Beginning 55: Time To Catch Some Pokemon

MP3 Audio (Lesson) | MP3 Audio (Dialog)

They say that millions of people are playing Pokemon Go, and as you think of it, what a unique way to practice speaking Portuguese. It’s got to be a new combination. And even if you are not into Pokemon, here’s a chance to learn more Portuguese.

Lesson audio

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Dialog audio

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 A: Não, Jackson, pra pegar o Pokémon, você precisa jogar a PokéBola nele.
No Jackson, to capture the Pokemon you need to throw a Pokeball at him.
  B: É aqui no círculo verde que aparece esse monstrinho, não é?
Here at the green circle that appeared on the little monster, right?
  A: Você sabe o que fazer se acabar as PokéBolas?
Do you know what to do if you run out of Pokeballs?
  B: Vai até uma PokéStop para conseguir mais, não é?
You go to a Pokestop to get more, right?


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  1. Herman Sullivan

    In the translation, the verb capturar is used not pegar. What gives?
    Also, why is esgotar substituted for se-acabar?
    And why Vai ate instead of Andar? Are you guys using a computer to translate?:)

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Hi Herman, you are right, the transcription doesn’t fit the recording 100%. Sorry about that. What happens is that we initially write the dialogs, but then the voice actors have the liberty to improvise and say things the way that they want to when we do the recording. I accidentally published the original version, and not the modified one that the voice actors actually said. Truth told, it’s always educational for me to see where they make the changes, but unfortunately, this time we didn’t update the dialog. I’ll try to get the updated version changed soon.

  2. Arthur

    A grammar question. In the third line, I’m not sure what the subject of “acabar” is, or whether the verb is used transitively or intransitively.

    In one of the examples you give (“Acabou a comida.”), the verb appears to be intransitive, with the subject “a comida” coming after the verb.

    If the dialogue sentence is a similar construction (intransitive verb followed by the subject), I don’t understand why the verb would not be “acabarem”, the 3rd person plural form to match the plural subject “as PokéBolas”.

    What an I missing here?


    1. Orlando Kelm

      Wow Arthur, you’ve got my brain spinning with this question, excellent topic. OK, the sentence is “Voce sabe o que fazer se acabar as Pokebolas?” And first of all, you are correct, the “correct” form in this sentence should be the future subjunctive and plural “acabarem.” In trying to think of an answer for you, and make the association with “there is” vs. “there are” where in English we often hear people who say something like, “there’s lots of big rocks here” (instead of there are many big rocks here). In English we just lose the sense of plurality with mass and count nouns and end up using, incorrectly, “there is” and “there are.” In some respects the same thing is happening here. Brazilians lose the sense of plurality, especially when the syntax places the subject after the verb. Bottom line, “acabarem” is technically more correct.

    2. Orlando Kelm

      PS I think it’s interesting how sometimes I hear Brazilians say, “Wow Orlando, your Portuguese is even better than mine.” It’s a nice complement, but truth told, sometimes when I hear that my brain thinks, “Swell, what am I saying that is technically correct grammar, but which no Brazilian really says?” Because deep down, I don’t want to speak “even better then they do.” I know, I should just accept the compliment and not over analyze things too much.

      1. Arthur

        Thanks, Orlando. I agree; I don’t want to speak “school-teacher Portuguese” that nobody speaks in real life.

  3. Amy

    Great great great lesson!

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Thanks Amy, this lesson was in honor of my son, who loves Pokemon Go!!!!

  4. Keiko

    Hi Orlando,

    Thank you for another fun lesson! In the second line, where it says, “that appeared on the little monster,” the Portuguese version “que aparece esse monstrinho” doesn’t seem to have the “on.” Why is it “esse,” without a preposition here? “Would it be wrong to say “que aparece nesse monstrinho”? 

    Thank you so much!

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Hi Keiko, notice the subtle difference between “the little monster appears” and “this appears on the little monster.” This is what happens when you add “nesse monstrinho.”