Bon Soir, Boa Noite and Good Evening
Well, I think this is the longest gap between blog posts for quite some time now. I have been wibbling about doing other things, busy with work and actually took a whole week off portuguese to brush up on my french for a family holiday. It was sort of a strange experience. On the one hand, I was surprised by the experience of accessing the francophone bits of my brain. I’ve forgotten a lot in the 34 years since my O’Level of course, but I used to be pretty good at it back in the day, and the language has pretty deep roots in my head, such that I’ve always been able to hold my own in conversations I’ve had as an adult. But to continue the deep roots metaphor, the whole plant has been buried under a thick mulch of portuguese vocabulary. I had to read a couple of comic books to reawaken it, and even then I’d find portuguese would just tumble out of my mouth at every excuse. I consistently said “et” like the portuguese “e” and standards like “merci”, “pardon” and “oui” would all just give way to their portuguese equivalents even if I was a few sentences deep into a conversation. Words that are similar between the two like “fácil” and “facile” got a bit blurry too.
What was weirder still, though, was that the day after I got back, I had a portuguese lesson after having not spoken, read, heard, or written a word of portuguese for about 8 or 9 days. Normally if I have a delay like that I find I’m really rusty and can’t get a word out, but it actually flowed pretty well, and I can only conclude that whatever mental equipment I use for producing portuguese was getting a good workout from producing the bizarre Françuguês I was bellowing at the longsuffering garçons of Nantes.