While talking to my friend Nicole on the phone today from the States (New Orleans, specifically) on the internet phone line, my Brasilian home line rang, so Nicole got to hear my Portuguese in action for a brief conversation. After I hung up, she commented that I had a GREAT accent!! I must say I was proud to show off some of my new language skills to a friend from home. But the more I thought about our conversation this evening, the more I laughed. Here's what transpired, loosly translated, as I'm still not sure what exact phrases were used:
Me: (Alo?) Hello?
Lady: Good Afternoon (Boa Tarde). This is the dry cleaners (lavandaria). We're having a promotion and we want to send you an email (OR we want to add you to our email list. Something like that.)
Me: I left my pants (calças) there? So I have pants there still? (I think my mind immediately jumped to pants because all I ever take over there are Otto's work pants.)
[Interjection: I'm laughing so hard as I write this that tears are falling. Sam, my 8 year- old walks in and asks why I'm laughing so hard. I explain to him the conversations, and he busts a gut laughing at the comment "You have a GREAT accent!" He is ALWAYS correcting my pronunciation, phrasing, verb conjugation, you name it. Laughing hysterically only at this. Thank you, Son. Go brush your teeth - it's bedtime!!]
Lady: (Silence) Ummm...
Me: No, I don't have any pants there! (Thinking to myself, I've picked all of them up!)
Lady: No. We're having a promotion and wanted to have your email.
Me: Yes, you're having a promotion, and... OH! You want my email?!
Lady: Yes!! Your email!
Me: Oh, it's OJ.... (then I blank out on how to say the letter J (!), and really want to end the conversation at this point so I can get back to Nicole.) Can I just come to the store and write it down for you?
Lady: Sure, no problem!
Me: Great! (Ótimo!) (Tchau!) Bye!
Okay, so it was a little messy. This isn't unlike most of my phone calls. There are occasional calls where I know exactly what's going on and respond appropriately.
But at least I know I can impress my friends. :o)