I am always looking for good podcasts. I recently tried out Tá Falado, a podcast for those le
arning Portuguese who have previously learned Spanish. I download the podcasts via Overcast. It is not for Spanish native-speakers, although it may well be of use to those who also speak English fluently. There are times when I have to concede that some
resources are only available in Brazilian Portuguese and are still useful for my current goal. I highly recommend it for beginners and those at intermediate to advanced level keen to revise or perfect some elements of pronunciation and grammar. There are four individuals on the podcast: the host, Orlando R. Kelm, a professor at University of Texas, Austin; two Brazilians, Valdo Oliveira and Michelle Schreiner Lima; and a Spanish-speaker, José Luis Montiel from Venezuela.
The format is straightforward. Speaking in English Prof Kelm introduces the linguistic element being covered in that lesson, provides a few pointers, and sometimes from the out discusses with the others how it compares to Spanish. This last bit can come later in the podcast. There is a dialogue, which is spoken at natural speed, slowed down, and translated into Spanish. These dialogues are usually built around cultural differences between the US and Brazil. This is fascinating, because I often learn much about both cultures. For example, there is a dialogue about how parties are timed in the US and Brazil. In the US, we are told that you are expected to arrive punctually and leave at a given time. In Brazil, you arrive late (maybe 2 or more hours late) and leave when the mood takes you. Both Valdo and Michelle reckon that the average Brazilian would be affronted if they were given a finish time for a party and would just ignore it. From what they say, on the party front, at least, the Irish have more in common with Brazilians than folk from the US. Other dialogues cover sitting on the grass on campus, studying in cafés, being automatically served water in a restaurant, and so on. It makes for an interesting approach. These are everyday details about difference that are useful to know, but are often asides in textbooks.
The podcast is delivered in a friendly, lighthearted style and prof Kelm has an easy manner. The group appear to have an easy rapport, it is well paced, and there is plenty of repetition. I like the way that they highlight certain key elements to supplement the core focus of each lesson. As well as the audio content, there are other resources available on the website that are very useful. Most of the podcasts are between 10-12 minutes, which is a great length to completely focus on one area, to supplement other learning, or for revision. My only wish is for there to be another made using Portuguese from Portugal. But, I find this a useful resource that I’m working my through as well as returning to certain sticky elements time and again.