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My question is about my favorite Brazilian song, "Trem das onze", which I'm sure practically everyone here knows. Where i live (Israel) the song is well known, there was a radio music program in the '80s that had it as its opening tune, and it also has a popular Hebrew version.

I am trying to understand the original lyrics. The translation I found here is quite understandable, except for one issue: the song starts with addressing a woman (probably a girlfriend?) in the second person: "Não posso ficar Nem mais um minuto com você", but in the second verse it says "E além disso mulher Tem outra coisa", translated as "And beyond that woman there are other issues". Assuming the translation is correct, I don't understand who "that woman" is - is it the woman addressed in the first verse? Or another woman? or does the translation lose something from the original meaning?

If it is the same woman addressed in the first verse, is it normal to use "disso mulher" for a woman one is talking with (second person)?

I must confess that my knowledge of Portuguese is virtually zero, so any further explanaton of the oyrics would be welcome.

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    Oh, that song! I was very popular in village balls back in the seventies and eighties were I grew up (in Portugal). – Jacinto Oct 6 '18 at 12:04
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"Beyond" is not a good translation for "além" in that case.

The correct translation is,

And besides that, woman, there are other things.

He is adressing the same woman, and telling her that, besides the fact that there is no other train to Jaçanã before the following morning, there are other problems to be taken into acount.

So there is no "disso mulher" as an expression (it cannot be, because "mulher" is feminine and "disso" is masculine; the correct expression would be "dessa mulher"). There should be a comma between the words; "besides that, woman" (besides those problems, woman"), not "besides that woman", which would imply a second woman, and is probably the source of your perplexity.

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There are better translations than the one you found.

The specific verse you ask about can be improved with a comma (even though it's still not the best translation - it should be besides instead of beyond): "And beyond that, woman", since he refers to the same woman addressed in the first verse. And, no, that's not a usual way to address a woman these days, tough I'd say it was more common back then.

The translation this site offers is:

I can’t stay
Not even another minute with you
I am sorry, love
But it can not be

I live in Jaçanã
If I miss this train
That leaves now at 11 PM
Only tomorrow morning

And besides that, woman
There’s another thing
My mother doesn’t sleep
Until I get home
I’m an only child
I have my house to look after

Another translation can be seen here, but many others can be found.

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  • I would prefer: "I'm very sorry, darling, but it can't (or cannot) be", "my mother won't go to sleep until I get home" "I'm an only child and I have a home to look after." – Centaurus Oct 14 '18 at 1:32
  • @Centaurus I also prefer your version. But it's not just about choosing the best words: lyrics is poetry, so a good translation is in practice a new poem. And it's even more complicated to make the translated version respect the melody, if it's to be sung, instead of just explain the meaning. – stafusa Oct 14 '18 at 8:22

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