Posted in English

40 Dias and 40 Noites

I’m a 40 days into my long march to C1 proficiency. I’m doing pretty well. Here’s what I’ve been doing in each of the goals:

  • Make a new Twitter account, tweet only in PortugueseDone! I’ve been updating daily, trying to pass as an illiterate Portuguese guy. 52 followers so far and nobody has come out and denounced me as an imposter but I daresay they are thinking it. I did have one person – a Brazilian – refer to me a a Tuguinho, which I enjoyed. She was a nutjob though so it probably doesn’t count.
  • Watch one Portuguese movie or series episode per week. Done! So far, half way through a series called Crónica dos Bons Malandros and I’ve watched one film. I don’t watch much telly generally so this is hard work.
  • Finally finish “A Actualidade em Português*” Done!
  • Then do one esercise of Português Atual* C1 or one from this course per day. Done! I’ve hit at least one exercise per day, usually quite a lot more. I’m about two thirds of the way through the book now and I’ll start on the course next.
  • Only read Portuguese books (exception for work-related books that I need to read for career development). Done. I’ve read no books in English since the start of the challenge apart from a work-related book about spreadsheets.
  • Listen to mainly portuguese audio. Could probably be better tbh. I’ve listened to quite a lot but it’s still in the minority.
  • Memorise one Portuguese poem per week. I’ve done four: Coroai-me De Rosas by Ricardo Reis, Segue o Teu Destino by the same author, Flagrante by Antonio Zambujo and Tenho Pena de Quem é o Meu Amigo by Gregório Duvivier. So I’m one short. This is really painful to be honest.
  • Write something each day on the Portuguese Writestreak subreddit. Done! My streak is up to 40 days now.
  • Follow the Bertrand Portuguese History Course once a fortnight Done! I’ve mentioned this a few times because of the scandal surrounding the teacher. I missed the first session due to senility but that was just before the challenge period so I’m still golden!

I’ve done some side-quests too! My first one was the project I did to try and understand the outline of Portuguese politics; then I went to see a night of (mostly) Portuguese music and this week I tried my hand at cooking a pudding called Pudim de Leite Condensado from a Portuguese recipe.

Behold its majesty!

Pudim de Leite Condensado
The goodness within!

So that’s how I’m doing. The schedule is a lot easier than I expected. I’m finding it a faff to fit the weekly goals in, especially now I’m in full time work again, but I’ll keep plugging away!

Posted in Portuguese

Receita de “Fish Pie” inglesa

I’d been arguing yesterday about whether or not boiled eggs belong in a fish pie so I decided to make a Portuguese version of the recipe. ThisCatIsConfused helped me to debug the grammar and wins my undying gratitude (gratintude?) again.

1kg de batatas
400ml de leite
25g de manteiga
25g de farinha de trigo
350g duma mistura de peixes congeladas tal como bacalhau, solha, atum, (pode-se incluir camarões também)
4 ovos, cozidos e cortados pela metade*
Uma mão-cheia de ervilhas
Sal pimenta e salsa qb**

Pré-aqueça*** o forno a 200 graus
Coza as batatas e esmague-as. Adicione um salpico de leite e continue a amassar até ficarem puré.
Entretanto, derreta a manteiga num tacho. Coloque a farinha dentro e mexa. Quando os dois ficam uma massa, despeje o leite no tacho. Vá mexendo o tempo inteiro para fazer um molho branco e cremoso.
Deite o peixe num prato refratário com o molho, a salsa e as ervilhas.
Ponha as metades de ovo em cima e cubra todos os conteúdos com puré de batata.
Se quiser, pode-se colocar um pouco de queijo talhado também.
Leve o prato ao forno para gratinar durante 25 minutos até a superfície ficar dourada e o molho estar a ferver. Sirva com couve branca ou brócolos.

*=i will die on this hill!

**=qb stands for quanto baste, ie, as much as you need. It’s equivalent to “to taste” in English recipes

***=what tense to use for the steps in a recipe or an instruction manual is more complicated than in English. It’s not just “do this, do that, because that tense (the imperative) has both a singular and a plural form and of course formal and informal too. This is using singular imperative, as if I were giving instructions to one person, but for example you can find someone here writing instructions and clearly imagining herself addressing a group of readers using the plural imperative. There doesn’t seem to be much reason to choose one form over the other, apart from just whether you want to want to come across like a classroom teacher (addressing people as a group) or a coach (making each reader feel like you are addressing them directly). To complicate things even further, it’s also possible to write the entire text in infinitives. You can see a good example of this in a single page of a beautiful book called Viagens Pelas Receitas de Portugal By Nelson Carvalheiro.

In the first recipe, he’s using a singular imperative for every verb that’s giving an instruction: coloque, aqueça, bata, misture, coloque, desenforme. In the second he switches to infinitives: fazer, juntar, levar and so on. There are other verbs too, including a present participle (deixando arrefecer=leaving it to cool) but the overall voice of the recipe is all infinitives all the way. I found this really confusing when I first saw it, but it’s a thing apparently!

Update later the same day:

I asked about this on the reddit forum and the consensus was that the infinitive and imperative forms were equally acceptable but that maybe the infinitive had been used more recently because historically the standard was formal/imperative but that seemed too formal and the infinitive allowed people to opt out of commitment to one level of formality and keep it all neutral.