Archive for February, 2009

Gender issues 3

I know I keep going on about the masculine and feminine of Portuguese nouns, but it`s partly because I find it so difficult to get right coming from English, a language without gender.

Recently, I`ve noticed that I occasionally get the ends of nouns wrong when I`m not sure if they are masculine (-o) or feminine (-a). I do this often when I`m trying hard to get my adjectives to agree with the gender of the noun and in so doing I accidentally change the noun! The problem is, sometimes, this can change the meaning dramatically.

Some examples (which I will keep updating)
bola – ball, bolo – cake
foca – seal (the animal), foco – focus
tira – cop, tiro – shot
vaga – space (as in parking space), vago – vague (which is actually an adjective)
verba – financial budget, verbo – verb


February 17, 2009 at 11:50 am Leave a comment

Vagalume gap fill (or how to learn Portuguese through pop songs)

There’s a very cool website called Vagalume in Brazil which has lyrics for thousands of songs, both from Brazil and internationally. But Vagalume excels where other similar sites might fall down… it often includes the music video to watch at the same time AND it has a snazzy function called “Aprenda” which hides a random selection of the lyrics. Your job is to listen to the song and write them back in – then check your answers at the end to see how you did.

English teachers love this website because it provides ready made examples of “gap fill” activities but there’s no reason you couldn’t use it for learning Portuguese. Just pick a Brazilian band or singer (such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Ivete Sangalo or whoever), click “Aprenda”, play the video and try and fill in the missing gaps.

Here’s a link to the top 100 most popular artists. Scroll down, find a Brazilian name and see what you think of the music…

(ps. The site also has some good interviews, games and other resources – all useful for people learning Brazilian Portuguese)

February 11, 2009 at 11:48 am 1 comment

Alanis in Brazil

I’m not a huge Alanis fan, but my wife is. We “nearly” got to see her live as she on tour in Brazil right now but it didnt work out for us this time. Here is an acoustic song from Alanis with subtitles in Portuguese. There are many more in YouTube with Portuguese subtitles – but I liked the lyrics in this one. Great for vocab!

February 9, 2009 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

Back again in 2009

Hello everyone,

Sorry for being offline for a while. Anyway, the internet is working and I’m back again. I’ll still be updating this blog sporadically but based on the way hits have worked out over the last 6 months since I started, I’m going to concentrate less on making this a unified resource of Brazilian Portuguese – rather, it will be more like a blog. Anything I find that may be of use I’ll put it on here.

OK, now to write a post.

February 9, 2009 at 1:28 am Leave a comment

They don’t speak Spanish, you know!

This website has practice activities for people learning Brazilian Portuguese at Intermediate level or higher. Please browse around or click on ABOUT to find out more about how to get the most out of the site.