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Finally, six weeks after school started, I was accepted in the "Portuguese for Foreigners" course. Segunda e quinta feira do 19:00 ate 21:30 horas. Google translate says I got it right: "Monday and Thursday from 19:00 until 21:30 hours."

This past Thursday was my first day in school. There were some 20 students, half of them Russian or Ukrainian ladies, the rest a motley crew from all over the world, me being the Latin American representative.

We got homework, two essays, one about self and the other about our family. Myself:

Meu nome é Denny Schlesinger. Eu nasci em Berlim, Alemanha oitenta anhos atrás. Aos seis anhos de idade nós emigramos a Venezuela onde passei a maior parte de minha vida. Eu estudei au Canada e nos Estados Unidos da America. Meu primeiro trabalho foi na IBM, onde eu aprendi informática que se tornou uma paixão ao longo da vida. Depois de cinco anos na IBM fui trabalhar ate dois autras companhias americanas. Em 1967 eu me tornei independente. Com meu anterior chefe fundamos uma companhia de asesores empresariales basado em nossa esperiença em informática. Depois de dez anos, decidi mudar de ramo, desde menino eu estava interessado em vender seguros. No hotel do meu pai, ouvi uma apresentação sobre o seguro que permaneceu em minha mente. Era a época dos primeiros computadores pessoais. Um amigo era o distribuidor do Apple II em Caracas e ele me emprestou um. Enquanto eu gostava de seguros, o computador Apple II despertou meu amor pela informática. Novamente mude de ramo, eu abri uma loja de venda dos computadores pessoais. Três anos mais tarde la devaluaçion da moeda e as politicas do estado quebraron meo negocio. Eu não me deixo bater. Fui à Califórnia para a venda do nosso software. Em 1990 eu regressei a Venezuela donde eu segui activo escribendo software para o internet. Em abril deste ano, vim a Portugal para escapar do desastre político e econômico da Venezuela. Agora aprendo a falar português.

Denny Schlesinger
Com a ajuda do Google Translate


Now you know all about me! It's very much like Spanish yet very different. The Russian ladies have a harder time, they use the Cyrillic alphabet. Alphabet wise the difference for me is that they have a bunch of accents Spanish does not use.

Denny Schlesinger
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It's a beautiful language. A lot of "shoe shoe shoe".
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Boa tarde danny

Sua Portuguese e muito bom. Eu morei em Brasil para 5 anos quando eu era uma menino.

I’m totally impressed. I find it incredibly hard to write in Portuguese. Much easier to speak. At least for me.

Tchau

Darryl
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Kind of you, Darryl. Google translate gets a lot of the credit. I would write my version of the Portuguese sentence and then plug it into Google translate looking for bugs and there sure were many. Sometimes Google translate would come up with crazy suggestions but in time I think I got most of it right. The issue is whether it will stick in my brain. One can't use Google translate when talking to people. One problem I have is that I tend to address people in Spanish most of the time and they understand! I'm going to have to force myself to speak in Portuguese, broken or not.

Ate manhá. (Spanish: Hasta mañana)

Google: Did you mean: Ate amanhã

See what I mean? ;)

Denny Schlesinger



BTW, I have a similar relationship with German as you have with Portuguese. We spoke German at home as a kid but I never learned to read or write it.
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Great story.

Question: The paragraph that starts "Three years later the devaluation of the currency..." is repeated twice.

Intentional? Or the result of going back and forth with translator?

Still great story. Good luck with really getting a grip on the new language. If it were me, I'd go the lazy route and use my 'good Spanish'! Too old of an aged canine here to learn new tricks.

BB
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Question: The paragraph that starts "Three years later the devaluation of the currency..." is repeated twice.

Intentional? Or the result of going back and forth with translator?


NEVER MIND! The repeated words occurred on THIS end when running the text thru the translator!

(Wonder how that happened???)
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Question: The paragraph that starts "Three years later the devaluation of the currency..." is repeated twice.

Must be a trick your browser is playing on you! I don't see it.

My Portuguese: Deve ser um truco da browser de voçe! Eu nao o vo.
Real Portuguese: Deve ser um truque do seu navegador! Eu não vejo isso.


Too old of an aged canine here to learn new tricks.

I'm not giving myself high odds but I can't lose by trying. You always need a goal in life. ;)

Denny Schlesinger
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3"x5" index cards.
Port or Eng in the right upper hand corner.

Great for people with ADHD like me.

You can carry them around in your pocket. Put the ones you answer in a different pile so they don't get in the way of the ones you don't know.

My father was American Consul General for 5 years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. All my friends were Brazilians, I was in a Brazilian Boy scouts, I had one hour of Portuguese every day at school. I was born in Buenos Aires Argentina and then we moved to Panama and then to Naples, Italy.

I must say the Portuguese is really messing with my Spanish. I am more interested in the Spanish since I am spending a lot of time in Costa Rica and plan to spend a lot more since I just retired.
For two years now I have popped down to Brazil to visit childhood friends and when coming back to Costa Rica I had a difficult time remembering which language to use. Many words are so close. "Muito" or "Mucho"? "Tudo bem" or "Todo bien"? Oi vay!
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Oi vay! ??? 😇

I didn't understand the 3"x5" index card bit. Typical phrases?

Now you can carry around Google Translate on your smartphone.

Denny Schlesinger
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I do carry around Google Translate. That is how I set up the flash cards. I need to quiz myself several times before I learn something.
And if I need something on the fly I use the iPhone and Google Translate. But I can squint my eyes and think of a million things I would like to say in my journey. "Do you have sister?" "I need some medication for traveller's diarrhea" "I didn't vote for Trump but he seems to have a positive effect on the stock market" "Put that gun away, I don't have any money" "I like my coffee black, like my soul"
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I love your post about Portuguese. Portugal is on my bucket list. I plan to ride a bike thru Portugal on the Camino Real or whatever they call it.
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It would be "Caminho Real." Kings Road.

Denny Schlesinger
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