I am learning how to speak a completely new (and sexy) language.
The reason is not anything deep. I just like nice things, occasionally get FOMO and always want to understand a good joke.
I have a handful of lovely Portuguese speaking friends and when they tell a joke, it always sounds like it’s FIRE because the laughter that follows is the kind that can’t be faked. I, the English speaker will wait until one of the multi-linguists has a mere spare second to explain the joke to my linguistically illiterate ass, and if I get it, I’ll let out a second-hand laugh.
The problem here is that I want to be deep inside the roar of laughter without having the punch line translated to me because if we are to be honest, nothing kills a good punchline like a (bad) translation.
One day, after my Rosetta Stone of a friend weakly translated yet another comedic piece, in the most casual manner possible to mankind, she said ‘why don’t you just learn the language?’. She said it in the same way Paris Hilton used to speak about her wealth. Like it’s the norm to be THAT rich. Hellooo, this is Africaaa, how do you only speak 2 languages?
And so, to take you back to my opening mishap of liking things and letting FOMO hold me by the neck, here I am – learning the language.
It’s been 5 months now and there has been some small progress. I can’t exactly translate any Beyoncé songs to Portuguese, but I can catch on to the dirty jokes that my teacher often spits out. I must highlight that she’s the embodiment of all things amazing, and the only reason our class has progressed as well as it has.
Paloma is her name, and she’s Brazilian so you already know it’s always going to be a good time because she says Brazilians are the natural crazies of the Portuguese speaking bunch. She also says there is no point in being anal about grammar when learning a language, it only hinders the process because now you are not learning anymore, you are reciting, and that defeats the whole purpose (unless of course, the purpose is to improve your grammar). It’s not school, it’s an experience. And to that, we say, hashtag. bars. #Bars.
I intend to keep developing this skill even if I never get to use it outside of chats with my friends because if I am to be a tad honest, I find Portuguese to be a lot sexier than French. My motivation has now shifted from FOMO and understanding my friends, to being able to flirt with my reflection in Portuguese. Ola linda, vamos comer bolo?
All that aside, my classes are for an hour twice a week. On the one day new information gets introduced and on the second day, the information is repeated and thoroughly explained. This is often the time to come forth with questions you might have thought of while trying to decipher the first days content. Our class has more variety than Poke Co’s menu and I am here for it. We’re a class of 12 and between us, there are varying reasons for being in the class. I think the dentist and his hella stylish wife want to retire in Portugal, the accountant is preparing for a trip to Portugal, the Spanish speaking vixen is adding onto what she learned in Spanish class and the Burger King store assistant just thought it would be a good idea.
Its been 5 months, and like I said I can’t translate Beyoncé lyrics to Portuguese (just yet) but it does feel good to know that I am picking up a new skill that extends beyond my physical self.