Language Lessons, Hopefully: Part 1
In the three weeks since I arrived, I’ve been trying to find Portuguese classes for beginners/foreigners. A couple of weeks before I left, I realized that it might help to learn some Portuguese, and a neighbor who was born in Portugal offered to teach me. She loaned me a introduction to conversational Portuguese, and unwilling to embarrass myself in front of someone who I see everyday (when I’m not living in another country, that is), I really cracked that book. In fact I cracked it so hard that pages started falling out. Another friend loaned me a 3 CD program, and with the help of these two resources, I’m finding that I can order meals, buy things in supermarkets and other stores, ask directions, and understand the answer.
But I really want to take this opportunity to learn another language because it’s fun to learn languages and talk to people and, besides, you never know when you’re going to need it. So in the past couple of weeks I found two classes–one for absolute beginners that meets in the evening, and one that meets in the morning for those who have a little experience with Portuguese and/or are fluent in Spanish, French, or Italian. I ended up choosing the more advanced/intensive class and was all set to start tomorrow when I got an e-mail that two people who signed up had withdrawn and the course now didn’t have enough students. They’re giving it one more week before canceling the class altogether.
If you are reading this and by chance living in Lisbon and looking for a class in Portuguese for foreigners, please e-mail me, and I’ll put you in touch with the program administrator. Otherwise, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that someone else interested in learning Portuguese turns up. My alternative is a combination of books and online resources, which is how my teenage protagonist with Asperger’s in ROGUE teaches herself French, but it’s not as much fun and I expect that my accent (not exactly my strength in other languages) wil suffer too. Stay tuned.