bode - goat, or racist slur?

AsifAkheir

Senior Member
English - Canada
In the film "Coracoes Sujos 2011" (Dirty Hearts) at 08min 42 sec it sounds to me like the actor is saying:
Cala a sua boca, bode velho!

Which I would translate as:
Shut up, you old goat!

However, the English subtitles read:
Shut up, old nip!

"Nip" is an English derogatory word for "Japanese". Is "bode" also used as an insult for "Japanese" in Brazil? Or is the translator being too 'creative', in imposing his racist bias where it doesn't belong?
 
  • AsifAkheir

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Thanks Vanda,
    I thought so, until I checked your link.
    Definition number 8. "Bras. Pej. Mestiço, mulato"
    now makes me suspect there might be a little justification for a racist interpretation. However "Mestiço" and "mulato" seem to refer to Amerindian and African mixed race persons, not Asians. Is the translator extending the meaning? Or can they be generic insults for any race?
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    Português/ Brasil
    Mestiço, mulato, yes, to Amerindian and African mixed. We - Brazilians - would never refer to an Asian as mulato. Even among us, this definition 8 might apply only to some regions, cause bode velho is widely used everywhere to everybody lustful, stinky etc. -as you said it - generic insults for anyone of any ethinic group.
     

    AsifAkheir

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I have created my own version of the subtitles and reluctantly used the word "Jap". I will now try to edit them and use the word "goat".

    Anglos are too predisposed to seeing racism everywhere they look. I don't like to encourage that. They need to learn that many societies feel superior to others for a variety of different reasons -- not just skin color. Among Latin nationalities cultural supremacy is most frequent -- for historical reasons. You can't glorify yourself for the purity of your race if you are a mix of North African, Basque, Celt, Latin, Germanic ... etc ... and that's just in the Old World. In America a whole new stage of racial mixing is under way. Don't get me wrong cultural supremacists are bastards too -- only they're multi-colored bastards.
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    Português/ Brasil
    Totally agree! Actually Brazilians are prejudiced against poverty. If you are black but you're Pelé (name all of our black descendants footballers) there is no prejudice against them: they have plenty of money. If they were only black, then people might have prejudice against them. Anyway, as this is not our cultural forum, the above is just to show you the linguistics roots of the expression you are working with.
     

    AsifAkheir

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Thanks Vanda,
    I like your quotation/signature.
    I don't know but I suspect, some day, when my Portuguese rises to a high enough level, I too will read some João Guimarães Rosa.
     

    anaczz

    Senior Member
    Português (Brasil)
    Actually, I met some people who used to use "bode" as an insult for japanese descendents.
    Once I didn't knew about this use, I asked to some people and some of them already knew about that. They said it was related to prejudices about poor hygiene, or something like that.
     
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    AsifAkheir

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Well anaczz,
    that opens up the whole question all over again. Is this strictly Brazilian usage? Can that be confirmed by some reference source, dictionary -- online or otherwise?

    From what I know about the Japanese fetish for taking baths, I would have thought they had "prejudices about poor hygiene" towards the other Brazilians. But of course racial prejudices need not be based on any factual evidence at all.
     

    anaczz

    Senior Member
    Português (Brasil)
    Sure! I never understood it, because I never thought about japanese descendants related with poor hygiene... I don't know for sure if this is the origin for the use of "bode" as insult, the only thing I know is that some people use or used it and that it is certainly "racial" prejudice.
     

    AsifAkheir

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Thanks anaczz,
    I suppose Millôr Fernandes is perfectly right in saying: "Nada é mais falso do que uma verdade estabelecida". Did you deliberately choose that quote especially for this case? Or is it a coincidence?
     

    diego-rj

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Totally agree! Actually Brazilians are prejudiced against poverty. If you are black but you're Pelé (name all of our black descendants footballers) there is no prejudice against them: they have plenty of money. If they were only black, then people might have prejudice against them. Anyway, as this is not our cultural forum, the above is just to show you the linguistics roots of the expression you are working with.
    As a sociology student, who has already had contact with literature about racial prejuce in Brazil, I can say that there are many studies that show that is totally not true! But as you said, that's not the subject of the forum.
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    Português/ Brasil
    Hi Diego, I know and recognize we have some issues about black people due to historical roots, but when it comes to the 'black and white' issue it is all about the money. I am not denying the issue of ''pure'' racists, they exist everywhere, but as nation, we are much more prejudiced against poverty. Anyway, we can exchange impressions about that in the cultural forum if you are already allowed to the place. ;)
     
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