Uma Conversa Idosa

An Elderly Conversation


Alberto and Júlia talk about the “good ol’ days” and what has changed in our society since then.


  • Listening to the Shorties is a favorite part of learning for me. I love many of the expressions in the dialogues but I think a better translation for “até cair” would be “until almost keeling over” which is a common expression in English. It was so hot today, I almost keeled over!

    • Glad you’re enjoying the Shorties! You’re right that “keeling over” sounds a bit more similar to the idea of falling/”cair”. With these idioms/expressions, it’s usually not possible to translate them literally, so we try to determine which expression (as a whole) is the closest in meaning and the closest in usage.

      In this case, I think the idea of ‘working myself to the bone’ (or even ‘working myself to death’) is slightly closer to ‘trabalhar até cair’, only because it is typically used in instances in which someone is talking about working over a long period of time. ‘Almost keeling over’ is similar, but to me it implies something that happened more suddenly or as a one-time occurrence (e.g. because it was particularly hot that day).

      This is definitely open to interpretation, of course! There is rarely a one-to-one association between these phrases. I really appreciate your comment because it helps us explore the expression in more depth. Thanks!

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