fazendo confusão

I’m reading out loud to profe Miranda: Tenho [teiam-ou, he says; teiam-ou, I say] sempre muitas coisas [oiiii, he says, coisas] a fazer em casa: escrevo artigos para jornais, leio novidades sobre o atletismo, estudo português, faço ligaçoes [lee-ga-c-eoeoeos, he says; li-ga-sows, I say] de negócios. Mhmm, he says, nodding. I keep reading. A tarde tenho reuniões—what!? he says, looking up.

Reuniões, I say. Ray-u-ee-own-es.

He shakes his head. Heay-ou-eie-oway-ess.

I gape at him. Five minutes later, I have not successfully uttered this word. I can pronounce each syllable, but taken together, this word is marbles in my mouth. It seems to have about eight syllables, all of them vowels, and comes out differently each time I say it.

Phrase of the dayEu estou fazendo confusão—lit., I’m doing confusion. I am doing confusion, up and down this town.

I’m tired of vowels. Portuguese is wonderful, but it’s a language of vowels, rolling around like bowling balls and clanking into each other in unexpected places. I miss crisp consonants, quick and cool and straight lines. Portuguese is, aptly, all curves.

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