RSSCategory: Language

False friends: <em>tráfico</em>

False friends: tráfico

Tráfico is a false friend worth being familiar with, as it appears on the media on a regular basis. In Portuguese, tráfico relates exclusively to trafficking or dealing. When there is no specific mention to the nature of the trafficking, that is, when tráfico appears on its own, it invariably means drug trafficking. So the vítimas do tráfico are the victims of drug trafficking rather than the casualties of road accidents.

The translation of traffic into Portuguese, when it refers to the movement of vehicles, is trânsito (or the less frequente tráfego).

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June 12, 2008 | By More
False friends: oi

False friends: oi

The moment you set foot on Brazil people will greet you with the word oi! Do not panic, they are not trying to attract your attention because they are angry. Oi! means simply hi!

If you want to render the English oi! into Portuguese, go for something like ei!

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July 27, 2007 | By More
False friends: flat

False friends: flat

In Portuguese, a flat is a hotel apartment. They are very common in the big cities, and very popular among business travellers on long stays far from home. The British English term flat is translated as apartamento in Brazilian Portuguese.

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June 22, 2007 | By More
False friends: <i>vitamina</i>

False friends: vitamina

Don’t be troubled if someone asks you whether you want a vitamina. As well as a substance, a vitamina in Brazilian Portuguese is a drink, very similar to a smoothie, but usually prepared with just fruit juice and milk. If you have misgivings about the hygiene of the place where you will be ordering one, skip the milk bit and go for just a fruit juice (suco).

May 18, 2007 | By More
False friends: <i>puxar</i>

False friends: puxar

The sign at the door reads puxar. You go and push, don’t you? Wrong. In this context, the Portuguese verb puxar means to pull. Careful not to bang your head against the door!

April 16, 2007 | By More