Translator wanted, East of Fundao – Learning the Language – Expats Portugal Community Forum

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Translator wanted, East of Fundao  

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Posts: 184
VIP Member
(@christopherdouglas)
Estimable Member
Joined: 12 years ago

Hi all,
This is a bit odd. Not seen this on here before but here goes!

Would anyone living in the Fundao, Castelo Branco area who can speak Portuguese be interested in spending a couple of hours with us in our new village? This is only a short visit for us, having just completed the purchase, but we want to introduce ourselves and say hello to our neighbour, the local shop, post office and cafe's.
We've been into them when we've visited before but then we were just looking. Now we've bought, we want to just say hi to our very Portuguese village. Our Portuguese isn't up to proper conversation yet!
Ideally we're looking at Wednesday 26th or Thursday 27th August.
We're staying in Castelo Branco and could pick you up, buy lunch and are quite happy to pay for your time.
Mmm.
Looking forward to some interesting replies,
Chris n Hellen

6 Replies




Posts: 28
VIP Member
(@eirikur)
Eminent Member
Joined: 6 years ago

I could help you with that, but I am out of the country at the moment and won`t be back in Portugal for a month at least. I hope you find someone for the dates you want. As a last resort, you can always write a "letter of introduction" in Portuguese, ot get it written rather, and hand it personaly to your neighbours. They will get the message, appreciate the gesture and understand that you don`t speak the language, nothing to be ashamed of when you first move to a new country.

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Posts: 502
VIP Member
(@madeira)
Honorable Member
Joined: 9 years ago

Hi,

I'd go slow with a letter depending on the age and background of your new neighbours. I tried this approach and there were two problems I ran into.

Especially among older people who lived through the dictatorship, they may be deeply suspicious of an unexpected letter. It is an unusual way of communicating friendship for them, letters are for something official (ie money required or bad news)

The second problem may be that they may not be able to read. This means extending the anxiety until they find someone who can read it for them.

It all pretty well mitigates against what you are trying to accomplish.

Even if you find a translator: I would suggest you learn the portuguese for:
Hello, my name is ----- Olá senhor/a, chamo-me -------------

I am the new neighbour : Sou (pron 'so') o vizinho novo (for you, a male),
a vizinha nova (for your wife/female partner)

and if you are up to it:
I don't speak Portuguese. I am going to learn
Não falo portuguese (not pronounced same as in English). Vou aprender

Followed by a lot of smiling and shrugging or 'não comprehendo' when they answer. Possibly a handshake, but not if it feels out of place/forced.

Throw these phrases into Google and play the pronunciation.

Most of all enjoy.

Reply




Posts: 184
VIP Member
(@christopherdouglas)
Estimable Member
Joined: 12 years ago

I could help you with that, but I am out of the country at the moment and won`t be back in Portugal for a month at least. I hope you find someone for the dates you want. As a last resort, you can always write a "letter of introduction" in Portuguese, ot get it written rather, and hand it personaly to your neighbours. They will get the message, appreciate the gesture and understand that you don`t speak the language, nothing to be ashamed of when you first move to a new country.

Hello, thanks for the reply, shame that you are away :-(
The letter may be an idea, but I can see the possible problems mentioned in the next post.
Have a good holiday,
Cheers,
Christopher

Reply




Posts: 184
VIP Member
(@christopherdouglas)
Estimable Member
Joined: 12 years ago

Hi,

I'd go slow with a letter depending on the age and background of your new neighbours. I tried this approach and there were two problems I ran into.

Especially among older people who lived through the dictatorship, they may be deeply suspicious of an unexpected letter. It is an unusual way of communicating friendship for them, letters are for something official (ie money required or bad news)

The second problem may be that they may not be able to read. This means extending the anxiety until they find someone who can read it for them.

It all pretty well mitigates against what you are trying to accomplish.

Even if you find a translator: I would suggest you learn the portuguese for:
Hello, my name is ----- Olá senhor/a, chamo-me -------------

I am the new neighbour : Sou (pron 'so') o vizinho novo (for you, a male),
a vizinha nova (for your wife/female partner)

and if you are up to it:
I don't speak Portuguese. I am going to learn
Não falo portuguese (not pronounced same as in English). Vou aprender

Followed by a lot of smiling and shrugging or 'não comprehendo' when they answer. Possibly a handshake, but not if it feels out of place/forced.

Throw these phrases into Google and play the pronunciation.

Most of all enjoy.

Hello Madeira,
Thanks for the full and useful reply,
Quite understand what you say about the officialdom side of it, and the possible illiteracy. Certainly wouldn't want to start off by offending people!
We are learning Portuguese, slowly, and can get by with shopping etc. The problem comes, as you say, when we introduce ourselves or ask a question and then get a reply that we weren't expecting. We tend to stand there, grin a bit and scour our dictionary.
Most people are very good with this and make amazing allowances for our inability to communicate properly! It is our fault after all!
Cheers,
Christopher

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