1. Armar-se em carapau de corrida
[He's like a racing mackerel]
The mackerel is not exactly a noble fish. So a racing mackerel - a mackerel who's swimming faster than the others - is a person who thinks he's a big shot but, in fact, is a nobody.
Kas pakels katinui uodegą, jei ne jis pats
Who is going to lift the tale for the cat if not himself.
2. De pequenino se torce o pepino
[From very small the cucumber is bent]
This means that character traces or personal skills must be learned from a very young age. This has something to do with the curvature in the cucumber, that is supposed to exist from the cucumber's early age. I think that Portuguese cucumbers are more curved that the American ones...
Lenk medį kol jaunas
[Bend the tree while it‘s still young]
3. Diz-me com quem andas dir-te-ei quem és
[Tell me with whom you hang around, I'll tell you who you are]
The kind of friends you have tells a lot about the kind of person you are.
Pasakyk, kas tavo draugai, pasakysiu, kas tu
[Tell me who your friends are, I’ll tell who you are.]