Hoist the flag”
  • Hino da Independência do Brasil — “Independence Anthem

To hear each of these Portuguese vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Independence Day of Brazil vocabulary list!

How PortuguesePod101 Can Help You Learn About Brazilian Culture

We hope you enjoyed learning about Brazil’s Independence Day with us! To make sure you were paying attention, answer this question in the comments: When did Brazil gain independence, and how?

Also feel free to share about the national day in your own country; we always love hearing from you!

To continue learning about Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language, explore PortuguesePod101.com. We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

  • Insightful blog posts on a range of cultural and language-related topics
  • Free vocabulary lists covering a variety of topics and themes
  • Podcasts to improve your listening and pronunciation skills
  • Mobile apps so you can learn Portuguese anywhere, on your own time
  • Much, much more!

If you prefer a one-on-one learning approach, be sure to upgrade to Premium Plus. Doing so will give you access to your own personal Portuguese tutor who will help you develop a learning plan based on your needs and goals. Yes, really!

Really mastering a language takes work, but we know you can do it. Just keep up the hard work and hold on to your determination! You got this. 🙂

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12 Essential Untranslatable Portuguese Words

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Not everything can be translated. The Biblical story of the Tower of Babel tells of a time when all humans stopped speaking the same language to drown in the confusion of different idioms. The conflicts have spread throughout humankind, which has been dissolved into different tribes.

Indeed, communication is full of perils. Speech is the root of every possible human bond and results in building or destroying bridges. Normally, when a message fails to be transmitted, the consequences aren’t good.

This effort to translate is hard enough in daily matters. But what about the untranslatable Portuguese words and those of other languages?

The benefits of learning untranslatable Portuguese words may not be obvious at first sight, but they exist. For one, it’s a good way to learn more about the culture of the target country and to understand more about the native speakers’ mindset.

That’s why you’re about to grow as a student with the help of a brand-new list of untranslatable Portuguese words from PortuguesePod101!

Disclaimer

The following words will be presented with a literal translation, which could also be properly called an approximate meaning. Because these are Portuguese words with no English equivalent, right? But we’ll do our best to communicate the actual meaning after the literal translation to make it as precise as possible.

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Table of Contents

  1. Saudade
  2. Fado
  3. Gostosa
  4. Tapioca
  5. Oca
  6. Xodó
  7. Desbundar
  8. Cafuné
  9. Ouvido e orelha
  10. Anteontem
  11. Cadê
  12. Caprichar
  13. How PortuguesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Untranslatable Words in Portuguese

1. Saudade

Best Ways to Learn

Literal Translation:

There isn’t one.

Meaning:

Feelings of nostalgia and longing for something, someone, or some situation. Normally, these are melancholy feelings, but can also carry joyful undertones.

Example Situations:

To long for a dead relative; missing a childhood object; to miss an ex-partner (or the feelings you felt toward them); to yearn to go back in time to a situation.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Sinto saudade dela.
    “I miss her.”
  • Que saudades da casa da minha infância…
    “Oh, how I long for the house of my childhood…”

When it comes to words often used together with this term, people usually “have” saudade or “feel” saudade.

The feeling can also be expressed as a lament with the help of que: Que saudade da casa da minha infância…

Additional Notes:

Some people see this as one of the most beautiful untranslatable Portuguese words. The word is largely employed in lyrical context, which is probably the best context to learn the many ways it can be used.

Saudade ranges from modern Brazilian music from the end of the 1950s (João Gilberto’s Chega de Saudade album) back to the poems of Luís Vaz de Camões (Nascerão Saudades Do Meu Bem, for instance) in the 17th century. These were some of the most important contributions in shaping the pillars of the popular Portuguese idiom that we know today.

Actually, saudade has been present in Portuguese poetry since it began. The medieval cantigas de amigo (“friend songs,” or romantic chivalry lyrics) already used the word to describe the feeling of maidens left behind by their knights to die in battles.

So, if you search well enough, you may draw the conclusion that this is not only a very old and beautiful word, but also one of the most popular untranslatable words in Portuguese.

2. Fado

José Malhoa’s painting “Fado” (1910) depicts a working class Portuguese couple in a moment of artistic contemplation.

Literal Translation:

“Fate”

Meaning:

Besides being a less popular translation for “fate,” fado is the name of a popular melancholic Portuguese music genre.

Example Situation:

The most common use of fado is in fado lyrics, such as Tudo isto é fado by poet Aníbal Nazaré, and it was made famous by the voice of Portuguese singer Amália Rodrigues:

Almas vencidas/Noites perdidas/Sombras bizarras(…)/Amor ciúme/Cinzas e lume/Dor e pecado/Tudo isto existe/Tudo isto é triste/Tudo isto é fado(… )

“Beaten souls/Lost nights/Bizarre shadows(…)/Love jealousy/Cinders and lights/Pain and sin/All this exists/All this is sad/All this is fado(…)”

Usage in a Sentence:

Fado can be used with and without musical context, though the latter is much less common.
When the word is used in lyrics, it can depict both the song genre and fate, depending on the situation.

Additional Notes:

Exposure to fado singers’ and instrumentalists’ works will not only lead you to find popular poetry and more interesting untranslatable Portuguese idioms. It will also present to you the unique universe of Moorish and European musical expression and instruments, blended into Portugal’s modern musical pride.

Also, you’ll certainly find some of the most beautiful Portuguese words and phrases we need in English.

3. Gostosa

Literal Translation:

“Tasty”

Meaning:

To use gostosa is similar to using “hot” to describe an attractive woman. It can also be used for men, adapted to gostoso.

Example Situation:

Gostosa is an adjective and one of the funny untranslatable Portuguese words on this list. But as you may have imagined, to call someone “tasty” can be perceived as very vulgar by the person receiving the compliment.

An example situation for the appropriate use of this word would be in a context of informality and intimacy. It’s sexy talk. For instance, if used during flirting, gostosa normally would not be employed to establish first impressions—don’t be a jerk.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Já te disseram que você é bem gostosa?
    “Did someone ever tell you that you’re very hot?”

4. Tapioca

Bubble Tea with Tapioca Balls

Literal Translation:

There isn’t one.

Meaning:

It’s a type of edible flour made of manioc, but the word is normally used to describe a fine pancake recipe prepared with this flour and various types of fillings.

Example Situation:

Tapioca is a noun, which means it can be qualified by adjectives. The most common ones for an interested gourmand would be doce or salgado (“sweet” or “salted”), since these are the flavors offered when ordering one.

Despite the choice of fillings, there aren’t many ways to prepare tapioca: mostly, it’s fried (frita) in a pan without oil. But you might find other ways to serve it, since it’s growingly incorporated into other plates and candies. For instance: dadinho de tapioca (“little tapioca dice” ) or sorvete de tapioca (“tapioca ice cream”).

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Esta tapioca com manteiga está deliciosa, mas prefiro com recheio doce.
    “This buttered tapioca is delicious, but I’d rather eat one with a sweet filling.”

Additional Notes:

This isn’t one of the hard Portuguese words to learn or use. Indeed, rather than learning this example of untranslatable Brazilian Portuguese words, you’re probably better off tasting a sample of tapioca! To savor it is also untranslatable…

This Brazilian delicacy is a native dish and very popular in the Northern and Northeastern regions of the country. In the time of colonization, it was fed to the slaves and also served as food for settlers. Presently, it’s a “trendy” option for snacks and sandwiches among gym enthusiasts, since it can be prepared as a very thin yet consistent and energetic pancake, and filled with “healthy” ingredients.

5. Oca

A Photo of the Oca Building by Niemeyer

Niemeyer’s Oca building is inspired by primordial native constructions

Literal Translation:

There isn’t one.

Meaning:

An indigenous dwelling made out of wood and vegetable fibers—typically found in Brazil.

Don’t confuse this word with the Portuguese translation for “hollow,” which is pronounced “oh-kah.” The word in question here should be pronounced with an “open o” (like in the word “rock”).

Example Situation:

Consisting of three letters, this is probably one of the least hard Portuguese words to learn from this list. It’s normally employed in native contexts.

Usage in a Sentence:

The word is typically used to describe indigenous houses, and not in connotative manners. A group of ocas can be called an aldeia.

Additional Notes:

The format of an oca is rounded and it can vary in size. To imagine one, you just need to picture a coconut sunken halfway into the ground.

The form of the oca has served as inspiration for modern architectural structures in Brazil. The most famous one is Oscar Niemeyer’s Oca in the Ibirapuera Park, in São Paulo. It’s a museum for small- to medium-sized expositions.

6. Xodó

Literal Translation:

There isn’t one.

Meaning:

The dearest one; the loved one

Example Situation:

Xodó can be used to refer to different types of people for whom the speaker feels tenderness. Relatives, especially children, can be xodós. For example, a grandson can be a grandmother’s xodó, and vice-versa. Pets, dear objects, and hobbies can be xodós as well.

Finally, this word can also be applied in a dating context as a synonym for a valentine or a dear one.

Usage in a Sentence:

Xodó is a popular example of untranslatable words in Portuguese vocabulary. It should be used in informal register.

An example of the expression’s usage in a dating context is Dominguinhos’ song Xodó, also interpreted by Luiz Gonzaga. This forró singer is among Brazil’s most famous musicians of all time. The chorus of the tune is as follows:

  • Eu só quero um amor/Que acabe o meu sofrer/Um xodó pra mim/Do meu jeito assim/Que alegre o meu viver
    “All I want is a valentine/That will end my suffering/A valentine for me/Just the way I like it/That will lighten up my living”

The term can also refer to the relationship itself, not the valentine.

Other examples outside of the dating context are:

  • Ele tem um xodó tremendo pelo carro.
    “He is tremendously in love with his car.”
    (Note that the “relationship” meaning is employed in this case, but in a connotative manner.)
  • A garotinha era o xodó do professor de História.
    “The little girl was the dearest of the history teacher.”

7. Desbundar

People Drinking at a Party

Literal Translation:

There isn’t one.

Meaning:

This is one of the most complex untranslatable Portuguese words on this list. Essentially, this verb is equivalent to “dazzle”…but not only that. It also carries behavioral tones that are not encompassed by “dazzle.” For example, desbundar can refer to losing control, becoming inebriated, or taking to deviant sexual behavior.

Finally, to free yourself from social constraints in general can be described as desbundar (the verb) or desbunde (the noun, which is the liberating act itself).

Example Situation:

Someone at a party after their fourth glass of caipirinha is ready to desbundar—if they haven’t already.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Beatriz desbundou de vez após consumir tanta droga.
    “Beatriz has lost track completely after consuming so many drugs.”
  • O turista desbundou quando viu o Rio Amazonas.
    “The tourist was bedazzled by the sight of the Amazonas River.”

Additional Notes:

Desbundar and desbunde are more examples of why untranslatable Portuguese terms are somewhat hard for foreigners to understand fully, even after they learn the general idea. Foreign speakers lack certain cultural information, which is sometimes hard to get.

We’ve already commented on musical and literary repertoire related to other words. In this case, desbunde (in the sense of liberation or losing track of reality) was popularized in the context of the Brazilian dictatorship of the 1960s. That was when desbunde got this sense among artists who were experimenting with cultural norms, sexual liberation, and aesthetic modernization.

8. Cafuné

Literal Translation:

There isn’t one.

Meaning:

Running your fingers through one’s hair

Example Situation:

Though it may seem like a romantic gesture, a cafuné is a normal form of affection in Brazil among friends and relatives. Though it can certainly be used in a romantic context as well.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Vem cá me fazer um cafuné.
    “Come here and give me a cuddle.”

9. Ouvido e orelha

A Man Listening to Something

Literal Translation:

“Ear” and…”ear”

Meaning:

This may come across as something odd.

Ouvido stands for the inner part of the ear (the ducts inside the tiny hole of the ear), whereas orelha is the outer part of the ear—its “structure.”

Example Situation:

Typically, when it comes to hearing something or having pain in the ear, the speaker will refer to the ouvido.

When talking about the physical structure of the ear, the part seen by the eyes, the speaker will talk about orelha.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Vou ao médico, pois estou com dor de ouvido.
    “I’m going to the physician because I feel pain in my ear.”
  • Levei uma bolada na orelha e agora ela está vermelha como um pimentão.
    “They’ve kicked the ball against my ear and now it is red as a pepper.”

Additional Notes:

Someone with large ears is often called orelhas de abano (“fan ears”).

Someone with good hearing skills is considered to have ouvidos de tísico or ouvidos de tuberculoso (both synonyms for “tuberculous ears”).

10. Anteontem

Literal Translation:

“Before yesterday”

Meaning:

It is the day before yesterday.

Example Situation:

Actually, an English speaker can find an equivalent for this word in “ereyesterday.” But since this form is extremely archaic, we consider anteontem to be one of the important untranslatable Portuguese words for new learners.

Anteontem is freely and often used in Portuguese conversations not only in Brazil, but also in Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, and Guiné-Bissau.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Você deveria ter feito a reserva anteontem…
    “You should have done the reservations the day before yesterday…”
  • Ela assistiu um filme terrível anteontem.
    “She watched a terrible movie the day before yesterday.”
  • Aonde todos foram anteontem?
    “Where did everybody go the day before yesterday?”

Other commonly used verbs that go with anteontem are: comer (“to eat”), tocar (“to play”), jogar (“to play”), and the list goes on.

Additional Notes:

Fun fact: This word is an example of linguistic bricolage in Portuguese. It’s the exact combination of antes (“before” ) and ontem (“yesterday”).

11. Cadê

Literal Translation:

“Where is”

Meaning:

This is a subtle example of Brazillian Portuguese words you can’t translate into English. You most certainly can ask where something is in English. But can you do it in one word? Cadê, also known as quede or quedê, is the contraction of “where is” (onde está) in one word—even though onde está doesn’t sound anything close to cadê.

Example Situation:

If you’ve lost something or want to know where someone is, cadê is the word of choice.

Fun fact: In the late 1990s, Cadê was the name of a Brazilian web search engine, similar to Google.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Cadê o chinelo?
    “Where is the flip flop [sandal]?”
  • Cadê Tereza?
    “Where is Tereza?”

Additional Notes:

Actually, quede is the contraction of que é de…? which is an archaic way of asking for something’s whereabouts. Curiously enough, que é de is the exact equivalent to “what became of…?”

Cadê or quedê are preferable to quede, which can also refer to a sports shoe or a golf caddie. Or you can engage in truly untranslatable Portuguese phrases asking where the caddie is: quede o quede?

12. Caprichar

Hot Dog with Mustard

Literal Translation:

“To make it in a whimsical way”

Meaning:

To put effort into something; to execute something well

Example Situation:

This is yet another interesting case of Portuguese words with no English translation. The literal translation of capricho (the noun) would be “whim.” In Portuguese, capricho can also mean “whim,” actually.

But for some reason, the verb caprichar is different. When someone capricha in something, they’re doing it well or at least putting effort into it.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Este relatório será apresentado ao chefe, então por favor capriche!
    “This report will be presented to the boss, so please make it as good as you can!”
  • Tem como fazer este cachorro-quente bem caprichado?
    “Can you make this hot dog a big and fat one?”

Note that the term has been employed in a connotative manner. A caprichado hot dog would be a big and fat one in the eyes of the speaker. This is what’s expected from the snack for it to be the best possible.

Additional Notes:

As you may have noticed, other forms of words can derive from caprichar. The noun capricho is one of them, and the adjective caprichado is another very common example. Either way, all of these words are often employed in colloquial register rather than formal.

13. How PortuguesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Untranslatable Words in Portuguese

Reasons for Studying

A friendly push can lead a beginner or intermediate speaker to a truly clear path of knowledge. In fact, learning a language alone is usually harder than connecting to other people, teachers, and cultures in the process.

PortuguesePod101 is a database that gathers free resources for Portuguese speakers at every level. Our sections and lessons are organized to guarantee a balanced approach to the content. Untranslatable terms in Portuguese will be easier to learn when you combine formal “classroom” teaching and informal, relaxed articles, podcasts, videos, and other learning tools.

Indeed, the MyTeacher feature is one to behold. This fast-track to fluency will give you guidance, one-on-one contact, and personalized feedback to help you improve your Portuguese skills. You’ll get to learn Portuguese terms we wish existed in English, and many other important cultural traits that are hard to get elsewhere without going abroad.

Get access to a whole new world of knowledge with PortuguesePod101. We’ll give you the tools—you finish the job!

Before you go, let us know in the comments if any of these words were new to you. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Watch TV in Portuguese with the Best Series and Shows

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Talk with anyone who’s learned a new language and they’ll tell you that music, TV shows, and books were a major help in improving their knowledge. So if you’re learning Portuguese, why not do the same?

You’re definitely lucky in that regard, especially when talking about TV shows, movies, and audiovisual productions. Brazil has a long tradition of good work in those areas, with dozens of telenovela Portuguese TV shows exported to hundreds of countries, and more recently, series that have gained respect worldwide.

So, there’s no need to search for Portuguese TV channels streams: We’ll bring some examples of the best Brazilian TV shows to learn Portuguese in this article. Thanks to streaming services, you can check them out and learn many valuable things. When you watch Portuguese TV, you’re also expanding your vocabulary, hearing common phrases, exposing yourself to colloquial language, and more. You’ll train your ears and brain, and Portuguese will become far more natural to you.

Try to watch the episodes without subtitles. If it’s too hard, go little by little: skip one phrase, see if you understood what was said, and go from there.

Without further ado, our list of the best TV shows in Portuguese for language-learners!

Table of Contents

  1. The Thorn and the Rose
  2. Jailers
  3. Magnifica 70
  4. It’s a Match
  5. Task Force
  6. Profession: Reporter
  7. 9mm: São Paulo
  8. Psi
  9. 1 Against All
  10. Aruanas
  11. Watch Your Way to Portuguese Mastery

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1. The Thorn and the Rose

Family Watching TV

What’s more Brazilian in TV than a novela? This genre of Portuguese TV shows started out much like the American soap operas in the 50s, but has gone through changes over the decades to become a bona-fide Brazilian export.

The Thorn and the Rose (O Cravo e a Rosa) is a classic novela, and offers a good experience for beginners to watch TV in Portuguese, and it’s available on the Globo Play streaming service. The language in the novelas is the most colloquial possible, since they’re the prime-time attraction in Brazil.

This humoristic production from 2000 is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. It depicts the joys and misunderstandings of a young couple, consisting of a rich, angry feminist and a rough but loving farmer at the beginning of the twentieth century.

The cast is full of TV stars (Eduardo Moscovis; Adriana Esteves) and the pronunciation ranges from very clear, urban idioms to rural, local-tinted versions of Portuguese. As in many Portuguese comedy TV shows, this novela is full of turnarounds and language play—which is a bonus for learners.

Quote:
Pois então, você vai dormir com as vacas porque esse aqui é meu quarto. É isso mesmo que você ouviu: vai dormir com as vacas. Se você quer dormir aqui no meu quarto, vai dormir sem travesseiro porque eu não sou bicho para ter cerca me separando… Bem que me disseram mesmo que não era para eu casar com a fera!

Translation:

“Well then, you’re going to sleep with the cows because this is my bedroom. That’s precisely what you’ve heard: you’re going to sleep with the cows. If you want to sleep in my bedroom, you’re going to sleep without a pillow because I’m no animal to have a fence separating me from you… And they have told me not to marry the beast!”

Vocabulary:

  • Vaca (Cow)
  • Bicho (Animal)
  • Casar-se (To marry)
  • Fera (Beast)

2. Jailers

Improve Listening

This series represents the effort that Globo channel (known worldwide for its novelas) is putting on productions for its streaming platform, Globo Play. Jailers (Carcereiros) is a Cannes-awarded series depicting the life of a state agent who deals daily with the intense and tragic realities of the incarcerated.

Jailers is based upon a non-fiction book by popular Brazilian author Drauzio Varella. To watch this Portuguese TV series is a good opportunity for learners to get more familiar with local slang, idiomatic expressions, and differences in speech between social classes in Brazil. The plot and dialogue are more complex than a novela’s.

Stories filled with tension and power play inside the jail, and are brought to life with the help of a robust cast of national stars (Rodrigo Lombardi; Leticia Sabatella;Toni Tornado) and a talented team of scriptwriters, such as author Marçal Aquino (Task Force; O Invasor)—which makes Jailers one of the best Portuguese TV shows you can feast your eyes on.

Quote:
Eu sou Vilma, diretora do presídio. Este é Adriano, carcereiro daqui. Bem-vindos à equipe. Convivência com preso não se aprende na academia, senhores. Isso, vocês vão aprender aqui no dia a dia. Você tem que ir para cima deles. A grande arma do agente penitenciário é a palavra: ela tem que ser mais forte que tiro de fuzil.

Translation:
“I am Vilma, the warden of the prison. This is Adriano, a jailer from here. Welcome to the team. You don’t learn to live with prisoners in the academy, gentlemen. This, you’ll have to learn here, daily. You have to go hard on them. The prison agent’s big weapon is the word: it has to be stronger than a rifle’s shot.”

Vocabulary:

  • Presídio (Prison)
  • Convivência (Living together; Intimacy)
  • Ir para cima deles (To go hard on them)
  • Penitenciário (Relative to prison)
  • Fuzil (Rifle)

3. Magnifica 70

With three seasons, Magnifica 70 (HBO) has a very original plot. It portrays a censor working for the government, who falls in love with an actress from a movie of the subversive pornochanchada genre—which mixes humor, eroticism, and not-so-profound narratives, and constituted a true national cinema industry.

Vicente, the censor, bans the movie, but is fascinated with the movie production and creativity of the work that comes out of an area called Boca do Lixo (Trash’s Mouth), in Sao Paulo. Magnifica 70 is available on HBOGO, which means it’s a Portuguese-spoken TV show with English subtitles.

Quote:
Você entra e banca o repórter. Daqui a uns quinze minutos, eu subo. É melhor ainda que ela me reconheça: ela se assusta e a gente dá uma ‘prensa’. Ela vai perceber que está tentando chantagear as pessoas erradas.

Translation:
“You enter and pretend you are a reporter. I’ll come up around fifteen minutes later. It’s even better that she recognizes us: she’ll be scared, so we can put pressure on her. She’ll notice that she’s trying to blackmail the wrong people.”

Vocabulary:

  • Bancar (To pretend)
  • Subir (To go up)
  • Chantagear (To blackmail)
  • Dar uma prensa (To put pressure on someone)

4. It’s a Match

Woman Laughing at TV

This original Globo Play production is a series about neurotic young adults struggling to adapt to the unspoken rules of a new world of fluid relations and interactions through social media. Sound familiar? It’s a Match (Shippados) may look like a poor man’s Master of None. But it’s much more than that: it’s a chance to take a glance at the Brazilian take on modern relations.

Brazilian TV darlings Eduardo Sterblitch and Tatá Werneck play the parts of the main characters, Enzo and Rita, a pair that tries to bond and eventually become a couple in this brave (and sometimes cold) new world.

It’s a Match is the last project of the famous late comedic screenwriter Fernanda Young (Os Normais; Aspones). You can expect lots of quick-paced irony and colloquial language from one of the top Portuguese TV shows.

Quote:
Moça, me perdoa, você pode fazer um favor para mim? A menina estava comigo aqui e foi ao banheiro e eu queria saber se ela está lá. Você poderia ver para mim? Não falei nada demais para ela, não, só que aconteceu isso outras vezes comigo e eu fico meio preocupado. Só que dessa vez, principalmente, porque ela tem 95% a ver comigo.

Translation:
“Lady, I beg your pardon: will you do me a favor? The girl who was seated here with me went to use the toilet and I’d like to know if she’s in there. Could you check it? I didn’t say anything absurd to her, no. I just get a little concerned, since it happened to me other times—only this time, mainly because she has 95% to do with me.”

Vocabulary:

  • Me perdoa (I beg your pardon)
  • Nada demais (Anything absurd)
  • Preocupado (Concerned)
  • Meio (A little)

5. Task Force

Women Hiding Her Face

It seems like the Brazilian audience likes crime and cop shows. And it’s true. Since the boom of Elite Squad, movie productions in that genre are common and Globo’s Task Force (Força Tarefa) is only one example.

The difference here is the focus, which changes from cops-versus-gangs and drug traffic to the investigations of the wrongdoings of Rio’s police and the challenges those officers have to face.

The advantage of this production is that the plot is very straightforward, so you understand what’s happening on the screen even if you miss some words. Shows like this can keep you motivated to continue to watch TV in Portuguese.

Quote:
Anunciar no jornal é que ele não vai, né? Sabe o que eu acho? Esse cara não vai vender essa arma no varejo. Porque é demorado e mais arriscado. Para mim, ele vai tentar vender tudo de uma vez só. Se eu souber de alguma coisa, te aviso. Vou ficar ligado!

Translation:
“He’s not going to announce it in the newspapers, is he? You know what I think? This guy will not sell this gun in the retail. Because it takes too long and is too risky. In my opinion, he will try to sell everything at one time. If I get to know something about it, I’ll let you know. I’ll stay tuned!”

Vocabulary:

  • Né? (Isn’t it?)
  • Cara (Guy)
  • Varejo (Retail)
  • Arriscado (Risky)

6. Profession: Reporter

The most efficient way to learn Portuguese with TV shows is to apprehend the mindset of the speakers. The national debates are a good way to understand local development, problems, and, most of all, people.

Watching the news can get pretty bleak, making Profession: Reporter’s (Profissão Repórter) approach to the journalistic report more attractive. Every episode brings a fresh team of young reporters, on- and off-camera, struggling to investigate in depth a hot national theme—from environmental to policial affairs, from Science and Arts to social themes.

Reporters from a land of continental dimensions (and sometimes in other Portuguese-speaking lands) expose the learner to different regional flavors of the language and to a myriad of cultural backgrounds. This is one of the best Brazilian TV shows to learn Portuguese, available on Globo Play for free.

Quote:
Esse é o Aglomerado da Serra, uma das maiores favelas do Brasil, com mais de 50 mil moradores. Existem vários projetos culturais na comunidade, entre eles o Lá da Favelinha. Aqui, jovens têm oficinas gratuitas de dança, moda, arte, idiomas e música. Jonathan Dance dá aula de passinho.

Translation:
“This is Aglomerado da Serra, one of the biggest slums in Brazil, with over 50-thousand dwellers. There are many cultural projects in the community, one of which is Lá da Favelinha. Young people here have access to free workshops of dance, fashion, arts, idioms, and music. Jonathan Dance teaches passinho.”

Vocabulary:

  • Moradores (Dwellers)
  • Favela (Slum)
  • Oficina (Workshop)
  • Moda (Fashion)
  • Dar aula (To teach)

7. 9mm: São Paulo

This FOX show is one of many about police forces in the act of duty, and is one of the best TV shows for learning Portuguese. This one focuses on Sao Paulo’s Police homicide department. The creator of the show, journalist Carlos Amorim, wrote an investigative book about the city’s main criminal organization, which is part of the theme.

With twenty episodes and three seasons, 9mm is more profound than just a cop show, and won’t hide the harsh reality of a violent city. This action series of forty-five-minute episodes promises great entertainment and will train your listening skills.

Quote:
Você acha que eu estou cansada? Então, você precisava ver quando a Dani teve catapora, ou quando ela quebrou a perna e eu tinha que fazer tudo para ela. Ou mesmo quando você ainda morava aqui, Alberto, e eu tinha que ir para a academia de polícia e deixar ela numa creche porque o pai dela tinha sumido.

Translation:
“Do you think I am tired? Then, you should have seen when Dani had chickenpox. Or when she broke her leg and I had to do everything for her. Or even when you used to live here, Alberto, and I had to go to the police academy and leave her in the day-care center because her father was missing.”

Vocabulary:

  • Sumir (To go missing; To disappear)
  • Cansada (Tired)
  • Catapora (Chickenpox)
  • Creche (Day-care center)

8. Psi

Man Eating Popcorn

Carlo is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who goes on his own to solve crimes in Sao Paulo using his knowledge of the human mind and behavior. The show was created by the eminent Italian-Brazilian psychiatrist Contardo Calligaris, who is a regular columnist for the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. Psi is really Calligaris’ brainchild, reflecting the wit of his writings, and very analytical.

As far as TV shows in Portuguese go, Psi presents a lot of interesting cultural information, especially from the city of Sao Paulo. The depiction of landscapes, architecture, and personalities is a main facet of the production, and lets the viewer get in touch with the routines, fears, and personalities of the characters.

From the idiomatic point of view, Psi will be helpful for learning different types of dialogue and conversation in daily life—formal and casual expressions, for instance. The analyst goes through many ambiences and situations, and talks to many types of people, in the four seasons of this series.

On top of all that, this HBO production was nominated for Best Drama at the International Emmys in 2018, yet another reason to watch one of the best Portuguese TV shows out there.

Quote:
Conselho de vida? Bom, eu aconselharia as leitoras a viverem a vida de tal forma que, quando chegar a hora da morte, elas possam olhar para trás e concluir que a vida delas foi uma boa corrida. Um conselho para a vida amorosa: seria bom pensar que o culpado dos nossos fracassos e da nossa mediocridade somos nós mesmos—muito raramente os nossos parceiros.

Translation:
“An advice for life? Well, I’d recommend the readers to live life so that when death arrives, they can look behind and conclude that their life was a good run. An advice for the love life: it would be good to think that we are the ones to blame for our failures and our mediocrity—and very rarely our partners.”

Vocabulary:

  • Conselho (Advice)
  • De tal forma que (So that)
  • Vida amorosa (Love life)

9. 1 Against All

This FOX production went against Money Heist at the International Emmys. And it wouldn’t be absurd if it had won. The main character of 1 Against All (1 Contra Todos), Cadu, loses his job and is wrongfully convicted of drug trafficking in a town close to Sao Paulo.

Convicted, he has to assume a different persona to survive and prove his innocence. This is one of the best TV shows to learn Portuguese if you want to pick up some angry phrases and even curse words!

Quote:
Um cara assim, a gente nunca viu. Nem eu, nem você, talvez nem a polícia. É um criminoso diferente. Não é desses pés de chinelo que a gente está acostumado a ver todo dia. É o maioral. É o mandarim. É o chefe dos chefes. O Doutor do Tráfico. Vou repetir: o maior traficante do Brasil. E vamos mostrar a cara desse vagabundo, desse salafrário, desse sacripanta.

Translation:
“We have never seen a guy like this. Not me, nor you, and perhaps not even the police. He is a different type of criminal. It’s not one of these lowlifes we see everyday. He’s the big shot. The mandarin. The don of the dons. He’s Doctor Pusher. Come again: Brazil’s biggest drug peddler. And we’ll show the face of this tramp, this swindler, this crook.”

Vocabulary:

  • Pé de chinelo (Lowlife)
  • Maioral (Big shot”
  • Sacripanta (Crook)
  • Salafrário (Swindler)

10. Aruanas

Women Watching TV

Jaw-dropping landscapes and a dream team of Brazilian actresses are the core of this investigative Portuguese TV series available on Globo Play.

Taís Araujo, Leandra Leal, and Deborah Falabella, are the leaders of the NGO Aruana, for the preservation of the Amazon forest. Eventually, the three get in touch with news of water contamination of a local population and get to work. But they will have to face a wave of crimes and impunity when going against the interests of a millionaire’s mining enterprise.

Aruanas is a TV series full of action, politics, and environmental matters, but it’s also a great opportunity to get in touch with dialects of Portuguese and regional data that not even many Brazilians know.

Quote:
Hoje no Entre Pontos eu entrevisto o mediador de conflitos Caio Martins. Caio, eu sou uma profunda admiradora do seu trabalho e queria aproveitar a ocasião para falar um pouquinho sobre o Brasil: como você faria a mediação de conflito entre índios, fazendeiros e grileiros quando todos alegam ter direito ao mesmo pedaço de terra?

Translation:
“Today on Entre Pontos I’ll interview the conflicts mediator Caio Martins. Caio, I’m a fond admirer of your work and would like to use this occasion to talk something about Brazil: how would you mediate the conflict between Indians, farmers, and leaseholders, when all of them allege to have rights over the same piece of land?”

Vocabulary:

  • Admiradora (Admirer)
  • Entrevistar (To interview)
  • Grileiro (Leaseholder)

11. Watch Your Way to Portuguese Mastery

These fantastic TV shows to learn Portuguese will help you improve your vocabulary, learn valuable lessons, expand your knowledge on cultural matters, and make your Portuguese sound more natural. Don’t worry if you don’t pick up much in the first few episodes; it’s a piece-by-piece job. We at PortuguesePod101.com are here to help you learn Portuguese in a simple and fun way!

Before you go, let us know in the comments which of these Portuguese TV series you’re most excited to watch, and why! Did we miss any good ones on our list?

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The Brazil Carnival: How to Celebrate Carnaval De Brasil

Carnival is probably the most famous Brazilian holiday in the world. It’s also the largest “collective party” in the country.

Many people associate Carnaval with samba or Rio, but in this lesson, you will discover that Carnival is much more than that. We’ll tell you how Carnival is celebrated in other parts of Brazil and what we Brazilians normally do at this time.

As you learn more about Carnaval in Brazil (sometimes called El Carnaval Brazil), you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Brazilian and Portuguese culture. Thanks for letting PortuguesePod101.com be your guide! Let’s get started.

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1. What is What is Carnaval in Brazil?

The Carnival festival in Brazil is a time of dancing and general fun before the upcoming Lent season. This holiday is widely celebrated around the world, but the Brazil Carnival experience puts a fascinating twist on celebrations you’ll find elsewhere.

From Portuguese Carnival masks to the unique music and dances, the Brazil Carneval is not something to be missed or easily forgotten.

2. When is Carnival in Brazil?

People Playing Drums

The date of the Carnival Season in Portugal varies each year, as it depends on the date of Easter. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years:

  • 2019: March 4
  • 2020: February 24
  • 2021: February 15
  • 2022: January 31
  • 2023: February 20
  • 2024: February 12
  • 2025: March 3
  • 2026: February 16
  • 2027: February 8
  • 2028: February 28

Carnival is normally in mid-February. Even though some schools start their semester before Carnival, for the majority of students, the end of Carnival marks the true end of the summer holiday.

3. Reading Practice: How is Carnival Celebrated?

People Dancing Samba

Read the Portuguese text below to find out how the Carnival is celebrated in Brazil. You can find the English translation directly below it.

—–
Assim como muitas tradições brasileiras, o Carnaval chegou ao Brasil por meio dos portugueses, primeiro com o nome de entrudo, costume de brincar no período de carnaval, e depois bailes carnavalescos e carnavais de rua. No começo do século vinte as escolas de samba começaram a evoluir, e nas últimas décadas, algumas capitais construíram seus sambódromos, especialmente para o Carnaval.

Embora o Carnaval do Rio seja o mais conhecido mundialmente, o Carnaval de São Paulo, Salvador, Ouro Preto, Recife e Olinda, Fortaleza, Manaus e Florianópolis são muito renomados no país. No Rio e São Paulo, a principal atração é o desfile das escolas de samba da cidade. Em Salvador, milhares de foliões seguem os trios elétricos ao som de muito axé. Em Recife e Olinda, o ritmo é o frevo e maracatu. Cada cidade tem sua singularidade. Mas a ordem do dia é a mesma: se divertir e dançar muito!

—–

Like many other Brazilian traditions, Carnival came to Brazil through the Portuguese, first by the name of entrudo, which is the custom of playing during the period of Carnival, and afterwards Carnival-type dances and street carnivals. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the samba schools began to evolve, and in recent decades, some capital cities have built sambadromes, just for Carnival.

Even though Carnival in Rio is the most well known in the world, those in São Paulo, Salvador, Ouro Preto, Recife and Olinda, Fortaleza, Manaus, and Florianópolis are very well-known throughout the country. In Rio and São Paulo, the main attraction is the city’s samba schools parade. In Salvador, thousands of event participants follow large trucks playing axé music. In Recife and Olinda, the rhythm is frevo and maracatu. Each city has its own take on Carnival. But the order of the day is the same—have fun and dance a lot!

4. Additional Information

If you want to go to the large Brazilian Carnivals, often it is necessary to reserve your place as much as a year in advance.

But beyond those, each city also commemorates Carnival in its own way. In most cities, people walk through the streets, and some wear costumes (trust us, you won’t soon forget seeing a Brazilian Carnaval outfit!), to watch the samba schools parade, and also to dance, have fun, throw party foam on your friends and lose yourself in the revelry! Since Carnival is normally a prolonged holiday, many use that time to travel, generally to the coast.

5. Must-know Vocab

People Learning Samba

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Carnival in Portugal!

  • Carnaval — “Carnival”
  • Axé — “Axé music”
  • Samba — “Samba”
  • Maracatu — “Maracatu”
  • Escola de samba — “Samba school”
  • Frevo — “Frevo”
  • Fantasia — “Costume”
  • Abadá — “Abadá”
  • Sambódromo — “Sambadrome”
  • Marchinha de carnaval — “Carnival little march”
  • Bloco carnavalesco — “Carnival block”
  • Rainha da bateria — “Queen of the drums at a Carnival parade”
  • Passista — “Person who dances samba at Carnival parades”
  • Pular carnaval — “Celebrate carnival”
  • Máscara — “Mask”
  • Desfile — “Parade”

If you want to hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Portuguese Carnival vocabulary list. Here you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed learning about the Brazil Carnaval! Do you celebrate Carnival in your own country, or a similar holiday? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language, visit us at PortuguesePod101.com! We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Portuguese learners!

Keep up the hard work and continue delving into all things Portuguese. You’ll reap the benefits and talk like a native in no time!

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    To Mastering Portuguese,
    Team PortuguesePod101

    P.S. Remember, anyone who joins the 12-Month Challenge will also receive 12 months of free access to our exclusive Inner Circle. But hurry: Our 12-Month Challenge ends on January 15th, 2016 so ACT NOW!

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