Juice: Suco or Caldo?

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First Published: 8th of October, 2020

Last updated: October 9, 2020 at 2:38 am

The general translation for the English word “juice” to Portuguese is “suco.”

Example: Suco de laranja = orange juice

suco = juice

de = of

laranja = orange

Word for word translation: suco de laranja = juice of orange. But of course, we understand that that is just the Portuguese way of saying “orange juice.” It’s these little variations of language structure, you know….

In the English world, we also say “cane juice” or “sugar cane juice” to refer to that super sweet and refreshing liquid substance extracted from the sugar cane plant. But one day, I went to refreshment stand by the side of the road in Mato Grosso, Brazil, and I asked for a glass of “suco de cana.”

The response was something like “huh?”

I repeated several times and finally the vendor responded, “ahh…quer dizer…caldo de cana.”

ahhh = interjection used the same way as in English

quer dizer = you mean

caldo de cana = cane juice.


Orange juice = suco de laranja


Cane juice = Caldo de cana

Please note: when I checked the Google Translator on the 8th of October, 2020, it translated “cane juice” as “suco de cana.” However, if you walk around Brazil asking for suco de cana, the Brazilians won’t understand you. You have to say, “caldo de cana.”

I’ll delve into more details as to why this is so later, but for now, let’s just settle it by saying that “caldo” and “suco” are synonyms – similar but not exact. You have to know when to use “caldo” and when to use “suco.”

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