São Paulo, Brazil to Sheffield, UK
I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, however, my grandparents from both sides came from different countries. Between the XIX and XX century, the Portuguese, who invaded and colonised Brazil, opened up the country looking for cheap workers and this attracted lots and lots of immigrants, including my grandparents. My mum’s side came from Madrid in the 1960s wanting to leave Franco’s Spain. My dad’s side came from Osaka and Kumamoto in Japan, in the 1930s.
We all speak Brazilian Portuguese at home. We could speak Spanish if we wanted to, but the only one who’s actually fluent is my mum. She mostly uses it in very emotional situations, like when me and my brother were kids and we would do something naughty, she would tell us off in Spanish. For me it’s a beautiful language full of emotional attachments. Portuguese is more like home, comfort and nostalgia. I speak much more English these days so Portuguese and English are kind of blending in together, I love mixing both languages when I speak with my bilingual friends. There are some words that definitely work better in one language than the other. For example, ‘saudade’ is a word that only exists in Portuguese, the most accurate but incomplete translation is ‘I miss you’, saudade just hits differently.
Living in Sheffield I don’t get to speak Portuguese that often so I made sure to teach my partner lots of Brazilian expressions; one of them is ‘para de encher meu saco’ which literally means ‘stop filling my bag’. It’s an expression you use when someone is annoying you and you want to tell them to stop annoying you, you could also just say ‘estou de saco cheio’ ‘my bag is filled’ to signify the same thing.