Yes, we here in America obviously know pretty much everything about Portugal! But do you know how to speak Portuguese? Why, I'm betting you don't know anything more than the few basic words it takes to communicate with the Portuguese squid fisherman who shares your carpool each morning. Be sure to greet him with a hearty slap on the back and a friendly feliz Páscoa! each and every day as he slides into the Toyota Camry alongside you. But for those of you longing to learn more conversational Portugeuse, perhaps to impress former Manchester United footballer Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, why not do what I do...
Learn Portuguese with Mary Jane Watson!
Now, we could consult special Portuguese to English dictionaries or perhaps phone up our pal, Portuguese-American actress Danica McKellar (formerly "Winnie" on the hit TV show The Wonder Years and now the superheroine 'Math Maiden' of the Philadelphia Avengers). But translation is easy when you pull from your own collection the corresponding issue of the American Spider-Man comic...in this case, Spectacular Spider-Man #220!
Cover of Spectacular Spider-Man #220 (January 1995), art by Sal Buscema
See, comparing these two comic book covers makes it simple to read Portuguese! The word Peter, or, as we say in English, Tiger, is easy enough, and comparing the highlighted words in red we can detect that the word "papai" means "news." Hence, I would imagine the Portuguese J. Jonah Jameson would work on a "papai-papel." I bet he is shouting for Parker to take him photographs of cork oaks all day long!
The rest of the phrase immediately falls into place: "você vai ser" can be translated as "here, please accept this" or "O am happy to present you with," or, most colloquially, "catch!"
Therefore: Peter, você vai ser papai! can be translated as Tiger, do I have news for you! Why, thanks, Mary Jane...or as we say in Portugal...muitíssimo agradecido, María de la Iva!
Hey, girls! Got a Portuguese boyfriend? (Sure you do!) Surprise him tonight when he comes home by tossing your arms around him and declaring happily "Você vai ser papai!" That look of shock and surprise on his face is pure delight that you've taken time to learn his romantic, old-fashioned language!
Tune in next time when we learn Norwegian with Namor the Sub-Mariner!
I think they're arguing about ham.