Portelas – Os Cinco

We are now living in a relatively rural area of the Algarve, away from the coast and the cities. I have had a brief walk to scope the area, and it looks like most of the locals prefer Portuguese to English. So I need to improve my Portuguese, and I need to do it quickly.

Now I believe that learning a new language (or any subject) should be easy, fast and fun. My 6-year-old grandchild has been tasked by his school with reading a vast number of books in Portuguese this scholastic year, so here is my take on this challenge.

Os Cinco e o Colar de Pérolas. This is a children’s book from 1985, originally in French and then translated into Portuguese. If you are old enough, you will recognise it is a variant of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five.

It is a book for children, so it is easy. It does not use complex words or complex ideas.

At 190 small pages, half of them comic-type illustrations, this book is fast. It is not the size of The Bible, Encyclopedia Britannica, or anywhere near the list of books my grandson is expected to read.

Is it fun? Well it is for me, because I can still think like a 6-year-old. Os Cinco e o Colar de Pérolas. The Five and the Necklace of Pearls. Novas Aventuras dos Cinco.

If you want a grown-up adventure, try this real-life story. My adult-but-young son started out for Lagos bus station at 11.30pm last night. That was 10 hours ago. There he got the 5 hour bus journey to Lisbon, then however he did it he got to the airport. And there he is waiting for his tin can to take off to cross the Atlantic. If it flies on time, he will depart in about two and a half hours from now, bound for the USA.

I don’t know how long his flight takes, but it is not direct. So he stops in the USA, waits, connects, and flies on. Where he then has whatever time it takes him to get to his destination.

The joys of being young. It Must Be Love, Love, Love.


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