In an isolated corner of Portugal, searching for Mirandese, the country’s second official language, means a new — and frugal — reason to travel.
An old woman in a plain gray dress and a shopping bag full of oblong orange squashes called out to me from down the street. I had no idea what she was saying – and that couldn’t have made me happier. After all, I had come to her rural village – Malhadas, in the northeast corner of Portugal – with the specific hope of not understanding anyone.
A local woman in Malhadas, who thought the author was in town to read the electric meters.Seth KugelA local woman in Malhadas, who thought the author was in town to read the electric meters.
“Ah, you don’t speak Mirandese,” she said, switching to Portuguese, a language I speak fluently after living for several years in Brazil. “I thought you were the guy who comes to read the electric meters.”