Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happenings e Coisas Interessantes

Well, June has flown by and July is steadily approaching. It's been a pretty hectic last couple of days as I finally had my wisdom teeth removed Thursday. Honestly, I was in and out of the operating station in about 10 minutes. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, given my first experience. Without a transatlantic flight to catch, there really isn't any pressure or stress this time for me. Poor Cesca isn't having an easy time, but I think she will bounce back in a few days.

In other news, the trip to Vegas has been booked!  Just gotta book my Phantom Las Vegas tickets and we'll be all set! We're heading there in the middle of August, just a week or so before I head back to IC for the Fall semester. I think it will be interesting restarting my schooling in America again, because this time I'll be readjusting from having all Italian teachers. I'm grateful I'll still have lots of Italian practice, what with tutoring, TAing and having a conversation class.

In the vein of languages, I've decided to take on a new challenge. When Cesca told Ted what I was doing, he responded "So our weird sister is doing something to make her even more weird?" What am I doing that is so weird? Learning Portuguese of course!

Now, why learn Portuguese? It's not a widely spoken language in the US, nor really in Europe, two of the places I see myself living in the future, nor it is particularly easy. And considering that out of the millions of people who speak it, many  speak the Brazilian counterpart to the European one that I am learning.

There are a few reasons. One, because on my trip to Portugal this past Spring Break, I fell in love. Fell in love with the country, the people and the language. It's strange, Russian-esque sound intrigued me, and much like the first time I seriously listened to Italian (which, coincidentally was when I listened to the Italian version of Phantom), I thought to myself 'I have to learn this language.' Second, I think it's a very interesting language. It's closer to Spanish than Italian in the Romance family, and since I'm having Liz review Spanish with me when we get back to school, I figure my Spanish will help my Portuguese and vice versa.  And third, I'm already planning on learning some basic French second semester senior year (I chose to avoid another 18 credit semester) I might as well have the basics (or slightly more advanced) covered of 4 of the mainstream Romance Languages- Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese. That gives me a pretty good European language basis, I think. Don't get me started on regional differences and dialects. That's a fight for another lifetime.

I'm finding learning the basics of a new language thrilling. Maybe I should have been a linguist! Portuguese is more difficult to me than either Spanish or Italian were, simply because it's pronunciation is actually quite bizarre. Spanish and Italian have basic rules and they keep to them most of the time. Portuguese also has basic rules but they're so different and contrary to the other two.The basic rules just don't seem that basic to me! My mind is stuck in the sounds that Spanish and Italian make- though there are minor differences, they tend to sound much more similar.

Here are some strange rules that European Portuguese has:

s- often pronounced as a 'sh' if in the middle or end of the word.
           Examples- tres (traysh)-3, estou (eshtoo)- I, estrelas (esh-treh-lash)-stars

vowels elongated at the ends of words
          Examples- gato (gah-too)- cat, estado (esh-tad-doo)-state,
                           oito (oy-too)-8

te- pronounced chee
      Example- noite (noy-chee)- night, sete (say-chee)- seven

No il/la/lo/i/le/gli or el/la/los/las. The articles in Portuguese are o, a, os and as.

There are plenty others too, but I won't get into those
To see the similiarities between Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, I've made this chart to show the numbers 1-10. Can you tell which language is which??

See? They're pretty similar albeit with minor spelling and pronunciaitoin nuances.

Hope you've enjoyed a spontaneous Portuguese lesson! 

Anyway, so far I've learned the basics, numbers, days of the week, that kind of stuff. But I'm having lots of fun and looking forward to the next time I go to Portugal so I can use my Portuguese! Because really, there probably won't be many opportunities to use it here haha!  I'm thinking after French I want to branch out into a new language tree and maybe start picking up some Russian. But I guess we will have to see. Who knows where life will take me!

Tudo bem! Adeus!

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