December 11, 2007

Grammar Lesson 20: This Just Isn’t Spanish, Adapting to Handicapped

Filed under: Grammar — @ 12:05 pm

Oh man, where did this word come from? After a whole series of lessons in pronunciation and grammar and now we learn a whole bunch of words where Spanish and Portuguese are totally different. If Tá Falado is supposed to show learners the similarities between these two languages, well, this lesson just won’t do that. Today Michelle and Valdo give as words like embora, ainda, rapaz, jeito, cedo, and tomara.

It is true that Spanish and Portuguese are similar in many ways. However, today we look at the words that are not similar at all.

PODCAST LINK: Grammar Lesson 20

December 4, 2007

Grammar Lesson 19: Present Perfect, Naming People

Filed under: Grammar — @ 2:57 pm

One of life’s great mysteries is if a Brazilian marries someone from Venezuela, how do you figure out what their official name will be? We ought to be politicians because we spend the whole lesson talking about last names, middle names, and given names, but we never actually answer the question! In this lesson Michelle talks about what it has been like to explain her daughter’s full name. Americans get a little confused.

As to the grammar, we discuss the difference between phrases like have you been eating lately and have you ever eaten before.

PODCAST LINK: Grammar Lesson 19

November 26, 2007

Grammar Lesson 18: Word Order, Buses and Services

Filed under: Grammar — @ 2:04 pm

So how weird would it be to be a Brazilian in the United States and see for the first time a bicycle attached to the front of a city bus? Sure enough, that would never happen on a bus in Brazil. These are the kinds of observations that North Americans would never make because, well, we think it’s normal. It’s all a matter of perspective.

This lesson talks about those kind of cultural differences, and we do so while going over a lesson about word order. (We know the title doesn’t sound all that exciting, but it really is an interesting grammar topic — if you are into language learning.)

PODCAST LINK: Grammar Lesson 18

October 1, 2007

Grammar Lesson 17: Também x Também não, Online Activities

Filed under: Grammar — @ 11:17 am

Spanish speakers who are used to saying tampoco will now have to learn how to say também não in Portuguese. It just sounds cute somehow.

Culturally, Michelle and Valdo talk about all the things that are offered online in the United States, much more than in Brazil. In this lesson we also mention the sensitive subject of toll roads in Austin, Texas. We are still getting used to the idea, so forgive us if we’re a little touchy about it. It may be common in other places, but we still don’t like it, even if you can make payments online!

PODCAST LINK: Grammar Lesson 17

September 24, 2007

Grammar Lesson 16: Placement of Indirect Pronouns, Greeting Friends

Filed under: Grammar — @ 1:09 pm

In this lesson, Michelle claims that most people give women one kiss on the cheek when greeting and when saying goodbye. Valdo thinks that it is more common to give two kisses, one on each cheek. And there are even places where a third kiss is given. How difficult can it get?

As to grammar, years ago Orlando was once caught saying, in Spanish, María quiere me ayudar. To his surprise he found out that Spanish speakers are not supposed to put the indirect pronoun ‘me’ between the verbs. So, for you who are learning Portuguese, you get to learn the opposite: in Portuguese the pronoun goes between the auxiliary and main verb. There is no problem in saying, Maria quer me ajudar.

PODCAST LINK: Grammar Lesson 16

September 18, 2007

Grammar Lesson 15: False Cognates, Driver’s License

Filed under: Grammar — @ 10:46 am

No kidding, Orlando was in Mexico City one time and saw a man in Chapultepec Park who was selling helados esquisitos. Why would anyone want to buy ‘weird’ ice cream? Turns out, in Spanish esquisito means exquisite, and Mexicans actually like to have their helado esquisito! It’s a positive thing. In Portuguese, esquisito means strange or weird. OK, that’s what we mean by false cognates. Although many words between Spanish and Portuguese are similar, there are others that trick you because the meaning isn’t what you expect.

Culturally, we talk about getting a driver’s license. Unlike the United States where generally people can get their driver’s license when they are 16, in Brazil people need to be 18 years of age.

PODCAST LINK: Grammar Lesson 15

September 13, 2007

Grammar Lesson 14: Absence of Direct Object Pronouns, Mobile Homes

Filed under: Grammar — @ 10:59 am

OK, so you are driving down the freeway and you see a semi going 70 mph and there is a mobile home being pulled along. Well, yes, I do see why that would seem rather shocking to a Brazilian. Thanks go to Valdo and Michelle for making that observation.

Grammar-wise, we are also going to talk about dropping direct object pronouns. Better to drop pronouns than mobile homes from semis!

PODCAST LINK: Grammar Lesson 14

August 2, 2007

Grammar Lesson 13: Gender in Portuguese and Spanish, Minimum Age to Buy Alcohol

Filed under: Grammar — @ 8:07 pm

To be clear, we are referring to gender agreement. Get ready: although gender is 95% the same between Spanish and Portuguese, there are a few words that change. Is it o leite or a leite? O sal or a sal? O origem or a origem? Valdo and Michelle clarify things for us.

Culturally, at what age can you buy alcohol in Brazil?

PODCAST LINK: Grammar Lesson 13

July 23, 2007

Grammar Lesson 12: Personalized Infinitive, Paying for Your Education

Filed under: Grammar — @ 2:59 pm

Not only are Brazilians thought of as being very friendly, now they even want to personalize their infinitive verbs! Valdo and Michelle lead the way in showing us how to do the same.

Culturally, we talk about the price of education in the United States.

And take a peek at this picture! Orlando’s really into the Texas Pride. Hook ’em Horns!

PODCAST LINK: Grammar Lesson 12

July 16, 2007

Grammar Lesson 11: Topic-Comment Patterns, Special Needs Privileges

Filed under: Grammar — @ 8:21 am

Just look at that barriga! Clearly the polite thing to do, at least in Brazil, would be to have a special line at banks, post offices, and supermarkets for those that have ‘special’ needs. However, the other day, in this condition, with that barriga, Michelle had to wait in line at the U.S. post office just like one of the ‘regular’ people.

Grammatically, Orlando seems to love topic-comment patterns almost too much. Is it possible that grammar is really that interesting?

PODCAST LINK: Grammar Lesson 11

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