Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Falla portugues? Week 1

Falla portugues??? I learned this phrase about 3 years ago when a friend of mine who liked soccer mentioned his trip to Brazil. It's the one phrase any American seems to know in Portuguese, and it's the first question every Brazilian asks me!

Do I speak Portuguese? Ugh. . . not really. Despite studying intensively for two months with Dona Dyla da Souza in Daly City, now that I find myself in a PT-speaking country, I find that I really can't speak it! (But I can read and write ok, I think.)

And why? Cause it's soooooooo hard! PT is like pig latin. D's can sound like G's (Bom dia = Bom Geee-a!), T's can sound like CH's (the word for tip, 'tipo' is pronounced "cheep-o') and R's can sound like H's or they can all sound completely normal! Words that are the same in Engligh, like . . .get transformed in Portuguese! And I get lost!

This is so frustrating for me, cause portuguese is seductive! It shares so much vocabulary with English and French and between the two I can read a lot and logically see how sentences are put together. But with all these different pronunciations I have no idea what people are actually saying! (and they say it so fast!)

Everyone at work speaks incredible English. I'm so impressed! And so frustrated, cause everyone can speak English with me! I could see how people could leave here for a loooooong time but not pick up any portuguese.

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