Learn Portuguese in Six Lines

11 12 2007

Portuguese, the beautiful language of beautiful Brazil's capoeira!So, you’ve got the game, you’ve got the acrobatics, you’ve got the music (or even if you haven’t and are a keen capoeirista)…what’s next? O linguagem, camara!  Alright, so it’s not exactly completely learning Portuguese, and it’s not in exactly six lines, but while we’re on the topic of language (well, tangentially!), I thought I’d throw this little find out there.  My friend bookmarked it on her del.icio.us page, and though I haven’t had time to try it out myself yet, it seems promising!

These are the six lines:

The apple is red.
It is John’s apple.
I give John the apple.
We give him the apple.
He gives it to John.
She gives it to him.

or if you prefer something more capoeira-oriented:

The berimbau is brown.
It is John’s berimbau.
I give John the berimbau.
We give him the berimbau.
He gives it to John.
She gives it to him.

The point of the page she posted was that you can give yourself a headstart in learning any language by deconstructing it before you actually start to learn it.  After you have translated the above sentences into Portuguese, or asked someone to do it for you, you will have an instant snapshot of many of the basic grammatical rules of the language!  That is to say, you will know things like how they arrange subject/verb/object in a sentence, how to use the possessive, plural and singular pronouns, basic verb conjugation, and how to treat direct and indirect objects.  After that, you can do the same with negative sentences, and with auxiliary verbs (e.g. “should kick”, “want to play”, “must buy in”), and see how those are put together.

It’s far from perfect, but it’s an interesting way to start, and might make some things easier to catch on to after you start learning for real!  If you’re interested, I recommend reading the full post, which has a more thorough explanation and additional tips on learning any language: Click here to go to post

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6 responses

11 12 2007
faisca

I’ll have to try this out. I’m definitely lacking in the speaking Portuguese (or singing, for that matter) department. This seems like it might help.

11 12 2007
Joaninha

Cool, let me know if it does!

18 12 2007
Coxinha

haha you should include the berimbau sentences in portuguese 😛 Interesting though 😄 I will try that wtih my portuguese for dummies book

18 12 2007
Joaninha

That’s a good idea Coxinha…in fact, I recall thinking I should do that too, but have no idea why I ended up not! I’ll try and update this if I can come up with translations I have enough confidence in to pass off as right =P

12 01 2008
tudobeleza

I’m not sure about learning Portuguese with 6 lines but I get what they’re trying to say. It took me about 7 years to be fluent, but then again I learned on my own, no classes.

Interesting this Mandingueira word, I’ve never heard it before, alas I don’t do capoeira but mendigo is bum as in homeless in Portuguese. Made me think of that. From my dictionary, it seems Mandingueira is either one who puts a spell on people or an African witch doctor. One more word to add to my vocabulary. Cool

12 01 2008
Joaninha

Hey tudobeleza, thanks for sharing. Mandingueira here is in a sense one who puts a spell on people; in the context of capoeira, a mandingueira, or mandingueiro, is someone who plays so well in the roda that they make it appear as if their opponent has been put under a spell that hinders their ability to play.

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