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Complete Brazilian Portuguese: Teach Yourself
Complete Brazilian Portuguese: Teach Yourself
by Sue Tyson-Ward
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.79

3 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flawed notions, 20 Feb 2011
The most handiccaping feature of this course is the web of flawed notions behind the teaching, even in the preface. For instance, you come across statements like 'Portuguese has its roots predominantely in Latin...', 'It is basically a Romance (Latin-based) language...', 'Portuguese... based on Latin', 'Portuguese is mainly a Latin language'. None of this is quite right. What needs to be said is that Portuguese derives / evolved / developed from Latin. Local native languages where now Portugal is were defeated by the Latin-speaking Romans together with their speakers. Significant external influences came later, when the spoken Latin that became Portuguese was already established. In Brazil, influence from indigenous speakers and immigrants (Japanese, Italian, German, etc) only later impacted on Portuguese, by then a language with hundred of years of existence.

You also read 'Due to its (Portuguese) Latin roots, which are shared by many English roots...'. This is highly misleading. In their structure, Portuguese and English do not share roots, they are of different origins, Portuguese derives from Latin but English does not. What this book probably means is that some vocabulary is 'shared'. This is in general French words imported into English which have a parallel in Portuguese due to the fact that both French and Portuguese are Romance languages.

Topsy-turviness is everywhere. The English word 'marmalade' (from Portuguese 'marmelo', quince) is said to be associated with 'the far-flung edges reached by Portuguese navigators in the 15th and 16th centuries'. I'm afraid it didn't have to travel that far, it is a simple import into English, through French!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 18, 2014 1:09 PM BST


Complete Brazilian Portuguese: From Beginner to Intermediate [With Paperback Book] (Teach Yourself: Language)
Complete Brazilian Portuguese: From Beginner to Intermediate [With Paperback Book] (Teach Yourself: Language)
by Sue Tyson-Ward
Edition: Audio CD

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flawed notions, 3 Jan 2011
The most handicapping feature of this course is the web of flawed notions behind the teaching, even in the preface. For instance, you come across statements like 'Portuguese has its roots predominantly in Latin...', 'It is basically a Romance (Latin-based) language...', 'Portuguese... based on Latin', 'Portuguese is mainly a Latin language'. None of this is quite right. What needs to be said is that Portuguese derives / evolved / developed from Latin. Local natives languages where now Portugal is were defeated by the Latin-speaking Romans together with their speakers. Significant external influences came later, when the spoken Latin that became Portuguese was already established. In Brazil, influence from indigenous speakers and immigrants (Japanese, Italian, German, etc) only later impacted on Portuguese, by then a language with hundreds of years of existence.

You also read 'Due to its (Portuguese) Latin roots, which are shared by many English roots...'. This is highly misleading. In their structure, Portuguese and English do not share roots, they are of different origins, Portuguese derives from Latin but English does not. What this book probably means is that some vocabulary is 'shared'. This is in general French words imported into English which have a parallel in Portuguese due to the fact that both French and Portuguese are Romance languages.

Topsy-turviness is everywhere. The English word 'marmalade' (from Portuguese 'marmelo', quince) is said to be in association with 'the far-flung edges reached by Portuguese navigators in the 15th and 16th centuries'. I'm afraid it didn't have to travel that far, it is a simple import into English, through French!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 8, 2013 7:04 PM BST


Our Lady of the Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories (Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction)
Our Lady of the Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories (Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction)
by Katherine Vaz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.06

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging fiction, 20 Nov 2010
Portuguese-American author Katherine Vaz is a skilfull short fiction writer with a profound understanding of the immigrant Portuguese-speaking community. Her characters are caught between two cultures, one they left behind and one they meet in their new world. Catholic mysticism permeates these stories where protagonists try to come to terms with different forms of suffering.


Stealing Fatima
Stealing Fatima
by Frank X Gaspar
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging novel, 20 Nov 2010
This review is from: Stealing Fatima (Paperback)
'Stealing Fátima' is a well-written, engaging novel. It takes the reader to a Portuguese-speaking community in a US town and portrays the Portuguese experience in the host country. Priest Manuel Furtado, tortured by inner conflict, is a troubled soul but a kind heart. Completely different but I cannot help thinking of another novel, from late nineteenth century, 'O Crime do Padre Amaro' by Portuguese novelist Eça de Queirós. It has been translated into English, 'The Crime of Father Amaro'.


The Gospel According To Jesus Christ (Panther)
The Gospel According To Jesus Christ (Panther)
by Jose Saramago
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nobel-laureate at his best, 3 Nov 2010
Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese writer Saramago is at his best in this novel. Typical of his style, a well-known event is an opportunity for a fictional work where the fragility of our beliefs is exposed with humour and empathy - there isn't an unconditional truth, it all can change depending on the way we look at it. In this deep and controversial story we meet a Jesus Christ who is altruistic and giving but more human than divine - a religious truth looked at from a different angle. From a literary point of view, this is a masterpiece.


Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo (O Campo da palavra)
Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo (O Campo da palavra)
by Jose Saramago
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 11 Oct 2010
'O Evangelho segundo Jesus Cristo' (you can read it in English too, 'The Gospel according to Jesus Christ') is a humanistic re-interpretation of the New Testament. It is an unorthodox text, written in an unconventional style, that captures one's attention from the first to the last page - its deep empathy with human suffering and its rejection of power and dominance may leave the reader with the feeling that in this 'secular gospel' there is a God after all.


A Journey
A Journey
by Tony Blair
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

16 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the general public, 4 Sep 2010
This review is from: A Journey (Hardcover)
This book is easy and pleasant to read. It provides insight into British politics regardless of what you may think of Blair, like or dislike him. You must judge for yourself, I mean the book, and Blair too, I suppose. It is a book for the general public, and has something for everyone. You can see in it what you want to see.


Blindness [DVD] [2008]
Blindness [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Julianne Moore
Offered by rsdvd
Price: £5.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fair interpretation, 27 Aug 2010
This review is from: Blindness [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This is not a literal translation into film of the original written work, Blindness (Ensaio sobre a Cegueira) by José Saramago but it captures its message. It highlights the same important values that are often overlooked in a materialistic society and invites you to ponder on our human nature. Praise is also due to good acting and effective light effects (dark - bright light contrast). Worth watching. You may also wish to read the book, compare both and draw your own conclusions.


The Elephant's Journey
The Elephant's Journey
by Jose Saramago
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.21

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound and witty, 21 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Elephant's Journey (Paperback)
Elephant Salomão walks from Lisbon to Vienna in the sixteenth century, a journey that actually happened. A factual event is an opportunity for a fictional work through which human nature is analysed. Along the way everyone seeks meaning to what they do not understand and will see in Salomão what he really isn't.

I read this book in English and also had a look at the Portuguese original. In Portuguese you'll find Saramago's usual writing style, a grammatical construction and punctuation of his own. Margaret Jull Costa faced the challenge and produced a very successful translation.

At the end of his life, Saramago wrote yet another great book. Once I started, I couldn't stop reading it until I reached the last page. Thank you, Saramago.


Chambers Portuguese Grammar (Chambers Language Study Aids)
Chambers Portuguese Grammar (Chambers Language Study Aids)
by Chambers (ed.)
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Faulty grammar concepts, 27 Jun 2010
This is a pleasant little grammar, nice to look at. I would like to recommend it to my students but I'afraid I have serious reservations.

Some grammar concepts are flawed. For instance, on pages 25 and 29 'importante' is classed as a noun, 'o importante', and 'o' as a definite article. Sorry, but no. What we have in 'o importante' is a shortened version of 'o que é importante'. The 'o' is not a definite article but a pronoun, and 'importante' is not a noun but an adjective.


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