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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Random musings on the Portuguese language [Jun. 14th, 2005|01:17 am]
Brad Fitzpatrick
-- reads like Spanish, but all the determiners, conjunctions and modal verbs are different. they're quickly inferred from context, though. (I'd hope, since the fixed class of words are purportedly what babies learn first in language acquistion..... :-)) i started picking them up when I saw a road sign next to construction that said "os [people] devem utilizar [the sidewalk]" where devem is obviously "are to" / "must"

-- sounds like French but more sharp/consanant-y. (my proper lingusitic terms) Actually it's just full of sounds. Overall it kinda sounds/reads like a bunch of European language, though I suppose that's not fair since I've never looked at the etymologies and who "came first". I hear a fair number of Portguese are tri-lingual (portguese, english, spanish) in at least that they can understand (and speak a little) Spanish, but not vice-versa: Portugese has too many sounds for the Spanish to understand.

-- The word for "the" is "o", which parallels nicely with their cardinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd) which they write like "5o" for 5th. (mnemonic: the 5) and "os" for "all" (mnemonic: the + plural "s"). heh, and I realize they must underline it so it doesn't look like an extra zero!

-- I have "C" and "F" on the hot and cold knobs in the shower, except the "F" is rubbed off to the point of being unreadable. So my first instinct was to turn on the "C" (cold?) until I saw the baday (sp?) had an "F" where the shower was unreadable. So then I thought "frio" (cold) was F, but I still have no clue what "C" is, other than knowing it's definitely not cold! Luckily the shower has a switch to make it into bath mode while you adjust the temperature! :-)

-- the word for "park" is "retire", so it's funny to see "Park here!" signs every couple car lengths saying "Retire aqui!"

-- they use the same word for to lock a window/door (fetchar) as they do for closed (fetchado) like a business, instead of cerrado. So a store is "locked" instead of "closed". Makes me think of Evan's Mena asking him to "close" the light switch. Equally valid, just different convention. Often times a store /is/ closed when it's open, not locked, but when it is closed, it's always locked!

-- the Backstreet Boys are still popular here!? okay, this isn't related to my subject anymore, so I should get off the computer.

Update: most the stuff in this post is wrong. see comments. :-)
LinkReply

Comments:
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[User Picture]From: caladri
2005-06-14 08:30 am (UTC)

lazyweb

Bidet.
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[User Picture]From: dormantdrake
2005-06-14 08:50 am (UTC)
caliente?
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-06-14 08:59 am (UTC)
Durrr, right. Thanks. I blame lack of sleep? :-)
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[User Picture]From: popcultureicon
2005-06-14 09:20 am (UTC)
I am compelled to say "chaud"
I blame Canada.
all i get out of systran is quente and morno for hot and warm respectively.
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From: joaopedro
2005-06-14 10:33 am (UTC)

Backstreet boys are NOT popular here.

Where in hell have you listened to them in Lisbon? At the Hotel? :)
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From: andr3
2005-06-14 11:27 am (UTC)

Re: Backstreet boys are NOT popular here.

i don't think they are.. but since they're coming back they must be playing on MTV or something.

btw, it's "fechar", without the t ;)

i have no idea about C and F on the knobs in the shower.. all i can think of is that maybe it was imported or something.. :-\

are you here in work? just wondering ;)
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[User Picture]From: calliste
2005-06-14 10:50 am (UTC)
I just totally confused myself when thinking about the locked vs. closed thing.
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From: andr3
2005-06-14 11:41 am (UTC)
oh, and i think what they mean by "retire" is to retrieve the ticket from the machines, the parking meters.. the word for "park" is "estacionar". :)
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[User Picture]From: mairead_pt
2005-06-14 11:47 am (UTC)
Must be a Spanish shower though, cause the Portuguese word for Hot is Quente, not Caliente. ;) I'd get confused as well.

The best part and the part that tends to get foreigners the most confused is the Push/Empurre, Pull/Puxe on doors... Hehe. It still gets me pretty confused when I'm abroad.

Hope you're enjoying Portugal, you chose a good weekend to visit with the prolongued holiday and everything.
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[User Picture]From: waider
2005-06-14 11:51 am (UTC)
A college friend studying Spanish and Portugeuese described Portugese as "Spanish with a Cork accent". Obviously this comparison has limited use outside certain geographic locales.
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: brad
2005-06-14 02:00 pm (UTC)
No problem at all. It's not like being in France or anything.
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[User Picture]From: tytso
2005-06-14 12:25 pm (UTC)
I was just down in Brazil a few weeks ago, and one of the things I noticed was the tendency to drop final consonants, much like French. Portugese does seem to be a "harder" language than French though.

I can imagine trying to rank languages in terms of the ratio of vowels to consonant sounds. It would probably go something like French, Portugese, Spanish/English (not sure about the relative ranking of these two), German.
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[User Picture]From: mart
2005-06-14 12:41 pm (UTC)

So is the lightswitch closed when the light is on or off? My first instinct would be for it to be on, because when I think of a switch “being closed” I think of it being in the position where current can pass through it. That might just be electronics-type thinking though.

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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-06-14 02:02 pm (UTC)
I thought the same thing, which is why I remember it being weird: closed was off.
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[User Picture]From: ydna
2005-06-14 01:30 pm (UTC)
"Retire aqui!"

Those aren't parking signs. Those are posted by the Department of Commerce and Tourism. It's marketing to get you to retire there and spend all your money.
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[User Picture]From: ydna
2005-06-14 01:31 pm (UTC)
"Retire aqui!"

(it goes from bad to worse)

Those aren't parking signs. That's where people pull over and change their tires!
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[User Picture]From: bevived
2005-06-14 02:02 pm (UTC)
If it's the same as here, BSB are not still popular but again popular. They are back together and have new music. It's quite scary.
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[User Picture]From: pne
2005-06-14 02:40 pm (UTC)
For me, Portuguese sounds like lots of "sh" and "zh".
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