Obies Using Languages: Danilo Powell-Lima ‘18

Danilo Powell-Lima is a third year Philosophy and Politics major at Oberlin College.

What other language do you know besides English, and how did you learn it?

I’m vaguely familiar with Spanish–my mom always told me that my first language was spanish and this is because when i was a little toddler, my baby sister only spoke to me in Spanish. I’m also Brazilian and Portuguese is frequently spoken around my house although not frequently enough, for I am not yet fluent.

How do you communicate with your relatives who only speak Portuguese?  

I usually ask them to speak much more slowly for me. I’m kind of stuck using the same realm of words that I already know, but I usually pick up two or three new words every time I have a conversation with my family. I find the process fun and my family is very supportive and patient with me.

What is your favorite phrase/slang or word in Portuguese that isn’t easily translatable to english, and what does it mean roughly?

I like the word saudades. It means a kind of nostalgic longing for something, but you can’t directly translate it to English, only us Brazilians can really understand its meaning. I have saudades for my cats.


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