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Someone just sent me an email in which they said:

o João entra logo para a escola porque estás férias são muito curtas.

My Portuguese is rather limited, and I am not sure what entra logo para a escola means.

I though it might mean that he 'begins school soon, because his vacation is short', but that seems odd since with Christmas coming in a few days, I would think his school would just be ending, not beginning.

But perhaps she just wrote hastily and did not explain herself clearly.

  • Am I missing something?
  • Can anyone confirm that the quote really means, "Joao will soon begin school because his vacation is very short."?
  • Or if I am wrong, what does it mean?
  • and "estás" is different from "estas". – eightShirt Dec 23 '16 at 17:49
  • Is João's mother a native speaker? If she is not, then the typos in the Portuguese text (estás->estas) could be important for the interpretation of what she means. So I did not correct that typo. – ANeves Dec 23 '16 at 18:07
  • 1
    Welcome to the community, Irving. I made an edit to try to improve your answer, I hope it helps. If you don't like the edit, just rollback to your preferred version. – ANeves Dec 23 '16 at 18:11
5

Yes, you read it correctly

You are interpreting it right.
In this context, "logo" seems to mean "right away".

João will rejoin school.
But because the holidays are very short, he will rejoin right away; quickly; soon.

João is already on holidays

According to the Education Ministry, the Christmas Holidays already started: they started on the 19th December, and last until the 2nd January.

João is already on holidays.

But why "logo"? Two weeks is not so short... maybe João would swap with me?
I only get 4 weeks for the whole year!

1

Without further context "o João entra logo para a escola porque estas férias são muito curtas" sounds like a sentence written by a non-native speaker and might be misunderstood by a speaker of pt-BR. The trouble here is the word "entra" instead of "volta". At a guess, I would say the person means "these are João's short holidays and next term is due to begin soon". To avoid any ambiguity in Portuguese, however, a native speaker would write:

  • "O João vai voltar logo para a escola porque estas férias são curtas."
  • "As férias atuais são curtas e as aulas de João recomeçam em breve."
  • "O retorno às aulas ocorre em breve para o João, porque estas são férias curtas."

EDIT - This is certainly what your friend meant. Although she is a native speaker, using "entra logo para a escola" and "estás" with "acento agudo" makes a speaker of pt-BR wonder whether the note was written by a non-native speaker.

  • Thanks for the help. Actually, it is not from a non-native speaker but from a quite intelligent, Portuguese speaker, but one who has had very limited education and who, I believe, tends to write as she would speak in casual conversation. – Irving Dec 24 '16 at 8:17
  • @Irving Actually, no, it is usual to mimic spoken language in social networks and private messaging, and accepted as adequate for many linguists. – Ramon Melo Dec 27 '16 at 14:35
  • A meta study on Brazilian grammar books claims "[linguists] are taking non-coincident stances according to linguists' point of view, historically built upon the precedence of written language over spoken, and unity over diversity, an orientation that always supported the argument in favor of the traditional grammar and the image of a national language it legitimates. This non-coincidence, therefore, distinguishes, at this point in time, grammarians' main goals in the linguistic research's bigger picture: to describe and explain the language heterogeneity". – Ramon Melo Dec 27 '16 at 14:35
  • Source in pt-BR: scielo.br/… – Ramon Melo Dec 27 '16 at 14:35

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