Friday, June 20, 2014

Language is fun, part Portuguese

Hi! I am in Salvador, Brazil, for the summer. I could promise a blog post later where I explain that in more detail, but we've all seen how up-to-speed my blogging is, so I'll just say I'm here for field research for my PhD.

Few people in Salvador speak English. Thus I am learning Portuguese (and I fear harming my good French and obliterating my crappy Spanish at the same time, but whatever). Each language has its weirdnesses (yes, even English, you just don't notice them until a non-native English speaker asks why you say X or Y and you have no idea).  Remember how to count in French/Dutch? Among other things in Portuguese, I've learned the days of the week (should have gotten a gold star, I KNOW!). They are:

Monday= Seconda-feira (second-feira)
Tuesday= Tercera-feira   (third-feira)
Wednesday= Quarta-feira (fourth-feira)
Thurday = Quinta-feira (fifth-feira)
Friday = Sexta-feira (sixth-feira)
Saturday = Sabado
Sunday = Domingo

Feira means market. It seems to be a religious thing that Sunday is first, but weekdays are second through sixth market day. It is more confusing than it sounds, I promise. Try to remember what day of the week it is, then add 1 and translate it to Portuguese. Yup. They also abreviate the days as 2ª, etc., so you see shop hours listed as :

2ª a 6ª, das 9.00 às 18.00

which is fun when your best guess is that the shop is open five days a month....