there is no such thing as a “hard” language

“There is no such thing as a “hard” language; any idiot can speak whatever language his parents spoke when he was a child.”

Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner


Eu Amo

Amar to Lđź’śve

I was excited to tell my guy ‘Eu Amo [boyfs name]’

…and confused by the reply of ‘Eu te amo’

What is this ‘te’?! Apparently it means ‘I love you’… now I have to learn why you is in the middle and not at the end …a world of love and confusion…


AR verb endings practice

I’ve found a website to help practice the verb endings – very happy that I got 80% right first time – yay me!

I failed on ‘Eles casam-se’ and ‘tu desejas’; I’d used the ER ending, not bad though.

Thank goodness Google translate is on hand to help understand the meanings of the sentences:

  • cambiar – Google doesn’t know this one, I’ll try to find out
  • casar-se – marry
  • esperar – expect
  • desejar – desire
  • lutar – fight
  • graduar – graduate
  • falar – talk
  • levar – lead
  • variar – vary
  • perdoar – forgive


  • Eu desejo um bolo
  • Eles casam-se
  • Tu perdoas
  • Nos falamos
  • Ela espera

It is very useful to practice the endings, but I don’t think the list of verbs here will be immediately useful to a beginner.  Think I’ll have a rummage in one of my books to find some more practical verbs to spend some time with 🙂



Who’s afraid of Portuguese verbs? The first steps to fluency

My Five Romances

mcall smith PIRPortuguese verbs have a fearsome reputation. The witty novelist Alexander McCall Smith wrote a short novel called Portuguese Irregular Verbs, a comedy about a well-meaning but mediocre German professor, Dr von Ingelfeld, who had spent his whole academic life studying Portuguese irregular verbs and felt that his efforts and expertise were not given due recognition. Surely he deserved a Nobel Prize at least! With a title like that, that novel was never destined to be a best-seller, but it did have interesting chapter titles, including “Duels, And How to Fight Them” and “Early Irish Pornography”. McCall Smith kept Dr von Ingelfeld going in two sequels, The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs and At The Villa of Reduced Circumstances, and all three books were later collated into a collection entitled The 2½ Pillars of Wisdom. Which just goes to show that a lifelong quest to conquer Portuguese verbs can’t be that bad after all.

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European Portguese please

I’ve been trying to learn European Portuguese on and off for a few months now and I’m struggling to maintain any solidity to the language. I have a bunch of books, and have attended a short course, but the building blocks of the language are still a mystery to me. I need to find a way to study that works for me, then hopefully one day it will just click (it will right?).

The best thing I’ve found so far is an iPhone app by ‘Mindsnacks’. It includes lots of mini games to help words stick. Using this has broadened my vocabulary, but I’m yet to know how to put a sentence together. The sad thing about the app, any many resources that I’ve found, is that the Portuguese is Brazilian. I find it frustrating to pick up the wrong pronunciation. It’s still great for word recognition and spelling, the repetition drills the words into your head and it’s perfect for my commute.

Mindsnacks Portuguese in the App Store

Tonight I found a great blogger (I’ll link through if I can figure out how) who has helped to explain regular verbs: verbs that end in er, ar, and ir. I’m going to practice the conjugations of these for a few days so fingers crossed I can crack a sentence or two by the end of the week. I’m looking forward to reaching a point where I feel like I have a wide enough vocabulary to begin chatting to the Portuguese guy in the cafe near work. “eu como frango” (“eu como o Frango”??!)… Languages are hard!