I’ve been in a kind of limbo lately, simulatenously working too hard and feeling like I’m not getting anything done. Restarting this blog properly seems like a good way to get things moving a bit on the portuguese front at least. Here are a few updates on stuff that’s happening in my… lusosphere at the moment anyway
Podcasts and Videos
There are quite a few new podcasts and Youtube channels that have started up since the lockdown as teachers who used to do 1:1 lessons have had to find new ways to make money. Here are a couple I know about, but I’m sure you can find others if you dig around. These are all for beginners, so probably not much help if you have been learning for a while.
Simpleton Portuguese (I find the branding on this one a bit naff but the first video I clicked on started with the guy saying “Even if you live in an anarcho-syndicalist commune where the concept of property has been made obsolete, you will eventually have to deal with possessives” and that’s a winning start to a video right there!)
So the big news is that Netflix has commissioned its first original series in European Portuguese. It’s a cold-war thriller called Gloria. Liz from Talk the Streets has done a couple of videos about watching TV in portuguese and one of the things she recommended was a Nteflix plugin called Language Learning with Netflix, which is quite useful if you want to have bilingual subtitles with your shows. I’ve been playing with it and it’s pretty good so I second her recommendation!
I came across a new (to me) channel on YouTube today and the first video I tried was full of good tips. She’s British so she seems to be coming at it from a practical standpoint of how to get by as an immigrant in Portugal rather than doing a lot of detailed stuff about grammar. Bookmarked for later to try the rest of her videos.
Será que alguém no site se lembra “restaurantes”? Tenho saudades deles. Eram parecidos com a casa do meu avó, mas em vez de uma velha há uma equipa de pessoas vestidas de branco que cozinham os pratos e trazem-nos* para a mesa. Não se lembram? Bem, perguntam a alguém mais crescido.
Ontem, vi um vídeo antigo, gravado antes da quarentena, em que um “chefe de cozinha” (acho que este senhor era um género de super-herói ou padre) fez um Bacalhau à Brás. Infelizmente, como estava doente de um delírio, em vez de batatas, andava a usar outros ingredientes como abóbora, cenoura branca e carne de macaco.
*=interesting switch from imperfect to present here. “They WERE like my granny’s house but instead of an old lady there IS a team… that COOKS the dishes and BRINGS them” feels a bit wrong but the person who corrected this on italki was sure it was right.
I’ve really been enjoying the videos Rita Marrafa de Carvalho has been publishing from her house where she’s quarantined with her kids and a ukelele. They seem to be having a lot of fun and she can really sing/play too, which helps. I’ll try to embed one of them here but it’s on Facebook and Facebook is a bit awkward so I don’t know if it’ll work. They’re all really nice though, so you could do worse than go and look at her complete set on that platform if you have an account. A lot of them are on her Twitter too but I’m taking a Twitter break at the moment.
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.
Before my B2 exam I tried playing “Just A Minute” on video to get used to speaking fluently under pressure since the exam has an oral component, conducted on video and it’s my weakest link, so into the exam prep plan it went. At the time I didn’t think much of it and editing it for YouTube seemed too much of a faff, but then yesterday we heard that the presenter of the show, Nicholas Parsons, had died, so I decided to dust it off and post it online. I was glad I did. My grammar is all over the place – absolutely terrible – but I quite like the video as a whole, especially since my daughter agreed to help so you can hear her in the background.
I’ve just restarted Portuguese lessons after a long drought over the Christmas and New Year period. I kicked off with a nice easy session, with a teacher who does sessions where you watch, listen or read something together and she explains cultural references. This time I went for something super-lowbrow, namely a show called “Quem Quer Namorar Com o Agricultor?” (“Who wants to date the farmer?”). It’s a reality TV franchise that has been shown in quite a few countries and arrived in Portugl last year. You can guess the premise: 5 farmers of various ages go to a fancy house where they are introduced to about 20 broody ladies and they have to decide which to invite home to the farm where they will be filmed reacting with horror to various unfamiliar smells and getting theatrically stink-eyed by the farmer’s mother/sister/teenage daughter. Presumbly at the end there will be a marriage or two but I haven’t got there yet.
I don’t really have much time to watch TV, and I’ve never got into any reality TV apart from hate-watching a couple of series of The Apprentice, so it was sort of nice to have an excuse to watch something as unapologetically shit-headed as this. The languge level is pretty basic too, so it wsn’t hard to follow. I actually liked it and will definitely watch more but only when my wife isn’t there to take the piss out of me (which I will deserve of course because I mean really…)
My wife is binge-watching different versions of this fado classic. I’ve heard quite a lot before, but this guy is really smashing it. Easily the best I’ve heard
I’ll translate it for anyone who happens across this and doesnt understand the lyrics. Fado is the national music of Portugal, obvs, so I won’t translate that most of the time, but it also means “fate” or “destiny” and it sometimes makes sense to translate it that way.
Madness I’m from fado! I know it! I live in a sung poem of a destiny that I made. I can’t set express myself by talking, But I set my soul singing, and souls know how to hear me. Cry, cry, poets of my country, Stems from the same root, of the life that united us. And if you weren’t at my side then there would be no fado, Nor fado singers like me. This voice, so sorrowful, is because of you, Poets of my life. It’s madness! I hear, but blessed be this madness, to sing and to suffer Cry, cry, poets of my country, Stems from the same root, of the life that united us. And if you weren’t at my side then there would be no fado, Nor fado singers like me.