Posted in English

Língua Dos Pês

I mentioned a little while ago that I was intrigued by a Luisa Sobral song called “Língua Dos Pês”, which means “The Language of Ps” or if you prefer “P Language”. As it turns out, this is a song with a back-story. It’s a made-up language, similar to the Pig Latin or Egg-language (aka Eggy-Peggy or Egglish) that you might be familiar with if you went to the right school. It isn’t a proper language or even a secret code, more of a language game you can play just for the fun of it.

Like everything else in Portuguese, it has a European and a Brazilian variant. As you know, this blog is fully on-side with Europe, so we’ll stick to that. Basically, all you need to do is repeat each syllable of each word, but with a P at the start, either before the vowel or in place of the consonant. So for example the name of Luisa’s album is also her first name, Luisa, which, in Língua dos Pês is LuPuIPiSaPa.

It sounds quite nice in Portuguese:

da-pa ten-pen-ta-pa-ção-pão son-pon-o-po-ra-pa de-pe u-pu-ma-pa me-pe-tá-pá-for-por-a-pa*

which is why she is able to sing a song in it, but it’s awkward in English:

He-pe-llo-po My-py name-pame is-pis Col-pol-in-pin

and similarly, eggy-peggy sounds like a disaster in Portuguese

Peggor eggexeggempleggo eggestegga freggasegge

And it gets worse if you use the actual Portuguese word for egg:

Povoor ovoexovoemplovoo ovoestovoa frovoasovoe

Geggood legguck preggoneggouncegging theggat!

It’s interesting that certain types of language game suit specific languages better than others, although I admit I don’t know quite what it means.

OK, are you ready to look at that video again? Well, the one I posted last time, from the children’s TV show “Panda and Friends” was pretty toe-curling, but there’s a much better version here in an an interview with O Observador. She talks a bit about the track and the album in general, then starts singing Língua Dos Pês at about 5:42 and carries on with “Onde Foi o Avô?” (“Where did Grandpa go?”) and her single “João”.

If you need any help, there’s a translation of the song here but only into straightforward Portuguese. You’ll have to do the rest yourself!

Further reading:

Wikipedia Page about Língua dos Pês, with various dialects (includes links to other similar dialects in other languages)

The Brazilian equivalent if you’re interested is called Língua do P.

 

*=this is a line from a poem by José Jorge Letria. I heard it on a podcast and didn’t understand the whole thing but picked out “A poem born of an impulse, of a fever… of the sonorous temptation of a metaphor” early on. Ooh yeah, more of that please!

Posted in Portuguese

A Regata

No sábado*, fui à cidade de Staines para fazer parte duma regata, a minha primeira regata desde que comecei neste desporto. As equipas de remo vieram de muitos clubes do sudeste de Inglaterra. Cada equipa estava vestida com o uniforme do seu clube. O sol brilhava e o rio Tamisa parecia lindo, cintilante na luz de uma tarde de verão.

A minha primeira corrida foi o “double sculls” (barcos duplos com dois atletas e quatro remos). O meu parceiro chamava-se Kenji, um homem japonês que mora aqui em Londres. Ele é um remador um pouco melhor do que eu, mas somos bastante similares. Ganhamos a corrida facilmente.
A segunda corrida foi um conteste entre barcos individuais. Neste desafio, o meu rival era… o mesmo Kenji da corrida passada! IMG_5841Enquanto eu remava a linha de partida, tive uma experiência assustadora. Um barco quádruplo saí da sua pista e veio directamente a mim. Gritei “dê uma olhada!**” mas os dois barcos colidiram. Parece que como um milagre ninguém foi ferido. Enfim, cheguei à linha da partida. Comecei bem, e fiquei contente de estar em frente durante a maior parte da corrida mas infelizmente, fiz um erro com o meu remo esquerdo e o meu barco quase parou. Se não tivesse feito este erro, podia ser que eu ganhasse, mas não posso resmungar: a habilidade superior do meu amigo ganhou o prémio.

Finalmente, Kenji e eu entramos no nosso barco duplo outra vez para a corrida final do dia. No caminho para a linha, estava a pensar “que mais me iria acontecer?” porque lembrei-me do barco quádruplo. Mas o pior estava para vir: Senti algumas cocegas no meu joelho. Olhei para baixo. Os meus deuses***! Uma aranha gigante estava a subir o meu joelho! Comecei a chorar imediatamente e bati os meus joelhos até não sentir mais nada.

Desta vez não conseguimos ganhar. A outra equipa terminou a corrida três pés a nossa frente. Mas não faz mal. O dia foi incrível! Tão bom!

 

*=Days of the week in lower case… Jesus chorou!

**=”Atenção” makes more sense here but this is a literal translation of “take a look” which is what I actually said

***=Everyone corrected this to “Oh meu Deus” but I was feeling pantheistic, so…

 


Thanks Sophia, Rubens, Celso and Marcos for their correcções.

Posted in English

A Standing Start

I’m pretty good at Portuguese. I mean, I’m not a great linguist like Nigel Farage with his wine list, but I’m OK on a good day. So why is it that I still can’t seem to just start a conversation from scratch? I met a Portuguese lady the other day near my house and decided to do what all the famous internet polyglots do and start talking to her, but I hadn’t warmed up by thinking in Portuguese beforehand so, translated into english, the exchange went like this:

ARE YOU PORTUGUESE?

GOOD MORNING*!

I CALL MYSELF COLIN

I AM FROM OVER THERE!

BYE

There was some nervous laughter in between and she tried to look sympathetic to my attempts but it was basically just me broadcasting my own hopelessness. This is a pretty good example of how it’s always a good idea to do some practice to get your brain in gear before having a conversation. This is doubly true if you have an exam: never go in cold. It’ll be much harder.

 

*=It was 8.30PM

 

Posted in English

Music and Toilets

Listening today:

Ana Moura, because she’s coming to the Barbican Centre in September and I’m going with Mrs Lusk. I think a Ana’s possibly a bit uncool, like a Portuguese Mariah Carey, but I’m not bothered and I’m calling it homework

Luisa Sobral, because she seems like fun. I think she does songs in English as well as Portuguese, and for children as well as adults. I would dearly love to know what this is about, for example. Is it educational in some way? Just a fun thing to sing? What? I actually have a podcast of her talking about it so I’ll try and decipher that rather than take the coward’s way out and ask Mrs L.

Beatriz Gosta, because I was told it would be good to mix it up a bit with the podcasts. I listen to a lot of news and serious programming from Antena 1, but of course it’s all in one tone of voice and a narrow vocabulary, so I tried Antena 3 which is a hotbed of filth and depravity and shrieking yoof presenters. Well, it’s broadened my vocabulary, even if none of the words are usable in most conversations I’m likely to have in the queue to see Ana Moura.

Posted in Portuguese

Uma Nova Língua

Well, my Arabic lesson was interesting, and here’s a report (in corrected portuguese) of my daughter’s Japanese lesson:

Estou a fazer o “iTalki Olympic Language Challenge” (o desafio Olímpico de línguas). Quando estava a falar com a minha filha sobre este assunto, ela disse que queria estudar uma língua também.
– Que bom! Filho de peixe peixinho é! E qual é a língua é que queres aprender, fofinha? Português?
– Não, Japonês!
Fiquei surpreso mas ela disse que tem um grande interesse pela língua e a cultura japonesa. Por isso, hoje de manhã, teve a sua primeira aula com uma professora japonesa. Ela gostou muito dela e aprendeu muitas palavras. Marcamos cinco aulas para as semanas seguintes.
É possível que ela se farte de japonês após* cinco aulas. Não sei, mas estou muito contente de vê-la encontrar novos interesses.

 

*=I keep writing “após de” and it keeps getting corrected but I keep doing it.

Thanks to Sophia, Lilian and Bruna for their corrections

Posted in Portuguese

Comentários Sobre Um Filme: Os Imortais

No sábado*, vi um filme de António-Pedro Vasconcelos que se chama “Os Imortais”. Gostei muito dele. O argumento concerne quatro soldados da guerra em Moçambique. Após a guerra, voltaram a Portugal mas acharam difícil voltar à vida quotidiana. Para lutar contra o aborrecimento,  eles discutem, jogam a poker e passam o tempo com mulheres que maltratam. Afinal, tornaram-se ladrões. Roubaram um banco usando armas militares e um deles matou um segurança.

A protagonista é um “chui” – um policia velho protagonizado*** por Nicolau Breyner, um gordo, velho, e que sempre fuma um cigarro como um detective clássico! Não se importa pelo roubo, ou até mesmo dos assassinatos (de um soldado e uma mulher francesa) que seguem. Apenas quer resolver a mistério antes da sua aposentadoria, e antes do seu colega – um polícia jovem, que tem muitos certificados, e usa computadores em vez do trabalho tradicional da policia.

*=according to Rita, who kindly corrected this, “Segundo o Novo Acordo Ortográfico, os dias da semana deverão ser escritos com letra minúscula”. Good God! No wonder the Portuguese are so cross about it!

**=lit. “A security”. I originally wrote “um guarda de segurança” because that’s what wee would say in English but… nope.

***=I wrote “jogado” which was stupid because “playing” a game isn’t necessarily the same as “playing” a part in a film in every language. A Brazilian user corrected it to “interpretado” which looks more natural to me but Rita is Portuguese so I’m trusting that the weird-looking “protagonizado” is right.

 

 

Posted in English

Key Learnings 4 – Um Falso Amigo

Today’s lesson included the word “admirar” in an article about all the different types of coffee on offer in Portugal. I can’t remember the exact wording but it was something like

Não admira que as turistas preciso de um dicionário quando pedem um café!

The meaning seems to be “I’m not surprised the tourists need a dictionary when they order a coffee”. So “admirar”, which is obviously cognate with “admire” has obviously diverged in meaning somewhat from its English cousin.

In the same lesson, we also came across “vasculhar” which looks like it has something to do with “vascular” but if you’re expecting it to mean “to pump blood” or something then you’ve been had by another false friend. It actually means to search – not specifically searching for something but having a good old look round in general, in the way a thief might if he got into your house and was looking around to see what there might be to steal. A related word is “remexer” which means “rummage”.

Finally, “Rever” which is obviously cognate with “review” means “look again at”. It must be related to “revista” but “revista seems only to mean “magazine” now and has lost its connection tio what we think of as a review as in a book review – they use “comentário” instead.

Posted in English

The Olympic Language Challenge – Sit Rep!

I decided – for some reason – to just do the last part of the challenge and sign up for lessons in other languages. I have Arabic and BSL on my radar for after Portuguese so I booked a trial lesson in each, and my daughter said she wanted to learn Japanese, so I used my credits to book her a lesson on condition that she finds out how to shout “Row faster!” at my rowing partner, who is Japanese. I have deliberately avoided European languages that are too similar to Portuguese and might confuse me even more.

The main body of the challenge is going pretty well and I have been making some good progress on subjunctives. Today, I watched the movie “Os Imortais” which is a really excellent film, did some reading and listened to some of the new Practice Portuguese episodes aimed at new learners. It’s mostly pretty easy but they spend time explaining the finer points of common words like “pois” and the difference between trazer and levar, so I’m learning new things anyway.

Posted in English

Trying to Subscribe

Trying to book an exam through the CAPLE site is proving tricky. Their website shows some exams happening in November but if I try to book one it tells me it’s full. It isn’t full though, they just haven’t added the slots onto the site and won’t until later in the year, I’m told. I find this problematic because I want it to be done and mentally crossed off my list but I just have to live with

Posted in Portuguese

Portanhol

Hoje de manhã, ethcutei uma gravathão de “Jothé e Pilar” para praticar Portuguêth. Infelithmente, ethquethi-me que a Pilar del Rio, a ethpotha de Jothé Tharamago era ethpanhol e por itho, agora falo Portuguêth athim.