Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tudo bem?

I'm halfway through my Spanish and Portuguese courses! And thoroughly confused...

It was a great idea to brush up on my language skills before the "big trip". But... Maybe it wasn't the best idea to take the first Spanish course in about ten years and at the same time start learning Portuguese. Though I am feeling more and more confident with Spanish (and obviously also noticing how limited my vocabulary still is). It's the Portuguese I'm struggling with.

Ok it does help that I know some Spanish, Portuguese has mostly similar words.. of course they tend to be spelled slightly differently. And if they happen to be spelled exactly the same then they are surely pronounced differently!! Why? I've always loved that I pick up pronunciation very quickly but Portuguese is one tricky "#¤@&! Every time there's a j, r, ge or gi I have to remind myself that they are completely different than in Spanish... So basically every word trips me up! Most times de, di, te and ti are pronounced something like Spanish chi or English je (that's odd!) - but not always (I haven't been able to find or determine an exact rule for that). The a, e and o are different too - but only when there's no weight. Don't get me started on the nasal vowels...

And hey, let's throw the Portuguese of Portugal with the Brazilian Portuguese (which I'm focused on) in the mix: it's different too!! The pronunciation, the vocabulary, the grammar... I think even the teacher doesn't always know which she's teaching us.

So what have I learned from this...? Español es facil.... O português é difícil! Juntos: pesadelo!! A nightmare!! It's going to be interesting when I'm first one month in the Yucatán and then land in Rio.... ¡Dios mío! It'll probably resemble something like this:

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