Posted on August 16, 2015
Três Histórias Diferentes para Aprender Português
As a Portuguese teacher I have always struggled to find decent resources to use in my lessons, since most Portuguese resources use formal language and don’t assist in essential vocabulary development. Essential vocabulary are those 2000 basic words that you need to know to communicate basic things. That’s what a language student first needs. For this reason, I have written some stories that now I have self-published and are available for sale by Amazon.
My book is called Três Histórias Diferentes para Aprender Português (Three Different Stories for Learning Portuguese). These three stories are ‘different’ for the following reasons:
1st reason: they enable students of all levels to enjoy the stories, so the first story can be mainly used by Beginners (A1 level) and the others by Intermediate/Advanced level (B1 to C2);
2nd reason: they use different tenses (for instance, the first chapter is completely on Present Tense);
3rd reason: they show sentence construction and verb conjugation in first and third person;
Finally: they help the student to avoid losing interest in the book. Long books in a foreign language may be hard to complete. Thus, these three stories are short and very distinct, with a different type of narrative, scenario and literary genre.
All vocabulary in this book can be useful; every single word is safe to learn. I hate when I read Italian novels and get all excited with new words, make associations and memorize them and when I have the chance to use those words with natives of the language, they say they have never heard of them. If you try to read Portuguese/Brazilian novels or any other type of literature, even for kids, you will also see lots of words that are not common. Sometimes this happens only because writers think they need to use uncommon words to sound ‘clever’. Unfortunately that’s not good for those who want to learn a language.
So, what other fiction books are available for learning Portuguese? In the UK, only a few, and most of them are not good for the same reason as pointed above. And although some of these books were also written as ‘language learning resources’, writers have committed the same mistake: writing in a difficult and useless language. That’s the case of lots of new language learning collections called ‘Bilingual Books’.
Bilingual books, in my opinion, are terrible. What’s the fun in reading something with the translation below the sentences? You are the one who needs to translate, so you can learn how the structure works! And it’s searching in a dictionary that you memorize new words, not through a ‘ready-made’ translation. It’s necessary to pass through this ‘translational’ stage to learn by reading.
Language learning must be fun and practical and that is the point of Três Histórias para Aprender Português. The first story is called A Árvore Mágica. It’s the story of a boy who finds a magic tree. It’s a great story for beginners since it only uses basic tenses and there is a lot of repetition and conjugation. The second is O Mistério do Gato, a very fun detective story. The last story is my favourite since it’s related to my personal experience with language learning. It’s called Os Cinco Coelhos do Monge Pitânis and it tells the story of a monk who decides to learn five different languages. For this, he takes five rabbits to live with him on the mountains and he trains himself using several learning techniques.
The illustrations were made by a Brazilian friend of mine who lives in London. He is also a great painter and has been exhibiting over there (www.natanheber.com).
If you are serious about learning Portuguese, I truly recommend my book. Not only because I want to sell my product, but because I see it as an excellent learning resource, and as a language student myself, I would love to find something like this for the languages that I’m learning. Unfortunately I’ve never found anything similar (if you know other similar books, please leave a comment).
Três Histórias para Aprender Português is available on Amazon, on Paperback and also on an electronic edition (for Kindle). Here are the links to buy it:
International / USA: http://www.amazon.com/Tr%C3%AAs-Hist%C3%B3rias-Diferentes-Aprender-Portugu%C3%AAs/dp/1514718804/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439759706&sr=8-1&keywords=tres+historias+diferentes
Brazil: http://www.amazon.com.br/Tr%C3%AAs-Hist%C3%B3rias-Diferentes-Aprender-Portugu%C3%AAs-ebook/dp/B013RAOZ96/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439716240&sr=8-1&keywords=historias+diferentes+para+aprender (Kindle Edition only)
The book is available in all Amazon websites, so if your country is not listed here please go to your country’s Amazon website and search for the book. If your country doesn’t have an Amazon provider, you may still be able to buy it through Amazon.com (see the first link on the list above).
I hope you like the book!!! Boa leitura! 🙂