From Germany with love – Mary Baumeister experience at SPEAK

Als ich vor zwei Jahren über das Erasmus Programm nach Portugal gekommen bin, habe ich mich direkt nach einer guten Möglichkeit umgesehen die Landessprache zu lernen. An der Uni wurden Portugiesisch-Kurse angeboten, sowie im Goethe Institut und vielen anderen Institutionen. Aber wie das als Student nun mal so ist, will man nicht viel Geld ausgeben und selbst an der Uni konnte man die Kurse nur gegen eine Gebühr belegen. Als ich einer portugiesischen Kommilitonin von meinem “Leid” erzählt habe, hat sie mir von Speak erzählt.

Experiences of a foreigner abroad

As like many of the people who get involved with SPEAK, I am a foreigner to this country. I have now been living in Lisbon for just over a month, and as a English girl from a small town in the West Country, my experiences of living here have, of course, been quite different to back home.
Of course there are obvious differences; it is much hotter here than in Britain, which for Brits is amazing, but also a little heartbreaking when it is too hot for a comforting cup of tea when I get home. And then there’s the challenge of finding your way around a new city, a matter in which Google Maps has been my saviour. But one of the biggest things has to be the language barrier.

Fado, a big part of Portuguese culture

Saudade. This one colourful word, a mixture of melancholy, nostalgy, longing and sadness is paired with fado, the genre of music specific for Portugal, always sang by one person, accompanied by two guitars. The lyrics are full of love, longing, fate, the entire game of feelings and emotions. Some people call it the “Portuguese blues”, and I think that is a fair comparison. The word fado itself translates to “fate” but Portuguese rarely use it in this context, leaving it rather for songs lyrics.

3 apps that will boost your language learning experience

Learning languages gives me plenty of joy. I started from English in elementary school, adding Portuguese and German while studying. The Portuguese was a result of capoeira training – Afro-Brazilian martial arts with elements of dance. Many of the leading coaches were from Brazil and every year a part of a group was going to Brazilian headquarters to train with our Mestre, so I started to learn because I wanted to be able to communicate when I will go for the workshops.