Off topic ?

I am a music freak, I could never live without. Music helps me when I’m sad, grows my happiness, does a lot of things for me. Sometimes I can just express myself through music. All kind of music, I would say every kind of good music. But what is good music ? Well depends on my mood I guess. I could listen all kind of music if fits my mood, or life period. And every time I have my obsessions, songs which really makes me crazy for some days, weeks or even months. Now I have another one and I wanted to share with you I just couldn’t help myself. Since it’s out of my topics I did my best to transform it to fit my topics. Cool, no ? How I did that ? Watch me:
"I always felt fascinated about Brazilian Portuguese, has something deeply connected to my soul. And this became more obvious since I started understand a little bit. Maybe who doesn’t feel it or understands it finds it a bit weird, but just give it a chance. So, now that I recently moved in South America I can satisfy my pleasure more easily, fits the area. And of course I’ve made a huge list of Brazilian songs which fill my iTunes . But this song …"

So let’s find out more about Brazilian Portuguese and we can integrate this article easily in my “Did you know – series”. This will be also an "intercourse" before the big moment comes :).

More than 150 million people speak Brazilian Portuguese in Brazil. And by the way, did you know Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world ? Imagine that is large enough to eat Europe. The reason Brazil is not bigger than America, is because the territories of Alaska and Hawaii are also added in the calculation. So it’s really big and we can’t underestimate the potential superpower can became.

But back to the language. “Brazilian Portuguese varies from European Portuguese in many respects, including pronunciation and vocabulary. Many of the differences can be attributed to the influence of the languages of the indigenous populations of Brazil and to the admixture of African words brought over by slaves. Moreover, while Continental Portuguese was heavily influenced by the French language during the 18th century, Brazilian Portuguese did not register those changes. Also, the Portuguese pronunciation differs from region to region in Brazil, depending on the settlement patterns of European immigrants.
The history of Brazilian Portuguese begins with the colonization of Brazil by Portugal in 1500. The language did not take hold until the Jesuits (who learned and promoted the Tupi and Guarani languages) were expelled in 1759 and the Tupi language was banned by the government.

As you learn Portuguese, you'll notice that some Portuguese vocabulary words look or sound deceptively like English-- but watch out! Don't assume that a Portuguese vocabulary word always means what you think it does. For example, if you tell someone they are breve, you are not complimenting them on their bravery-- you are calling them brief! If you describe something as grosso, you are saying it is thick. Férias has nothing to do with fairies or ferries: it means vacation.
English words of Brazilian Portuguese origin include tapioca, petunia, piranha, cashew, ipecac, macaw and toucan.”


Mário A. Perini
, a famous Brazilian linguist, has said:
"There are two languages in Brazil. The one we write (and which is called "Portuguese"), and another one that we speak (which is so despised that there is not a name to call it). The latter is the mother tongue of Brazilians, the former has to be learned in school, and a majority of population does not manage to master it appropriately.... Personally, I do not object to us writing Portuguese, but I think it is important to make clear that Portuguese is (at least in Brazil) only a written language. Our mother tongue is not Portuguese, but Brazilian Vernacular. This is not a slogan, nor a political statement, it is simply recognition of a fact.... There are linguistic teams working hard in order to give the full description of the structure of the Vernacular. So, there are hopes, that within some years, we will have appropriate grammars of our mother tongue, the language that has been ignored, denied and despised for such a long time."

According to Milton M. Azevedo (Brazilian linguist):
"The relationship between Vernacular Brazilian Portuguese and the formal prescriptive variety fulfills the basic conditions of Ferguson's definition [of diglossia]...[...] Considering the difficulty encountered by vernacular speakers to acquire the standard, an understanding of those relationships appears to have broad educational significance. The teaching of Portuguese has traditionally meant imparting a prescriptive formal standard based on a literary register (Cunha 1985: 24) that is often at variance with the language with which students are familiar. As in a diglossic situation, vernacular speakers must learn to read and write in a dialect they neither speak nor fully understand, a circumstance that may have a bearing on the high dropout rate in elementary schools..."

According to Bagno (1999) the two variants coexist and intermingle quite seamlessly, but their status is not clear-cut. Brazilian Vernacular is still frowned upon by most grammarians and language teachers, with only remarkably few linguists championing its cause. Some of this minority, of which Bagno is an example, appeal to their readers by their ideas that grammarians would be detractors of the termed Brazilian Vernacular, by naming it a "corrupt" form of the "pure" standard, an attitude which they classify as "linguistic prejudice". Their arguments include the postulate that the Vernacular form simplifies some of the intricacies of standard Portuguese (verbal conjugation, pronoun handling, plural forms, etc.).

Bagno accuses the prejudice against the vernacular in what he terms the "8 Myths":
1.There is a striking uniformity in Brazilian Portuguese
2.Nearly all Brazilians speak very poor Portuguese while in Portugal people speak it very well
3.Portuguese is extremely difficult
4.People that have had poor education can't speak anything correctly
5.In the state of Maranhão people speak a better Portuguese than elsewhere in Brazil
6.We should speak as closely as possible to the written language
7.The knowledge of grammar is essential to the correct and proper use of a language
8.To master Standard Portuguese is the path to social promotion

In opposition to the "myths", Bagno counters that:
1.The uniformity of Brazilian Portuguese is just about what linguistics predicts for such a large country whose population has not generally been literate for centuries and which has experienced considerable foreign influence, that is, this uniformity is more apparent than real.
2.Brazilians speak Standard Portuguese poorly because, in fact, they speak a language that is sufficiently different from SP so that the latter sounds almost "foreign" to them. In terms of comparison, it is easier for many Brazilians to understand someone from a Spanish-speaking South American country than someone from Portugal because the spoken varieties of Portuguese on either side of the Atlantic have diverged to point of nearly being mutually unintelligible.
3.No language is difficult for those who speak it. Difficulty appears when two conditions are met: the standard language diverges from the vernacular and a speaker of the vernacular tries to learn the standard version. This divergence is the precise reason why spelling and grammar reforms happen every now and then.
4.People with less education can speak the vernacular or often several varieties of the vernacular, and they speak it well. They might, however, have trouble in speaking SP, but this is due to lack of experience rather than to any inherent deficiency in their linguistic mastery.
5.The people of Maranhão are not generally better than fellow Brazilians from other states in speaking SP, especially because that state is one of the poorest and has one of the lowest literacy rates.
6.It is the written language that must reflect the spoken and not vice versa: it is not the tail that wags the dog.
7.The knowledge of grammar is intuitive for those who speak their native languages. Problems arise when they begin to study the grammar of a foreign language.
8.Rich and influential people themselves often do not follow the grammatical rules of SP. SP is mostly a jewel for powerless middle-class careers (journalists, teachers, writers, actors, etc.).

Ok, so it’s a controversial language, but beautifull and I found it – very sensual really.
And now after school let’s enjoy together my last obsession.
I’ve chosen this version because has a good sound quality and nice pictures, but focus on the music. I look forward to hearing your opinion. Pls put it loud !!!
“Estou tentando aprender o Português (Brazilian Portuguese).”

Sources: Wiki ; Wikipedia ; Learn Portuguese.

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