We’ve probably heard of people improving their conversation skills in a language over a meal.
I’m reversing the trend. Portuguese vocabulary goes up and the inches melt away. (Let me be ambitious and count in inches which are longer than centimeters!)
When I say “reading Brazilian books on a bike to improve my Portuguese”, is this the image that comes to mind?
(I think Brazil’s Bicicloteca is an excellent idea. Someone on a bicycle transports a mini library to areas where there are no public libraries. Their slogan is: Um livro pode mudar a sua vida, A book can change your life.)
My method is different. I am bringing Brazilian books to my bicycle, the stationary bicycle at my gym.
Lower body workouts with weight machines and the stationary bike are excellent places for me to read something light or “lite”, as the Brazilians say. As I am reading, I am realizing which grammatical issues I need to review. Perhaps I’ll bring my paperback Portuguese grammar book to the gym some time. The problem is that I can’t take notes while exercising. But at least I won’t fall asleep on the exercise bike studying complicated grammatical explanations like I do on the couch at home.
I won’t get into Olympic condition with my current goal of finishing Chico Buarque’s Budapeste because:
In case you’re wondering, the author Chico Buarque is the same singer/songwriter who is the author of the song, Apesar de você, about which Luciana Lage of Street Smart Brazil and I did a video last year. In this video, we teach some Portuguese grammar and vocabulary. Luciana talks about the repression under Brazilian military dictatorship that Buarque alludes to in his song.
I’ve read Brazilian magazines and one novel at the gym before and it is quite entertaining. I also listen to podcasts from CBN Radio from Brazil while doing upper body weight exercises.
I accomplish many goals:
1) I have fun completing my exercise routine.
2) I widen my range of Portuguese vocabulary.
3) I improve my ability to form more native-like sentences.
4) I improve my spelling and remember better where the accent marks are placed in written Portuguese. (What is the hardest to remember is when the same word in Portuguese and Spanish has different accent marks or none at all in one language and accents in the other.)
When I finish Budapeste, then I can locate the film adaptation and watch it at home. I don’t have a tablet or Ipad to bring to the gym to use to watch movies. Maybe I’ll watch it at home and instead of sitting on a chair or couch the whole time, I can do squats or use arm weights for exercises.
Do you do exercise and learn languages at the same time?