Obies Using Languages: Danilo Powell-Lima ’18

Briefly describe your Winter Term.

I spent Winter Term in Salvador Brasil with my aunt. There I took Portuguese classes at a language school during day, and explored just how much food my stomach could hold at night.

Describe the daily routine in your Portuguese class.

Carlo, the other student in the class, would spend the first 15 minutes talking about our previous day; whether we went to the beach, the art museum, a show, or maybe we sat on our butts all afternoon. Afterwards we worked in our workbook for the remainder of the class. That sounds lame but the class was fun. There were only three of us and we all were from different countries (I’m from New Jersey, Carlo’s from Germany, the professor’s from Brasil).

Tell me about the differences between learning Portuguese in the United States versus learning in Brazil.

I got a lot less homework.

Who were you able to speak with most comfortably: strangers, family members, classmates, foreigners?

Speaking with classmates and foreigners was way more comfortable than speaking with strangers and family members. Speaking with family members got exhausting because I was speaking Portuguese all of the time, and I wasn’t and still am not very good at the language. Sometimes I needed a break. Speaking with strangers was annoying because I’d be asking them for something, like directions, and they’d respond really fast and I’d ask then to speak slower and they’d look at me confused. Then I had to tell them that I was an American learning Portuguese. Then they go “oh very good you speak very well!” That routine was tiring.

Where does your inspiration and motivation to learn Portuguese originate from?

My parents speak it but never spoke it around me!!!!!!!

What are your next steps in learning Portuguese?

I’m trying to speak it as much as possible when I can. I have a pal where I live who speaks Portuguese, and sometimes I remember that she speaks Portuguese, and when I sometimes remember I get her to speak with me. When I call my parents nowadays we speak in Portuguese. I’m also in a Brasilian film course; hearing the language once a week for two hours will help me improve.



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