The ab initio Portuguese session on the 5th of May was led by Francis Goodingham. It
dipped our toes in a fraction of Portuguese/Brazilian culture and gave us the opportunity to learn a bit more about the language itself. We learnt how to introduce ourselves, (e.g Meu nome é Xosé) we learnt to name a few careers, (e.g Enfermeiro, Engenheiro e médico) a few other traditional elements such as fruits (ananás ou abacaxi) and of course the differences in pronunciation between English and Portuguese. The session allowed us to interact with other people from different backgrounds, who also shared an interest in the language, to test our knowledge about what we learnt in the session, to correct each other's mistakes and to familiarize ourselves with Portuguese.The host also gave us all a chance to speak to her in Portuguese so that she could correct us and give us advice as a professional in the language. The key takeaway of this session was that learning the language will allow you to immerse yourself in their culture more and if you for some reason wish to visit a country that contains people who speak the language then you can have a conversation with them and experience their culture first hand and overall broaden your knowledge about their ways of living. If you are familiar with Spanish, or any latin derived language for that matter, then learning Portuguese will be far easier. As a Colombian, I went to this session while being fluent in Spanish and I could immediately spot some major similarities between Portuguese and Spanish which made learning introductions and numbers way easier. This is not to discourage anyone who isn't familiar with latin languages to take up Portuguese, in fact, learning the language from scratch can be quite the experience and provide you with a feeling of satisfaction greater than those who are already familiar with it, so don't be afraid to give it a go.
-Leonardo Osorio, year 12 student, Westminster Academy