quinta-feira, 18 de agosto de 2011

Coisas da nossa gente...

Would you be delighted with the possibility of having a ‘coxinha and Guarana’ for snack? What about a sip of a Brazilian coffee with a ‘pao de queijo’? Have you ever thought that it would bring you pleasure just to go to a shop and buy farofa, pacoquinha, goiabada cascao, mandioca (here called cassava), cashew and passion fruit juice, linguica Toscana (even the Italian sausages bought in England don’t resemble in anything our Brazilian ones) or a Brazilian beer? Well, that’s what many “expats” like me do and feel sometimes when we are away from our country .

In the big cities there are always small shops which sell the products that I mentioned above. There is not a huge selection of products, but these little things give us a taste of home.

A taste of home and the opportunity to feel close and still part of our country even if from a distance is what makes many of us watch poor TV programmes, just because they are in Portuguese. Of course sometimes some of those programmes can hurt our ears. Ouch!!!

This week I heard a Brazilian girl who is the presenter of one of the programmes in this Brazilian channel in London, introducing and advertising the hairdresser of a Beauty Salon in London. The problem is that she kept saying something like “ Come to the…… beauty saluunn”.

Well there is a difference between the words salon and saloon. The first is related to the hairdressing and beauty parlours and the final ‘o’ of the word is pronounced like ‘o’ (for us Brazilians). The second word saloon is related to those old western movies, the bar where the cowboys used to go for a drink. In this case we pronounce the ‘oo’ as a u (for us Brazilians). Poor hairdresser, maybe she might opt to swap the name of her business, maybe simply call it “salao de beleza…..” in order to avoid misinterpretations.

Ok, some of you might be saying, what is the big issue about that? Maybe the girl just got it wrong…Well, I don’t think so. She is presenting a program on TV, she lives in England and she should know better. Unfortunately there are many like her. I very often hear Brazilians worrying about their accent, debating which one is better if British or American English. Before worrying about the accent they should be more concerned about the pronunciation of certain words. If you still say “vegiteibou” (ouch!) when you don’t have a clue about how to pronounce the word ‘vegetable’, maybe that’s why people cannot understand you.

Having said that, although it might hurt our ears sometimes, it is also a good laugh. Of course I know that there are many people out there trying to learn the language and doing their best, and I have respect for those people. My comments are not based on those people, but the name of the blog is Ingles Inglaterra e etc, and I guess I have to comment that there are many people here in England who think they have an excellent English skill but actually they don't, mainly not good enough for a TV show.


sexta-feira, 12 de agosto de 2011

Pai Nosso em ingles...

 lavender in the front garden of our house

Things are calmer in England and the riots and looting have subsided but the consequences of those sheer criminal scenes are far from great. Among them some dead.

I’m leaving here today the prayer “Our Father” for those who would like to learn how to say that in English. The intention is not to preach nor brag about religion.

Curiosity: You that have English as your second language, do you say your prayers in English or using your mother tongue?

Our father
Who art in heaven
Hollowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

During the mass I say all the prayers in English but for some reason the Our Father I have to say in Portuguese, while the whole church is going in English. I guess there are connections and feelings that only our mother tongue can bring and there is no code-switch good enough to work otherwise.

terça-feira, 9 de agosto de 2011

Vandalismo em Londres...

On my last post I have shown photos of a calm rural England close to where I live. Unfortunately today I have to comment on the appalling scenes of violence that have spread throughout London and have now reached other cities of England.

It seems that all started with a protest after a man was shot dead by the police in North London. It is not clear or confirmed yet what happened to that man. The media states that after the incident, family members, friends and people from his community decided to march in a protest, but hours later things escalated and got out of hand. The riots started in the streets and lasted for more than three nights. The despicable scenes of violence now don’t have any relation with the initial incident any more. It seems that young guys, criminals with nothing better to do are looking for an excuse to cause chaos and destruction. Loads of properties have been burned, shops have been looted and people are scared.

England is a very tolerant country and one of the most fair I’ve ever seen. This country embraces many cultures and have helped many immigrants, I’m one of them. From my point of view this is a demonstration of sheer vandalism and criminality. Of course, many questions have been raised against the current government, cut of benefits to the youth programmes, and immigration laws and people are entitled to object to that, mainly in this country, but going about it the wrong way won’t bring good results. I am sad with the news. I have been here for almost 11 years now. I remember the incident of September 11th in the USA and how this affected us. I also remember when Jean Charles de Menezes was killed and the terrorist attacks in London. We surely don’t need any more troubles, let’s hope things get back to normal soon.