Tuesday, December 13, 2011

fluent in crazy

We had some guests over for dinner last night.  Some lovely Brasilian girls who are up here for their "summer vacation" working at a hotel in the resort town next door.  There are a few things wrong with this situation.  One, they are here for 3 of the worst months Wisconsin has.  While back home, it's hot and hot and NOT snowing.  The poor girls were freezing and thought the frost they'd seen on the grass was snow.  Um...  no... it's the 13th of December and in the last 2 winters I've spent here, we had a massive snow storm by the 1st of December that didn't melt until March at the earliest.  They don't have a car - and no snow gear.  DUDE.  YOU SHOULD GOOGLE SOMEPLACE BEFORE YOU MOVE THERE. Just a thought.

And then there's the little issue of not speaking English.  What with them being super shy, I had to guide and carry the entire conversation in Portuguese.  Now, when I'm around people who can't speak English my Portuguese gets slightly better, but only sliiiiightly.  Let me give you an example of how bad the conversation was, translated into English:

You can to eat.  I making it, but I bad cook.  Sorry!  I hate snow.  You hate snow? Where you walk in Dells?  Ah, library. We have library.  You like to cook?  I hate to cook because I very bad. Um... LIAR!!!!

(I only add "liar"into every conversation because I know the word and I'm proud of it.  It's never in context.)

Anywho, the new year is almost upon us and I'm wondering if I should add studying Portuguese to my resolutions.  I kind of do every year, but then I realize I don't live in Brasil and therefore there is no need for it.  Except I keep running into Brasilians who can't speak English - even here in the frozen tundra of the Midwest.

Now, how does a person learn another language?  I know I live in a house with a fluent Portuguese speaker, but if he was going to teach or even speak it around here, I think he'd have done it by now.  At LEAST by the time he moved me 7 months pregnant TO Brasil.  So great bloggy world, enlighten me, remembering that I am also very lazy - how do I do some Portuguese learning?

But if I don't get around to it again this year, if I run into another Brasilian, I can still at least ask them where the bathroom is and call them a liar.

9 comments:

The Pagets in Florida said...

I suggest you read Harry Potter in Portuguese. I read the first 2 books in Spanish. It really helped actually. The trick is to find a book you are interested enough in reading to finish it. Also having an English copy on hand makes a huge difference.

The Atomic Mom said...

Read a book. My mom learned Spanish by reading The Book of Mormon in English and Spanish side by side. If you have cable or a ROKU try and find a Portugese station and listen to the news or a show. Then get a conversational Portugese book and learn the phrases.

Mara said...

Hey,eu tenho uma otima idea. Vem passar um tempo aqui no Colorado. Teaq and I will only speak Portuguese with you. Or you could call me everyday and we could practice Portuguese over the phone. A good motivation maybe is the fact that your daughter IS Brazilian. Tenho outra idea, so fale com o Jared em portuguese, mesmo que ele nao fale com vove em portuguese.

Jane said...

I hear Rosetta Stone is very good...Did you ask then why they chose Wisconsin as a vacation destination? I mean it can't be the first place to show up in traavel brocheures, even in Brazil.
Your Portugese is much better than my Spanish so there is that to be proud of.

Anonymous said...

Good Job, Mara :D Excellent suggestion. Let a non-English-speaking person live in your home for 3 months and VOILA ya'll be speaking Por-tu-gase like pros. That's how T. learned to speak like a native...sans accent, even.
Maybe take a look at:
www.pimsleurapproach.com
GOOD LUCK. This is a worthy goal.

jkcurtis said...

Oh Reva . . . you had me and Elysa in tears we were laughing so hard with this post. I so miss having you around! Rosetta Stone is really awesome and is totally worth the money. We have it for Spanish and we all started out working really hard on it until life got crazy. Anyway, I can't believe how much of it I have still retained when I see or hear spanish here and there. (I'm just talking words that I recognize, not like I was ever really speaking it. But I really think if you kept it up you would. Especially since you already know a lot of it. Ask Santa if he will bring it for you.

Elizabeth said...

You could move back to Brazil...but that would probably involve starting baby #3, Jared losing his job and then finding a super fabulous job in Brazil again...and then you moving 7 months prego and waiting ever so long for your stuff to arrive AGAIN...and all those other fun things that happened...all with the added fun of having Wondergirl and the Dude there as well.

It's not my favorite idea.

You could also have Jared immerse you and the kiddos in it. No English evenings. Could be fun.

Maria said...

Lol!!! That is one awesome conversation!!!

Lyndel said...

My little brother (11) used Rosetta Stone to learn Italian. If he could do it, then you can totally use Rosetta Stone for Portuguese. And you can do it at your leisure. Go for it!

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