Posted in English

Exam Prep Review #2

Progress on the list of topics to cover.

Speaking Goals

Not really winning with any of this stuff.  😦

  • Build Confidence: I need to speak clearly and confidently even when I get to a bit I’m not sure about. If I don’t know the word, just guess and keep on going rather than fretting and looking confused.
  • Conversely, don’t be cocky: talk at a sensible speed to give myself time to think, and don’t go off at a tangent that seems interesting if I’m not sure where I’m going with it. Obviously this is in conflict with the point above.
  • Speak portuguese for at least 5 minutes every day between now and the exam. On average, yes, but it’s definitely not “every day” – lots on some days, none on others.

Listening Goals

  • Listen to videos of people speaking in a range of accents from Alentejo, the rural centre of the country. and the islands (hence that Açoriano video I just posted). Some done but not enough
  • Listen to at least 3 video films with subtitles. One down, 2 to go… oh no, wait, Ramiro doesn’t count because the only subtitles were in English and that’s no bloody good! OK, 3 to go still, then.
  • Get to grips with the Raul Solnado “Guerra de 1908” sketch Done!

Cultural Goals

  • Read at the very least:
      • A Língua Portuguesa (Fernando Pessoa)
      • Mensagem (Fernando Pessoa) Done!
      • Brevíssima História de Portugal (A.H. De Oliveira Marques) Started
      • Maybe even A construção da democracia em Portugal (Kenneth Maxwell) although that seems a bit ambitious. No way is this happening. 
  • Make a timeline of portuguese history to get a sense of how it hangs together. Got all the gear and made a pretty good start. I’m up to the foundation of Portugal and my daughter is filling in the british side so we can see the parallels between the two.
  • Write about portuguese landmarks – the Padrão dos Descubrimentos, Torre de Belém, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and so on. Assembled some materials for this but not yet put pen to paper

General Language skills

  • I need to build my vocabulary – Memrise and Lingq daily goals – Doing alright so far!
  • I’m getting better at the ver/vir (which was one of the 4 Evil Exes I identified a year or so back) but need to step up my game on some of the other weirder irregulars like Por and Dar Not done
  • Finish the exercise book I’m on now Done!
  • Do a couple of mock exams to get a feel for the speed I need to be working at to get in under the time limit Nope
  • Practice writing legibly. I type so much these days I need to get my hand used to forming letters or I’ll be penalised for spelling errors. Some more work done at this.
  • Letter format and forms of address I’ve written one formal letter to the Conservatório dos Registos Centrais, which was good practice.
  • Learn – actually learn verbatim – one song. Printed out “Dia de Folga” but again, not much actual hard work done.

By the way, speaking of music, I like this a lot. It’s used as the theme tune of a podcast called “Histórias de Portugal – Saudade e Outras Coisas“, which is well worth a look too.

Posted in English

Champagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends

MG_C102527AH2016

I made a new Memrise Deck, which I’ll probably add to as and when. It’s about “False Friends” (“Falsos Amigos”) and I’ve been meaning to write it for a while, and not just as an excuse to steal this title which is the name of a song by Fallout Boy.

False friends are words that look like they should mean one thing but they actually mean something else entitrely. It’s here if you’re interested.

 

Posted in English, Portuguese

Feliz Dia Internacional do Livro

This was yesterday, actually, but still…

Posted in English

Exam Prep Review

Progress on the list I made a week or two back

Speaking Goals

Not really winning with any of this stuff.  😦

  • Build Confidence: I need to speak clearly and confidently even when I get to a bit I’m not sure about. If I don’t know the word, just guess and keep on going rather than fretting and looking confused.
  • Conversely, don’t be cocky: talk at a sensible speed to give myself time to think, and don’t go off at a tangent that seems interesting if I’m not sure where I’m going with it. Obviously this is in conflict with the point above.
  • Speak portuguese for at least 5 minutes every day between now and the exam.

Listening Goals

  • Listen to videos of people speaking in a range of accents from Alentejo, the rural centre of the country. and the islands (hence that Açoriano video I just posted). Some done but not enough
  • Listen to at least 3 video films with subtitles. One down, 2 to go… oh no, wait, Ramiro doesn’t count because the only subtitles were in English and that’s no bloody good! OK, 3 to go still, then.
  • Get to grips with the Raul Solnado “Guerra de 1908” sketch Done!

Cultural Goals

  • Read at the very least:
      • A Língua Portuguesa (Fernando Pessoa)
      • Mensagem (Fernando Pessoa) Done!
      • Brevíssima História de Portugal (A.H. De Oliveira Marques)
      • Maybe even A construção da democracia em Portugal (Kenneth Maxwell) although that seems a bit ambitious. No way is this happening. 
  • Make a timeline of portuguese history to get a sense of how it hangs together. Drawn but not yet filled in. I need highlighters – stat!
  • Write about portuguese landmarks – the Padrão dos Descubrimentos, Torre de Belém, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and so on. Assembled some materials for this but not yet put pen to paper

General Language skills

  • I need to build my vocabulary – Memrise and Lingq daily goals – Doing alright so far!
  • I’m getting better at the ver/vir (which was one of the 4 Evil Exes I identified a year or so back) but need to step up my game on some of the other weirder irregulars like Por and Dar Not done
  • Finish the exercise book I’m on now Done!
  • Do a couple of mock exams to get a feel for the speed I need to be working at to get in under the time limit Nope
  • Practice writing legibly. I type so much these days I need to get my hand used to forming letters or I’ll be penalised for spelling errors. Started working on this: transcribed a song and translated it. It started breaking down when I was low on space but I’ve shown I can do it if I put my mind to it. More practice needed.
  • Letter format and forms of address Nope
  • Learn – actually learn verbatim – one song. I started looking at a song by Márcia called “Menina” but she writes in a weird, cryptic style that’s really hard to decipher. I thought maybe Deolinda but having dug around a bit, I’m more inclined to go for “Dia de Folga” by Ana Moura because it’s got proper sentences and a wide range of fairly ordinary, everyday language in it, plus it would be good fun to belt it out while I’m doing the housework.
Posted in Portuguese

Exercício Português Europeu Nível B2

Explique o sentido de

Zona defensiva
A zona defensiva é a área dum campo desportivo onde fica o golo a baliza* (uma rede ou qualquer “alvo” do desporto específico). A equipa em cuja zona a bola se encontra tem de fazer operações ou estratégias defensivas. Por exemplo, em futebol, ao guarda-redes é permitido agarrar a bola com as mãos na sua própria zona defensiva.

Ficar esquecidas** no tempo
Esta frase explica-se bastante bem. Depois de muito tempo, uma coisa pode ficar esquecida. Talvez o seu dono tenha falecido, talvez alguém a tenha tenha-a perdido num lugar selvagem ermo, ao qual onde ninguém vai, e lá está, perdida, esquecida durante anos.

Pernoitar
Pernoitar significa “passar uma noite num outro sítio” tal como um hotel, ou a casa de um amigo

Implementação
Implementação é um nome relacionado com o verbo “implementar”. Implementar uma coisa significa “levar a coisa a cabo”. É usado principalmente em situações profissionais.

*=golo is what you score, not what you score it in

** why “-as” and not “-o”? You’ll need to ask whoever wrote the book…

Thanks to Fernanda for the help with these

Posted in English

Becoming Fluent – Book Review

I just sort of filleted this book for ideas, rather than read every word. It’s looking at how adults learn languages, and how their acquired social skills and knowledge can compensate for the quickness and brain plasticity they might lack compared to children. It has some interesting “meta tips” in it. In other words, it doesn’t suggest any specific tools or actions or methods, but does talk about the kinds of ways adult minds learn languages and what general, broad strategies you can deploy to help things stick in your mind. Where it finds evidence lacking (eg that learning a language can stave off dementia) it is clear on exactly what does and doesn’t happen, and can be quite reassuring if you’re the kind of person who thinks they are past it, unable to learn or just uniquely shit and untalented at language acquisition.
In a sense it gives a lot of backing to the strategy often called “language-hacking”, which aims at getting people to grapple with the language more in a range of settings and study it less, but there are important differences. For example, it seems to be against the idea of massive input, and in favour of “little and often”. That’s not something you’ll hear in language hacking circles.
Quite interesting if you like to know the theory behind what you’re doing but if you really want to get stuck into a language you’re probably better off with something more hands-on like Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis

Posted in English

It’s Time To Master “Bater”

I keep seeing constructions like “bater mal” and “bater certo”, and couldn’t quite see why “bater” was being used. I asked and (after a brief kerfuffle with some brazilians who tried to tell me that it disn’t exist and made no sense) found out that it is an informal expression. Bater is the verb used for the beating of a heart or the ticking of a clock, and if it starts going wrong that’s bad, so if someone “bate mal” after – say – a blow to the head, he’s not quite himself. You can also “bater bem” (being in good form) and things can “bater certo” (be exact, precise, spot on).

There’s an example of Bater Mal near the beginning of this song by the Greatest Band Ever

Posted in Portuguese

Bananas Vermelhas

Como é que é, malta?
Sabiam que existem bananas? Sim? Boa. Mas sabiam que, ainda por cima, existem bananas vermelhas? OK, eu sei que muitos de vocês moram num país chamado “Brasil” e por isso talvez estejam fartos de ver bananas vermelhas nos supermercados, na mesinha do pequeno almoço e nos chapéus das vossas cantoras. Eu vivo na Europa e, ainda que me arme em orgulhoso por ser um homem de bom gosto e experiência vasta do nosso mundo por causa do meu conhecimento de bananas, até hoje, nunca encontrei uma vermelha.
Não são doces como a típica banana. Fritei-as e mergulhei os pedaços em molho picante.

Posted in Portuguese

A Mochila Mágica

Acabo de enfiar a mão dentro da minha mochila, e logo que os dedos tocaram o fundo, fui transportado para outro lugar e outro tempo, mais especificamente para o Algarve em Julho de 2018. Por quê? Ora bem, a resposta não tem nada a ver, sinceramente, com mágica. Senti pedrinhas de areia, e isso fez-me lembrar os dias de sol e diversão. Podia sacudir a mochila para tirar a areia mas não quero perder aqueles momentinhos agridoces que surgem de vez em quando.