Meeting: Portuguese Language Classes

October 16, 2012 | 23 Comments

There will be a meeting held at 8pm tomorrow night [Oct 17] at the Vasco Da Gama Club about the possibility of Portuguese language classes being held at the Bermuda College.

A statement from Vasco said: “There are so many different reasons, why learning a second or third language, is a great thing.

“It might be for reasons such as communicating with family and friends, career opportunities, assist you in your current job, or just because you have always wanted to learn a different language. As our world becomes increasingly international, the importance of learning another languages continue to grow.

“So if this is you, and you are interested in learning conversational Portuguese come out to the meeting being held at Vasco Da Gama Club (Reid Street, Hamilton) tomorrow, Wednesday October 17 at 8pm.

“This meeting is in aid of advocating support for Bermuda College to commence offering conversational Portuguese classes for Adults.

“We ask all people who are interested in learning Portuguese to be present at this meeting as we need to prove to the Bermuda College Representative, who will be at the meeting that, there is a large interest.”

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  1. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    Finally!! Been saying for years we should have been learning Portuguese instead of French or Spanish, since we have a resident Portuguese population. They may speak a dialect of Portuguese at home, but the children would be learning standard Portuguese right along with the rest of us.

    It just underscores what I was taught in a Bda College History course - that the Portuguese were brought to Bermuda to be a buffer between the whites and the blacks. That is why there was no effort to teach Portuguese in the past, so they could be kept fairly isolated as we wouldn't be able to communicate easily.

    This is not the first effort to have Portuguese taught to the general population here. I applaud Vasco da Gama and the organizers of this effort for continuing to press on this issue. Our past need not be our future!

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    • Manuel says:

      Syl ,

      The Portuguese were brought here to do the farming work that the recently freed blacks would no longer do.

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      • swingingfrom the chandeliers!! says:

        @Manual----Blacks refused to be treated like pure trash, and were discriminated against for various jobs so don't get comfy in that misinfo..further I always thought we shouldv'e learned portuguese years ago but now its too late..we have over seventy-five other nationalities here and now the portuguese are the least of our worries, some of them that were here years ago refused to speak English and stayed within their communities forbidding issimilation with blacks, however I always felt we all got along good at some point...why bother to learn to speak it now when they stopped allowing portuguese families to be here! Now we have India, phillipino,Indonesia, and other families here...don't make too much sense to me in 2012 too late..how will it enhance or improve or add to anything positive. This is an English speaking island and people coming here should already be wellversed in our language..

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        • Tommy Chong says:

          “Blacks refused to be treated like pure trash, and were discriminated against for various jobs so don’t get comfy in that misinfo”

          GET OVER YOURSELF!!!

          Portuguese were treated just as bad as the African descended people at the time of the abolition of slavery in Bermuda. Portuguese had to sit in the same segregated areas on the bus & at Rosebank Theatre or anywhere else as the African descended people. Many when they came to Bermuda were either shoved into a building termed the incubator with other local derelicts or put in a barn with no beds just cold hard concrete floors to sleep on.

          They didn't refuse to speak english they just couldn't because they were work hands not scholars with little or no education. Despite this they assimilated very well into the African descended community thats why many locals are mixed with Portuguese today and have Portuguese sir names. They welcomed anyone onto their football team Vasco regardless of skin colour & many older Bermudians have stories of their welcoming Portuguese neighbors who shared their food & culture with them. Where do you think the traditional codfish & potatoes meal came from? It was the Portuguese fisherman who used to catch cod off the coast of North America not the English or Africans.

          Portuguese are a major part of our islands culture just the same as Africans are & cannot be compared to the Johny Come Lately's who are the real ones who refuse to Assimilate even though they are taught english in their schools just as much as tagalog. Unless you look like you have a bit of money on you or your about to kick the bucket with no one to claim your assets you'll get no love from them. They don't even advertise when they serve their food so locals can have a try but I & everyone knows where to get their Portuguese donuts, red bean soup or chorizo.

          Dang!! Your so ignorant you cant even see that the “all black government party” even has a Portuguese as a minister. As much of a sell out Minister Desilva is it still counts for something to show how Bermudagee our culture is.

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          • sugra says:

            Well said Tommy.

            "Swinging" needs to take a breeze through the phone book and see how many names of Portuguese descent are in there. He or she seems keen to marginalize over 150 years of overwhelmingly positive and unassuming contributions to our society by the Portuguese and their many, many descendants.

            "Swinging" probably approved of the classifications of "Black, White and Portuguese" on the early CURE forms, too. SMH.

            Well done to Vasco for leading the charge on some well overdue acknowledgment.

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        • True Gee says:

          Ay my fren! Wassah matta fah you?? Titia make some nice feijao soup for you and some malacadas to fatten you up. Issa nevah too late to learn to speakah Puddageese, ok? Precisas uma bolacha na boca, tonto!

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  2. Bermuda's says:

    Great idea! Especially since the Brazilian lady who taught the Adult Continuing Education Portuguese class had to leave BDA a while back as her permit did not get renewed. Latin America including Brazil is the next hot spot so Bermuda needs to take advantage of the business oportunities ahead. We need to learn the lingo to position ourselves.

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  3. Traveler says:

    I agree with you all, long over due. I to have being saying for years that Bermuda should have a second language, learning Portuguese. Also it should start in the primary schools system.

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  4. The truth shall set you free says:

    I'd be interested, my in-laws don't speak English which makes communicating with them rather interesting lol....

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  5. Super Mom says:

    Totally interested in going, however i cant make the meeting!! Would be great if people could make mention of it in these comments and someone who IS going could take a print out and show who is interested....

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  6. Bermy says:

    Firstly, I would like to thank Vasco Da Gama Club for taking a leading role in advocating the learning of the Portuguese language in Bermuda.

    For many years I have questioned why as a country Bermuda has not made Portuguese the official second language. We must not discount nor forget the enormous contributions the Portuguese community has made in Bermuda. Certainly, the prosperity Bermuda has enjoyed over centuries would not have been possible without their sacrifice and commitment. Simply stated, we are one people with many different backgrounds but we share a common heritage in Bermuda.

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  7. Jury says:

    I think this is excellent idea to have a portugese classes taught in all school levels and at Bermuda College.

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  8. Past Rotary Exchange Student says:

    It is amazing to me that Bermuda is so behind in languages. Having been blessed to have travelled from South America to Europe we are at such a disadvantage to not have at least a second language under our belts. Yes, we do teach French and Spanish in schools, but in our society there is no conversational practice. It is logical that we should take advantage that we have a community of Portuguese here that lends the ability to use a second language on a daily basis. The opportunities that would be provided in business and the gateway that would be created to learn other languages is endless. We need to stop looking behind us at the past and start looking forward to the future and the resources and possibilities we have available to Bermudians and those workers who are living here. Yes, we do have many other nationalities represented here, but the percentage of the population that are Portuguese outweighs that. If there is enough interest for other languages then a group can get together and hold the same meeting with Bermuda College. Bermuda College is a learning institution and if there are people who want to learn, then there should be a place they can go to be educated.

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  9. tricks are for kids.. says:

    I think this is a great idea and would love to attend but unfortunately I have another meeting scheduled for the same time. Hopefully, Bernews you guys will be able to obtain the relevent information and post for all to see.

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  10. Bda College Mature Student says:

    It is a great idea. Portugese should be our second language. The Portugese have paid their dues just like every other race that has ancestral roots on this island. Considering the history, more Bermudians should be able to speak the language. I am unable attend the meeting because of other commitments but I would love to go. If there is someone out there that is going, can you speak on my behalf. Being a mature, working full-time, Bermuda College student, I would love to obtain a second language, but the College tends to offer most of the courses during the work day, including the language courses, which makes it very difficult to attend classes. Please suggest that the college provide evening classes. Thanks.

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  11. Bermudian says:

    Well done Vasco for pushing this issue. As for 'chandeleirs', its never too late to learn. Being so close minded as you are will not get you far in life. Maybe people still refuse to come to the realization that Portuguese people are here to stay. Next time a low class, ignorant person blurts out in a gas station...I can't stand people like them, that Portuguese person can say the same thing back. I would love to have my camera ready for that one. Viva Portugal!

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  12. plato says:

    When I returned home after university in 1962 I was amazed that portuguse was not taught here ... But french and spanish were.
    Good luck vasco but you'll be dealing with an intransigent min of educ.
    But mandarin chinese and arabic would be better given the way the world is going.

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    • Frank says:

      Yes, I agree. Why no Mandarin Chinese is offered at Bermuda College or any of the other educational institutions in Bermuda. Chinese is spoken by the most people of the world population and many of the schools and colleages in the US and the UK are offering Chinese.

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  13. Always Watching says:

    I don't know about you all but i'm a black portuguese. My grandfather came from San Miguel and I wish he would have taught us portuguese. I now have a 5 year old who's mother is 100% portuguese so I am learning threw them. Portuguese should have long been our second language and I welcome it to be introduced not only as classes but as mandatory learning in our school system.

    eu amo todas as coisas português

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  14. Boa tarde says:

    Eu gostaria de ensinar esta aula, mas primeiro, tenho que melhorar minha gramatica... que pena que nao temos uma aula de portugues advancada aqui tambem! Tudo que eu aprendi... eu eprendi sozinho

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  15. Michael Brangman says:

    I still wonder why they don't teach the Portuguese language in public schools. Students will be more motivated to learn as it is something they can immediately see value in and use. In comparison, How many students are going to benefit from learning French or Spanish? Its a no brainer if you ask me.

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  16. Cinderella says:

    Maybe those who would like to teach the children in Primary School some basic Portuguese as an after-school class could write a letter to the principal/headmaster. I hope that it would be well received and started in January 2013 as a standard. Maybe some of the well-off Portuguese business families could sponsor the classes. The teacher/children could use their computer's free translator to share the information with the other students. Why, these classes could even be broadcast on CITV!! Then I could understand the news on RTP on cable.

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