Talking to the World: Girls Who Speak 2 Languages

Learning other language is not the same thing as learning another grammar. When you are able to understand people from other countries whose costumes and traditions are different than yours, you realize this is not about being able to construct simple words or phrases, this is about repertoire, about cultural exchange, about growing.

Luisa Panza, who learnt German with her family and at school, affirmed that “the German grammar is really difficult”, she always has doubts because besides the female “die” and masculine “der” there is the neutron “das”. She has reported that the accent was also a difficulty, once there are many in the country. Although she declared “knowing German never did a huge difference, I think knowing French or Spanish can open more professional opportunities”, she pointed out that through this language, she did a lot of friends, improved her general knowledge and incorporated Germany cultural aspects. “They are more distant and methodic”. When she was questioned about words in German inexistent in Portuguese she replied “There are many! Germans like to play Guimarães Rosa and invent words”.

Luisa Panza's major is Journalism

To exemplify that, Luisa revealed the most famous word for being the biggest: Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft, which means The Subordinated Employees Association from the Construction of the Electrical Central of the Steam Boats Company from Danúbio. She suggested the bands Nena and Silbermond that she listened to during her childhood; the website and channel Detsche Welle (German Wave); the movie Die Welle (The Wave) for people who are learning German. “For those who are advanced, I recommend the Göthe’s poems. My favorite is Willkommen und Abschied (Welcome and Farewell) that also has translation to English”.  If you want to know more about the Germany culture, she indicated Nibelungen, who writes about Nordic mythology.

Natália Barão, who also speaks German, learnt at the school she attended, once she was pressed down by her Swiss grandparents. The girl always had facility to learn other languages and speaks three idioms besides her own (Spanish, English and German), believes that “It is always good to learn another language; both to open more opportunities and to be able of understand better other countries”.

Natália got into Cásper Líbero in 2016

Natália also suggested some material for people who are learning or are fluent in German, such as the bands Scorpions and Tokio Hotel and the movies Goodbye Lenin; Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others); Lola Rennt (Lola Runs); Die Welle (The Wave). She emphasized the expression “Waldeisamkeit”: sensation of being lost in the forest and “Ich verstehen nur Bahnhoff”: expression that means you didn’t understand anything, but the literal translation: I just understand the train station as interest colocations that doesn’t own translation to Portuguese.

Sophie Asmussem, the girl who learnt Danish living in Denmark and having classes with her grandmother, reported that speaking this language helped a lot “Where I work, we attend Danish groups, so it is a differential in terms of services”. She believes that learning other languages facilizes in the understanding of the other and told me “Personally, added me cultural aspects. Understanding books, songs, philosophers and movies from Denmark allowed me a different perspective and world knowledge”.

Sophie's favorite adjective is “hyggelig”. It has not a Portuguese translation, but is similar to “cozy” in English, meaning comfortable and friendly too

The toughest part for her is to not confuse Danish and Portuguese, once she learnt both together “Sometimes, I want to say a word in Portuguese and only remember in Danish and vice versa”.  Her suggestions to dive in the Danish culture were the singer Kim Larsen, the dramatic series Borgen, and the movies Festen (Feast) and Jagten (Hunt). She also recommends the philosopher Kierkegaard, the writer Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), the comedy show Olsen Banden, and the child writer HC Andersen.

Mariana Moreira, who speaks French, had a different experience than the other girls. She learnt it in a French School as soon as she moved to Sao Paulo in 2012 and got interested for this idiom, because of the sound. The difficulties she highlighted were that Brazilians don’t listen to French in the same frequency as English, and French people speak too fast and words are pronounced different than the writing most of the time. Professionally, she remembered one episode that knowing this language helped: “I worked at TV Cultura and during the Charlie Hebdo outrage, she was the only one there who knew French, so she helped other editors to translate what they received from AFP (Agence France-Presse)”, but she also sees good point personally “It was grateful to be in Paris and talk with everyone”. She advises people who are learning it now to search on Google for material and says her favorites: the site Parlez-Vous Français, which contains video lessons; Spotify that has some playlist about French music “By the way, I am addicted to Raffy band”; the movie Amour et Turbulences (Love is in the Air). For different expression, she informed “passer du coq à l’âne”: when you drastically change the subject of the conversation.

Jaqueline Monico also speaks French and learnt during private lessons and doing an exchange to France. She exposed “I already spoke English and I wanted to learn other, but I didn’t know which one… I searched and I found out that French is very talked in the world and not that hard to learn as it has the same origins as Portuguese”. The girl who always liked the sound of French, confirms what Mariana said: “The toughest part is the oral expression, because the writing is a lot different than the speaking”.

Jaqueline recommends Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain) as good movie to practice French

Jaqueline, now, wants to learn a new language once she thinks that sums something indescribable “The Language is what unites people”. She comprehends that it is a personal growth and an experience she wishes everyone could have. Her tips about entertainment were the films Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain); Intouchables (Untouchables); La Famille Bélier (Beliér’s Family); Tomboy. She also mentioned the singers Edith Piaf, Stromae, Louane and Zaz; the series Marseille and Un Gars Une Fille (A Boy a Girl); “there is even a famous youtuber: Cyprien”. She likes the expression “pic niquer” wich means the action of making a picnic that we don’t have in Portuguese.

The language is something so interesting that even people who speak the same idiom don’t speak the same dialect. The accents… No matter which language do you speak, no one will talk the same way as you do, doing the same gestures, giving the same intonation, facial expression, importance, dramatization… To learn a language is learning about yourself, about expressing yourself on many different forms. As a conclusion…

To learn a new language is to open your eyes to the world (English)

Aprender uma nova língua é abrir os olhos para o mundo (Portuguese)

Eine neue Sprache lernen bedeutet seine Augen zur Welt zu öffnen (German)

At lære et nyt sprog er at åbne sine øjne til verden (Danish)

Apprendre une nouvelle langue c’est comment ouvrir ses yeux pour le monde (French)