the Steidingers
Steidinger family

Pork-n-cheese, or Portuguese

Posted by on April 13, 2013 in Brazil,Janelle with 1 Comment

Before we moved here, Luke would say ‘Pork-n-cheese’ instead of Portuguese.  I think he heard someone else say it as a joke and thought it was pretty funny :) I think he also thought he was going to be fluent once the plane touched down on Brazilian soil, because so many people told him how quickly he would pick up the language and that he’d be speaking it quicker than his parents–he & his sisters could talk and we wouldn’t understand–and he thought that was great!  He is not yet fluent, which has been the subject of more than one discussion, but he’s learning.  He knows how to ask to go to the bathroom and get a drink of water anyway :) Actually I think he knows a lot more than that.

Thought I would share  a little of what we’ve been learning.  In high school I remember the kids who took Spanish talking about conjugating verbs.  I took German, so I never figured out what they were talking about.  Now I know. I think ignorance was bliss :)  A simple explanation is that the way you say the verb changes (the ending), depending on who is talking, or who you are talking to.  And it changes depending on what tense you are using (past, present, future).  So for those of you who did not care for grammar in school and are already nodding off, I’ll give you a practical example, how to say it in English on the left, and in Portuguese on the right, with the part that changes highlighted:

For the verb ORAR, which means to pray:

 

Past

I prayed                                                                                            Eu orei

You/He/She  prayed                                                                   Vocês/Ele/Ela  orou

We prayed                                                                                        Nós oramos

You (plural)/They (male or female) prayed                      Vocês/Eles/Elas oraram

******************************************

Present

I pray                                                                                                  Eu oro

You/He/She pray                                                                         Você/Ele/Ela ora

We pray                                                                                              Nós oramos

You (plural)/They (male or female) pray                            Vocês/Eles/Elas oram

*******************************************

Future

I will pray                                                                                          Eu vou orar

You/He/She will pray                                                                  Você/Ele/Ela vai orar

We will pray                                                                                      Nós vamos orar

You (plural)/ They (male or female) pray                           Vocês/Eles/Elas vão orar

*******************************************

Present continuing

I am praying                                                                                     Eu estou orando

You are/He is/She is praying                                                    Você/Ele/Ela está orando

We are praying                                                                                 Nós estamos orando

You are (plural)/They are (male or female) praying       Vocês/Eles/Elas estão orando

*******************************************

Past continuing

I was praying                                                                                   Eu estava orando

You were/ He was/ She was praying                                     Você/Ele/Ela estava orando

We were praying                                                                             Nós estávamos orando

You were (plural)/They (male or female) were praying    Vocês/Eles/Elas estavam orando

*******************************************

Imperative

Pray!                                                                                                   Ore!

*******************************************

Imperfect

(a LONG time ago, used when you are describing, and in a few other situations)

I prayed                                                                                             Eu orava

You/He/She prayed                                                                    Você/Ele/Ela orava

We prayed                                                                                         Nós orávamos

You (plural)/They (male or female) prayed                       Vocês/Eles/Elas oravam

 

Anndddd… actually that’s not all,that’s just what we’ve learned so far.  I think there are a few more indicative forms to learn (future present & future past–seriously), and then subjunctive forms, which I can’t think of an example for right now.  And this example was for verbs that end in -ar. Verbs that end in -er and -ir have different endings, except for the irregular verbs of course, and there are more than a few of those.

But I have commented more than once to Matt that I appreciate that we are learning this language, that has many similarities to English (I’m not a linguist, but they are from the same family/similar origins?), because it could be much more difficult. We have friends from our missionary training learning  Japanese, some Eastern European languages, Thai, etc., a missionary friend from language school here that is going to also need to learn an African tribal dialect…….none of those, in my limited understanding, have much or any relation to English.  So when someone here uses the word ‘frequentar’ or ‘funcionar’, I can pretty well guess what they mean, and I remember to pray for my friends learning other languages.  Actually just trying to have a conversation here prompts me to pray for ALL our friends in language school, whatever country they’re in!

And I know English is no treat to learn either.  I’ve heard that a time or two from Brazilians trying to learn :) Actually I had a funny conversation at church one night with a lady, she was saying that English words are hard to say because they’re SO short–and Portuguese words are longer.  I agreed with her, but I think the Portuguese is HARDER because it’s longer!  Add ‘mente’ or ‘dade’ or some other 3 or 4 letter extension to many English words and  (in my limited vocabulary), you have the Portuguese word!

Tuesday will mark 3 months since we started studying Portuguese.  Many times I have thought of the Tower of Babel and the way that God changed the languages so the people would not be able to understand each other–He didn’t do it halfway (and honestly, sometimes this is encouraging, and sometimes I get really annoyed with those people).  There was a purpose behind it, and for most people another language is not easy to learn, by design.  HOWEVER, God’s desire is for all people to know Him and serve Him, and I believe He is hearing and answering the prayers of the many amazing people praying for us– helping us to learn, so that we can go and share, and help others go and share His gospel.

 

One Comment

jana on April 14, 2013

Very interesting, very challenging, and it sounds very hard to learn and keep straight!! Sounds like you are learning a LOT. Pray for you all every day - lots of times!!

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