Day OneJuly 3, 2012
Learning Portuguese

Portuguese: Some Initial Impressions

Most of which have to do with pronunciation.

So, I am a few days into Portuguese, and I am still struggling to get my mouth around the pronunciation. It is like Spanish, and like Italian. The Books I Ordered for Portuguese It is also unlike Spanish, and unlike…

July 5, 2012 | Portuguese

Portuguese: A Big Language Globally

Portuguese is spoken by more people than I realized.

I have been looking forward to Portuguese for a long time. I love Romance languages. This is the fourth I have studied, the others being Spanish, French, and Italian. I am still drinking only one shot of espresso a day,…

July 8, 2012 | Portuguese

Nasal Vowel Sounds

More on Portuguese pronunciation.

Today I crossed paths with a triathlon running through my neighborhood. I love when things like that pop up unexpectedly.  Aquaphor New York City Triathlon, West 72nd Street People Cheering on the Runner-Swimmer-Bikers I am continuing to do battle…

July 9, 2012 | Portuguese

Portuguese Noun Endings and Other Observations

Portuguese feels familiar but is surprising nonetheless.

I have two books called Essential Portuguese Grammar. One of them, published in 1966 and written by Alexander da R. Prista, says something I really like in the introduction: “No self-study or academic course or series of courses…

July 10, 2012 | Portuguese

Portuguese Miscellany

Articles, contractions, and other surprising linguistic features.

Portuguese has some odd contractions involving prepositions and articles. Articles in Portuguese are funny to begin with. At least to my eyes and ears at present. “The” is o (masculine) or a (feminine). Those…

July 11, 2012 | Portuguese

Ellis Island!

A lot of languages passed through here.

My niece and nephews are in town from Italy, so today my husband and I took them to Ellis Island. I hadn’t been in 20 years. Dramatic Cityscape from Boat to Ellis Island Lady Liberty The movie they show at…

July 12, 2012 | Portuguese

Roaming Genders

What is feminine in one language is masculine in another.

In reading through Sheila R. Ackerlind and Rebecca Jones-Kellogg’s book Portuguese: A Reference Manual, I keep getting surprised by how things actually look on a printed page. How they sound in Pimsleur does not always lead…

July 19, 2012 | Portuguese

Trapped by a Storm? Learn a Language

A strategy to cope with torrential downpours, train rides, and other unavoidable events and situations.

Yesterday it hailed. Large balls of ice on a day when temperatures were well into the nineties.  At the time the ice started pounding the windows, I was teaching a grammar seminar at a client’s midtown location. For…

July 23, 2012 | Portuguese

Eyeball Mishap, Grammar Suffers

I scratch my cornea, which is bad for studying and also seeing.

Sigh. I didn’t mention this previously, but I scratched my cornea about 10 days ago. No idea how. It hurt like hell and made reading a pain. So relatively speaking, I have been doing more Pimsleur lessons than usual and…

July 27, 2012 | Portuguese

Italian Under Assault!

Portuguese is siphoning off my skills.

Now that I drink only one espresso a day, I consistently fall asleep early and wake up early. I am no longer a vampire. Verdi Square at Six-Something in the Morning Some New York Early Birds I wake up so…