When I am speaking in Portugues, I seem like this. People can understand me, but is obvious that I am foreigner. Not Brazilian. For certain, nothing of Brazil, haha.
For example, the other time I spoke a story with my friend. I spoke, I said, I have said? “So remember I told to you my neighbors what helped me buy my bike? I rode my bike together with them to the city park on the other Saturday of the morning. It was awesome! We went for twenty six kilometers, is right? Twenty six? The uphills almost killed me, haha. It was awesome, and the park is really good for to ride bikes. Did you go there? I love the Japanese garden close to the lake. We have a beautiful day, with pretty blue sky and sun. After, on the last Sunday, we rode bikes with a other neighbor what just buyed his bike. We have rode to the airport, you are familiar with it? It was awesome! The uphills almost killed me, but I did it! Haha.”
I was born in California (on the west of the United States), you familiar? Is awesome! Very pretty. I adore the climate over there. Is the best climate of all other places I lived in the world. But is too expensive to live there. Ridiculous.
I never heard a person say Portuguese until I had more or less twenty seven years. No, thirty seven years, sorry. When Brian move here in Brazil, I made six classes in Portuguese in Houston. In Texas. In the United States. Do you know it? After, I learned from books, alone in house. I studied alone. I was familiar with no one to speak with.
So, when I arrive here, arrived here, I can read Portuguese, but not understand very good if a person to speak. Spoke.
Now I have lived here more or less three years? In total? I got better. I understand better, but I want to improve more. I want to be fluent. Speak fluently. Yes, is difficult. Yes, Portuguese is much complicated. No, I don’t understand the slang! What is “paying the monkey”? What is “iron forehead”? Is funny, but me loses.
Brian learned Portuguese in Brazil, working. He didn’t study from books very much, only a little. He learned bad words first, haha. He knows bad words in five languages, what means he can swear better and for longer time than what any other person in the world entire, haha!
He is Scottish, and lives here almost seven years, and he understands if someone speaks more or less 100%. His vocabulary is big but his grammar is horrible. I speak better than he does. More correct. He talks more informal, and is more fast to respond to people. He is accustomed to hear Portuguese better than me. His head translates faster.
People tell me my accent is very good, and that Brian is hard to understand when first meet. Portuguese with Scottish accent? Imagine!
I laugh and tell that his accent is worse in English. I tell that sometimes I understand his Portuguese better than what his English, haha! Is funny.
He understands better than what I do, and I speak better than what he does. Together we are a good team.
Now If I can find out how to combine our heads, we are fluent. More or less. Is awesome. Haha.
*Title borrowed from Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris