Portuguese: The Ideal Choice
for a Wannabe Polyglot

by Kyrié
(Texas, USA)

<I>*She found her way through language learning!</I>

*She found her way through language learning!

Editor's note: The original article was written in English. To read the Portuguese version, click here.


After passing three years of Spanish with flying colors in middle and high school, I discovered that language acquisition came natural for me. So I decided to take advantage of that and expand my boundaries beyond the Anglophone world.

I tried teaching myself German but I never found the language to be appealing. I had only found it to be tough! So then I tried Dutch, but after hearing my first audio tape, I was not impressed by the many guttural sounds it made.

I tried French, which was a bad idea. I went on this website where I had lessons that required me to submit audio recordings for native speakers to rate. That went down like a fart in church! :o)

Not many of them had mercy on my low level of skill and were very rude to me about it. I didn't make any assumptions about all the French, however I knew that if I wanted to learn a language in order to broaden my social circle, French wouldn't be the ideal one to start with.

So I tried Italian after watching Moonstruck. (No lie!) I taught myself some greetings and I agree… The language is beautiful. But one day, I spoke Italian face-to-face with a girl I knew from Italy. She just laughed in my face, which discouraged me a lot.

But then I met this Brazilian boy at my church named Felipe. He was very handsome, and when he spoke to me, he had this beautiful accent. I said, "What's your primary language?" He replied: "Portuguese."

I asked him to say something in that language and I was very impressed by the series of sounds he made in reply. It was a very rhythmic, very soft-sounding language. I wanted to talk to him more about his travels but he seemed to be having trouble understanding my southwestern American accent.

So I wondered what I would sound like speaking that language, in that accent. I got some Portuguese language tapes right away and fell in love with the sounds. I also bought grammar books and went on sites that offered free lessons.

Today, I can probably strike up a conversation and small talk with a Brazilian. I do a bit of grammar each day followed by vocabulary flash cards. I also go to language exchange sites and meet many lusophones.

Brazilians are very nice, very decent people. Many I've talked to were flattered that an American like me wanted to learn their mother tongue.

I almost always look back at what first inspired me to learn Portuguese. It's funny because I always think, "If only Felipe could be here to talk to me now..."



Portuguese version:

Após passar três anos estudando espanhol no ensino básico e médio, descobri que aprender idiomas era algo natural pra mim. Então, decidi tirar partido disso e expandir minhas fronteiras para além do mundo de fala inglesa.

Tentei aprender alemão sozinha, mas não achava o idioma muito atraente. Na verdade, achei difícil pra caramba! Então, tentei holandês, mas depois de ouvir minha primeira fita de áudio, não fiquei muito impressionada com a quantidade de sons guturais que encontrei.

Tentei francês, o que não foi uma boa idéia. Visitei um site onde havia lições que me pediam para submeter gravações de áudio para serem avaliadas por falantes nativos. Foi como soltar um ‘pum’ na igreja!:o)

Muitos deles não tiveram misericórdia com o meu baixo nível de habilidade e foram até mesmo rudes a esse respeito. Eu não criei preconceitos contra os franceses, mas soube que se eu quisesse aprender uma língua a fim de expandir meu círculo social, o francês não seria a melhor escolha.

Então, tentei italiano, após assistir Moonstruck. (Sem brincadeira!) Aprendi alguns cumprimentos e, concordo… A língua é bem bonita. Mas um dia, eu falei cara-a-cara com uma garota que eu conhecia da Itália. Ela só riu na minha cara, o que me desencorajou bastante.

Daí, conheci um garoto brasileiro na igreja, chamado Felipe. Ele era bonito, e quando conversamos, ele tinha um sotaque bonito. Eu disse, “Qual é sua primeira língua?” Ele respondeu: “Português.”

Eu pedi que ele dissesse algo nesse idioma e fiquei impressionada pela série de sons que ele produziu. Era um idioma bastante ritmado e suave. Eu quis conversar com ele sobre suas viagens, mas ele parecia ter dificuldades com o meu sotaque de norte-americana.

Então fiquei me perguntando como eu soaria falando essa língua, com aquele sotaque. Logo em seguida, consegui algumas fitas de português e me apaixonei pelos sons. Comprei também livros de gramática e visitei sites que ofereciam lições gratuitas.

Hoje, consigo provavelmente começar e manter uma pequena conversa com um brasileiro. Eu estudo um pouco de gramática a cada dia, e complemento com cartões de vocabulário. Visito também sites de relacionamento e encontro muitos falantes nativos.

Os brasileiros são bem legais, um povo muito decente. Já conversei com muitos que se sentiram lisonjeados que uma americana como eu quisesse aprender seu idioma.

Com freqüência me recordo do que me inspirou a começar a aprender português. É engraçado, pois eu sempre penso, "Se o Felipe apenas estivesse aqui conversar comigo agora..."

Comments for Portuguese: The Ideal Choice
for a Wannabe Polyglot

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Dec 30, 2015
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Mar 30, 2009
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Technical Hitch
by: Dirty Harry

I just wrote quite a long reponse to Kyrié's article and was surprised whilst writing it to find that I could switch back to her article for reference purposes without losing the text of my comment...that is until I was practically finished and, on switching back LOST THE LOT. I would therefore advise any future bloggers either
to copy with the mouse what they have written every time before they turn back the page, or alternatively to put the message they are commenting on/replying to in a different window. Maybe I'll try again some other day.
Até logo, Dirty Harry

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