Despite my tendency to be a little grumpy at times, I have somehow managed to make some friends and acquaintances during my time in Brazil. This means that around 50% of the text on my Facebook time-line is in Portuguese.
This has proved to be rather a good learning aid. If I want to know why Maurício’s status update got 18 likes, I’m going to have to work out what he actually said! But deciphering text posted on Facebook, Twitter, emails and text messages is not just a matter of looking up words in a dictionary.
Portuguese Text Speak
Text Speak has been around for longer than you might think. Winston Churchill received a letter containing an “OMG” way back in 1917!
But this character- and time-saving communication form really proliferated with the introduction of text messaging and the internet. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the common English examples such as lol, rofl, etc (that last one is Latin!), but how well do you know Portuguese shorthand?
Below is a list of the abbreviations I’ve come across – have I missed any out?
bj / bjs
Certain readers (the puerile ones) may snigger at this one. You will often see it tagged on to the end of emails and text messages. The writer is sending you one or more beijos (kisses) - nothing more than that!
If you post something funny on Facebook you may be rewarded with a long line of Ks in response. This is equivalent to the English “Hahaha” though apparently Brazilians laugh like this: “Ackackackack!”.
This is the equivalent of “lol” – a quick way to acknowledge something funny and/or to clarify to the recipient that you’re just kidding. It comes from the Portuguese riso (laughter) but interestingly this is only used in Brazil – in Portugal they use lol.
I like this one because I worked it out all by myself! The Portuguese word for “more” or “plus” is mais. The word for “too much” is demais. Are you with me yet? D+ = de-mais.
The Portuguese words for “Why?” and ”Because” are Por quê? and Porque respectively – both are represented in textspeak as pq.
A nice easy one (in context at least) – this represents the Portuguese word for “you” – você.
The Portuguese word for “no” is the delicious sounding não. Trying to explain (in text) how to pronounce this word is tricky – try saying “naowhm” without touching your lips together – kind of like that… Anyway, Brazilians have shortened this three letter word to one – ñ.
A little while ago a Brazilian colleague of mine forwarded an email to me and simply added these three letters to the top of the mail. I thought he was saying Please See Comments and spent the next minute trying to find where his comments actually were. It turns out that he was actually saying Para Seu Conhecimento – equivalent to FYI (For Your Information). An alternative to this is PSI (Para Sua Informação)
This one is a bit rude I suppose (though I can never tell exactly how rude these things are – Brazilians seem to say this stuff all the time!). PQP stands for Puta Que Pariu which literally translates to the bizarre “Bitch that gave birth to this/you” (incidentally, I would love to introduce that into the English language). This is kind of a tricky one to translate as it seems to be used in a bunch of different contexts. In general I see/hear this one as an exclamation in response to something bad or annoying (rather like “son of a bitch!”) but I’m sure there are exceptions.
This is the classic ”Son of a Bitch!” – Filha Da Puta! I quizzed Mrs Eat Rio on this for a while recently as I think this phrase should really be Filho de uma Puta! She said that you hear quite a few different versions, but the version I hear most often actually means “daughter of the bitch”.
OK then – I hope that has been helpful for some of you. Now let’s see who can come up with the longest/most offensive sentence using Portuguese Textspeak! I’ll start you off with one I wrote yesterday:
-PQP! Nos temos d+ chuva no Rio hoje! Vc acha que vai parar esta noite?