When 1 + 1 Doesn’t Equal 2

Oh, these Brazilians do love their English. They’ll put it on anything. Sometimes they like to mix and match. They often have no idea what they’re actually saying.

So I had a good chuckle when my very god-fearing in-laws checked in on Facebook (or “The Face-EE” as they call it down here), at the “Top Less” Restaurant for lunch in São Paolo.

Top Less

oh. MY.


It’s funny to us English speakers, but it’s got a certain logic in Portuguese.

See… “TOP” is slang in Brazil for “awesome.” 

“How was that show?” “Top.”

“I got a new car.” “I know; I saw it. Top.”

So I know what happened. Someone said, “Our food’s awesome! It’s TOP.” Someone else said, “Yeah, and it’s so cheap! You should let people know that they’ll save money. LESS.”

And that my dear friend, is how international marketing disasters are born.

According to the reviews this place is just a sleepy little roadside eatery, that gets decent reviews. All the waitstaff in the photos seem fully clothed in red uniforms. 1+1 doesn’t always equal 2 when you travel. Thank goodness.

Just don’t tell my in-laws. They’d probably be horrified.

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