My Very Own EP Experience: Yuliya’s Story

Não vou escrever por que razão eu comecei a aprender o português. Isto é uma história separada e longa bastante. Esta vez vou falar como é aprender o português na Rússia. A minha cidade é terceira no país em termos de dimensão populacional, mas só há uma escola da língua portuguesa aqui. Para ser mais preciso é um centro da língua e cultura portuguesa. Porque a nossa professora é uma pessoa muito apaixonada por Portugal. Ela não só nos ensina a língua mas também fala muito sobre cultura, história e tradições de Portugal.

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Introducing Your Very Own EP Experience!

Hello, everyone! I hope you’re having a great week! (:

As an effort to make the blog more interactive and lively, I’d love to give all of my readers an opportunity to be a part of the blog!

Hence the idea of creating a section of the blog where you can share your experiences with Portuguese learning and Portuguese culture; you could write blog entries about your language learning progress, a certain aspect of Portuguese culture/language you find interesting or about a recent or not so recent trip to Portugal you might want to share with everyone: as long as you write it respectfully (even criticism), my only job will be to proofread and host your stories. If you have your own WordPress account, I can add you as featured writers on the blog! (:

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EP words of the week (#118): czar / czarina

Olá a todos! Bem-vindos ao segundo Words of the Week em português! Decidi não alterar os títulos em si para serem mais apelativos em motores de busca, mas o conteúdo dos artigos vai ser sempre em português (salvo alguma palavra ou ideia que acho que deva ser expressada noutra língua para vos ajudar na vossa compreensão). Volto a repetir a mensagem que deixei no artigo da semana passada: convido-vos a utilizar os comentários para colocar dúvidas sobre vocabulário e gramática que use aqui, para apontar erros ou deixar uma apreciação ao artigo. Se possível, façam-no em português!

As palavras que decidi apresentar-vos hoje são [o] czar [a] czarina, que são tão estranhas na escrita quanto na fala (mesmo apesar dos cortes de sílabas típicos do português europeu, não estamos muito habituados a uma combinação de consoantes tão fortes como /kz/). É por este nome que são conhecidos alguns monarcas (reis e rainhas) da Bulgária, da Rússia e a Sérvia (se bem que, nessas línguas, se leia tsar e tsaritsa por exemplo, em búlgaro цар / царица).

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Simeão II da Bulgária (1937-presente) foi o último czar do país entre 1943 e 1946. Exilado do país durante o período comunista, em 2001 tornou-se um dos poucos antigos monarcas a ocupar cargos executivos numa república enquanto civil – foi primeiro-ministro até 2005. O seu apelido na sua vida política e social privadas, Sakskoburggotski (Сакскобургготски em búlgaro) é uma referência ao nome da dinastia da família real, Saxe-Coburgo-Gota.

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EP word of the week (#117): ano le[c]tivo

Setembro sempre foi o meu mês preferido. Não por ser o meu mês de aniversário (não sou o tipo de pessoa que goste muito de festejar efemérides, nem mesmo as pessoais), mas sim por ser um período de grande atividade depois do Verão. Sempre dediquei muito tempo e importância aos meus estudos, e durante o Verão nunca tinha grande coisa para fazer, nem muitos amigos para me fazer companhia. As minhas alergias, pele branca e olhos sensíveis (e a subsequente fotofobia, ou seja, uma sensibilidade elevada aos raios solares e à luz do Sol) também não me deixavam estar fora de casa tanto como gostaria; se queriam conhecer um português que não prefira o Verão e o calor abrasador, agora já conhecem! Apesar de ter melhorado bastante nesse campo físico, continuo a ter especial aversão a desenvolver atividades de lazer se não tiver algo que me sustenha para lá desses tempos livres – trabalho, estudos, voluntariado: tentei várias vezes fazer várias destas coisas para não sentir a aversão social que se criava nestes tempos.

Quando ainda estudava, Setembro representava o início do ano le[c]tivo, um período muito querido para mim por representar a atividade de voltar a estar junto de pessoas, aprender coisas novas, estimular o meu já bastante hiperativo cérebro, de me voltar a sentir útil outra vez. É claro que agora tenho de arranjar outras maneiras de me sentir produtivo, tal como todos nós!

Como estamos na semana do início do ano le[c]tivo de 2017 (lectivo para quem ainda escreve consoante o antigo Acordo Ortográfico) pareceu-me uma boa altura para falar-vos um pouco mais de mim e de aqui inaugurar as Palavras da Semana em português (após reunir os vossos votos nesse sentido); para a semana, regressa uma palavra e um tema um pouco mais neutro, mas que espero que continue a ser interessante para a vossa aprendizagem.

Espero que utilizemos comentários para colocar dúvidas sobre vocabulário e gramática no artigo, para apontar erros ou deixar uma apreciação pessoal ao mesmo. Se possível, façam-no também em português! Tudo é uma oportunidade de aprendizagem, e se não puder responder pessoalmente, espero que algum dos nossos leitores portugueses ou estudantes avançados de português europeu o façam. 

Obrigado a todos, e continuação de uma boa semana e de bons estudos,

Luís

Uma sala de aula em Portugal.

 

EP words of the week (#116): bronzeado / escaldão

As Summer is drawing to a close in the Northern Hemisphere (and temperatures are about to get warmer in the Southern), it may be time for us to come to terms with the season: and by that, I mean, did or did you know get a good suntan, or maybe a few sunburns along the way?

I’m just kidding, of course; there’s obviously more to the Summer than just tanned skin (at least for me, that was never really an option to begin with), but it’s still the best possible (certainly the most appropriate) time of year for me to introduce the words for suntan and sunburn to you!

In Portugal, when people are outside wanting to bathe themselves in the sun’s way they’ll say they are apanhar sol (lit. “catching [some] sun”); to get a tan is bronzear-se (from [o] bronze, the metal), so [o] bronzeado is our word for a tan; be careful, because this word is also an adjective, so a man will say Estou/Sou bronzeado and a woman Estou/Sou bronzeada for “I’m tanned”. The difference between using ser and estar is, as I mentioned some times before [1], a choice between essence/permanence with ser (someone who has a tanned complexion all the time) and transience/impermanence with estar (someone who’s getting tanned right now, and feels it may not last). A different adjective, perhaps even more common, to say someone is tanned is moreno/a; is usually implies permanence (someone who looks like that all year long), but it’s usually interchangeable with bronzeado/a when talking about skin tone.

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Uma mulher e um homem a bronzearem-se na praia. A woman and a man getting a suntan on the beach.

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EP word of the week (#115): pera

An important part of learning a language comes when you’re acquainted with the concept of polysemy, i.e. that one word may have many meanings. This not only gives you a bigger understanding of the language, but it also helps you become more vigilant every time you encounter a familiar word in a foreign context. All natural languages have these processes at work, so while it may not expected at first, it ends being normal eventually as we go along in our language learning.

[a] Pera in one such word; the most common meaning is that of pear, the edible fruit of the pear tree (in Portuguese, [a] pereira). A special cultivar of pear grown in Portugal (mainly in the West region, between Figueira da Foz and the Lisbon Peninsula) is known as [a] pera rocha ([a] rocha, Portuguese for rock, is also a common surname; this type of pear was first cultivated in the orchards of a man from Sintra named Pedro António Rocha in the early nineteenth century). Brazilians call this kind of pear [a] pera-portuguesa. [1]

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EP word of the week (#114): pano da loiça

Today, on EP Word of the Week, it’s time to get dirty! And by that, I mean “let’s find something dirty to clean”, because this week’s word is all about cleaning! (I’m sorry, I know these first paragraphs to introduce the topic are getting lamer by the second – you should always feel free to skip the first paragraph of this segment, the good stuff usually only starts afterwards)

So, let me introduce you to the European Portuguese word for washcloth[o] pano da loiça[a] loiça (sometimes louça) is a general term for “the dishes” (plates, glasses, cutlery, everything you need to prepare, cook, serve and eat food); it may also be used as a material, in which case it is almost always referring to porcelaine/china. Lavar a loiça is to wash the dishessecar a loiça to dry the dishes[a] máquina de lavar loiçadishwasher, and so on.

[o] Pano is the word for a cloth of any kind. For example, [o] pano do pó is a dustcloth. In Brazil, the preferred term for washcloth is [o] pano de prato[o] prato being the all-around Portuguese word for plate.

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EP word of the week (#113): folha de cálculo

Even if for some people August means fun and games, for others it’s yet another month you spend working while other people are having fun. Yes, it’s true that you may have already had your vacations, or that your time is still to come (and we should all acknowledge those thoroughout the world whose work conditions don’t allow them the right to rest in such a fashion), but the fact is that it is also a working month.

All of this to introduce today’s Word of the week, the reliable and hopefully helpful spreadsheet. In Portugal, they’re known as [a] folha de cálculo (calculation sheet), while in Brazil the preferred term is [a] planilha eletrônica or [a] planilha de cálculoEletrônica (eletrónica in EP) because this is a very much contemporary invention, only possible on such a large scale through the use of computers; even though the terms [a] folha/planilha de cálculo could potentially also refer to paper accounting worksheets, the fact that these have been superceded by the electronic variant means that in most contests, there’s not a lot of confusion regarding the nature of the term.

Folha de cálculo
Uma folha de cálculo em/no Excel. An Excel spreadsheet.

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EP word of the week (#112): papagaio de papel

In the Summer, people have different ways to amuse and entertain themselves; a popular option in windswept areas is to build or buy flying kites to watch them ondulate in the wind (: I personally never had one, but I like how they float in the wind and I understand their appeal!

In Portugal, there are known as [os] papagaios de papel (paper kites), or [os] papagaios for short. [o] papagaio is actually the Portuguese word for parrot everywhere, but it’s used in this second sense only in EP. Brazilian Portuguese uses the term [a] pipa. For us on this side of the ocean, [a] pipa is a large, usually cyllidrical container made out of wood and used to store wine (i.e. a cask).

Courtesy of
Um papagaio [de papel]. A kite. Courtesy of No Vazio da Onda.
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EP words of the week (#111): lotaria / Euromilhões

August is the month most Portuguese people choose to have their summer vacations ([as] férias de verão) on; this means that, for once, we also get to enjoy the good weather and general relaxation mode that tourists are allowed to get a taste of all year round, and we obviously try to make the most of it! :D

Today’s Words of the week is not necessarily connected to vacations, but it would certainly be a good way to get the necessary funds to make a great vacation happen! Тhese are the words for lottery, [a] lotaria (in Brazilian Portuguese, [a] loteria) and [o] Euromilhões, a specific transnational lottery in Western Europe (see Euromillions on Wikipedia to learn more about it); Portuguese people are quite keen on playing these kind of games, always in hopes of getting one of the big prizes while would finally allow most of us to enjoy the things money affords!

Portuguese national lottery ([a] lotaria nacional) tickets are commonly also works of art in their own right. As you can see below, some special events or national holidays make for commemorative lottery drawings and special tickets (here, in commemoration of [o] 25 de abril, with the carnations in full display).

Notice also the two currencies in the upper right corner. This ticket is from 2000, the period immediately before the introduction of the euro (€) as a common currency. While people couldn’t yet pay with euros at this point (the currency was introduced to the general public in 1st January 2002), the double label in this period served as a teaching opportunity to the public – helping them understand the conversion rates in real life before they had contact with the actual Euro coins and banknotes.

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EP word of the week (#110): de cor

To finish this month’s overarching theme of words related to medicine in general and bodily organs in specific, I decided to bring you something different, probably what one could think is outside of the box; today’s Word of the Week is an expression associated with the body, but the true meaning of it all only opens itself up with a lesson on the history of the language, going all the way to Latin!

The expression I’m talking about is an adverb, de cor. It’s generally used with verbs implying knowledge, mainly saber and conhecer, to stress that you know or are familiar with something on a complete, intimate level, especially when you’ve committed it to memory. In English, you’d say you know something by heart, and this is where the mysteries of languages unfold themselves beautifully: what if I told you that cor was the Latin word for heart, which then evolved into the current, modern form [o] coração (both in EP and BP) for the organ and the shape? I hadn’t realized this connection up until a few years ago, but when I finally realized this it filled me with such serendipitous joy, like when you discover a secret or break apart an equation; everything fits, and it’s a gorgeous sight to behold.

Today, instead of a picture, I bring you a song whose chorus focuses in this adverb, Mafalda Veiga’s “Sei de cor cada lugar teu” (I know by heart every place of yours). Enjoy!

 

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EP word of the week (#109): medula espinal / espinal medula

Continuing our trip into the human body, let’s get on our backs  to examine the linguistical differences among the Portuguese variants for a very important organ: I’m talking about the spinal cord!

Since the spinal cord is a long tube of nervous tissue partly inside the vertebral column, its name in many languages, and in particular the Romance language, connects this spinal connection with the general concept of marrow (from Latin medulla, something in the middle of something else); in Portuguese, marrow is [a] medula (see also bone marrow = [a] médula óssea, from [o] ossobone), while the spine is [a] coluna / [a] coluna vertebral / [a] espinha.

In Portuguese medical circles, the spinal cord is known [a] medula espinal or [a] espinal medula, but sometimes as [a] medula espinhal [1]; the latter is much more common in Brazil, and usually the sole alternative in medical environments.

Translation: Patients frequently mix up the bone marrow with the spinal cord (SNC), but they have nothing to do with each other. The spinal cord belongs to the nervous system and it goes from the brain to the tailbone, running through the holes located behind the body of the vertebrae.

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