Monday, October 10, 2011


Teaching a baby/toddler a second language is hard. Especially when that second language is a romance language. I honestly don't know how the Brazilian kids do it. Instead of nice, simple, efficient words, you find yourself trying to teach a two year-old the syllabic equivalent of "mellifluous" with about 20 different words a day. For example: 

Puzzle = Quebra-cabeƧa
Slide = Escorregadoura
Fun = Divirtido
Blender = Liquidificadora
Cobblestone = ParalelipĆ­pido

Ok. Granted. Eliza and I have never talked about cobblestones before, but I just know that difficult conversation is going to come up someday and we are going to be horribly unprepared.

In all honesty, the second language thing is going well enough. Eliza can understand MOST of the things I say but just prefers to answer in English. And I'm completely fine with that for now, but I have recently been thinking of how to up her Portuguese skills.

Just a week or two ago we started reading a book in Portuguese every night before bed. Recently added to our reportoire:

And of course:

And I've begun to think about introducing Brazilian shows and/or dubbed Disney movies and the like. A great thought, you might think, but think about thinking again. Here is the trouble:

1. These things don't exist in the US
2. Brazil has them, but they are super expensive. And I'd have to buy a DVD player that can read the Brazilian region DVD's, or just play them on a computer. Lame and then lame.

So what I've decided to do is to find some movies online that someone may or may not have ripped. I would or would not use my modded or not modded Wii to play said borrowed films. Done. Now you're thinking, "wait did this guy just admit to copyright infringement on the entire worldwide web?" Maybe.

Now for some moralistic justification. I would download movies that we already own. We DO own the right to view the movie, we just don't own the rights, nor did we pay for, the translation and brilliantly voice-acted dubbing. So we're cheating! Right? Maybe. I'm assuming whoever did the dubbing was paid a lump sum for the project and is not receiving any royalties, so my "importing" the dubbing isn't actually taking something they deserve from them.

Ok, enough justification and back to Portuguese. We will soon (if I can figure out how to do it) have the pleasure of watching such treasures as:

To be fair, Eliza does speak some Portuguese here and there. In fact, I don't think she actually knows the English words "open" and "shut." Those have for some reason always been Portuguese. We say our nightly prayers in Portuguese and she LOVES to repeat them after me. It's honestly the most adorable thing ever so I'll try to post a video of her doing it. 

Eliza does use the occasional Portuguese word to get what she wants and it always catches me by surprise. For instance, whenever she asks for juice, she says "suco" (she says zue-koh) and I always think she's talking about this guy:

If you don't know who this is, go ahead and take a long hard look at your life. It's Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Apparently, there have been some studies (I think I'm not making this up) that have shown that learning a second language increases spatial and logical reasoning, and consequently makes you good at math. This is good to know, because she may be cute and all, but "without math you are nothing" (actually quoted from the Bible). 

I like to think about Math. And Eliza. And this:

(Sorry if this gives you nightmares later)
Keep up that Portuguese, girl!

posted by Nathan (if you didn't already know)


  1. Hahahaha! DISCO SWEAT AND AVATAR! Can you get any more wonderful Nathan? :-)

  2. Y'all are awesome! I gave up on teaching our kids Spanish or Portugeuse early on! :) Oh and paralelipido is one of Nick's favorite words! I love it!

  3. Hilarious! I guess your photoshop is so seamless that Noah looked at the Einstein photo and laughed and said, "A Zsa Zsa!!!" Apparently that is the universally agreed upon pronunciation of Eliza by toddlers.

  4. Nathan- your posts are ridiculous and almost as hilarious as your wife's. :) I would love to see a video of E's Portuguese prayers. please post!


A Penny For Your Thoughts