Monday, August 27, 2012

put a sock in it, bro

I consider myself someone of average intelligence. I'm no Einstein, but it doesn't take me twelve days to solve a math problem, write an english paper, or understand the string theory.

I am in no way blessed with the gift of tongues. (Unless, of course, we are speaking of a different kind of gift of tongues. But that is beside the point.)

I do, however, have a knack for pronunciation. I was often acclaimed by my host-brother in Russia for being able to say things that most americans had trouble with.

Being married to a man who speaks another language can be fun, especially when that language is his dominant form of speech while he is sleeping. Loving the idea of being able to speak to him in another language led me to sign up for a portuguese course. I was afraid I would be the only one who didn't have any sort of knowledge of the language prior to taking the class. (other than the fact that it is extremely attractive when my husband speaks it.)

I was unaware of the brainlessness of the people who would soon be my classmates.

I understand that many words in portuguese are pronounced differently than the english-trained brain first reads them. The first mistake or two is okay.

You would think after being corrected, oh… eight times, you'd fix the problem.

Average Joe didn't. He also thought he was "all that" and more.

Rebelde. (Rebellious)

Heh-bel-gee.

"Ruh-bel-day."

We had JUST gone over this word in class. I looked at Joe. "Remember, when a word starts with the letter 'R', it makes the 'H' sound, like 'Heh-bel-gee'."

"Oh, yeah. Right, right. Ra-ha-bel-day."

You have GOT to be kidding me. I JUST said the word not but two seconds ago. Did you not hear a thing I said?

He then proceeded to form a sentence (speaking about me) that translated to, "He is not rebellious." followed with a, "Eu sou inteligente." (I am intelligent.)

Correct: (As correct as a beginning portuguese student can explain over text) Ay-oo. So. In-tel-ih-zh*-en-chee.
[*s as in pleasure]
Joe: Eh. Ooh. So. In-tel-ih-gehn-tay.

No, Joe. No. Você não é inteligente.

But it is bedtime. And my husband is sleeping. So I am going to whisper sweet portuguese nothings into his ears. Sweet nothings things like, "You are an introvert." and "I am religious."

Boa noite, meus amigos!