French Language Coordinator, Spanish Language Coordinator
March 30, 2018
O Português, Brasileiro o Europeu (Culture & Language: Portuguese) – The Story
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Good Day, Language Enthusiasts!

On Sunday, 11 March 2018, Polyglot Indonesia Jakarta Chapter conducted a meetup that showcases the cultures of Portuguese speaking countries, especially Brazil and Portugal, titled O Português, Brasileiro o Europeu (Culture & Language: Portuguese). This topic was chosen because Portuguese is one of the most important languages in the world with 215 million native speakers and Brazil being one of the top 10 economies in the world. Hence, knowing Portuguese and particularly Brazilian culture will definitely be advantageous in the long run.

The Portuguese culture has had quite a strong influence in Indonesia. The reason is that it once colonialized a small part of the country and during that time introduced some of its culture which then assimilated into the Indonesian culture. The influence can be seen in many Portuguese loanwords in Indonesian language, in its cuisine, music, and family names of some eastern Indonesian people. This is why we might feel a sense of familiarity when we study the Portuguese language and its culture.

During this meetup, we also talked about the different Portuguese dialects spoken in Brazil and Portugal. This is important to know because these two dialects are poles apart. At first glance the Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese even sound like two different languages! Learning how to distinguish them will avoid confusion and may help us decide which dialect we would like to learn first.

In the next session, we discussed the grammatical aspects of Portuguese, such as pronunciation, vocabulary, phrases, and conjugation. During this part, our friend from Brazil and an exchange student from Rotary Exchange Program, João Santos, helped us pronounce the words correctly and introduced us to certain Brazilian cultures, especially from South Brazil where he came from.

The meetup was attended by 46 participants, who were divided into English Table, French Table, German Table, Arabic Table, Spanish Table, Dutch Table, Italian Table, Japanese Table, Korean Table, and Mandarin Chinese Table. After the opening presentation, the participants were instructed to discuss about Portuguese loanwords in Bahasa Indonesia, compare them with their table language and then present their discoveries in their respective language. Every table had an interesting take on the Portuguese loanwords; some tables also talked about loanwords in regional dialects that do not exist in Bahasa Indonesia.

We closed the meetup with a quiz about famous people in Portuguese speaking countries. The game ended in a tie between the French and Spanish tables so we had to make an extra round to break it, which resulted with the Spanish table coming up as the winner. Before leaving, we took a commemorative photo together. Special thanks to Hoshino Tea Time for the lovely place! Hope to see you again on another Polyglot Indonesia Jakarta Chapter special meetup. (For the photo documentation, please check our Facebook fanpage album).

About the author

Rama graduated from computer engineering in 2017 and currently works as web developer in PT Gamatechno Indonesia based in Yogyakarta and Jakarta. Other than languages, his interests include music, information technology, social justice, culture, etc. As for music, he is really into world and folk music, but he will also enjoy what is currently on the radio. He speaks Indonesian and Javanese as his native languages, with foreign language capability in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

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