Learning Portuguese with Tech

I’m staying in a gated community while here in Portugal and the man who is at the gate during “normal working hours” is really nice however, speaks little English.  And, at this point, I speak very little Portuguese.

There is a homeless cat that keeps him company and since I pass thru the gate at least once a day on foot, the cat and I are now also friends.  The guard feeds the cat and on weekends, leaves a sufficient amount of food for the cat to make it thru the weekend.

One way I’m learning Portuguese is to translate phrases for certain situations and for the gate guard my plan is to say something about the cat to him, such as:

I appreciate that you have befriended and feed the cat.  It has become my friend also.  Does it have a name?

With google translate, it is easy enough to cut and paste that phrase in to the translation page.  Here’s what I get in text form:

Eu aprecio que você tenha amizade e alimente o gato. Tornou-se meu amigo também. Isso tem um nome?

Gato is cat in Portuguese.

However, one of the things I’ve learned about speaking and understanding Portuguese already is that the sounds of written words isn’t always what I expect.  Fortunately, google translate to the rescue!

For cat:

And for the whole phrase:

Spoken Portuguese sounds happy to me.  That might be because, in general, the Portuguese people I’ve met so far all seem to be relatively happy and I notice it also in how they drive.  Unlike in the US, I notice mostly people here drive with respect; hardly speed, don’t cut each other off, etc.  It is very apparent to me at the rotaries, which are ubiquitous here.  In the US, I notice that many people speed up to enter a rotary; like it’s a competition or important for them to be first or probably its some kind of:  I’m more important than anyone else on the planet and I’m in a hurry mentality.  What ever the reason, it doesn’t feel kind and respectful to me and makes me think that, in getting Donald J. Trump for president, we’ve gotten what we deserve.  The problem with that is, the whole world seems at risk with him as president.  But I digress.

Here?  Drivers slow down entering rotaries and I have yet to see someone cut off another vehicle already in the rotary.

Just saying.