the Steidingers
Steidinger family

More language

Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Brazil with 2 Comments

Since August, we have been studying some new verb tenses. For example, when you are saying something hypothetical.

“If you would be here to celebrate Christmas with us…” then you use a different verb tense.

And if you say something that is conditional upon something else: “when you eat your carrots then you can go outside and play”. That uses a different verb tense.

It has been frustrating for Janelle and I to try to keep all this straight in our head. We felt like we were making progress and could carry on a pretty decent conversation, but this has made us feel like we are going backwards at times.

Not so with the kids, especially Sierra. The other night she said, “Dad, when you want to eat the last donut, you can”—in Português and, of course, using the correct verb tense for conditional. I said, “what did you say”. and she repeated it, again correctly. Then I wanted Janelle to hear it so I asked her to say it again. This time Sierra thought I obviously couldn’t understand Português so she kindly repeated it, in English, for her slower father. It is actually kind of depressing for Janelle and I! We rack our brains trying to get the right verb, right tense, in the right spot without pausing and pondering, and then our 5 year old just spits it out naturally.

I was talking to the doorman the other day (yes, João), trying to use what we are learning in class. I guess I had a lot of pauses (for those of you that know me, I found out that I really can talk slow!) because finally he said, “Mateus, just talk. Don’t think so much. When you take so much time between words, my mind wanders and I start thinking about other subjects and don’t follow what you are saying.”

The kids have started playing in almost all português. Here is Luke and Sierra playing cards. It’s not staged.


Jessica on October 30, 2013

I always thought learning a new language would be really hard! The video of the kids is really impressive! That's awesome they could pick it up so quickly!

renee on October 30, 2013

I must admit I did have to laugh but in sympathy also because I cannot imagine how difficult it is to learn this new language. But your kids are AMAZING. Our God is AWESOME and He created some pretty wonderful kids in your family. So I say to you, Deu. 31:8...fear not, neither be dismayed., and then remember, Phil. 1:6 ...He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion...ESV

Leave a Comment