Posted in English, Portuguese

Trabalhoolismo

Já que estou acordado às onze e meia da noite, a olhar para o meu portátil, pergunto-me se existe uma palavra semelhante à inglesa “workaholic”: alguém que não sabe largar as suas tarefas e relaxar.

Anyway, to answer my own question, the answer is “viciado em trabalho”.

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Compound Verbs

Hard Mode Homework. From Português Outra Vez: using verbs with prepositions. Often the meanings of the verbs can change so radically with the choice of preposition that it basically acts as a compound verb. The base verbs it offers are these

  • Andar
  • Fazer
  • Ficar
  • Ficar-se
  • Vir
  • Voltar
  • Voltar-se

Each can use a variety of prepositions and I’m using the Guia Prático de Verbos com Preposições by Helena Ventura and Manuela Caseiro to pin down which is which. I often use some of these without quite realising why and it’s useful to spell it out.

Quite often, I’ll come across a feature of Portuguese and think it’s weird and unlike anything in English and then I realise that, no, we do have them, we just don’t notice them because nobody draws attention to their existence. Think of the difference between “Stick to”, “Stick out” and “Stick around” for example – or “Pass by”, “Pass over”, “Pass for” and “Pass out”.

Andar

  • Andar a (+inf) = to progressively achieve something (ando a ler Fernando Pessoa)
  • Andar com = to feel (anda com dor de dentes) OR to live with (ele agora anda com gente muito esquisita) OR to have something with you (ela anda sempre com o telemóvel)
  • Andar de = to use some form of transport (ando de bicicleta)
  • Andar em = to frequent (ela anda na Faculdade de Direito) OR to achieve (ela anda em grandes obras na casa de praia)
  • Andar para = to have an intention to do something (ando para ir ao cinema)
  • Andar por = to approach (o preço do carro anda por dez mil euros) OR to visit, pass through, hang out in (gosto muito de andar pelos parques)
  • Andar sem = to be without something (o Pedro anda sem atenção)

Fazer

  • Fazer com (que) = to force (fizeram com que o ministro aceitasse as reivindicações) OR to have a consequence (a avaria na EPAL fez com que alguns lisboetas ficassem sem água durante muitos dias)
  • Fazer de = to act like (o Pedro fazia de palhaço) OR to transform (os E.U.A. disseram que queriam fazer do Iraque uma pátria livre)
  • Fazer… Por… To do something for (or on behalf of) someone (a Patricia fez o trabalho pelo colega)
  • Fazer por (+inf) to make an effort (ela faz por gostar de bacalhau mas não consegue)

Ficar

  • Ficar a =to be in a place (Lisboa fica a cerca de 300 quilómetros do Porto) OR to stay somewhere (não fiquei a assistir ao espectáculo ao final)
  • Ficar com = to get, or keep hold of (fico com a blusa verde) OR to continue to feel (fico sempre com medo quando ouço barulhos estranhos)
  • Ficar de (+inf) =to promise to do something (ele ficou de passar por minha casa às nove horas)
  • Ficar em = to stay, to be situated – similar to ficar a (o Hospital fica em Lisboa, a atleta Rosa Mota ficou em primeiro lugar)
  • Ficar para =to be destined for something (o colar de pérolas fica para ti) OR to be deferred (a nossa conversa fica para amanhã)
  • Ficar por =to support (nas discussões ela fica sempre pelas mulheres) OR to substitute for someone (o meu colega ficou por mim) OR to cost (o fato ficou por cem euros) OR to remain uncompleted (as camas ficaram por fazer porque ela teve de sair à pressa) OR to stop (hoje ficamos por aqui)
  • Ficar sem =to lose or be deprived (ficamos sem água toda a tarde)

Ficar-se

  • Ficar-se por =to limit oneself to (na reunião com os seus apoiantes, o presidente ficou-se por um discurso breve)

Vir

  • Vir a =to attain an objective (se vice estudar muito, pode vir a falar português corretamente)
  • Vir de =to finally do something (era minha intenção saudar os alunos que vinham de chegar)

Voltar

  • Voltar a =to repeat an action (o telefone voltou a tocar)
  • Voltar para =to turn something toward (voltaram os olhos para o céu)

Voltar-se

  • Voltar-se para =to turn toward (voltei-me para ele e disse-lhe tudo o que oensava

The book lists several other combinations of verbs and prepositions but I don’t think they are different enough from their original meanings to bother defining like this. For example, vir normally means “come” and you can come to, come from, come by and so on. Voltar means return, and you can return to, from, whatever. It’s not rocket science.

OK, here we go… I’ll put my answers in brackets. When I get it wrong, I’ll cross out my answer and replace with the corrected version.

A Teresa (anda para ficou de) passar por minha casa hoje à noite para estudarmos juntas, espero que não falte. [hm, I don’t think my answer was too bad. Maybe not the best one, but doesn’t seem wrong either…]

Após muitos anos no estrangeiro p Zé, cheio de saudades, (voltou para) Portugal

Lisboa (fica a) cerca de 300km

O excesso de açúcar é de álcool (faz com) que as pessoas fiquem obesas

Quando eu morrer, o meu colar de pérolas (fica para) a minha neta Joana*

Para cá chegares mais depressaa, sugiro-te que (vir venhas pela) autoestrada.

De repente (voltou-se para) o chefe e disse-lhe tudo o que lhe ia na alma.

Costumas (andar de vir a) pé ou (andar vir de) autocarro para (andar vir para ) a faculdade? [The word “para”, just after “autocarro” is missing from the book but it doesn’t make any sense without it, so I’m not 100% sure but I think it should be there]

Porto Covo (fica na) costa vicentina, (fica ao no) litoral alentejano

Não gostava de (andar de) transportes públicos sobretudo, detestava (andar de) metro

Se estudares muito, podes (vir a) falar português fluentemente no futuro**

Eles (virão de ficaram de) pagar as dívidas às Finanças no prazo de seis meses, caso contrário vão a tribunal [OK I can see that makes sense]

Eu (ando a) ler um livro de Mário de Carvalho***: “A Arte de Morrer Longe”

Ele (fazia por) agradar ao chefe mas era sempre um esforço em vão.

O ministro, lacónicamente (ficou-se por) um breve discurso na tomada de posse

(Andamos para) fazer um passeio no Douro, já há dois anos, mas ainda não nos foi possível fazê-lo.

Depois da queda do muro de Berlim, muitos imigrantes da Europa de leste (vieram para) Portugal.

A empregada é incompetente: limpou mal a casa e as camas (ficam ficaram por) fazer. [I was umming and ahhing over the tense for ages and it looks like I plumped for the wrong one]

Carlos, (voltou voltaste a) casar? Não desistes, é a terceira vez!

Os lisboetas (ficaram sem) água durante toda a manhã. Foi o caos!

Por vezes, convém-me (fazer de) surda, para não ter de responder a certas pessoas

*Woah, this question from Português Outra Vez is almost exactly the same as the one in a the Guia Prática.

**Another one! Oh right, I’ve just realised Helena Ventura is a co-author of both so she’s probably recycling her own material

***Coincidentally, I have a different book by the same author, Ronda Das Mil Belas em Frol, on the arm of the sofa as I write.

Posted in English, Portuguese

Apparently, That Was All Wrong

I wrote a post a couple of days ago, based around a joke. I was a bit surprised because the person who corrected my text said that I had made hardly any mistakes and that, contrary to what I thought, the joke worked well because “levar (…) ao jardim zoológico” and “levar (…) para o jardim zoológico” were interchangeable.

Well, that was all bollocks. The person in question was Brazilian and not very “picuinhas” at all. I had, of course, made plenty of errors, and the joke doesn’t work either. Sorry if any of you told it at a party and were met with blank stares. Taking a penguin to the zoo on a visit and taking it to be permanently housed at the zoo are too different in Portuguese for this misunderstanding to arise.

Um agente da PSP viu um homem num carro com 6 pinguins no banco de trás. Fez-lhe sinal para encostar o carro.

– Isto não pode ser, disse o polícia. O senhor tem de levar estes pinguins para o jardim zoológico.

O homem concordou e arrancou em direção ao zoológico.

No dia seguinte, o agente viu o mesmo homem a conduzir na Avenida Almirante Reis* com os mesmos pinguins. Mais uma vez, fez-lhe sinal para que estacionasse e aproximou-se do carro, parando várias vezes para evitar os ciclistas.

– Ó meu senhor, o que é que está a acontecer? Eu disse-lhe ontem que tinha de levar estas aves para o zoológico zoológico.

-Sim, disse o motorista. E curtiram muito. Hoje vamos para o cinema.

*this bit about the cyclists on the Avenida Almirante Reis is irrelevant and I only put not in to demonstrate my familiarity with urban planning controversies in Lisboa.

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Lost Motivation

Well I mentioned a few days ago that I’d lost my mojo and was trying to get going again and a few people got in touch to say they were in the same position. End of summer thing, maybe. It still feels like a struggle. The image I have in my mind is of watching a swan take flight. They’re heavy birds and their wings are only just large enough, so they have to really get up a good speed and flap like crazy to finally get up in the air. I feel like that – flapping the pages of Português Outra Vez to get myself airborne. It’ll be worth it when I’m up there though!

Anyway, YouTube put the latest Liz Sharma video in my feed this morning, and it seems relevant, so if you missed it, have a look.

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O Jardim Zoológico

(This post is completely wrong – I’ve posted an update here and I suggest you ignore this and read that instead!)

Here’s a joke I translated and asked if it worked. The person who marked it said it was fine, but he also offered very few corrections so maybe he’s just an easy-going type who makes allowances. Anyway, the reason I thought it would flop was the difference between “levar ao jardim zoológico” (take them to visit) and “levar para o jardim zoológico” (take them for the long term) would make it hard for a misunderstanding like this to occur. But he seemed to like it so maybe its OK. Try telling it to a Portuguese person and see what their reaction is.

Um agente da PSP viu um homem num carro com 6 pinguins no banco de trás. Indicou-lhe para encostar o carro.

– Isso não dá, disse o polícia. O senhor deve levar estes pinguins para o jardim zoológico.

O homem concordou e arrancou em direção ao jardim.

No dia seguinte, o agente viu o mesmo homem a conduzir na Avenida Almirante Reis* com os mesmos pinguins. Indicou-lhe mais uma vez para se estacionar e aproximou-se ao carro, pausando de vez em quando para evitar as ciclistas.

– Ó meu senhor, o que é que está a acontecer? Eu disse-lhe ontem que devia levar estas aves para o zoológico zoológico.

-Sim, disse o motorista. E curtiram muito. Hoje vamos para o cinema.

*this bit about the cyclists on the Avenida Almirante Reis is irrelevant and I only put not in to demonstrate my familiarity with urban planning controversies in Lisboa.

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Grammar Practice

Verb conjugations and prepositions from Português Outra Vez. The conjugations are easy enough, the prepositions, as usual, are confusing.

Não consigo tratar a Adelaide por “tu” (I can’t call Adelaide “tu”)

Os polícias caíram sobre os assaltantes que foram apanhadas em flagrante (The police fell upon the thieves, who were caught red handed)

A notícia correu em todos os jornais.(The news ran in all the papers)

As traseiras do prédio dão para o cemitério (The rear of the building faces the cemetery)

O Zé é tão parecido fisicamente com o pai. E em matéria de teimosia também sai ao pai. (José is so physically similar to his dad. And as for stubbornness too, he takes after his dad)

Costumo tratar com carinho as minhas empregadas, para que se sintam à vontade (i usually treat my employees with kindness so they feel at ease)

O estudante coreano saiu-se muito bem na prova oral de língua portuguesa (The Korean student did very well in the spoken Portuguese test)

Depois daquele escândalo, o político caiu em desgraça e foi esquecido por todos (After the scandal, the politician fell into disrepute and was forgotten by everyone)

Tento convencer-te mas vejo que não consigo levar-te a gostar de jazz. (I try to convince you but I see that I can’t make you like jazz)

Não resisti àqueles bombons de ginja: acabei com eles em dois tempos (I couldn’t resist those sour cherry sweets: I polished them off in two goes)

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Regrouping

I’ve had to rethink my approach to learning, since I’ve got right out of my routine since the holiday in France. I’m not really writing regularly and all the habits I’d got into – tweeting in Portuguese, reading daily, watching films weekly, doing exercises – have fallen into disrepair. So I’ve set myself a more modest goal: back to the writing and do something else daily, but not feel like I have to do everything. Hopefully if I can get back into the groove of doing a daily task, I can ramp it up again. I’ve got all my study materials together and put them in a box next to the sofa so that I don’t have to get over the hurdle of finding them (thus removing a barrier to my motivation!) I’ll probably post less on here too.

Anyone else struggling with motivation?

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Pantomime Dane

I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my favourite “hack” for conversarion: tell them you’re Danish. If, like. Me, you’re pale and un-iberian-looking, you obviously can’t pass yourself off as a local, but you don’t want people to clock you’re an English speaker because then they’ll be unhelpfully helpful. So pretend to be Danish because nobody speaks Danish. Then you can swear you have no knowledge of other languages and they’ll just have to talk to you in Portuguese. Or run away. I definitely recommend having this trick up your sleeve for an emergency.

Hamlet

Anyway, when we were in France, my daughter, who is learning French at A-level, used the same trick and told them she was “danoise”. I was really proud of her putting herself out there and talking to people. She did really well.

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End of an Era

It’s a sad day for Britain. I’m touched to see so many people on Portugal paying tribute to our late monarch.

Hoje é um dia muito triste cá no Reino Unido. Fico emocionado pela  comovente reação de tantos portugueses à morte da nossa rainha.

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Linguistics

Hello! Well, I have been quiet for a few days after a long, long time of consistent language learning and consistent banging-on-about-it on here. We went to France and I had to squeeze my brain into French mode and its taken me a while to get back into the right frame of mind to get back to work on Portuguese. I’m actually still jointly reading the French translation of Six of Crows with my daughter so I’m going to be twin-track for a few weeks to come, but at least I’m starting the ball rolling again.

The Story of Human Language by John McWhorter

I’ve also just finished listening to this course about languistics, presented by John McWhorter who is an author and the host of the Lexicon Valley podcast as well as being an accomplished academic in his own right. He really brought the subject alive. I’ve been interested in the development of language for ages and enjoyed seeing how some of my pet theories, derived from learning Portuguese, French and Scots Gaelic, lined up with current ideas formed by people who actually know what they’re talking about. Portuguese is mentioned a few times, both in its relation to other romance languages and in its role as a source languages for creoles and pidgins in areas where Portugal’s empire spread its influence. Of course, knowing about linguistics doesn’t make you better at speaking another language but I feel like it adds an extra dimension to the experience and I’d definitely recommend it if it’s not something you’ve already tried. It’s on Audible’s free list, meaning if you’re a member you can just listen without spending precious, precious credits.