In times of pandemic, many children stayed at home longer, and consumption of video content has exploded. In Portugal, this led to an unusual phenomenon: children started to use expressions and even the accent of Brazilian Portuguese, since there is much more content made by youtubers here than there. And apparently the Portuguese are very concerned about this problem. extremely serious.
On Twitter, the subject went viral from a thread by Adriano Brandão, with highlights from the report by News Diary on the subject and ironic comments about the approach.
In fact, the tone of the text is quite alarmist, so much so that it is even funny — it seems that they are dealing with addictions, drugs, crimes…
This was the case with Laura, now three years old, two at the time of her first confinement. “She got there very easily. First he went to see Panda and Caricas, Ruca and things like that. But there is much more Brazilian content than Portuguese. Now, when the Panda video ends, another one of those appears right away, which is much more appealing to kids. From then on, it’s addictive for them”, tells DN their father, Jaime Pessoa, an announcer on a local radio station in Pombal.
…but the big problem is for the child to use the expression “trolar”, call the grass “grass” or not pronounce the “R” and the “L” like the Portuguese:
Laura doesn’t say she sees a policeman on the street but a policeman, the grass is grass. Eat everything. Iara, on the other hand, asked her mother for a candy at the supermarket and “this was a signal of alarm”, she tells the DN Ana Marques, who on the same day realized that “I couldn’t leave her alone with the tablet, because despite being very autonomous, she was only four years old”.
The article uses as hook a show by the youtuber Luccas Neto, which was also a success in Portugal, to show the influence of Brazilian Portuguese on Portuguese children.
Parents talk a lot about YouTube addiction, and some even compare it to video games — remember when they were blamed for all the ills of childhood and youth?
In fact, among all the problems of allowing a four-year-old child with free access to the video platform, it is even hilarious that the most worrying thing is to speak with an accent and expressions of Brazilian Portuguese.
Among the measures adopted are speech therapies, internet time limits and blocking of some types of content. Some parents even explained to their children that this type of video is harmful (hey wait, what do you mean?) and left only Netflix with movies, series and cartoons spoken in Portuguese from Portugal.
The article presents a counterpoint by the linguistics professor Catarina Menezes. She recalls that Brazilian soap operas and Tio Patinhas’ comic books, translated into Brazilian Portuguese, also had an influence on Portuguese children and young people in other times. Apparently, everything was fine there. Ufa.
YouTubers influence also happens within Brazil
It is not the first time that an article has addressed the influence of YouTube on children’s speech. In April, the BBC Brazil touched on a similar theme: they start to use more common terms in other states under the influence of youtubers and streamers.
The examples are much more varied: terms from the interior of São Paulo used by little ones in Rio Grande do Norte, Northeastern expressions in the mouths of young people from the South and Southeast and even the case of a child who lives in Finland and is the daughter of a woman from Maranhão, but he uses unusual expressions for the family, such as “it went bad”.
The report also explains that using terms from other places is simpler and more common than reproducing the accent spoken in videos from different regions. Even so, experts heard point out that the impact of YouTube is greater than that observed in relation to television, for example.