December 1, 2013, by Guest blog

Native Lisboans are doing wonders for my Portuguese

Written by Sidi El Alami.

Although it’s only been a few months since I wrote something down about this revitalizing experience, it feels like years. I’ve definitely settled here, which is obviously great but I do feel quite detached from my life back at home. I’ve always had this sort of feeling in a slightly different kind of way as 99% of my family live in Morocco anyway. Although missing the UK, I am without a doubt learning so much and experiencing a great way of life out here in Lisbon.

The sun is shining every day, despite the cooling temperatures. Known as one of Europe’s ‘Sunny Capitals’, Lisbon is fantastic for the tourist even during the winter months. The sun sets quite later than in the UK and temperatures are much higher, which I snidely inform my Mum of at each and every Skype conversation. A relaxed city by nature, things are picking up as we delve into December and approach the holy period of ‘Natal’, Christmas. Aside from the decorations and array of Christmas ‘doces’ and desserts, I continue to notice the stark lack of advertising and overwhelming consumerism that we have to endure every year back in Britain. As a staunchly Catholic nation, much like its Iberian neighbour Spain; Christmas here is fundamentally a familiar, and religious affair. Something as a British Muslim, have noticed from outside of the festive bubble, that so many British families celebrate the festival with no religious or spiritual affinity.

Language wise, I think I’m doing alright. Speaking with and listening to native Lisboans day in day out is doing wonders for my Portuguese. However, one thing I’m slowly realizing is that I do really have to back it up with the hours back home. So I’ve started with reading some Walt Whitman, with the English translation beside it as well as basic grammar exercises.

Although I’m embracing the cultural upheaval, and the cold winter- I am looking forward to sliding into 2014 and into the fresh Spring. I miss the sun and I miss being out on the tennis court without having to wear a jumper. Adeus till then.

Posted in Language acquisition