September 29

the long overdue update

Wow, it’s been ages since I posted. I started this blog with all the best intentions and then life got in the way big time. It’s been a crazy month or so with another shoulder surgery for me, a hospital stay for my cat and my boyfriend leaving on a two month assignment in Asia. Worst timing for all of this to happen, but things seem to calm down a bit again.

Language learning took a bit of a back seat as well and I have to admit that I dropped the Arabic for the moment. Mostly because I just enjoy Portuguese a whole lot more. I love the people I met through my local teacher and I love the culture. I’d say my level is about functioning tourist. I could order my food, talk about my family and understand simple requests. I think my listening comprehension has improved a lot, just by getting used to the sounds and pronunciations of Portuguese and some common changes from Spanish to Portuguese. Reading is still by far the easiest. Speaking Spanish is a huge advantage, especially for some basic sentence structure and vocal, but it’s also a hinderance as I constantly compare instead of just learning it.
I’m still not overly confused between the languages which was my biggest worry. There is some Spanish creeping into my Portuguese and sometimes the pronunciation is way too Spanish, but the other way round I have yet to confuse them. I’m glad I waited until my Spanish was pretty solid, it seems to be fixed in my head and doesn’t get mixed up with Portuguese, so that’s great. I also think Portuguese helps my Spanish, because so often I think about the Spanish equivalent or the Spanish word for something, it’s good practice.

As far as the English Proficiency test goes, I think I’m more or less ready. I want to write a couple more essays and have them corrected, but the Use of English, listening and speaking portions seems to be pretty straight forward. The Use of English is the hardest one and I keep giving my friends a page to see how I measure up. They all do well, but none of them has gotten all correct yet. So if I native speaker can’t get it 100%, I’m more than happy with my results of about 85%. The exam is still a month and a bit away, but I don’t have to stress about that too much.

Anyways, I hope to be posting and interacting a lot more in the next little while, but I still can’t type for too long with this wretched shoulder of mine. 🙂