Obama Nails “Chiado” In Rio!

Na Cidade Maravilhosa Obama Fala


Portuguese is not an easy language (ask any Spaniard), but in his speech to the people of Rio, Obama captured the soul of the Rio idiom.  Cariocas talk funny.  The most prominent thing about carioques is th “chiado,” the placing of a “j” between a consonant and a vowel.  So, futebol becomes futjebol, and normalmente becomes normalmentje.  Normal is pronounced normohw.

It takes a bit of practice getting one’s ear around some sounds.  When I was first learning Portuguese I had a hard time looking up a word I heard often; the word was “oinch.”  That was a tough one.

Finally I discovered that the demon word everyone spoke was part of a word.  Words like function (ending in -tion) is função (pronounced -sow) in Portuguese.  The plural of função is funções (pronounced -oinch).

Portuguese may sound like russian with a french accent in N Portugal but by the time the language travels ultramar to places like Rio, soa tão bom (it sounds soo good) from the lips of Gal Costa and other singers.

If you can stay with the language this far, know that Portuguese has a literature and poetry that mirror the people who speak the marvelous idiom.

sotaque = accent; giria, calao = slang;








About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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