Whatever opinion you may have as to the politics of Brazil’s ex-president Dilma Rousseff, one thing cannot be denied: she had an extraordinary gift for the Portuguese language. And by “extraordinary gift” we mean she consistently took it and mangled it beyond all human recognition.
As a public service, we here at the Best of Brazil Blog have gathered here some of her greatest moments, with the translations (to the extent that translation is possible) accompanying each video.
Saluting the Manioc
In a speech to a group of indigenous people in Brazil, President Dilma waxed eloquent about a…about a…well…about a woody shrub native to South America.
“We are mixing the manioc with the corn. I am saluting the manioc. I believe it to be one of the greatest achievements of Brazil.”
As if trying to outdo herself, later in the same speech she created out of thin air an entirely new subspecies of humanity, the “woman sapiens”.
Translation: “For me, this ball is a symbol of our evolution. When we create a ball like this, we transform ourselves into homo-sapiens, or woman-sapiens.”
Storing Up the Wind
This is Dilma, speaking before the United Nations, talking about renewable energy.
Translation: “Up until now…up until now…hydroelectricity is the cheapest, in terms of how long it lasts, it’s maintenance, and also the fact that water is free, and we are able to store it. Wind could be that way too, but we don’t have technology yet to store up the wind. So let’s suppose that this could be a contribution of the other countries, develop a technology to store up the wind…because the wind, it’s different at different times of the day. So…let’s suppose that there is more wind at night. How could we store that up? Today we use transmission lines…we throw it from one side to another…to be able to capture this. But if there was a technology developed in this area, the whole world would benefit from it.”
On Setting Goals
This is by far the favorite of the editorial staff here at Best of Brazil. Watch, listen, and be inspired:
Translation: “We are not going to set any goals. We are going to leave it open. But when we reach those goals, then we are going to double the goals. We are going to double the goals.”
This requires just a little analysis. First, we are not going to set any goals. But then, when we reach those (non existent) goals, we are going to double those (non existent) goals. This will leave us with more goals…which don’t actually exist, because the double of nothing is still nothing.
Dilma Rousseff is no longer president, but she is currently running for congress, and this makes us happy, because it means more posts like this in the future!