domingo, março 22, 2009

I just noticed the other day that Ju is now producing the "lh" of Portuguese - he no longer says "Olla, mommy!" but "Olha, mommy!" For those unaware, this particular phoneme of Portuguese is similar to the sound of putting the sound of l and y together in English and is difficult for Americans to get right. Many people here have told me they can always spot a gringo because of their lack of proper "lh." Mine is okay, if I do say so myself, but it hardly holds a torch to my not-even-four-year-old son's who gets to speak it naturally. Since I find that I generally find that I follow the same kinds of time lines for speaking Portuguese as children here do (i.e. a child will not use the past tense correctly until around or after age 4, I have been here for more than 4 years, and I find I am using it mostly correctly and innately), there may be no hope for me, as I have been in Brasil longer than Ju has been in existence.

sábado, março 21, 2009

I have been living here about 5 years and I generally can hold my own in Portuguese, although occasionally on the phone I have trouble with people who don't understand that they need to speak slower rather than louder. I was trying to spell something on the phone yesterday - I generally have no problem remembering to say the letters in Portuguese rather than English, except for a few like Q. But what to say when you want to differentiate between things like B,V,D,E etc? I found myself reverting to names, rather than words - V de Victoria, B de Bernardo. I could not for the life of me come up with the usual things like we use in English like B as in boy, V as in valentine. I have no idea what the "regular" words used in this kind of context are. I should probably find that out.