quarta-feira, 28 de março de 2012

Now...the cow REALLY went to the swamp!

In Portuguese, we have many expressions that metaphorically can express our feelings when we face some situations in our day by day, when something happened and we feel that, somehow it will create a tough situation or a kind of a problem...we could say ...OH...OH...A VACA FOI PRO BREJO! In fact it means "you (or somebody) screwed up!" = Estamos Ferrados!
I think I couldn't choose a more appropriated expression for today! We are screwed up...we lost Millôr Fernandes. He died yesterday night and for sure it's a huge loss. To understand it better I'll quote the reporter Zuenir Ventura (Millôr's friend) in an interview this morning to Globonews: "It's really a loss. The loss of a genius. It is a loss for journalism, for the theater, to literature, because Millôr did all that!" It's true...besides being a very talented writer, Millôr also developed other careers such as a journalist, playwright, translator and humorist. He was an expert in  Shakespeare and translated a lot of his plays into Portuguese. We lost a multi-talented man who was able not only to do many tasks but also to include humor in all these tasks, made them light but at the same time punctual.
He knew English so well that he wrote a book which brings a lot of Portuguese expressions literally translated into English...without worrying if it was right or not, without worrying about the real meaning of the words. He simply imagines how it could be said in English and used the English words, which, of course, was very, very funny! The book title The Cow Went To The Swamp (A Vaca Foi Pro Brejo!) is a very good example of it. If somebody says this expression in the way he wrote it in English, for sure it would mean nothing. An English native speaker wouldn't understand it at all and probably, he or she would ask what on earth the cow is doing in the swamp?  But for us...it's very funny because it is what we call "Inglês Macarrônico" or  "a very poor English". Only Brazilian people can understand it properly. His creativity had no limits. I used to have a lot of fun using his book in my English class...it was used exactly to show the students how they SHOULD'NT say it in English and mainly to show them a little bit of Millôr's work...the work of a genius! Thanks Millôr for such great moments!
By the way, could you possibly know what these expressions mean?
- To whirl the old woman from Bahia.
- If it gives cake, I take my body out.
- With me is bread, bread; cheese, cheese!
- Carioca of the egg's yolk!
- He wrote, didn't read, the stick ate!

domingo, 18 de março de 2012

Em um conto de fadas...

Em um conto de fadas tudo é possível! De fato tudo é possível porque é mágico, simples assim! Brinquedos brincam (e falam), pato criado por galinha vira cisne, gente nasce de flor, uma ervilha machuca, humanos e seres mitológicos se apaixonam, pessoas enxergam o que não está lá (e o que de fato está ninguém vê), a chama de um único fósforo aquece a esperança, um pássaro conta segredos para um imperador e amores tão intensos são consumidos pelo fogo ou racham feito louça. Magia maior ainda é poder falar sobre tudo isso sem se quer parecer maluquice. É como se uma licença especial fosse concedida...em qualquer outro contexto, poderia até parecer meio estranho, mas em se tratando de Hans Christian Andersen, tudo muda de figura e o que seria maluquice acaba ganhando contornos de uma estória que poderia ter acabado de acontecer, aqui mesmo ou logo ali, tanto faz!
Só que pra nossa sorte vai ser aqui mesmo - o grupo de teatro do colégio Eduardo Gomes está se preparando para a criação de um espetáculo baseado na obra desse ilustre autor infantil. Portanto...a magia só está começando!!!
Ter a oportunidade de passar uma tarde em companhia do grupo, da professora Márcia Malpelli e de Hans Christian Andersen (Christian para diferenciar do pai que também era Hans Andersen) foi simplesmente um desses presentes que a vida nos dá...o tipo de presente que é simplesmente para desfrutar, aproveitar e ao chegar ao fim, guardar na memória e no coração! Ter a chance de dividir uma paixão e explicar o motivo pelo qual alguém se torna seu herói pode ser uma grande armadilha, isto é, pode ser bem piegas e fatalmente enfadonho. Apaixonados têm uma "leve" tendência a serem exagerados de tal forma que simplesmente todo o resto fica sem importância, inclusive a própria língua materna (durante a apresentação consegui usar o verbo "perceber" em uma única frase e conjugado de forma diferente!) - ainda bem que as professoras de português Isabel (japonesa e enérgica ) e a Maria Chudeniski (paciente e sorridente) da E.E.P.G. de Vila Gerti não estava lá, não mesmo Márcia?
Para a todos da equipe do teatro do colégio - por esse presente, pela paciência em ouvir, pela alegria de poder dividir um pouco daquilo que se sabe e pela tarde agradável do último sábado,  MUITO OBRIGADA! E como prometido, se desejarem baixar a apresentação, é só clicar aqui.
Para os demais alunos visitantes do blog:
- Qual dos contos escritos por Andersen é o seu favorito? Por quê?
 - Se você pudesse fazer qualquer alteração em um dos contos de Andersen, o que você alteraria?
E como bem disse o autor: "Everything you look at can become a fairy tale and you can get a story from everything you touch!" I do hope you can "get your own story".

sábado, 17 de março de 2012

Everybody is IRISH on March 17th!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
For the next 24 hours everybody will be Irish! Or at least the ones who would like to be! St. Patrick's Day is being celebrated in many places, even places where there are no Irish immigrants or traditions. For many people it's just a very good excuse to drink a pint of Guinness or Heineken (It depends on which one is sponsored the event). Many pubs, in São Paulo and ABC region will be so crowded that if you can get your pint to drink (of any beer) you'll be very lucky! There is nothing wrong about that, we all know how good it's to get together with our friends, but besides drinking on behalf of St. Patrick's, it would also be a good idea if people could take this moment and learn a little bit more about the rich Irish culture. That's what's going on in New York this year - there will be the traditional parade, the music and historical displays about notable Irish citizen, an exhibition about the Irish immigrants at Merchant's House Museum, a tour in Lower Manhattan which include a visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral, etc. If only we could do it down here too, it would help to bring some meaning to the celebration! Maybe one day...who knows? Till there, why don't you try to write an Irish Blessing by yourself? It would be a very good exercise to remember the modal verb MAY. And as Anne Mancuso wrote in the NYT article "No need to party like there’s no tomorrow; there’s always Sunday brunch!"
Happy St. Patrick's Day and may all the luck of the Irish be yours!

sábado, 10 de março de 2012

A simple word to define Japan: GAMBARE

One year ago, March 11, 2011, the nature showed us how powerful it can be. We all know that the force of nature is the most powerful force in the world, but for some reason, sometimes we take it for granted. Although it happens, nobody doubts of its power. But there is one power that will always let us perplexed and amazed - the human strength.
GAMBARE is a Japanese word that besides being very significant to Japanese language, it has been used a lot in this last year.  We could translate it as "force, strength" but it's a little bit more complex, it expresses the Japanese spirit of strength, persistence and courage.
If 2011 was a very hard year to Japan due to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters, we also can say it has been a lesson to the rest of the world about how powerful humans being can be if they still have their hope to make them going on. One year later and 95% of the roads have already been restored or rebuilt. Of course there is a lot of work to be done, as we can see in this site http://noticias.uol.com.br/1-ano-terremoto-no-japao/#sobreviventes, but it also shows that Japanese has done a lot in such little time. And it's amazing! The Japanese attitude facing so hard challenge let us not only amazed but inevitable it also makes us questioning ourselves: could we be able, by ourselves, as a nation, to find this so powerful strength that would lead us to believe that tomorrow could be a better day just because we would built tomorrow to be in this way? Could we accept that it would be a chance to restart and an opportunity of doing it much better? 
Lot of people, mainly in Japan, are going to honor the victims and celebrating the survivors in many ceremonies that will be held all over the world. What could you do to show your respect and pay a tribute to our Japanese brothers and join them today, in this day to be remembered ? By the way, did you know that the largest Japanese community in the world, out of Japan, is settled here, in Brazil? Japanese will have much to do but we know they will accomplish all they need and have to, just because they have this key-ingredient in their personality, they have GAMBARE

quinta-feira, 1 de março de 2012

Getting the Message - Reading Tips

Some years ago (when I started studying English...well, maybe a little bit more than just some years ago...I admit), my teacher gave us some tips to help me and all the students to develop our reading practice. My friends and I liked them so much that we decided to make a bookmark (on the left), so everytime we were reading a book, we could remember the tips. They are from Cambridge University Press - that time we used to study with books from this publishing house. And I do think it will be very helpful for all of you too. Our school booklet is based on texts and reading must be a habit if you want to do a good job, not only at school, but also in your life! Think about it!
The tips are:
- Before you start reading, ask yourself what you know about the topic

- Use the title and illustrations to help you predict the content and meanings

- When you read a text which has a lot of new information, SKIM to get the gist and them read it again more slowly

- When you look for a specific piece of information, SCAN. Look for the word by shape, first letter, capital letters.

- If you don't know a word, use clues to help you understand: the kind of word it is, the topic, the ideas you expect.

- TALK to others about what you've read.

 I hope these tips can help you!And just for curiosity...
...what have you been reading lately? ...do you have some other tip you'd like to include here or any other technique that help you to improve your reading? Share it with us! Thanks.