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Which language would you like to learn?

Discussion in 'Português (Portuguese)' started by PinchaVista, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. PinchaVista New Member

    Berlin
    English
    Hi everyone,

    I'm a newcomer to Portuguese and can't grasp question formation. I need the following sentence:

    Which language would you like to learn?

    In Spanish I have 'Qué idioma quieres aprender?` and in German 'Welche Sprache möchtest du lernen?', so I ideally need the informal 'tu' form for consistency.

    I figured it should be something like 'Que idioma queres aprender?' or 'Qual idioma queres aprender?'. I'd be eternally grateful if someone could help me out.

    Thank you thank you thank you,

    PinchVista
     
  2. alFarrob

    alFarrob Senior Member

    Algarve, Portugal
    Português (Portugal)
    "Que língua gostavas de aprender" or "Que língua gostarias de aprender?". You can use "idioma" instead of "língua", it is a bit more formal.
    If the question implies a more immediate wish, then you could use "Que língua queres aprender... " and so on.

    Please note that the use of the second person singular is about the same as treating someone by his/her christian name, i.e. if you treat someone as "John" then you would say in portuguese "gostavas", "gostarias", "queres". If the case is you treat the other person as "Mr. Smith" then you would use "Que língua gostava de aprender?", "Que língua quere aprender", "Que idioma gostaria de aprender?" and so on.
     
  3. PinchaVista New Member

    Berlin
    English
    Hi Jose,

    Thank you very much for your rapid response. I've seen this version bandied around Google: Qual Idioma você gostaria de aprender? Is this version just an alternative with the use of the pronoun, and is 'Qual' preferable to 'Que'?

    PinchaVista
     
  4. Guigo

    Guigo Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro
    Português (Brasil)
    In Brasil you'll hear this (italic form above).

    Also, without distinction:
    idioma = língua
    que = qual
     
  5. PinchaVista New Member

    Berlin
    English
    Thank you Guigo!
     
  6. alFarrob

    alFarrob Senior Member

    Algarve, Portugal
    Português (Portugal)
    In Portugal, we distinguish subtly the "Qual?" from the "Que?" in this context. I don't know if there's any rule but the way I use them and think most people do is: "Qual" if there is a limited, tending to be small, number of items to choose from, the "Que" if the number is indefinite.

    Let's say, if the list of choices were "Spanish", "French" and "English", it would come out perfectly natural with "Qual língua queres aprender?" or even more current "Qual das línguas queres aprender?".
     
  7. PinchaVista New Member

    Berlin
    English
    Then it's much like Spanish with the distinction between 'qué / que' and 'cuál / qual'. Interesting. In my case, I think 'qual' fits best because it's a question with a number of choices underneath. Thanks again!
     
  8. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    I agree with alFarrob. I think that distinction between "que" and "qual" should be valid for all Romance languages.
     
  9. Denis555

    Denis555 Senior Member

    Cracóvia, Polônia
    Brazilian Portuguese
    In Brazil just for "consistency" you can use "você" for "tu" in Spanish or "du" in German or "you" in English (not really "thou").
    When you want to be formal you can use "o senhor" (to a male) and "a senhora" (to a female). The word "tu" is much less used. That's why Google Translator translates correctly:
    Qual idioma você gostaria de aprender?
    Or
    Qual língua você gostaria de aprender? (more used)

    As alFarrob said "idioma" seems to be a bit more formal or less used. That holds true also for Brazil.
    And I must say there's a distinction between "qual" and "que". That would be like "qual língua" (=which language) and "que língua" (=what language).
    But this distinction is not always observed in Brazil as Guigo pointed out especially when the context make it clear, this "que" form can be used instead of the "qual" form. Our "que" is very versatile, indeed! :)
     
  10. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    From a non-native point of view, I would use "que"... unless there is a choice between different languages then I would use "qual".
    And "gostavas" instead of the conditional sounds very Portuguese. :)
     
  11. PortugueseTeacher

    PortugueseTeacher New Member

    New York
    Portuguese
    Qual língua você gostaria de aprender?

    Qual idioma
    você gostaria de aprender?
     

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