Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Quick Language Update

I am planning to fill you all in on my Portuguese progress (rather, my lack of progress) but I just had a break through at lunch that was amusing enough to share.

I just tackled eating at the restaurant next door on my own (the kind where you make a salad and they weigh it...) and I had been pretty anxious about someone trying to talk to me when I don't really speak Portuguese. As I stood to go, I grabbed my tray and one of the employees reached toward it saying to me, "tirara," which means I will take it. I walked out of there pretty damn proud of myself for understanding an interaction with someone, albeit a small one.

Then I got to thinking about why that word sounded familiar to me. See, since I have arrived, people have been asking me, "Do you speak Portuguese," and my standard reply is, "No I dont speak Portuguese very well, but  I am trying."

Except that I have been telling people that I am trying by saying, "estou tirando" -- which I thought meant I am trying...turns out it means I am taking. As I realized today when the man told me he would take my tray (tirara and tirando come from the root verb tirar (to try)).  So, I have been walking around telling people repeatedly "I am taking" in a context where it makes no sense! So much for getting better at Portuguese!

No comments:

Post a Comment