Monday, January 16, 2012

The Polyglot Dilemma: Which language do you choose to communicate?

My Move to Mozambique? Minha mudança à Moçambique? Mi mudanza a Mozambique?
English? ¿Português? ¿Español?

The first consideration is always which language to use for the blog, as every option has its pros and cons:

* English serves in many cases as the lingua franca.

* Spanish would be easier and would reach family and friends who don't read English that easily. Plus it would serve to link and (hopefully) help to bridge that huge knowledge gap that sadly separates both continents.

* But I'll be working in MZ and I need to start using my very rusty Portuguese and bring it to an appropriate level of work-related correctness.

In all likelihood I'll be switching from one to the other, according to the mood, or the topic, or the language I've in my head at the moment. And I'll be mixing and Spanglish-izing, or Portuñol-izing, and even Engluese-izing things, butchering each language in the process. For that, I apologize to native speakers.

Using Google Translate or any other automatic translation tool will be enough to give you an idea of what the posting is about (use the button included on the right side to pick your language).

If you do know the language, in particular Portuguese, feel free to correct my writing. In no way will I get offended. On the contrary, I'll appreciate it enormously. Pointing out factual mistakes or any other inaccuracy, also appreciated.

Disclaimer.- If, initially, the postings in Portuguese seem to be a tad erratic and pointless it's because I'm following the advice I often give my students: there's no better way to learn a language than actually using it. As I haven't written in Portuguese in 20+ years, I will use any excuse to ramble in Portuguese about everything and anything even mildly related to the move to MZ. I apologize in advance.

Key combinations for funny symbols

On a related, multilingual note, I've been figuring out key combinations to be able to write in Portuguese. The c cedilha and the circumflex accent, at least on a Mac, are as follows:

Ç shift + option + c
ç option + c
ÂÔÊ option+i+[capital vowel]
â ô ê option+i+vowel

ãõ option + n
à option + `

And, while we're at it, we might as well learn the combination for Spanish symbols:

á é í ó ú option + e + vowel
ñ option + n + n
¡ option + 1
¿ shift + option + ?

Until later! ¡Hasta luego! ¡Até logo!

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