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 LINGUISTICS & CULTURE


Autor:  Tom
E-mail:  pensacola-beachcomber@cox.net
Data:  24/NOV/2003 11:14 AM
Assunto:  Answer to Beto and Pat
 
Mensagem:  I didn't really answer Beto now that I think about it. How did I learn Portuguese? Well.......... I moved to Rio de Janeiro with my parents when I was in high school. That was in the fifties when Juscelino Kubitschek was the president (remember, he had Brasilia built?). Things were a lot calmer then in Brazil. Anyhow, when I got off of the plane at Galeão I didn't speak a word of Portuguese. Within days I was enrolled at the American School (Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro) which at that time was in a small house on Rua General Urquiza in Leblom. Being new, I was put in the first year class of Portuguese. There must have been five or six of us in the class. The teacher was Miss Collares, a very smart and jovial person from the northeast. She and I got along very well and it was her that first called me Moleque. I sort of did my work for class until it became apparent that I really needed to be able to communicate. On the street where I lived in Jardim Botânico there were some teenagers who had grown up together, neighbors and friends since kindergarden. They sort of assimilated me into their patota. So, I decided to pay attention to Miss Collares and learn what she had to teach. To give you an idea of how things have changed in Brazil: on weekends we would do stuff no high school kid would even dream of now. One weekend my buddy Ricardo and I left Rio and hitch-hiked to São Paulo. We wanted to see the Bienal Art Show. We spent Saturday and Sunday in Sampa and had a ball. Sunday night we caught the overnight train back to Rio (got a leito) and we were at the Estação Central early enough to catch a cab across town to school. First class was physical education so we were able to get washed up before the second class of the day. I don't think we smelled too good during gym but no one complained. They all wanted to know what we had been up to over the weekend. I had Miss Collares for two academic years and then I graduated. Of course, what we studied seemed to be at the rate of the slowest student. In fact, we never even got to the subjuntive! After I graduated I worked as an topographer's assistant with the Inter-American Geodetic Survey. It paid the equivalent of two dollars a day but I got to travel all over Brazil! How many nineteen year old American kids got to drive a truck from Rio to Uruguay, to work out at the Foz do Iguaçu when the roads through Guarapuava, Cascavel and Ponta Grossa were two lanes of dirt, when the road from Boa Viagem to the Guararapes Airport in Recife didn't even have a bridge over the river? Not many...it was a ball!! I left Brazil and came to the states with the intention of joining the Army for a few years. I would use that time to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. I guess I never did.......I'm still a moleque and am having a ball! My Portuguese improves when I'm in Brazil and it sort of fades when I'm away. I went back to Brazil to work later on. I spent a few more years in Rio, went to Africa, returned to Brasilia, went to Europe, went back to in Brasilia, etc. I spent about twenty-five years working in Embassies and Consulates. Have not been back to Brazil since I left BSB in January of 1997. However, I have internet links with friends and we send a lot of stuff back and forth. I've studied French, Spanish, Chinese and German. That helped me when I lived and worked in Tunisia, Belgium, Ecuador, Germany and Hawaii. Now I live in Pensacola, We have many opportunities to speak Spanish and French here. That doesn't help my Portuguese. Luckily, there are some Brazilians here. If things work out okay some of them will be our guests for Thanksgiving. How about you Beto? Your English isn't shabby at all. Where did you pick it up? Pat and I are almost neighbors....we are both in Florida. I get the impression she really knows her grammar. Guess that's enough for now, I'd better go get breakfast, Tom


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 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
Question for Tom  –  Beto  23/NOV/2003, 11:46 PM
Re: Question for Tom  –  Tom  24/NOV/2003, 1:07 AM
Re: Question for Tom  –  pat  24/NOV/2003, 10:22 AM
 Answer to Beto and Pat  –  Tom  24/NOV/2003, 11:14 AM
Re: Answer to Beto and Pat  –  Beto  24/NOV/2003, 5:47 PM
Re: Answer to Beto and Pat  –  Tom  24/NOV/2003, 10:53 PM

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