Tag Archives: learning portuguese

Learning portuguese, poispois!

I have been listening for a year to the professora of the children, during the break. After the first confusion about where the boys (in those days 6 & 8) had to go to school, it turned out that they didn’t speak much Portuguese yet. And we were not exactly fluent, even though we had been learning portuguese for a year.

So I was allowed to go to the school of 8 children and 1 teacher: professora Ana Paula

A cheerful warm chubby woman, who talked to me every break in fast portuguese. A good listening test, but I couldn’t say much in return. And I wasn’t comfortable enough in that foreign language, to throw those typical inserts through her conversation, like: “Pronto!” or “Claro!” or “Pois!”

So I actually often said “Sim!”, and if it was serious business: “Simsimsim!”

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If you are constantly translating in your head (when you’re learning portugese) then you don’t chat that relaxed

After 18 years I manage to rattle back considerably, I have developed an automatism to avoid the linguistic pitfalls in a conversation, and I even say “Pronto!” at the end of a chat once or twice.

“Pronto” is an introduction to the ending of a conversation

But what strikes me these days is that the “pois” disappears. I don’t hear it often anymore. That, of course, was one of the first words I picked up; mainly because friends have the last name Poiesz. Same pronounciation. So that was double fun.

The Poiesz-clan had a lot of fun because they walked on the market and always heard their last name. The Poiesz-es have an excellent sense of humor anyway.

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On the market you often see little groups of people chatting, but the Portuguese were – are – always up for a chat. It was even fairly normal to come across two cars that blocked the road to have a chat. Then you just waited. Nobody honks, or gets impatient. Not here in the country anyway.

In the supermarket ditto, two acquaintances who blocked the path because they had to fill eachother in about the latest details in their lives, and a lot of “pois-es” were involved.
It is a consenting sound, it means something like: I hear you / yesyes / sure / dude! / wellwell / exactly!

I hear it less and less. That can mean two things. It has become normal for me – there are more things that tell me that I have integrated quite well. I no longer fall back from awe when I see a portuguese man grabbing his earlobe in a restaurant to indicate that it is very, very tasty. I am no longer almost moved to death by the sight of a beautiful, clean, wide, quiet beach full of mussel shells (well…. this one’s on the edge ….)

I suspect that the portugese society is changing considerably

The “pois” consensus is disappearing a bit. Young people shout “Fixe!” (feesh!”) when they think something’s great, but I rarely hear them doing “pois”. The ultimate expression of harmony – “girl, I know exactly what you’re talking about, you’re so right, I know!” – is slowly disappearing.

It must be a different fashion. More from older people. The youngsters shout: “Fixe!”, which is also a consent, but in a different, more enthusiastic way. They’re not yet in that calmer pois-like phase of their lives.

Have a nice chat, com calma, it’ll come, poispois … maybe it ‘ll come-back! Just give it time …

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Porthola! There’s our Portuguese teacher from 20 years ago

Meanwhile, everyone is back to everyday life, with a vague memory of the holiday. Life gobbles you up, and drags you on. This also happens here, but there is space here literally and figuratively to look back, to be equally nostalgic.

It’s still dripping guests

Two French brothers with a very small dog; a big German family with nice plans for the future, who will stay here for at least a year; a couple of Portuguese couples and a young German couple with a very cute baby of almost a year.

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All in all still a full village

It’s difficult to communicate with the French brothers. They only speak French, and I’ve lost that when learning portuguese. It looks too much alike, I have to think for too long. But I still understand it, so if the other party at least understands English, it’s fine.

It’s a bit of a babylonic confusion with the two, cause they don’t, but we’ll get out of it. It’s easier with the Germans, because I still speak German, and they speak English well. Both German families have plans to move here, so one of my first questions is: “Do you speak the language already?” The other: “Have you been here in the winter?”

With all that summertime nostalgia in my soul I immediately associate myself back to before this far-reaching emigration, helped by a message via Messenger

I recognize her name immediately, even though it is almost 20 years since we saw each other for the last time. That’s not always the case – I have quite a few names to remember, but this is one that is connected to an important moment in my life. And we’ve had more than a year with each other, once a week.

It took us years before it happened, and in those years of preparation little brother Broes was born, and besides packing many, many boxes,we also learned the language.

At first from Jeanine, who at that moment was expecting the boy who is here and now 20 as if nothing happened and is sitting at the table like a big guy! For me it’s like: one moment a bubble in your mother’s belly, and the next moment a handsome young man of 20. Porthola! Time certainly flies!

Sometimes it was difficult for Jeanine, the personal reasons not always clear, but everyone has less energy for earthly things when she is pregnant, so occasionally Miguel came to teach on Friday night.

Jeanine and Miguel – a cross-border marriage: he Portugal, she Holland: Porthola, as their translation-services-empire is called

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We learned from them the term “Porthollands” – and we still speak that today. Dutch laced with portuguese, and in our case also with English words and expressions. My sons speak better portuguese than I do now, even though they started with a huge backlog at the time.

And even though I have a somewhat more limited vocabulary, I am still grateful to Jeanine and Miguel for their efforts to teach us the first principles of the fine Portuguese language.

September nostalgia? No … not only that …

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.