Conversations in Portuguese

My skills in Portuguese seem to be growing every day.  I am a slow learner but try to learn something new every day.  I have seen my conversation skills grow markedly every week recently.  When I listen to Portuguese I have a simple inner monologue going.  I first am listening for all of the words that I understand which have been said.  Then I am telling myself the different possibilities of what was said based on the context and words I recognized.  The next part of the monologue is normally do I understand enough to respond.  If I do then I will think to myself do I have the vocabulary to say a response that makes sense.  Finally I think about if I actually want to respond.

conversations 3

Past Portuguese Understanding

This internal monologue has gotten better each and every week as I understand more vocabulary.  Here is some of the progress that I have made.  When I had only been in country about a month and a half I went to a wedding.  At this wedding we had some great table conversation which I really didn’t understand much of at all.  I was able to pick up a few words here and there but I do remember two specific words that were actually only one word.  The words were “de coracao”  which means “the heart”  I thought that they were talking about the heart of the matter in my internal monologue.  It lead me to actually respond that I understand.  Later I was told that the word I heard was “decoracao” and actually means decoration.

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Current Portuguese Understanding

A few months later the internal monologue is different when I talk with a guy after the church service.  We were able to talk about cooking food, talking about missing another missionary on furlough, and how nice the church/dedication service was.  This conversation went so well that when I expressed how my Portuguese has not been progressing as well as I wanted.  During this conversation making a story to accompany the words that I was able to follow was easier.

conversations

Future Portuguese Understanding

One day in the future I hope that I will not have to fill in as many words in the stories that I tell myself during a conversation in Portuguese.

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2 thoughts on “Conversations in Portuguese

  1. Oh, Benjamin! I’m overjoyed to hear of your Portuguese progress and see the visuals of the internal monologue you sent. I was thinking in the first explanation of how arduous a task it sounded to listen, filter, decide, and maybe respond; but then I realized that language acquisition is just that. You have made progress that you can “chart,” and that must be very rewarding. “Baby steps” may sound pedantic, but being able to “see” those baby steps and how they increase little by little is terrific. Yeh!!! I’m celebrating in Placentia! I’m thanking the Lord mightily for this answered prayer. I am also thanking Him for your positive and encouraged response to this overwhelming task. Keep it up! and I will continue to pray.
    I’m also thrilled that you are conversing in Portuguese with other young people at church and getting the practice you need every day. Love and prayers, Auntie Carolyn

  2. love the word ‘progress’ especially when it is a personal achievement. I am praying that this trend will continue and that you will be fluent enough to talk freely on a daily basis. love, mom

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