Sunday, 8 February 2015

Learning the Lingo

The CPO, or for that matter the Algarve in general, is probably not the best place to go if the object of the exercise is to properly learn the Portuguese language. Indeed, in the writer's experience some of the locals can actually become irritated by an English-speaking visitor trying to speak Portuguese badly when they themselves can speak English relatively well anyway.

Nevertheless it is surely good manners to make some kind of effort. Indeed some might consider it rude, or at least embarrassing, to return to a place year after year and simply expect the locals to converse with them in their own language rather than the lingo of the land.

As such it is worth learning at least the basics, if only to demonstrate that some kind of attempt is being made. Most people know to say "obrigado" (or "obrigada" if you are female), meaning "thank you". But how many English visitors would even know how to ask the time, or directions to a café, in Portuguese? Or to count to ten? Or say "good morning"?

Fortunately there are a number of excellent free resources available online which can be used to learn and familiarise oneself with key phrases. With a bit of effort these can be picked up within a few weeks, and for those who wish to progress further they provide an excellent foundation for moving on to more advanced learning.

For one of just many examples take a look at this one from the BBC. Or just Google something along the lines of "learn Portuguese" for a choice of many.

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