Portuguese Week 4 Update

Four weeks into my Portuguese project! Even though I originally set my goal deadline for the end of the World Cup, one month to the day after I started, I’m going to extend it through to next Thursday, so I get another good week in and a video update on schedule at the end.

So I’m feeling a lot more confident conversing in Portuguese. I’ve mostly been using WeSpeke, Skype, and a good old phone to talk to people. I’m to the point now where I can pretty much get across any meaning I want to, although sometimes I have to either talk my way around a word or concept I don’t know how to say, or just look it up. I’m also understanding spoken Portuguese much better, although listening comprehension hasn’t ever been my strongest suit in any language. Still, I’d definitely say this project has gone well, and quickly.

For those who aren’t able to watch the video, I mention that I was surprised (although I probably shouldn’t have been) to see that I’ve actually seen much more interference from Portuguese on my Spanish than vice versa. I went to a Mexican restaurant a few days ago, and I was talking to the wait staff in Spanish. At a few points in the conversation, I had to make an effort to keep speaking Spanish rather than reverting back to Portuguese. For example, when the waiter handed me my food, I meant to say “Gracias,” but it came out as “Obrigado!”

This is mostly due to the fact that I have been thinking and speaking almost entirely in Portuguese for the past month, and almost no Spanish. After finishing my five weeks of Portuguese, I’ll spend a lot more time speaking Spanish again, and hopefully develop a good separation between the two in my mind.


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