Laurena Rowe, who runs the excellent Portuguese Blog (and who, I suspect, isn’t getting as many readers as her wonderful new blog deserves, so go check it out!) has written several fascinating posts on Brazilian gîria. Slang is always difficult to translate, but she does a great job of conveying the meaning of dozens of expressions that you might hear on the street or in movies. Here’s just a sampling of what’s available:
Some of these expressions (pois é, né, hein) are not slang per se but rather useful little conversational fillers that you can use to smooth out your Portuguese conversations and sound more natural, dropping them in while you compose your thoughts. However. Others are things that non-native speakers should probably use with extreme caution. Many of them might offend or just sound odd if used in the wrong context. Some are regional in their use. And while non-native speakers may think that dropping some colloquial slang makes them sound hip or helps them blend in more, it often produces the opposite effect.
While I’m talking about blogs, let me mention two more that caught my eye recently:
Brazilian Recipes - another of Laurena’s projects, for those of us who like to take our obsession with Brazilian culture into the kitchen
Portuguese Tips is written by Ananda Lima, a tutor and linguist (awesome!) living in NYC. I’m guessing she’d be the one to go to with all the arcane grammar questions I often have.