Ok so things are starting to get serious now. Maybe we might be able to do something, but what about the language, should we learn some, but we don’t know if Portugal is right for us! Will we be able to, we don’t do learning! Are there any courses? OK break out the Google again. Well that’s good there is a basic course in Brighton starting September, just a year, not too pricey, let’s do it.
Click done! Oh heck what have we started?
Well we did go, and at the start we quite enjoyed it, there was a good mix of people, all ages, all there for different reasons, which was interesting in its self. As the year progressed it did become harder and I think towards the end we both found it a little too hard / fast for us so we did bail when there was about 5 lessons to go. On the positive we did learn quite a lot although we may not have realised at the time, as we were later to find as we visited Portugal more, we actually understood a lot more than we thought. Did we do it a bit early? I think maybe we did, but I also think if we had left it till the next year it would have been too late.
One thing we did find that apart from the really rural areas, most Portuguese have a reasonable handle on English anyway. Many times we would endeavor to communicate in Portuguese only to have the reply returned in near perfect English. I still think it was a good thing to do, but not as important as I thought. However saying that the locals did always appreciate and where always a lot more incline to more helpful when we did at least try.
The wonderful world of the internet also provides a whole number of useful tools, Google scores again with its translation service which will also speak the result. Another very useful site is memorise.