Brazilian English

A funny thing about living in Brazil, specifically Sao Paulo, is that you see english everywhere! I guess it is considered chic to name your business with an english name. Every day I walk by places like “The Body Store, Mr. Pretzel, Baked Potato, and Fast Shop.”

It seems strange to me to see so much english, and sometimes it’s not always correct. For example, the Chinese restaurant China in Box (still sounds weird to me). Or one time I saw a store named “New Shoes” and under it written in portuguese was “Loja das camisas” literally translated Store of Shirts. Even the graffiti on the streets is sometimes in english, there is one I pass by all the time that says “Porn for Blinds” (I’m still not entirely sure what the author of that one is trying to say).

But english speakers beware the pronunciation of these places are not in the traditional english that we speak but a Brazilian english. For example, there is a children’s bilingual school here in Sao Paulo called Red Balloon but the actual name pronounced in Brazilian english is “Hedgy Baloon”.One time I was out with a friend and we were going to a bar on a popular street in Vila Madelena called “Vizardgy” street. Once we got there she realized, so this is the famous Wizard street. She didn’t realize it before because the pronunciation is so different.

The crazy thing is that I know that Brazilian pronunciation of english is different so when I go to place where they have english things on the menu (a.k.a Starbucks) I find myself thinking how do I say Blueberry Muffin with a portuguese accent. And once I order I feel pretty silly because here is an American girl speaking portuguese with an accent, trying to say an english word with a portuguese accent.

All in all I like that Brazilians use so much english because for me it is a nice reminder of home.

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3 thoughts on “Brazilian English

  1. Lol, you’re right, in Brazil it seems to be cool to use an english name. Maybe it’s because in the past local products were of inferior quality and a USA or England tag would be a synonymous of higher quality.
    I got curious about the “Porn for Blinds” street. Never heard of and google maps couldn’t find it. Maybe you saw it wrong, just like the Wizard street (which is indeed Wisard street, the last name of an important family).

    • Sorry, “Porn for Blinds”is not the name of the street but was the graffiti written on the wall of a building. I guess I didn’t make that clear.

  2. I really enjoyed your post! It’s funny because I considered those things myself before when I was an English student! I still don’t know why, but this “naming thing” is real and people do think it’s chic to have a different business name.
    Well, let me tell you a fun thing: Did you know we have another word for billboards? Here we call it “outdoors”! Isn’t it weird? hahaha

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