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.