Beginning 01: Where Are You From?

MP3 Audio (Lesson) | MP3 Audio (Dialog)

So where are you from? In this lesson we find out that Paulo is from Rio. And the young lady that he is talking to, she is from Brasilia, what some people call “Brazil’s big sky” country. Learn how to ask where somebody is from.

Lesson audio

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Dialog audio

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 A: Você vem de onde Paulo?
Where do you come from Paulo?
  B: Aqui do Rio, e você?
Here in Rio, and you?
  A: Eu sou de Brasília.
I am from Brasilia.
  B: Dizem que o céu lá é enorme, não é?
They say the sky there is huge, right?


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  1. Elsie Echeverri-Carr

    Great practice!

  2. Anon

    Hi, hopefully this isn’t violating some copyright . I have created Memrise flashcards for the words from this podcast. Still a work in progress as I go through the lessons.

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Super, thanks a million. I’ll post your memrise URL on our Brazilpod Facebook page too, so that others can get to it as well.

  3. H.O.KING

    Hi Guys, love the podcast.

    Could one say “Se fala que o céu lá é enorme, não é?” instead of “Dizem que o céu lá é enorme, não é?” ? Obrigado !

    1. Orlando Kelm

      “se fala” vs. “dizem” Even in English, we hear phrases like, “one says,” “they say,” “you say”. All these have the same basic meaning, but there is a different sense of formality. It’s the same in Portuguese. “se diz” or “dizem” are just a matter of formality. “se diz” sounds more formal than “dizem”
      However, there is a second issue here too. Dizer means to say or to tell, and Falar means to speak. In the sentence you asked about, I think that dizer sounds better than falar. So, I would say “se diz que o céu lá é enorme” or “dizem que o céu lá é enorme”, but I wouldn’t use the verb falar in this instance.

      1. Amy

        Hi, I am a beginner. May I ask a question? Why say “se diz” instead of just “diz”?

        1. Orlando Kelm

          se diz – one says, diz – they say. That’s kind of all there is to it…

          1. Amy

            Obrigada! Endendi!

      2. Amy

        Hi, me again, great lesson. The question here got me thinking. ‘Falar’ and ‘dizer’ are not reflexive in themselves, but why people still use ‘se fala’ to indicate ‘you speak’ instead of just ‘fala’? I think it that way because falar can also be vt and vi, and in both cases they have the same meaning, so why does it have to use the vi form? And I don’t see the term ‘falar-se’ in my dictionary, although it can also be a vr. O.O
        An example like: coisas que se falam quando as pessoas se encontram.
        Are falar and encontrar both reflexive? Or just used the vr form which is more common?
        I would say Portuguese is easy until you meet reflexive verbs.

        1. Orlando Kelm

          Hi Amy, good observations. You know, sometimes I think we have done a disservice to language learners by using the phrase “reflexive verb.” I prefer the phrase “pronominal verb”, reflexive is only one of many, many meanings that “se” might have. My recommendation is to not equate “se” to reflexive, but instead be open to a wide range of usage and meaning.

          1. Amy

            Thanks Orlando! I understand now. Muito obrigada! 😀

          2. Amy

            And as far as my observation goes, se falar can mean the following:
            1. Be spoken by
            2. Speak(s) for oneself
            3. Speak to each other
            I’m not sure if my understanding is correct or not? And did I miss something? Many many thanks!

            1. Orlando Kelm

              Hi Amy. So when a person says ‘se fala’ that could be rendered in English as “you say, one says, ya say, they say” etc. Alternatively it could carry a “passive voice” connotation, such as “it is said.” And, if you want to add the reflexive meaning, se falam could mean something like, “they speak to each other.” Here are a few examples.
              Se diz que a comida lá é boa. – They say that the food there is good.
              Eles se amam muito – They love each other a lot.
              Não se pode dizer que ele é rico. – One cannot say that he is rich.

              Now, there are other pronominal verbs in Portuguese that have “se” in their meaning, and are almost required. So, for example, “esquecer se” Ela se esqueceu de estudar – She forgot to study. In these cases, you just need to accept that some verbs are pronominal in Portuguese, even if it doesn’t 100% make sense to you. Over time you will learn which verbs are pronominal and which ones are not. Be advised, however, that even Brazilians tend to drop the “se” for many pronominal verbs!

            2. Amy

              Haha, wouldn’t it be a good thing? Thanks a lot Orlando, I think I get it! 😀

  4. Paul

    I LOVE your lessons!

  5. Paul

    I LOVE your lessons!

  6. Arwa

    Oh I can’t express enough how much I love your lessons and how much I enjoy them! Muito odregada!

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Obrigado você Arwa! É um prazer poder oferecer as lições para todos.

  7. Kwan

    Obrigado! Eu estou aprendendo muito!

  8. Juana

    Hii i loved the program!! It’s really helping me to learn how to speak Portuguese. Great job!!!

  9. Kay

    What is the opening song of this podcast please? Thanks.

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Bom dia Kay,
      I have to say that you are the first person to ever ask me this question. How fun! Truth told, the intro music is just me playing my guitar, just making it up on my own. Thanks for asking!