Posted in English

An Unlesson

I’ve just had a meeting with a Portuguese teacher who I thought was doing something interesting. Her name is Catarina and she runs The Language Unschool.

If you hang around the various online forums where Portuguese learners congregate, you’ve probably come across a lot of teachers looking for new students among the pool of curious, interested, potential learners who are trying to figure out where to start. The teachers usually have YouTube channels with a range of topics new learners are interested in: how to watch subtitled TV, how to use Ser and Estar, how to say the days of the week and so on, and they use that to draw in paying punters.

Catarina was fishing in darker waters though. She contacted me via Reddit after I’d already been writing in WritestreakPT every day for a few weeks and invited me for a free consultation. I liked the sound of the school. The package has a few components: a smartphone app, grammar videos, group sessions activities that aim to draw out people’s Portuguese voice and getting them talking. She seemed very switched on and presented the options well.

She’d really made an effort to demonstrate her personal touch too, because she’d looked at some of my recent posts, where I’ve talked about my January yoga binge and she’d actually teamed up with a local yoga teacher and made a video about yoga in Portuguese, released on the day she contacted me ūüĎá

As a piece of entrepreneurship, it was impressive. I felt like she was making an effort to win me over as a customer: where most teachers aim for broad appeal, she seemed to be aiming for a specific niche. That’s how it felt anyway: the approach, the description, even the pricing structure, all seemed to be tailored to suit people who had already made up their mind to stick at it long term.

Anyway, I tried out the yoga video yesterday morning . I had to turn the subtitles on because I couldn’t hear very well but the inbuilt YouTube subtitles have a black background. That created some unexpected humour, because at one point the teacher got down on the floor and… And then I couldn’t see her any more! It looked like she’d had a sudden attack of shyness and decided to hide behind the subtitles, which made me laugh out loud. Anyway, if you fancy giving it a go, maybe play with the video settings and see if you can change the subtitles so they don’t have a background.

As I’ve said in some previous posts, doing workouts in Portuguese is a good way of learning some of the more niche body vocabulary and you’ll get a decent stretch out of it too, so what’s not to like?

I’m still pondering whether to go for the course. I’ll sleep on it. I definitely like the idea, and I need something to boost me towards spoken fluency, but I’m not sure how it fits into the rest of my life. Also, with the third world war around the corner, maybe nothing matters any more.

Hm, got a bit dark there at the end, didn’t it? I caught a glance at the news. Sorry.

Posted in English, Portuguese

The Yogaing Dead

Here’s a text I wrote, with correction notes at the bottom. Thanks to Eqdif and Dani_Morgenstern for the help. I’ve finished my thirty day yoga experiment now but as you can see we’re still using it as a family workout despite the lack of floor space in our flat. Writing about yoga on here has brought me a lot of new follows and likes from yoga-related bloggers, which is nice (hello yoga peeps!) but I hope they don’t think I’m some sort of fitness influencer because I can’t live up to that kind of expectation!

This isn’t the routine we were doing but it’s by the same instructor and it seems to fit the theme of the text!

A minha filha anda cada vez mais obcecada com a saga* Walking Dead, traduzida em franc√™s. Mas ela precisa de ajuda portanto lemos juntos. Hoje pass√°mos umas horas a ler. Uma vez que n√£o tinha feito o meu yoga di√°rio** (29 dias malta!), sugeri “faz uma sess√£o de Yoga comigo e depois lemos mais umas p√°ginas.” ela concordou mas com pouco entusiasmo.

Durante a aula, estavamos de pé, ela no meu lado esquerdo, com as ancas dobradas***, as cabeças viradas para baixo e os braços pendurados frouxamente em direcção ao chão.

A professora disse “vira a cabe√ßa para a direita”. Obedecemos. “Depois, volta para o centro… Agora, vira a cabe√ßa novamente mas desta vez para a esquerda.”

Virei a cabe√ßa na dire√ß√£o dela. Ela estava ainda virada para mim. Os nossos olhos encontraram-se e ela gemeu “Riick Grrriiimes”. Desat√°mos √†s gargalhadas.

* Although S√©rie can be used it’s used to refer to a TV series, and I’m talking about the series of graphic novels, hence the word saga instead.

** Despite ending in an a, yoga is masculine apparently.

*** what I’m describing here is what the yoga instructor calls a “forward fold”, but the expression I tried to use – “dobrados da anca” = “bent from the hips” doesn’t really work so I’ve used the suggested “with our hips bent”. TBH, it’s a slightly odd phrase even in English, so I shouldn’t be that surprised but I’m pretty sure it’s how she describes the pose.

Posted in English

Live Yoga All The Time

Returning to my recent theme, I’ve been doing yoga in January and I signed up for a Hatha Yoga class with A Escola Sunshine Yoga so I could try a live lesson instead of just following a YouTube video. And of course I wanted to challenge my Portuguese anatomy vocabulary. And I was pleased to find I could get what she was talking about most of the time, although listening through a tinny laptop speaker made it hard to follow all the instructions and I had to look at the screen quite a lot.

The instructor could see us students too, of course, and gave us feedback. It was a good session – interesting and challenging and twice as long as the American YouTube videos I’ve been watching, so I really felt like it was money well spent. Everyine was very welcoming too, which was nice.

Posted in Portuguese

C√£o Com a Cabe√ßa Para Baixo

Yep, more yoga in today’s corrected text. Thanks to Dani for the corrections. I’ve out footnotes at the bottom, mainly cool new (to me) vocabulary.

Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Pupper

(Este texto √© uma tradu√ß√£o da descri√ß√£o de Downward Facing Dog [nesta p√°gina ](https://destinationyoga.co.uk/latest-news/poses/downward-dog/) mas acho que o ingl√™s n√£o √© perfeito portanto, fiz algumas altera√ß√Ķes. Tamb√©m ouvi “C√£o Olhando Para Baixo” e “Cachorro olhando para baixo” em v√°rios sites brasileiros e uma vez “C√£o boca para baixo” num √ļnico site PT-PT. A p√°gina relativa √† postura Downward Facing Dog n√£o tem tradu√ß√£o em portugu√™s.)

Para começar, fica de gatas* e verifica que os joelhos estão logo atrás das ancas. As tuas mãos(1) devem estar à largura dos ombros**. Estica amplamente os dedos. Pressiona com as mãos contra o tapete*** e suavemente mete os dedos dos pés por baixo dos pés. Inspira profundamente. Depois, continua a pressionar no tapete e expira profundamente, levantando os joelhos do chão e endireitando as pernas tanto quanto possível.

N√£o te esque√ßas inspirar e expirar**** profundamente e podes aproveitar de se mover dentro da tua postura. Podes pedalar com os p√©s para desfrutar da***** sensa√ß√£o de extens√£o atr√°s das pernas. Tenta criar mais espa√ßo entre os ombros e relaxar o pesco√ßo. Relaxar os m√ļsculos do rosto. Tenta levantar mais as ancas durante a inspira√ß√£o e pressionar com os calcanhares contra o ch√£o durante a expira√ß√£o.
Não há problema se as pernas estiverem ligeiramente dobradas. Simplesmente desfruta do alongamento e da experiência de criar espaço na parte posterior do corpo.

Ap√≥s algumas respira√ß√Ķes, deixa os joelhos cair suavemente para o tapete, estica os dedos dos p√©s e deixa as ancas descer para a “postura de crian√ßa”.

(1) fiz um erro de digita√ß√£o nesta palavra e a autocorre√ß√£o tentou acertar. Quase publiquei o texto com “As tuas mamilos devem estar √† largura dos ombros.” ūüė¨ N√£o tentes isto em casa.

*De gatas = “on all fours”

**a largura dos ombros =”shoulder width apart”

***tapete is used for “yoga mat” as well as other kinds of rugs

****I used inalar and exalar in a couple of places thinking they were other ways of saying inhale and exhale. Both words do exist but they aren’t synonymous with inspirar and expirar, which are the words I should have used.

*****Desfrutar, like gostar, needs “de”

Posted in Portuguese

Yoga: Legbelly.

Another corrected text with footnotes. Thanks to Cataphract for the corrections

J√° fiz duas sess√Ķes de Yoga (link to previous post about my yoga NY resolution) com uma professora americana e uma com uma brasileira mas ainda n√£o experimentei os professores portugueses sugeridos por outros redditores. As aulas s√£o v√≠deos de YouTube, mas apetece-me experimentar uma aula ao vivo com um portugu√™s se for poss√≠vel.

O curso da brasileira √© demasiado f√°cil mas o da americana √© melhor. √Č muito desafiante aos m√ļsculos da barriga, das costas e das pernas. Deixou-me com dores de perna, principalmente nas… Hum panturrilhas*….? Os m√ļsculos da parte posterior da perna, entre o tend√£o de Aquiles e o joelho.

*This does seem to be *a* right word for calves, yes, but the corrector had to use a dictionary and that doesn’t seem to be a good sign! “G√©meos” is more common. This is weird since the same word also means “twins”. OK, I can see thinking of your calves as “the twins”. It’s quite cute, but I can also imagine some scope for confusion if you’re a father of twins but also a yoga enthusiast. “Tenho de alongar os meus g√©meos” “O qu√™? Seu monstro! Deixe os filhos em paz!”

The other fun way of describing that part of the leg is “barriga das pernas” – your legbelly. New favourite expression.

Posted in Portuguese

Yoga √© Iogurte Vegan

Here’s a text about veganuary with some of the more interesting and instructive corrections at the bottom. Thanks to csc_3 for the help

A minha mulher sugeriu que fa√ßamos o desafio de comermos coisas sem cara* durante a m√™s de janeiro**. Tamb√©m sugeriu ioga. A loucura da passagem de ano…

Infelizmente, depois de sugerir este novo modo de vida, ela lembrou que ovos não são vegan. Nem iogurte. E a nossa filha mencionou o seu amor por queijo. Então, vegetatianuary? Eu e a minha esposa fomos ambos vegetarianos desde a adolescência até 2004 quando ela engravidou da*** atual adolescente. Grávidas precisam de proteína. Proteína e chocolate. Proteína e chocolate e quaisquer outras coisas que lhes apetecem**** a qualquer hora do dia. Pois*****, começámos a comer carne naquela altura e hoje em dia esqueço-me como vivi durante os 20 anos de comer vegetais. E difícil imaginar um mês****** inteiro sem frango na salada e sem carne de vaca picada no molho bolonhesa.

E ainda por cima, tenho de fazer yoga?

*This was corrected to “sem carne” but no, vegetarians actually do say things like “I won’t eat anything with a face”.

**I’ll never get used to writing the names of months in lower case.

***Another one of those weird preposition differences between Portuguese and English: she got pregnant of our daughter, not with our daughter.

****I often think of apetecer as meaning to fancy something or feel like doing something but it’s more like “appeal”, so apetece-me means “it appeals to me”. The subject of the verb is the thing, not the person who desires the thing. So in this sentence, you have to give pregnant women what they want, but the subject of the verb is “coisas”. Que lhes (ie to the women) apetecem (they (ie the things) appeal)

***** I’m leaving this in because I think I don’t use pois enough and the more I get used to using it the better but the corrector pointed out that “Ent√£o” would be better in a written text and “pois” would be more common “na oralidade” – ie, in spoken language.

******I wrote “a m√™s” but you can tell it’s masculine because it has a moustache above the e.

By the way, it’s going ok-ish. I keep forgetting I’m meant to be avoiding cheese, butter etc and accidentally putting them in things but I haven’t eaten any meat at all, and even my daughter has voluntarily signed up for a meatless (but not cheeseless) month.

Posted in English

Tuga Yoga

No it isn’t a Massive Attack song, or a river in Cleveland, it’s a follow-up to my last post about yoga/ioga (both spellings seem to be used). Big thanks to Paul who replied directly. I asked some folks on reddit too and these seem to be the available options:

  • RTP Play’s #fitemcasa was Paul’s suggestion and I don’t know why I didn’t think of looking at this sooner, honestly! The sound quality isn’t as good as you’d expect from a national broadcaster, but I guess it was made in the early days of the acovolypse so it’s probably not that surprising that they hadn’t got their act together yet.
  • LiDL (yes, remember them?) have a few yoga workouts in their lockdown workout section, led by Filippa Barros, who I believe is a basketball player.

But those seem to be about the only free ones. Of course, a lot of instructors who used to do only in-person gym classes are now doing online classes, so if you don’t mind paying you could also try

The brazilian instructor I mentioned was a bit disappointing, I’m afraid. Hardly any effort. I felt like I’d barely got started when it ended.

Posted in English

New Year New… Voc√™

I’m a bit run down at the moment. I exercised a lot last year but my knees are feeling the strain. I also have a sore back and, as is traditional at the start of January, I think I’ve gained a few pounds. I’m going to be doing a basic yoga class to work on mobility and core strength in a relatively non-taxing way. I’m mostly looking at a January 30-day workout that’s been recommended to me but I’d love to find a Portuguese instructor I can follow, just because I’d like to follow along and listen to how they describe the various stretches, muscles and so on. I’ve had a look at a Brazilian Yoga teacher called Pri Leite who has January course and seems down-to-earth in the way she presents. Her course doesn’t start till the tenth though (Whaaat? Who waits till the tenth to start their new year’s resolutions? Most of us are giving up by then!) but if anyone knows of a good Portuguese yoga teacher, I’d love to hear about them!