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[Portuguese listening/reading practice] – Sobre cães e gatos Posted by on Aug 31, 2017 in Biology & Animals, Brazilian Profile, Culture, Idioms, Learning, Online Learning, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

Ei, pessoal! Hi, everyone!

This month’s Portuguese listening and reading practice is a text entitled Sobre cães e Gatos (About Cats and Dogs) by Portuguese comedian Ricard Araújo Pereira. It talks about the difference between the two animals and their relation to their owners and humans in general. I hope you like it!

Portuguese comedian Ricardo Araújo Pereira
(photo by Espalhafactos)

Let’s remember our usual steps:

  • Listen to the audio first. See if you can identify any words and write them down, if you want to.
  • Scroll down and read the text. You can try reading it out loud to practice your pronunciation and speaking skills, or play the audio again and follow as you listen. Read each sentence carefully and see what you can recognize and understand.
  • Check translated text in italics. What were you able to grasp? Which parts were the most difficult? It’s a good idea to read the text in Portuguese again now that you know its full meaning.

1.  Ouça/ Listen

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3: 

 

 

 

2. Leia/ Read

Sobre cães e gatos

Part 1: “Você é uma gata” é um elogio. “Você é uma cadela” é um insulto –e dos pesados. Aqui está um interessante problema de semântica zoológica. De onde vem a má reputação dos cães? Nos livros, aparecem quase só para morrer.

A Baleia do Graciliano Ramos, spoiler alert, leva um tiro. O Argos de Ulisses espera pelo dono durante 20 anos e morre assim que satisfaz o desejo de vê-lo. Mas os gatos têm um prestígio literário impecável. Nem o Cheshire Cat da Alice nem o gatarrão amigo do Diabo em “O Mestre e Margarida” levam um tiro –e mereciam.

Anda por aí um famoso espetáculo musical sobre gatos. Não ocorre a ninguém escrever uma ópera rock sobre cães. Os gatos são protagonistas sofisticados, os cães são bobocas sem classe. Quando, há pouco tempo, além dos meus quatro cães passei a ter um gato, comecei a perceber a razão do fascínio.

Part 2:  De fato, é um bicho que nos despreza de uma forma muito elegante. Está evidentemente convencido da sua superioridade em relação a nós, e é capaz de ter razão.

Mas, apesar de seduzido pelo gato, mantenho-me firme no meu entusiasmo em relação aos cães. Os gatos sabem qualquer coisa; os cães são tão estúpidos como eu –o que lhes dá um encanto muito especial.

Os gatos parecem ter uma informação importante acerca do que é isto de estar vivo; os cães não fazem ideia do que andam aqui a fazer. Acham quase tudo espantoso, e não têm vergonha desse maravilhamento constante, apesar de ser tão parecido com estupidez. Os cães são crianças pequenas, os gatos são filhos adolescentes: também nos amam, embora com alguma relutância, e acham mesmo que são independentes, apesar de continuarem a precisar de nós para comer.

Part 3: Um gato é uma fraude ostensiva, uma ironia da natureza: parece um tigre, move-se como um tigre, pensa que é um tigre –mas pesa menos de 200 quilos.

Quando não está a dormir, é bastante óbvio que o meu gato se encontra a planejar o meu homicídio. Mas de um modo adorável. Vejo os olhos dele, quando me espreita, emboscado atrás do computador, e eu próprio começo a simpatizar com a ideia de que mereço morrer. Em raros momentos de ternura, aproxima-se de mim e lambe o meu nariz com o que parece ser lixa para madeira. É carinho e esfoliação. Amor doloroso. O cão é o melhor amigo do homem; o gato é o melhor inimigo.

 

 

About Cats and Dogs

Part 1: “You’re a cat” is a compliment. “You’re a bitch,” is an insult- and a heavy one. Here is an interesting problem of zoological semantics. Where does the dogs’ bad reputation come from? In books, they appear almost only to die.

The dog Baleia, from Graciliano Ramos, spoiler alert, is shot. Argos from the Odyssey waits for its owner for 20 years and dies as soon as it fulfills the desire to see him. But cats have impeccable literary prestige. Neither Alice’s Cheshire Cat nor the Devil’s friend in “The Master and Margarita” are shot- although they deserved it.

There’s a famous musical about cats. It does not occur to anyone to write a rock opera about dogs. Cats are sophisticated protagonists, dogs are classless fools. When, a short time ago, besides my four dogs I got myself a cat, I began to understand the reason for the fascination.

*Note: in Portuguese, we say “you’re a cat” to say a person is cute

Part 2: In fact, it is an animal that despises us in a very elegant way. He is evidently convinced of his superiority to us, and he may be right. But despite being seduced by the cat, I remain firm in my enthusiasm for dogs. Cats know anything; Dogs are as stupid as I am – which gives them a very special charm.

Cats seem to have important information about what it is like to be alive; dogs have no idea what they are doing here. They find almost everything amazing, and they are not ashamed of this constant wonder, though it is so much like stupidity. Dogs are small children, cats are teenagers: they also love us, albeit with some reluctance, and even think they are independent, although they still need us to eat.

Part 3: A cat is an ostentatious fraud, an irony of nature: it looks like a tiger, moves like a tiger, thinks it is a tiger – but it weighs less than 200 quilos.

When it is not sleeping, it’s pretty obvious that my cat is planning my homicide. But in a lovely way. I see it in his eyes as he stalks me, ambushed behind the computer, and I begin to sympathize with the idea that I deserve to die. In rare moments of tenderness, he approaches me and licks my nose with what appears to be sandpaper for wood. It is affection and exfoliation. Painful love The dog is a man’s best friend; The cat is his best enemy.

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Comments:

  1. Keith Keplinger:

    This is a creative exercise. However, the individual reading the story reads too fast, in my opinion. Certainly the comedian and originator of the story himself would recite the story more slowly and with *more expression*. The reader sounded almost like a robot.

    So my two cents is: slower please, and with more expression. Read it like you are telling an interesting and funny story. Make me laugh!

    • carol:

      @Keith Keplinger Hey, Keith!
      I really enjoyed your feedback, it’s always nice to hear from our readers to learn how we can improve our posts. I’ll make sure to incorporate your suggestions into the next one!
      Thank you for the help,
      Carol


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