I’m working on my Portuguese even on a busy week like this one. Two problems have been on my mind this time. The first one was about basic Portuguese vocabulary: how to ensure that I can get by with the simple requests and communication strategies? The second one was more connected to input: where to find good, extended reading in Portuguese? I’m happy to share the findings with you!
1. Classroom Language for use everywhere: how to make anyone teach you Portuguese
This is one of the basic premises of my Guerrilla Language Learning course: anyone can be your teacher if you train them right. For this, some basic vocabulary is needed – to make sure you get across fine, and to help other people help you.
I’m talking about basic phrases like “I’m sorry,” “Thank you” and “I have a question” – but also about some more learning-oriented lexicon such as “How do you say…” or “Did I say it OK?” When you learn those, you can engage in lots more communication at beginner level. There would be no need to switch between Portuguese and English, for example, since you could go through explanation, examples and correction in the language you’re learning. Win!
Best of all, this process is easy to do by yourself. Here are the stages:
– Use Google Translate to arrive at the translations of the phrases you need.
– Check the translations with native speakers to make sure this is what they would actually say 🙂
– Save the glossary in a txt file: Separate the English and Portuguese phrases by the same sign every time, and try to have a new English-Portuguese pair on every line (see screenshot below for how I did it)
– Import data into Quizlet – it lets you preview the set before it’s saved, and allows you to choose how you formatted it.
– Name your set and save it. Voila: Quizlet will even add pronunciation if it’s Portuguese!
– (Follow the link to the set I made just now)
2. Extended Reading: Camões Institute
I love those institutes. Goethe Institut helped me with German, Alliance française is amazing for French…and now there’s Camões for my Portuguese.
I’m not going to repeat myself: I still don’t think I read enough in foreign languages, and you are urged to read more than me 🙂 If it’s Portuguese you’re after, follow this link to get free reading texts in Portuguese. It’s various themes and levels of difficulty, but at least you’re not breaking any law trying to download PDFs of Saramago from shady torrent sites, right?
3. Get in touch to tell me what I’m missing!
I’m always looking for more resources and ways to improve. Please, please share them with us – the comments section is open.
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