Are you planning to drive in Brazil? Many foreigners find it challenging to drive in Brazil. They say traffic is too crazy, cars drive very close to each other, and people drive more aggressively.
It is difficult to disagree with these comments. Driving in Brazil feels very different from driving here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I often joke saying that if you are on a 3-lane street in Brazil, you may very well have 4 cars driving side by side.
So I thought it would be useful for you to learn how to say these two things in Portuguese:
- To honk the horn
- To use your turn signal
You will also learn other useful traffic-related words with the examples below. Keep reading.
- If traffic drives you crazy in Brazil, here is an idiomatic expression you can use: Tirar do sério
Useful Vocabulary to Drive in Brazil
To Honk the Horn in Portuguese
To honk your horn in Portuguese is buzinar. It is a regular verb.
Os motoristas brasileiros buzinam mais do que os motoristas americanos.
= Brazilian drivers honk the horn more than American drivers.
Por que esse cara atrás de mim tá buzinando?
= Why is this guy behind me honking the horn?[Tweet “Do you know how to say to honk the horn in Portuguese?”]
To Use the Turn Signal in Portuguese
First let’s see the word for turn signal. There are three common words:
- O pisca-alerta
- O pisca-pisca
- A seta
We can “to use the turn signal” in a few different ways:
- Ligar a seta
- Dar seta
- Dar o pisca
João não é um bom motorista. Ele nunca liga a seta quando vai virar.
= João is not a good driver. He never uses the turn signal when he is going to turn.
É importante dar seta ao mudar de faixa.
= It is important to use the turn signal when you change lanes.
Não esqueça de dar o pisca quando for entrar à direita ou à esquerda.
= Don’t forget to use the turn signal when you are going to turn right or left.
Bonus Words: Traffic Lane and Pedestrian Crosswalk
- Traffic lane: a faixa de trânsito
- Pedestrian crosswalk: a faixa de pedestres
You can also shorten both and just say faixa. The context will make clear which one you mean.
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Anne Callot Davis
Na Califórnia, especialmente Los Angeles ou em qualquer cidade grande aqui, o tráfego é horrível! Se dirigindo no Brasil é pior que dirigir na California, então eu vou usar os táxis como nós vamos para o Brasil!
No Brasil tem muito trânsito, mas também há outras diferenças. Por exemplo, os carros andam todos muito perto um do outro. As pessoas ultrapassam com mais frequência e passam bem mais perto de você. Isso causa desconforto a quem não está acostumado.
I am just finishing a 3 month trip in Brasil, 4 different cities. Let me say that if you love your life you will not choose to drive in Brasil. No bicycle either and definitely not a motorcycle. Walking is even dangerous and you must not cross at the curb unless there is a light. This is because you can’t see the people coming around the corners fast enough. Driving here is different.
I think the problem is that although they pay about 900 Reais to drive they don’t have police around to maintain the order and law on the roads. Visit Brasil for sure, it is fabulous but let someone else who knows what their doing do the driving.
Oi, Debbi. Driving in Brazil can truly be a different experience. I lived my entire life in Brazil and have been in the US for only 9 years. So I am very used to driving in Brazil, right? But when I go visit my family there, I choose not to drive. It is just not worth the stress when I am there for only 2 weeks. Thanks for commenting!