Obs.: Essa conversa foi gravada no Skype, e por isso infelizmente o volume da minha voz saiu um pouco mais baixo do que normalmente sai nos podcasts.
[Essa parte começa com a continuação da resposta à pergunta da Caroline sobre ‘spoilers’ e ‘guilty pleasure’]
(Steve) Guilty pleasure, to me, sounds like eating too much chocolate.
(Ana) OK, I’ll have to make a confession here.
(Ana) I have a guilty pleasure currently, and it is watching the ‘novela das 7′. Our soapopera that, you know, is on around 7pm, which is called Ti-Ti-Ti. It’s a guilty pleasure.
(Steve) There you go, there you go, yeah. I think everyone deserves a little bit of a guilty pleasure like that, right?
(Ana) Yeah, so what’s yours, Steve?
(Steve) What’s mine? I wish I had one, but I guess it would be, maybe, playing the guitar… I don’t really have much free time, so I guess my guilty pleasures are small. Playing the guitar, writing some music, singing some songs…
(Ana) OK… I’m not sure that qualifies… That’s not “guilty”.
(Steve) How about eating some chocolate? Eating some chocolate.
(Ana) OK, alright. You can feel guilty about eating some chocolate.
(Steve) A nice glass of wine.
(Ana) OK, I’ll let it slide this time. And spoilers… I see this word a lot when I’m reading forums, you know, or discussion threads for TV shows. You know, they always, always have like a spoiler thread, which is the only place where you can discuss, I mean, really, spoilers, right? Stuff that has not been shown on any episodes yet, but people know because they have read something on magazines. And so they go on the spoiler thread and they talk about it.
(Steve) A-ha. So that’s, that’s good. So that’s implicit that in that context it’s something, like, you’re getting information actually before the movie is shown. It could spoil the surprise, right? Like, if they talked on some thread about what’s gonna happen at the end of the new Harry Potter movie.
(Ana) Yeah, and if you go to Amazon.com, and if you read book reviews, you always… like, it’s very common, you see “spoiler alert”, or “warning: this review may contain spoilers”, so you know that if you keep reading, you’re gonna learn something about the book that may spoil the suprise, exactly. Or spoil the twist…
(Steve) Right. And then you have a guilty pleasure because you feel good that you read it, but at the same time, guilty, because… OK.
(Ana) Yeah… that’s a good example. I think I’m one of the… I’m one of the only people in the world who enjoys reading spoilers… Do you enjoy reading spoilers? Or do you like to go knowing nothing, like zero about the movie?
(Steve) Yeah, especially nowadays ’cause sometimes it just seems that even, like, movie reviews… Sometimes the movie will be completely different from the review. So, I like to go, as you said, maybe not knowing anything about the movie.
(Ana) Alright. Let’s see what else we have… Well, Osvaldo is asking about interjections. And he gives us a few examples in Portuguese like “Sério? Não me diga”. Or “Até que enfim!”, “Tá brincando”. What would be your examples, Steve, in English?
(Steve) OK, yeah. The first one you gave me there…
(Steve) Really? Really? Are you serious? “Não me diga” (irônico) would be… Get out of town! Or maybe in California they might say “No way!” Or, “You’re kidding!”
(Ana) You’re kidding…
(Steve) You’re kidding.
(Ana) Like “não me diga”. You know, I think there’s one in English that’s kind of like the same meaning, like “You don’t say“. Like “Really.”
(Ana) And what about “Até que enfim…”
(Steve) Finally! It’s about time.
(Ana) It’s about time. It’s about time we recorded this podcast.
(Steve) Yes, yes, and then I could say “Ah, come one, you’re pulling my leg”.
(Ana) You’re pulling my leg…
(Steve) Come on… And then we have, the last one was “ufa”, right? Phew… phew!
(Ana) Yeah, that one is not even a word in English, right? Like in Portuguese.
(Steve) No. It’s one you’d probably see written in cartoons or something like that, in a little bubble, yeah. Phew!
(Ana) How do you spell that?
(Steve) I put here p-h-e-w.
(Ana) OK, Osvaldo… how about that for a few examples of interjections? What about “ouch”? Is “ouch” an interjection?
(Steve) Sure, yeah. That’s like an exclamation of pain. Well, it’s an exclamation, “Ouch!” You know, you’re exclaiming your pain. And I guess in Portuguese that would be different. Those are great, all of those, like ouch and then…
(Ana) In Portuguese we say “Ai!”.
(Steve) Ai! or Ui. And then, what about… When you accidentally drop something, in English you would say “Oops!”.
(Ana) Good one.
(Steve) And I guess in Portuguese you guys would say… what?
(Ana) Ai! Iiii… I don’t even know. I think “ô, ô”, ixe, “iii, desculpa!”
(Steve) OK, there you go, there you go.
(Ana) I think I would look around to see if anyone was watching… That’s what I would do.
(Ana) Oh, Marco… he asks a question about “adjetivos para faminto”.
(Steve) OK. I like his name, “Marco Brainiac”, wow. Yeah, Marco, you have a big brain, which is great… You’re going to get this answer in three seconds.
“Half-starved, but in some series I’ve heard ‘I’m starved’… I can use only starved instead of ‘half-starved’… No, half-starved means that you’re starting to get hungry. But you’re not, you know, totally desperate that you’re going to eat anything in front of you.
(Ana) Whereas starved…
(Steve) Oh, starved.
(Ana) You’d better get out of my way, ’cause you’re gonna be…
(Steve) Oh yeah, yeah, you’ll eat anything, you know? I mean, be careful. Some other ones you may read, like… “I’m starving” would be another popular one. And “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse”.
(Ana) That’s like, I don’t know, an idiom, right Steve?
(Steve) Yeah, exactly. I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.
(Ana) So, do people use “I’m starving” and “I’m starved” interchangeably?
(Steve) Yeah, for sure.
(Ana) OK. He [Marco Brainiac] sent a second one, right? About punctuation. [The question was “I’d like to know how
to use commas”]
(Steve) Right. That’s a very long question, that’s a very brainiac question. I mean, like, in English we use commas for many things, particularly in writing. So, one important thing, however, and this is more for academic writing, is not to use commas to connect two sentences together, you know, with similar meaning. So, many times, I find with my experience that when I’m correcting writing my students will use a comma where they should use a semi-colon. So, you know, if you have two independent sentences with a similar idea you could connect them with a semi-colon. But using a comma… that would be incorrect…. you shouldn’t do that.
Another good place to use commas is before ‘but’ in the middle of a sentence. You can use commas after long transitions, at the beginning of a sentence, like using ‘however’, you know, ‘nevertheless’… It’s a very complex question. But the first thing that came to my mind is that many of my students coming from, you know, different countries around the world, they have a tendency in their writing to use a comma to separate two sentences, and they should use a semi-colon.
(Ana) OK. Yeah, it’s true. This is a very complex question. It could be, maybe, a series of podcasts. I think we have one last question. Wait… Ivan is asking about this expression “Once upon a time”. He’s asking “Why is it translated as ‘Era uma vez’?” and I have to be honest, I don’t know. I don’t know how that expression was born… What do you think, Steve? Once upon a time.
(Steve) I do some classes with my students… Some of them are English teachers, and we do simultaneous translation sometimes. And one thing that we notice is that… Sometimes you’re just trying to translate the meaning but not necessarily word for word, so… It might seem strange, but, I mean… Yeah, like when you say that, “Era uma vez”, the translation into English “Once upon a time” means more or less the same thing. Perhaps there would be another way to translate it, I’m sure there would. But that obviously is the one that they continue to use.
And I’m sure you noticed that. Like, if you’re following subtitles, or, like, translation of movies. Sometimes you see that things could have been translated in another way. It’s very subjective. So that is part of translation, is that you’re translating meaning and not necessarily word for word.
(Ana) Yes. Steve, I think this is it!
(Steve) Yeah! Awesome.
(Ana) Well, actually, oh, too soon. Carlos sent a little question here: How to use ING in English? And that’s another big topic, I guess.
(Steve) That’s an excellent question. It’s an excellent question. And I have something to say about that, because I have heard some people trying to imitate the ING sound in relaxed American speech, so they’ll say ‘workin’, ‘talkin’. Which is great, you know, when we speak informally in American speech we use that. The danger is to use that all the time.
And I have heard some people, you know, they try to speak like a native speaker and that becomes their normal, you know? So they say “Hi Steve, I’m workin’ on this and then I’m doin’ that”, and, I mean, here in North America we use that to kind of sound cute, to sound informal sometimes, but, you know, not all the time. It’s, it’s something that, you know, just like in Portuguese, you wouldn’t be at work saying to your boss “Can I have some dinheirinho?”, you know.
(Ana) Oh, OK.
(Steve) So that’s the equivalent in English. You should really try to pronounce the ING sound in English… semi-formal or formal contexts.
(Ana) OK. Can you say the two versions for us?
(Steve) Sure. “I’m working”. So you can hear this… it’s more complete, ING, you know? It’s more alongated. And “I’m workin'”
So maybe that guy, that business executive… He is working on Wall Street, and maybe there’s somebody who’s workin’, workin’ in the streets. So you really wanna be careful, ’cause as I said, I have noticed some non-native speakers trying to sound like a native speaker and using workin’ and doin’ for everything. Be careful.
(Ana) Alright. Good tip. OK, something that Carlos may have… may have meant with this question was, you know, what are all the ways that we use ING?
(Steve) Oh, not just pronunciation, but the…
(Ana) Yeah, I think that we would need probably another hour…
(Steve) I think so, yeah. That and the commas, I think we would… Yeah, the gerund, using the gerund, there are so many ways that we use the gerund. Yeah, that’s a long class.
(Ana) I think yesterday I wrote a post… it was an English tip on my website and I talked about the use of the gerund as… as the subject of the sentence.
(Steve) Oh, that’s a great one. That’s awesome. When we start to use gerunds as the subject of the sentence… that’s good because you’re starting to show a higher level of English writing. That’s awesome.
(Ana) OK, so that’s one way, Carlos… the subject of the sentence.
(Ana) Steve, we’ve been talking for one hour.
(Steve) How are you gonna type all that out?
(Ana) Yeah, I’m asking myself the same question. Hey, what are Sundays for, right?
É isso! Obrigada a todos pelas perguntas e pelos comentários, and a special thank you to Steve Ford for doing this!
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