Cool or Distasteful? Legal ou Chato?

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First Published: 10th of January, 2020 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: January 10, 2021 at 13:53 pm

Brazilians have an expression that covers several English words: annoying, boring, turnoff…and a few others. The word is:

Chato (masculine) or Chata (feminine)

I’ve lived in Brazil for over a decade, and I’ve heard this word being used on numerous occassions, yet I can’t find an English word that directly corresponds to it. That is because the word has a broad meaning.

Here are some examples.

Este lugar e muito chato. This place is very boring.

Eu nao gosto dessa menino. Ele e muito chato. I don’t like this boy. He is very annoying.

The word “chato” may refer to people, places or things.

A derivative of the word “chato” is “chateado.” Example: Eu estou muito cheatado com voce.

That could translate to:

I’m very upset with you. Or

I’m very angry with you.

The oppositive of “chato” is “legal” (pronounced lehgal).

Legal in Portuguese means cool, fun, exciting, agreeable and a variety of similar meanings.

Here are some examples:

Ele e muito legal. He is very cool.

Este cidade e legal. This city is awesome!

Que legal! How cool!

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