Campos Translation


When I lived in Brazil, I lived in the state of Minas Gerais. The people are called “mineiros” (miners – not so strange when you realise the name of the state means “general mines” and it really is a mining state. Lots of big mining companies are based in Minas Gerais, which produces many ores, particularly iron ore. It is also a large producer of gold, zinc, phosphate and produces 75% of world niobium, which is an important metal in engines and one that has recently excited manufacturers of electric cars.

Minas Gerais state has its own set of expressions which many refer to as “mineirês”.

The most famous one is their exclamation, “Uai!” This is heard everywhere and most mineiros you speak to claim it came from the English “why?” when the English built the railways in that state in the 1800s.

Many of their expressions involve the word “trem” – train. Perhaps another throwback to the building of the railways.

If a mineiro doesn’t know what to call something, they call it a “trem” – a bit like the British might call it a “thing” or a “thingummyjig”. That can lead to some strange images – imagine you have:

“um trem no olho” – A TRAIN IN MY EYE

And what about this strange image:

Literally translated: “Minas is a place where planes are trains that fly”!!

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Stay tuned for our next blog post coming next week!


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