What Brazilians say: Yes (Sim)What foreigners hear: Yes
What Brazilians mean: Anything from yes through perhaps to no
What Brazilians say: Perhaps (Talvez)
What Brazilians mean: No
What Brazilians say: No (Não)
What Brazilians mean: Absolutely never, not in a million years, this is the craziest thing I’ve ever been asked
What Brazilians say: I’m nearly there (Tô chegando)
What Brazilians mean: I’ve set out
What Brazilians say: I’ll be there in ten minutes (Vou chegar em dez minutinhos)
What Brazilians mean: Some time in the next half-hour I’ll get up off the sofa and start looking for my car keys
What Brazilians say: I’ll show up later (Vou aparecer mais tarde)What foreigners hear: He’ll be here later
What Brazilians mean: I won’t be coming
What Brazilians say: Let’s stay in touch, ok? (A gente se vê, vamos combinar, ta?)
What Brazilians mean: No more than a Briton means by: “Nice weather, isn’t it?”
What Brazilians say: I’m going to tell you something/ Let me tell you something/ It’s the following/ Just look and you’ll see (Vou te falar uma coisa/ Deixa te falar uma coisa/ É o seguinte/ Olha só pra você ver)
What Brazilians mean: Ahem (it’s just a verbal throat-clear)
What Brazilians say: A hug! A kiss! (Um abraço! Um bei
What foreigners hear: I’ve clearly made quite an impression—we’ve just met but he/she really likes me!
What Brazilians mean: Take care, cheers, bye
What Brazilians say: You speak Portuguese really, really well! (Você fala português super-bem!)
What Brazilians mean: How great! A foreigner is trying to learn Portuguese! Admittedly, the grammar and accent are so awful I can barely understand a word… but anyway! A foreigner is trying to learn Portuguese!
The "deixa me falar" thing has been making me crazy recently! And I get the "your Portuguese is great!" comment all the time.