Posted in English

Exam Prep Review #3

Progress on the list of topics to cover. Depressingly little work done. I really need to pull my finger out.

Speaking Goals

  • 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. I haven’t really got anywhere with these first two but I’m planning to do a sort of portuguese version of “just a Minute” as a way of making myself do it. One for the next couple of days, I think. 
  • 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). Making good progress here. I’ve listened to quite a lot.
  • Listen to at least 3 video films with subtitles. Still a grand total of zero. None of the films I own seem to have same-language subtitles on them for some reason.
  • 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) Nearly done 
      • 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. Done
  • 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 – Still winning
  • 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.

 

Posted in Portuguese

That’s Sotaquey

Sample videos I’ve been looking at for my listening practice to get some accent and voice diversity into my earholes before the B2 exam

Algarve

Algarve (actually. I don’t think the narrator is from the Algarve, but he definitely falls under the heading of challenging listens)

Porto and the North

Coreano (Micaelense)

Alentejo #1

Alentejo #2

Alentejo #3

Madeira

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

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

Exam Prep

I’ve got a new exam (or rather the same flippin’ exam I failed last time, dammit!) at the back end of May. I’m making a list of things I want to do between now and then

Speaking Goals

  • 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).
  • Listen to at least 3 video films with subtitles.
  • Get to grips with the Raul Solnado “Guerra de 1908” sketch

Cultural Goals

  • Read at the very least:
      • A Língua Portuguesa (Fernando Pessoa)
      • Mensagem (Fernando Pessoa)
      • 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.
  • Make a timeline of portuguese history to get a sense of how it hangs together
  • Write about portuguese landmarks – the Padrão dos Descubrimentos, Torre de Belém, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and so on.

General Language skills

  • I need to build my vocabulary – Memrise and Lingq daily goals
  • 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
  • Finish the exercise book I’m on now
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Letter format and forms of address
  • Learn – actually learn verbatim – one song
Posted in English

Well, Shit.

So something a bit depressing happened today: I got the result of my second B2 exam. As I might have mentioned, it didn’t go as well as I hoped but I was expecting to creep up a bit from the miserly “suficiente” I got twelve months earlier to a “bom”. Today, it finally came through and it said…. “insuficiente”… meaning I have actually got worse after a full year of study.

Except of course, I haven’t, I’ve got quite a bit better. My conversation is still a bit stilted but I can write reasonably well, understand most of the podcasts I listen to, and I read 17 Portuguese books last year, some of them pretty heavy. So, what went wrong? Well, ultimately, I suppose, I am still pretty weak on a lot of important points of language. Add to that a lack of exam prep and just general having-a-bad day, and you get a pile of poo. It was a bit of a blow to my confidence. I’m not going to bloody stop though. Exams are a useful way of motivating myself (well – heh – sometimes) but I’m in it for the books and the mind-expansion, so. I’m not going to lie down in a ditch and give up because I got one shit result.

Posted in English

A bit disappointed

Well, I’ve done the exam. It went OK. I mean, I’ve no doubt I passed and with a better mark than last time, but I have a nagging feeling of disappointment that I didn’t smash it. I’ve had a whole year since I took the test for the first time and barely passed. Now I think I’ve bumped my mark up from “barely scraping by” to “not bad I suppose”. That’s not much to show for the effort I’ve put in (and I really have you know!)

Anyway, for now, I’m not going to be disheartened. I’ll crack on with what I was doing and maybe try to be more active in writing and talking. That seems to be the key, I think: producing language, not just passively absorbing it by listening or reading (although I will still be doing those things too)

Posted in English

Here We Go Again

I booked another exam in November. I really thought by now I’d be ready for the advanced level but I’m still nowhere near. So I’m going to re-do the DIPLE (intermediate) exam and I hope to get a pretty good mark instead of a barely-scraped pass this time. Even for that, I need to keep up the pressure, especially on oral production which os where I blew up last time.

Posted in English

I Passed (Just…)

canstockphoto16520438

If you have been following my witterings for a while now (unlikely, I know, but possible) you might remember that I took the pre-intermediate Portuguese exam (“DEPLE”) in May and passed it pretty well, and then in November tried the Intermediate (“DIPLE”) exam but wasn’t too confident of passing because I got tongue-tied during the produção oral. Well, much to my surprise, I managed to pass it anyway, albeit with a not-so-great mark (just “suficiente” instead of the “bom” I got for the earlier one)

Viva! Não chumbei!

OK, well, not great but better than I had feared, so now I just need to knuckle down and work toward the first of the two advanced exams in late 2017, assuming the world hasn’t been destroyed in the flames of a war provoked by Donald Trump’s coked-up 3AM tweets. I will need a full year to prepare, I think, because I have some catching up to do on the intermediate material.

The next exam apparently includes things like appreciation of poetry, and the produção oral is longer and recorded on *gulp* video instead of audio.