In my third “From the Headlines” series, I’ll show you another exercise on how to learn Brazilian Portuguese from the news. This time, I’ll cover a headline from Globo! It has a great colloquial expression and I will also get into other words to expand your vocabulary. This is a simple exercise to learn Brazilian Portuguese from the media.
Defesa do Consumidor: Words that end in -dor
We start with the phrase above the image, “Defesa do consumidor”, which literally means “consumer defense”, though it translates better as “consumer protection”.
Consumir is the verb “to consume”; thus consumi + dor is a person who does this action. In these cases, you’d just take off the last letter of the verb and add the ending –dor, which usually tells you the word refers to an agent, profession or instrument of action. Other such words, which you may already be familiar with, are educador (educator), importador (importer), and coordenador (coordinator).
Mind you, -dor words don’t always have to be a person. Assustador (scary) comes to mind, as does abrangedor (comprehensive), from the verb “abranger”, meaning to comprehend, encompass, comprise or include.
I also want to add that not all words can be formed using the -dor pattern above. For example, the one who sings (cantar) is a cantor (cantora in the feminine).
Nas compras: Looking at contractions
Next, we look at the first part of the headline, “Nas compras de Natal” which refers to Christmas shopping, but implies “during” or “while” (ie, During/While Christmas shopping).
We are using the contraction of the preposition “em” with the article “as”. It is important to become familiar with these contractions, as they are very common in the language. Literally they are the contraction of “in (on, at) the”. For example, to say that we are going to do something “on the weekend” we say “no fim de semana”.
Fique de olho: A good Brazilian Portuguese expression to know
Then we have fique de olho, which is a good expression to know.
- Fique is the imperative tense of ficar (to stay, remain, be).
- De olho is literally “of eye”,
This makes the phrase carry the meaning of “Be attentive!” or “Keep an eye on/open for…”
We can use “Fique de olho” as a stand-alone phrase or complement it with more information, such as, “Fique de olho na data de validade!” (Keep an eye on the expiration date!).
Política & Troca: Good vocabulary to have
And last, we have “na política de troca”, meaning “on the exchange policy”. See the contraction “na” again?
Trocar is a great verb. It means to exchange. If you buy a shirt and decide it is too small, you need to trocar it for a larger one. When you come home from the gym, you need to trocar de roupa (change clothes or get changed) before going out for dinner.
Interesting note about the word política: it means policy as in the phrase above, and it also means politics.
The full phrase
Therefore the full phrase in the article can be translated to something to the tune of: “While Christmas shopping, keep your eyes on the exchange policy.”
Return Policy in Brazil
From my experience buying items in Brazil and, at times, trying to return them, I’d say you should always stay alert (no matter the month) to what the exchange policies are on just about anything you buy, before you buy it. In most cases you cannot get a refund no matter what the issue with the product is. You need to trocar (exchange) the product or get a store credit. Also, often times the store credit is associated to your CPF (like your SSN), so only you can use it later.
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