JD gets by in Portuguese – with added melon

Long-time readers of this blog may recall my adventures learning Spanish last year with the misleadingly named 'Instant Spanish' book and CD set. This year, as I am off to the island of Madeira next week, I have been learning some Portuguese phrases from the rather less ambitiously titled 'Get by in Portuguese' book and CD set.

So far, I've learnt the first 30 phrases featured in 'Get By In Portuguese' (a poor performance, I know, but I've been busy with other things!). You may be surprised to learn that among those 30 phrases are:

  • What is the exchange rate for the pound?
  • I would like a melon.
  • Is there a lift?

These three phrases might appear to be useful for any scenario in which I exchange some pounds for euros in order to buy a melon and then need to take that melon up a tall building.

However as numbers have not figured (sorry!) in the first 30 phrases, except for the Portuguese for 'twenty', it is highly unlikely that I would understand any answer to the question 'what is the exchange rate for a pound?'. Unless, of course, the exchange rate is twenty euros to the pound, in which case I would be able to afford many, many melons.

There is also the fact that lifts are, as a whole, well signposted and easy to spot. I can't recall any instance when I have needed to ask 'is there a lift?' in English, let alone Portuguese.

But I do like melons, so it's not all bad news. (The phrase 'I'd like one of those' might have a wider application than 'I'd like a melon', however.)


Anonymous said...

Oh, nice pair of melons! ;-)

The Ridger, FCD said...

Reminds of the old Teach Yourself Swahili book, which had sentences such as "Cholera has come to the village"... Which, now I come to think of it, is something you'd probably really want to know.