Sophie Jarman

Pasteis de nata

portuguese-egg-tart-scaledOne of the best things about learning a new language is discovering a whole new culture and a country´s food is one of the most important aspects and luckily normally one of the most enjoyable to explore.
Portugal is famous for its custard tarts or Pastéis de Nata; they are just out of this world and one of the best delicacies to try when visiting the country or to rustle up to get you in the mood to learn to speak Portuguese!
Here is a recipe for you to try: Continue reading

Fado music – the soul of Portugal

Fado music scaledOne thing you are bound to hear when visiting Portugal, particularly Lisbon, is Fado. This is the traditional music of Portugal that dates back to the 1800s and Portugal´s glory on the high seas. It is still sung spontaneously in many bars in the capital city so don´t be surprised if you are enjoying a nice glass of vinho verde and someone suddenly stands up to sing. Just watch, listen and enjoy. Continue reading

Valentine’s day in Brazil or Portugal?

Valentines heartFebruary in Brazil is all about Carnival! Huge parades, parties and general indulgences are the norm for this month in South America´s largest country. So it´s no surprise that Valentine´s Day isn´t really a big thing over there. Actually in Brazil they celebrate their ‘Dia dos Namorados’ (Lovers´s Day) on the 12th June. Celebrations are similar to those in the UK and the US: exchanging chocolates, flowers and having a lovely romantic dinner.

In Portugal however, they do celebrate the 14th February as Saint Valentine´s day. They also celebrate in similar style to those of us in the UK or US by sending chocolates, cards and flowers. Some lucky lovers however take it one step further. It is traditional in Portugal to send women gift baskets full of gourmet goodies and for women to send men similar baskets filled with delightful liqueurs!

So if you have the chance to spend Valentine´s day abroad this year, I know which of the two I would go to!
Just remember that in Brazil you tell your loved one ‘Te Amo’ and in Portugal you tell them ‘Amo-te’!! Just one of the other slight differences between these two historically, linguistically and culturally linked countries!

Why study Portuguese?

flag• Portuguese is spoken by over 230 million people.
• It is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world.
• Portuguese is spoken in four continents: Europe, South America, Africa and Asia.
• It is the official language of eight countries: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timos, Guine-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tome and Principe.
• It is the third most spoken European language after English and Spanish.
• Brazil has a Portuguese speaking population of 190 million.
• Brazil is a 21st century economic powerhouse. The 5th largest economy in the world.
• Portuguese speaking countries have an incredibly interesting history, culture and gastronomy.
• Portuguese speaking destinations make for great holiday choices.

Colombian Spanish Slang

It´s always fun to learn a bit of slang when you go travelling to a new country! It is a great way to join in with the locals or at least to help follow what they are talking about!
Here is a bit of Colombian Spanish slang to try when you visit this beautiful country.

De una!: Let´s do it!(now!)
Bacano: Cool, awesome
Chévere: Cool awesome
Juepucha: Oh my god!
Que mas?: How are you?
Que hubo? Hello, what´s up?
Parar bolas: To pay attention
Estoy enguayabado: I´m hungover
Que pena!: Sorry
Está mamando gallo: He´s kidding
Se le corrió el champu!: He´s nuts!
Plata: money
La Berraquera: the best

O Copo Mundial no Brasil 2014!

The World Cup is about to start in a just a couple of weeks in Brazil. All eyes are on this colourful and vivacious country. Most Brazilians are extremely passionate about football and so this World Cup is going to be something special: a season of football, caipirinhas, yellow and green painted faces and exciting emotions!

Here is some key vocabulary to help with this football season.

I would point out the most important expressions to remember are: “vai, vai vaiiiiiiiii” and “goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool!!”




Continue reading

Paisaje Cultural Cafetero – Salamina, Caldas, Colombia

Salamina 0Salamina is a beautiful, colonial town perched on the top of a mountain in the middle of the coffee region of Colombia. It is part of the Cultural Coffee Growing Landscape (Paisaje Cultural Cafetero) declared World Heritage by UNESCO and has also been declared one of the 14 towns that make up the Towns of National Heritage (Pueblos Patrimoniales). Salamina was founded in 1825 and still preserves much of its colonial architecture with wonderfully carved wooden doorways, beautiful balconies decorated with hanging flower baskets and houses built with guadua and bahareque (guadua bamboo, wattle and daub). Continue reading

A buñuelo and a pintadito please! (Colombian delicacies)

BunuelosAfter living in Colombia for a few years now I thought it was time to do justice to my dear friend the buñuelo. Too often do empanadas and arepas steal the limlight from the buñuelo but not today!

It is an engrained tradition here in Colombia, particularly in the coffee region where I live to stop at any time of day in one of the many cafeterias in town and order a pintadito or a tinto and a buñuelo and have a good chat about the state of affairs today.

Now a pintadito is the local name for a coffee with plenty of frothy milk, a tinto is not red wine as many people may think when they first cross the border into Colombia, but instead it is a black coffee. A buñuelo is a lovely ball of fried, cheesy corn dough that has been made to a secret recipe: too watery and it explodes, not enough liquid and it will end up like a rock. They are truly delicious and the ritual of watching the world go by over a cup of coffee and a freshly made buñuelo is one of my favourite things about living in this beautiful country.

When you come to visit Colombia, go ahead try the empanadas and the arepas but please don´t forget to have a pintadito and a buñuelo!

Prepositions “Por” and “Para” in Portuguese

Both of the words “Por” and “Para” in Portuguese can mean “FOR” or “TO” in English, however the distinction between the two is a little more complicated than that. So let´s take a closer look …

PARA can mean “TO”, “FOR”, “TOWARDS” and “IN ORDER TO”, whereas
POR can mean “BY”, “FOR”, “THROUGH”, “VIA”.

Here are a few hints to help make it a bit easier when deciding on which preposition to use: Continue reading

Follow Us
join us on instagram