Bilinguallityness

Language is a tricky thing. The subtle nuances of a native tongue can take more than a lifetime to master and the challenge of mastering a second or even third can be almost insurmountable. Some people have a natural flair for it – they can hear a word and it is immediately available for use in their vocabulary and others aren’t so lucky (‘carbonara’ can be a tricky word – can’t it DP?).

I’ve been attending an ‘advanced’ Portuguese conversation class for a while (slightly misnamed as several of the students couldn’t Portuguese their way out of ‘um sacinho de papel molhado’) which is a somewhat random meandering through the grammatical paths of Portuguese and English. We spend half the lesson speaking Portuguese (as we should) and the other half debating why the 2 nations can’t both speak English or at least reinvent Portuguese so it makes more sense to foreigners (go home you cerebrally challenged freaks).

Of course the teacher is fluent in both but occasionally has to question the colloquialisms that befuddle her. Towards the end of yesterdays lesson she wrote on the board…

“TO GIVE SOMEONE HEAD” and innocently asked the class “can anyone tell me what this means?”

I didn’t surf today. Too busy sniggering in the back row…