Posted in English

Key Learnings 2: Frankenwords

Yesterday’s exercise involved two lists of words. I had to take a word from each list and make a phrase or portmanteau word. Por Exemplo, “Estrela de Mar” or “Belas Artes”. I managed to get the first dozen or so with the aid of a dictionary but I was left with three in each list that I couldn’t budge. I decided to pair them up at random and enter them into Google Search and see what sites/pictures each brought back. If a particular combination came up with nothing but pictures of cheese wheels then I’d know I had a winner.

On the first try, I was a bit taken aback with the phrase “Troca de Casal”. Oo-er, madam! Mrs Lusk walked in to find me giggling at a screen full of saucy looking men with moustaches rubbing their hands and leering at the sight of scantily-clad raparigas. Apparently, Troca de casal means “wife-swapping”.

The correct combinations, if you’re interested, were “troca-tintas” (literally, a paint-slinger, or more figuratively, someone whose words can’t be trusted. In short, a bullshitter) and “Cabeça de casal” (head of the household”)

água

azul

belas

cabeça

castanho

chapéu

estrela

guarda

luso

novo

obra

porta

saca

surdo

trinca

troca

fim

rico

mar

fato

prima

mudo

claro

voz

tintas

escuro

sol

artes

brasileiro

colônia

rolhas

semana

cabra

casal

espinhas

 

Posted in English

Key Learnings

I think I might try a new thing: writing notes of mistakes I have made in lessons to avoid making them again. Here are a few from today’s lesson with a new teacher:

após de trabalhar tão duro

should be

após trabalhar tão arduamente

because após doesn’t need a “de” after it (I always find these small change words hard to deal with!) and “duro” means hard in the sense of solid, as opposed to “working hard” and apparently it sounds a bit sexual in the wrong context, so best avoided. Ahem. Moving on, “arduamente” (cognate with “arduously”) seems to be a better fit

para conhecer um ao outro

should be

para nos conhecermos

because it’s a more natural way of speaking in place of a  literal translation of “get to know one another” it’s more like “to us get to know us”. Anything involving the infinitivo pessoal is bound to be very, very unfamiliar to English ears, so it’s all down to practice, I suppose, and getting used to it so you can pull it out of the word-hoard when you need it.

se tem épocas

should be

se tiver(es) disponibilidade

Actually, “épocas” sounds weird in English, since it’s obviously cognate with “epochs” but it’s the way the CAPLE registration page describes a lack of available spaces in their schedule (“Ainda não existem épocas disponíveis neste LAPE”), which is why I used it. Formal Portuguese sometimes uses weird words no normal person would use so it’s better to say “disponibilidade” (“availability”). “Tiveres” or “tiver” is the future subjunctive because it’s something that I’m talking about in the future and there’s some uncertainty in the mix.

Finally

Arranjar

in the sense of “arrange a meeting” doesn’t work. It’s a false friend. Arranjar means to fix something that’s broken. The correct word is

Marcar

which has a few senses, including “to score a goal” as you can see here.