March 05, 2023
Learning a new language is said to be relatively easy at a young age. Even easier would be to spend time in a country where a new-to-you language is spoken. Perhaps the best would be to have parents who speak two different languages to you from the get-go. Unfortunately, none of the above happened to me.
Honestly, my school-learned French was pretty good years ago, but lack of use has taken its toll. And when I decided Spanish was the most useful language, I took a semester of Spanish at night in my sixties. I had a knee replacement half-way through the second semester and that put an end to my Spanish efforts.
So why at my advanced age would I try to learn Portuguese, a language that is much harder than the other two I attempted? Well, if your child was completely bi-lingual in Portuguese and he told you how much Brazilians appreciate Americans who try to say even a few words, and he lived in Saõ Paulo half of every year, and you were going to visit, wouldn’t you try?
A free version of Duo Lingo online has been my guide. It takes five minutes a day. But one should do it every day, and that’s a lot.
Nonetheless, I have a Portuguese vocabulary that includes some names of fruits, some animals, some verbs and a few phrases. I am solid with obrigada (thank you) and bom dia (good morning).
It’s a start.
Condolences on the passing of your good husband, I just read about it in the Globe. The man had courage. I copied the final sentence of the piece he wrote about his decision, with a brief explanation, into my notebook of memorable quotes.
—inveterate biking enthusiast in Watertown
Posted by: Richard McNally | March 05, 2023 at 09:47 AM
This very nice you trying to speak Portuguese.
I follow your son at Instagram and through him i read your piece at the Globe. Heart breaking!!
I am sure your son could help with the language, but if you need any further help, send a msg in Instagram, My login is vic.saddi. On twitter i am vitorias.
Best of luck to you!
Posted by: Vitoria Cristina Cardoso Saddi | March 05, 2023 at 10:04 AM
Saw your article in the Globe today. My husband aged 63 has PD. No one talks about what lies ahead for us. We just gather little bits here and there about what may happen down the road.
My husband too wishes there was a pill available. Maybe in the next 10/20 years things will change and he will be allowed to go in peace.
Thank you for your words.
Posted by: Maria | March 05, 2023 at 01:14 PM
Long time no talk...read your account in today's Globe...I'm at home in Gloucester with my Ann (this year is our 50th) who has an advanced case of dementia...like my mother she may wake up one day and decide, that's it, no more eating....but then she'll forget!
I really appreciated your help when we were recruiting at KSG and I was at Lewin...you made things easy
Posted by: Tom Mannle | March 05, 2023 at 05:06 PM
Dear Mrs. Kugel,
This one goes in Portuguese. I hope you appreciate it. I follow Seth's work since 2016-17, and it is great to see you joining the bilingual journey. :)
Eu me chamo Ricardo, e fui aluno de intercâmbio nos EUA entre 2014-16, enquanto aluno de mestrado na DePaul University em Chicago. Na época estudei Ciência de Dados, uma área bastante aquecida no mercado de trabalho mundial.
Tive uma bolsa do governo brasileiro para estudar fora, e me surpreendi positivamente (na maior parte das vezes) com a acolhida de vários americanos que conheci durante esse período que morei na "cidade ventante". Sempre as pessoas dispostas a conversar, inclusive sobre a política local com um estrangeiro. A Sra. deve imaginar que um estrangeiro se sente muitas vezes, "perdido", em meio a um turbilhão de informações locais, mas ao mesmo tempo, é instigante a possibilidade do novo.
Eu espero que a Sra. aprecie esse tempo quando do aprendizado do Português, provavelmente Português Brasileiro, e que possa ter acesso à nossa literatura e música, que fazem muitas vezes um uso poderoso da linguagem.
Hoje moro em Hamilton, ON, cidade em que escolhei para viver enquanto faço meu doutorado em Sensoriamento Remoto (uma área das Ciências Exatas que trata da monitoração da Terra com o uso de satélites e demais sensores embarcados em aviões, e em terra), mas sou extremamente grato à vários americanos que conheci na minha jornada nos EUA. Posso dizer que o trabalho feito pelo Seth foi muito importante em uma época em que tentava compreender melhor os nuances da cultura americana, e ficaria muito feliz em poder retribuir isso de alguma maneira, na sua jornada pelo Português.
Um grande abraço (nós brasileiros somos um povo que se abraça com uma certa regularidade),
Posted by: Ricardo Barros Lourenço | March 05, 2023 at 05:10 PM