Posted in English

O Verso Alcançando o Infinito

*groan*

So ages ago, I heard Jose Jorge Letria (a poet who wrote, among other things,”Era Uma Vez Um Cravo”) read a poem called O Dia Mundial da Poesia. I mean, I thought it was called that. I thought he’d written it for world poetry day and he’d called it that because it was about poetry itself, where it comes from and how it’s made. And I spent ages looking for a printed copy because I liked it so much even though my listening skills were terrible and I could only make out about one line in five.

The poem is born of an impulse [… Blah blah blah… ] from the sonorous temptation of a metaphor [… Something something…] Afterwards, it’s writing, the work of hands on the incandescent material of syllables [… Tum ti tum…] The poem is born, finally, from the illusion that there is something left that hasn’t been said [… Etc… ]

I couldn’t catch it all. But I got enough to know I wanted more but I couldn’t find it anywhere online or in any of his books.

Anyway, as you’ve probably gathered by now, it’s not called O Dia Mundial da Poesia at all; it’s called O Verso Alcançando o Infinito. So that explains why I couldn’t find it. Anyway, now I know what to plug into Google, I’ve found another recording of it here…

And if you need the lyrics (I wish I’d had access to then five years ago!) they’re here. Well, some of them are. Another one for my project to learn poetry, I think!

Posted in English

The Greatest Stories Ever Heard

As regular readers (hey, stop laughing – I have regular readers! I do!) will know, I am obsessed with audiobooks, so I have been trying for a while now to compile a definitive list of all the european portuguese audiobooks available, so I have been through every single audiobook in Audible and listened to the accent and I’ve wrestled with Kobo’s completely useless search function to bring a few golden nuggets from among the grit. You can find them all here. I’ll add to the list as new ones become available. If you know of any I’ve missed, please let me know. I feel like I’ve been pretty thorough but I’m just one person and it’s a big internet.

There are affiliate links on the page, by the way: I’m hoping my obsession will pay for itself one day.

Posted in English

Audiobooks

One of the nice side-effects of exploring e-readers has been that I’ve come across a couple of proper portuguese audiobooks. I’ve had the most luck on Kobo but even that’s pretty hard to navigate, primarily because even when I tell it portuguese is my preferred language it insists on showing me english language titles and I don’t seem to be able to do anything as basic as search by language.

Anyway, I’ve come across Margarida Espantada which I’m reading now in conjunction with an ebiook version and Perguntem Sarah Gross, which has a good reputation. Naff all by Afonso Cruz, Joao Tordo, Nuno Nepomuceno, Ricardo Araujo Pereira – people who seem pretty mainstream, really. Still, though, it’s a good sign and I’m hoping to see more in the future.

Posted in Portuguese

Acame, Açore, Aconquered

I liked this video. It’s challenging (that açoriano accent! Holy crap, it’s like another language!) but it’s quite funny so it’s good, entertaining listening practice. He’s talking about english words that sound like Portuguese words and he gets a lot of mileage out of the idea.

Posted in Portuguese

A Grande Exposição do Mundo Português (1940)

Here’s the transcript I’ve been trying to make of this imperialist propaganda video. I only managed the first 6 minutes. I might come back to it after the exam but I think the benefits I’m getting are pretty small for the time spent (about 3 hours and counting!) It’s interesting how I can pretty much understand the gist of the video but when it comes down to actually separating out the words, in their proper forms, the detail isn’t as simple to disentangle. Corrections from Sophia (thanks!) in italics


[00:00] Naqueles terrenos vastos e escaldados, que se estendiam entre o Mosteiro dos Jerónimos e a Torre de Belém, junto daquela praia do Restelo, donde largaram o século XV de Vasco da Gama, durante mais dum ano, milhares de operários, de técnicos e artistas portugueses, demolindo o feio para construir o belo, rasando o inútil para pôr em seu lugar uma verdadeira cinza de Portugal no passado e no presente. Ergueram um traje amorosamente esse prodigioso momento das nossas virtudes e do nosso préstimo foi a exposição do mundo português. A maravilhosa exposição foi inaugurada a 23 de Junho de 1940 pelo português mais digno de tal acto Senhor General Carmona, presidente da república portuguesa. E a seu lado estava o homem que a tornou possível; verdadeiro arquitecto de Portugal de hoje, novo e eterno, Salazar, e o ministro das obras públicas, engenheiro Duarte Pacheco a quem coube a honra a verificar. Assistindo o título de comissario geral Doutor Augusto de Castro, pelo engenheiro Sá e Melo e pelo arquitecto Cottinelli Telmo. Os antigos terrenos transformaram-se na soberba praça de império, com a sua fonte luminosa e os seus jardins. De todos os lados* se erguiam pavilhões de risco sobre e digno de uma originalidade e um gosto incontestável. Os olhos deslumbravam-se com as perspectivas imprevistas, com a pureza das linhas, com o equilíbrio deslumbre. Ao cinema português, cumpria pular no tempo e no espaço magnifica fixando-a num filme que servisse para matar as saudades dos que a viram e para a mostrar aos que não puderam vê-la. Foi o que o cinema procurou fazer, lamentando não dispor mais amplos recursos que permitissem traduzir fielmente a par das formas a cor, a alegria e a imponência da exposição de Belém.

[03:20] Todas as inúmeras obras da arte que impunham não eram unicamente feitas de matéria. Também eram feitas do espírito e tinham a alma, a própria história de Portugal. E essa história, a mais velha de todas foi novamente contada ao povo por meia de alegorias e de findo os mais grandiosos era sem dúvida o momento ao Infante Dom Henrique autêntico padrão erguido ao génio da raça. Nós demos ao mundo novos mundos. [corte?] Lembrava aos visitantes uma das legendas da pavilhão de honra. E o interior do pavilhão em redor de um átrio decorado com as bandeiras de todos os municípios portugueses, continha uma sala de recepção ornada de tapeçarias de alto preço, uma sala de honra onde se evocavam as mulheres celebres da tradição portuguesa desde a padeira de Aljubarrota a oração mariana, um teatro de concepção moderníssima

[04:20] Ao lado do pavilhão de honra e fazendo corpo com ele para melhor honrar e destacar a capital do império erguia a sua alta torre o pavilhão de Lisboa. Um dos seus mais velhos aspectos exteriores é o pátio em que um baixa-relevo estilizava a arquitectura em presépio da cidade rainha do ocidente. O átrio do pavilhão de Lisboa foi consagrado a São Vicente, patrono da capital em cujas armas figuram os dois corvos heráldicos do santo.

[05:00] Ali estava a grade que durante quatro séculos serviu de porta a umas das capelas da Sé. Um cofre guardava o Foral de Lisboa purgado em 1179 por Dom Afonso Henriques. Dois trípticos evocavam o cerco e a tomada de Lisboa aos moiros** e o pintor, exemplo dos antigos, emprestou às figuras as feições de alguns distintos Olisiponenses***. A evolução do aspecto da cidade podia seguir-se através de gravuras paneis de azulejo e de modelos reduzidos, cheios de verdade.

*=I originally heard this as “no topo dos gelados” and couldn’t for the life of me, un-hear it afterwards

**=alternative spelling of “mouros”

***=seems to be a fancy-pants way of saying “lisboeta”

Posted in English, Portuguese

Gente Que Não Sabe Estar

Another of those lessons I mentioned a couple of posts ago: we went through an episode of “Gente Que não Sabe Estar”, which is a sort of portuguese version of those american late night satire shows fronted by Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Kimmel or Seth whatsisface. In this case, it’s Ricardo Araújo Pereira, who has the requisite mixture of humour and ability to look credible in a suit. This is a challenging lesson for me because aside from the usual problems of trying to follow rapid-fiire portuguese, I have very little clue about who is who and what the hell it’s all about so I have had to do quite a lot of research. Here are some pointers, some from my teacher and some cribbed from Wikipedia and elsewhere

Joe Berardo (the creepy-looking dude in black, flanked by two very overworked lawyers) is a businessman who is somehow mixed up in a scandal regarding the recapitalisation of the Caixa Geral de Depósitos when it got in trouble a few years after the 2008 crash. It emerged that he had 980 million euros in debt to the bank and refused to pay interest because er… it would cause some sort of unspecified harm. He was fished out and dragged in front of the Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito, and that’s what the footage is in the show. It’s a strange mixture of careful distancing of himself from the scene of the action and ridiculous failure to read the room. “This is costing the people a lot of money” / “Not me though!” being just one example.

Right at the start there’s a missed pun opportunity owing to this being in Portguese and not english, so “Bearardo” does not happen.

“Se queres ajudar um homem não lhe dês o peixe” at around 1:25 is the first half of the portuguese equivalent of the old saying “give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach him to fish and he’ll eat for life”

“pipa de massa” = “a load of dough”, where dough is money, just like in an old american gangster movie

“Os juros” = interest

“as dívidas” = debts

“As ações” = stocks and shares

“Os títulos” = share certificates

“a garantia” = collateral

Floribella is a sort of soap opera about a young singer. Lots of bright colours and shonky acting, but it has heart. I skimmed through the pilot (below) and was sort of fascinated by the spectacle of someone speaking portuguese with a strong german accent. I thought she was spanish at first but her name’s Helga Schneider apparently. The theme is “não tenho nada mas tenho tenho tudo” ( don’t have anything but I have everything), which as he says, is an astute allegory about high finance.

I thought the “coleção” was a charitable institution that collects money for good causes but it turns out, no, it’s an actual collection of artworks and he’s a bit confused about whether he owns it or the foundation he runs owns it. Hence the hand-waving from the lawyer. He also seems to have given share certificates as securities for the loan, but they are valueless because the paintings can’t be sold without his permission… oh god, my brain is starting to hurt.

There’s an analogy with “monopólio” (Monopoly, the game) around 11.00-11.30 just before the magic trick with the cups.

Spooky bit at 20:30. Where did the lady in the light jacket go after disappearing behind Margarida Mano?

“Comer” in the context of the bit about Rui Rio at around  21:35 means “shag”. He’s not talking about cannibalism.

 

Postscript. Apparently my wife met Berardo when she was young in Funchal and is far from impressed with him as a human being.

Posted in English

Awks!

A portuguese teacher I know has started a new informal lesson package where she lets the student choose a TV show, film, book, album, or whatever and you watch/ listen/ read/ whatever together, screen-sharing over skype and she explains the cultural references and obscure phrases and so on. I thought I’d give it a whirl so I chose Salvador Martinha’s Netflix Special “Na Ponta Da Língua”, which I’ve listened to before but ages ago and at the time “não entendi patavina” as they say.

TBH, I’m still struggling because like most stand-up comedians, he talks quickly, uses a lot of slang and so on. I got a pretty good chunk of it though – maybe 70%. I already knew a lot of the cultural references: Casper the Friendly Ghost, The Gypsy Kings, knocking on the cieling with a broom and pillow-fights are all universal experiences, and I’d come across DAMA (An unbearably bland Portuguese boy band), in my search for decent portuguese music, but they weren’t it.

It was a bit embarrassing at times though because I’d underestimated the awkward factor of having so much rudity in the dialogue. She explained “orgia” (an orgy, obviously) and Picha (“dick”: like english, there are more words for this than there are for snow in Innuit) but discreetly passed over other bits like “começaram sacar um broche”. I got from the context that this was probably a bit off colour. Sure enough “um broche”, which just means “a brooch” has a calão meaning too – common enough to be in my paper dictionary: “blowjob”. So, I’m glad I left it, really.

Untitled

Saving other tips & vocabulary for later references:

Dakar – just the race. It’s a marathon, I think…?

The Aparição de Fátima… ask your priest

Bollycao – dodgy looking prepackaged cakes – they look like some sort of mutant hybrid between a twinkie and a swiss roll. They used to come with a free sticker (“cromo” – also mentioned) but not these days.

Elvas is a place in Portugal and so is Covilhã.

MEO is a cheap cable/phone package that has a few seconds delay on it – hence the joke about someone clapping at the wrong time

Picha = Dick. Like in english, there are more words for this than for snow in innuit.

Macacos – can mean bogeys as well as monkeys

Lixívia – some sort of bleach or disinfectant brand

Top = very cool

50 = average price of… Cocaine, I think, although to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s that or Coca Cola. I probably need to go back and watch that bit again

Pitas = teenagers

Caipirinha = a kind of cocktail from Brazil. You probably knew that already but I don’t get out much.

Rebenta a bolha – literally means ‘burst the bubble’ but it’s something kids say when they’re playing out and they have to suspend the game – say while one of them has dinner.

O jogo ao sério – a game where you have to stare each other out and make faces and the first one to laugh or show teeth loses.

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 Portuguese

A Guerra de 1908

I put up this video with the transcript from Planta Carnivóra the other day, with the idea that I could go back over it and tune into what he was saying with the aid of the text, because his accent is very different from what I’m used to and it seemed like a good exercise as part of my exam plan. However, it quickly became obvious that the transcipt doesn’t match. There’s no reason why that should be surprising of course; it’s an old sketch and I’m sure it’s been performed hundreds of times in many different variants. So, for the challenge, I’ve set about trying to change it to what I think he’s really saying. The altered bits are in red. There are probably a few errors because I don’t really understand the sentence structure in a few places, but hopefully it’s an improvement at least… Interested to note that the aunt and the mum seem to have swapped places…

Update 20/4/19 – yes, there were plenty of errors still and I have had help from Sophia. Mainly, they were mistakes in the original that I had missed rather than new errors I’d introduced. Like “Meu tio Gustavo”, which should have read “Meu tio que estava…” for example. Embarrassing.

 

Eu vou-lhes contar a história da minha ida à Guerra de 1908.

Eu trabalhava numa fábrica de produtos farmacêuticos. Um dia sem querer, deixei cair um comprimido e despediram-me. Fui lá para casa sentar-me numa cadeira que nós temos lá em casa para quando somos despedidos. Estava-me a balançar, entrou o meu tio que estava com o jornal que trazia o anúncio da guerra, que rezava assim

“Precisa-se Soldado que mate depressa!”

E disse a minha mãe,

Olha, tu é que podias responder a esse anúncio.”

E disse a minha tia,

Pois, mas é preciso levar cavalo!”

E disse a minha mãe,

“Mas eles na guerra dão cavalos.”

E disse a tia,

“Pois, e o meu sobrinho vai agora montar na guerra num cavalo que os outros já montaram. Sei lá quem é que já montou naqueles cavalos!”

Fomos à feira de gado para comprar o cavalo, mas vendiam uns cavalos com as carroças e com as moscas, e a minha mãe disse,

“O meu filho não vai agora para a guerra encher a guerra de moscas… O meu filho, vai a pé mas vai limpo.”

Então fomos para casa. A minha mãe preparou me umas papas de sarrabulho, tomei um táxi e fui para a guerra. Cheguei à guerra eram sete horas da manhã, estava a guerra ainda fechada. E estava uma senhora que vendia castanhas à porta da guerra e eu perguntei,

“Minha senhora, faz favor, aqui é que é a guerra de 1908?”

E ela disse,

“Não senhor! Aqui é a guerra de 1906, a guerra de 1908 é mais acima.

“Muito obrigado”

E subi dois anos. Cheguei lá cima, e  estavam a abrir as portas da guerra, que eram nove e tal e ‘tava o sentinela que me perguntou,

“Vens ao anúncio?”

“Sim, venho.”

E ele disse,

“E matas depressa?”

E eu disse,

“Por enquanto ainda mato assim-assim… preciso de treinos.”

Então ele levou-me ao meu capitão, e o capitão perguntou-me se eu trazia a espingarda e eu disse que Não trazia, que até pensava que a ferramenta davam lá eles. E disse

Eu trago é uma bala, que um vizinho meu guardou de recordação da guerra dos cem anos”

E diz o capitão,

“Como é que tu vais matar só com uma bala?”

E eu disse então,

Eu disparo a espingarda, e depois, vou lá buscar a bala”,

Aí disse o tenente,

Pois e a guerra pois vai parar de dois em dois minutos por sua causa!?”

Até o sargento disse

“Olha, a gente podia era atar uma guita à bala e depois puxava-se a bala!”

E disse o capitão,

“Pois, depois parte-se a guita, perde-se a guita, perde-se a bala. É tudo prejuízo não é?”

Então eles fizeram uma conferência e deram-me seis balas e mandaram-me matar. Estava eu, a matar, muito contente, chego ao pé do meu capitão e mandou-me ir de espia. Vestiram-me um vestido de organdi com uns laços cor-de-rosa, e fui para a guerra do inimigo, cheguei lá, bati à porta e o sentinela abriu frincha e disse,

“Quem é?”

E eu disse

“Sou a Maria Albertina”, malandrice!

E ele perguntou-me,

Tu já trabalhas de espia há muito tempo?”

E eu disse,

“Não, só trabalho desde as 11!”

E que é que tu queres?”

“Eu venho cá buscar os planos da pólvora”

E ele disse

“Não te dou os planos da pólvora, não te dou os planos da pólvora, não te dou os planos da pólvora”

E fui fazer queixa ao capitão dele. E eu disse-lhe,

Capitão, mas ele é um burro

Deixa lá, almoça cá com a gente!”

Então, almocei na guerra do inimigo. Comemos uma cabeça de pescada muita grande e depois fui para a minha guerra. E quando eu cheguei lá ia estava a contar ao meu capitão, entra um soldado a correr, a correr

Meu capitão, meu capitão, fizemos um prisioneiro!

Diz

“Sim, onde é que ele está?”

“Não quis vir.”

Porque cá há prisioneiros que são teimosos, a gente puxa, puxa e eles não vêm. Feitios.

Então o meu capitão disse,

Então, se eles não dão os planos da pólvora vai lá buscar o avião, pronto

Porque como a gente se dava muito bem com o inimigo, nós tínhamos um avião que dava para todos. Eles bombardeavam às Segundas, Quartas e Sextas, e a gente bombardeava às Terças, Quintas e Sábados, e lá íamos morrendo.

Mas o capitão disse que não podia dar o avião, porque estavam a adaptar uma torneira para andar a jacto”

Fui-me embora para a minha guerra e quando cheguei estava o meu capitão à porta da guerra e disse-me,

“Olha, podes-te ir embora porque a guerra acabou-se!”

Disse

“Acabou-se??”

“Acabou-se. Veio cá o fiscal, a gente não tinha licença de porte de arma. Levaram as metralhadoras, as pistolas, as bazucas”

E foi assim que… ai ai ai ai ai

 

Here are the vocabulary words I didn’t already know:

Carroça = Cart

Sarrabulho = Coagulated pigs blood. Er… yum?

Guita = Wire

Organdi = Organdy

Frincha = A small opening – I’m picturing the little window the guard looks through at the gates of the Emerald City when Dorothy arrives.

Pescada = Hake

Pólvora = gunpowder

Jacto = jet… and I assume “torneira” can mean “propeller” too, although I only know it as “tap” and that’s the only definition give in my dictionary too…

Feitios = shapes (which I knew) but seems to mean “it takes all sorts” here.

Feira de gado = livestock market