voar à toa


New Member
I was wondering how i would translate the phrase "voar a toa" into english?

thank you for your help
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    Senior Member
    Nheengatu/il linguaggio del corpo
    I don´t know if it requires a context, without it, I'd translate as fly loosely, maybe.
    I´d add that if you use à toa with gastar dinheiro, gastar dinheiro à toa, you mean you´re wasting your money. Also, viver à toa, just wasting your life. However, you can say, estou rindo (laughing) à toa,meaning my life is just perfect, I have no problem whatsoever. Or something. :)


    Senior Member
    Português-BR/English-US bilingual
    Hello jakemac, welcome to the forum! :)

    The adverbial expression "à toa" is a very common synonymous to the adverb "inutilmente" (literally, the opposite of "in some useful way"). However, literal "translations" are seldom suitable. If this is the whole sentence, it would translate as either of
    To fly for no reason / To fly for no useful purpose / To fly in vain
    In other words, we need the context in order to select one of these options, or something else, should "voar à toa" be a fragment of a longer sentence. I suspect we could give you a more precise answer if you could tell us more about your question (e.g., How did it come about? book? text message? something else? and What is the adjacent text, if any?)

    Thank you
    AHA: X-post with Nonstar
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Nheengatu/il linguaggio del corpo
    Do you think loosely is out of the question Coolbrowne? I was not so sure about it.


    New Member

    thanks for your help so far, i didn't think to add the context but that would obviously make it easier for you!

    the sentence was from a short story by Ondjaki and goes as follows:

    "os baldes no quintal começaram a
    voar à toa"

    does that help?

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