July 28, 2012 | Portuguese

Cornea Rebellion!

Do my eyeballs dislike Portuguese or something?

Rats. I did it again. A few days ago somehow I managed to scratch, or at least abrade, my cornea again. Technically both corneas this time, according to the doctor, though only one is truly bothering me. Another…

July 30, 2012 | Portuguese

Days of the Week

Portuguese weekdays surprise me!

Today was a Monday. This seems like a good day to mention days of the week. Portuguese days of the week are not at all what I was expecting, based on previous encounters with Romance languages. Saturday (sábado<…

August 1, 2012 | Portuguese

Portuguese Does Not Seem to Like Ambiguity

Pronouns show up more often and in more explicit forms than in other Romance languages.

My Upper West Side neighborhood is not, to the best of my knowledge, filled with Portuguese and Brazilian institutions. Running errands today, though, I swung by this building someone had told me about: the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, at 70th…

August 7, 2012 | Portuguese

Caffeine-Free Studies

I quit caffeine entirely and my head didn't explode. But it might have shrunk.

I am now a totally uncaffeinated student of Portuguese. Four days ago I quit my morning shot of espresso. Espresso was the only source of caffeine in my life. Studying at a Cafe Caffeine-Free Flags of Many Nations, Rockefeller Center…

August 11, 2012 | Portuguese

The Portuguese R

It took me a while, but I think I now have this consonant at least partly under control.

Today when I was at Aroma Café studying over my (uncaffeinated!) morning cup of chamomile, Brazil’s soccer team was playing Mexico on the television. I love the Olympics. Soccer: Brazil vs. Mexico at London Olympics I did Pimsleur while …

August 15, 2012 | Portuguese

Many Ways “to Be” in Portuguese

I think I have already encountered five ways to render "to be" in Portuguese...

Rainy day in New York today! Days like this are so romantic. I taught an all-day grammar course for one of my corporate clients today. I always love teaching grammar, but this was one of my favorite such classes in…

August 22, 2012 | Portuguese

A Change of Plan

I am adding some time to Portuguese.

As previously documented, I have had some mysterious vision troubles for more than a month now. These have prevented me from pursuing grammar with my usual abandon. I Need to Dig In! Because of my mutinous eyeballs, I would like…

September 1, 2012 | Portuguese

Little Brazil

Today was Lavagem da Rua 46, which translates as "Cleansing of 46th Street."

Little Brazil in New York City is little. It lies on 46th Street between 5th and 6th avenues, and there are on this particular block enough other languages/countries represented in the retail establishments that in the past, when walking…

September 5, 2012 | Portuguese

The 28th Annual Brazilian Day NY Festival

Midtown Manhattan full of music, food, and festivities, Brazilian style!

On Sunday, my husband, Brandt, and I journeyed from home to Little Brazil for the annual Brazilian Day in New York festival. This journey was about a mile and a half. That’s one of the things I love about…

September 9, 2012 | Portuguese

Prescriptivism Versus Descriptivism

One of my Portuguese grammar books is trying to teach me spoken Portuguese.

Over the past few days I have been working a lot in my Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar. Written by John Whitlam and published by Routledge, it actually consists of two parts: a “practical” guide and a workbook. Teaching…