I’m in the airport waiting to go to Oporto, Portugal, for work. Seeing as I haven’t spent much time in Portuguese (about as much as Spanish…), I thought, why not? So I have spent the last two weeks starting to look at the language. Not very far, honestly, but I think I can meet and greet. Maybe ask for directions a bit.
As a friend commented, I am surprised at how much French-like language shows up in Portuguese. It is interesting, if nothing else. I knew that Portuguese had come into Japanese in a number of places (like the word for bread). I was not as aware of Japanese words coming into Portuguese – as is the case for catana. Note that Google Translate returns “machete”, but Teach Yourself’s Complete Portuguese states its use for “cutlass”. And in the reverse, Google Translate reports “cutlass” as a cutelo. And this is why learning a language is never easy…
Along with instructional books and audio, I have been using Mind Snack’s mobile app for Portuguese, and have been pretty happy. It is pretty much just games that help you with speed-recall, spelling, identification and association. Not any help with testing pronunciation, but it has been very helpful in showing what the pronunciation is. How the sounds fit together. Might have gotten Rosetta Stone, but was amused to find they only offer Brazilian Portuguese.
A set of sounds that keeps surprising me is the t/d before standalone e and i, which tend to sound like ch/j respectively. There may be more to it than just the standalone e/i. But I know that that causes the sound change.
I plan to do a bit more studying while on the plane and waiting for planes. I have to get to the hotel (o hotel) by taxi (o táxi), and check into the hotel, too, of course. Not to mention getting dinner and the rest of the activities while I am there.
Well, with total travel time of ~18 hours, I’ll have some time.