Brazil Experience – Testimonial of Two British Girls

Hey guys!! Here we are again! 😉 And this time I’d like to share with you this GREAT testimonial sent to our email (portuguesemassa@gmail.com) from two British girls who were visiting Brazil. I hope you enjoy it and more than that, I hope you can live the same amazing experience they had in the country and with our beautiful Portuguese language!
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As part of a year-long trip around South America, we were fortunate enough to spend six weeks travelling down the East coast of Brazil.  Having never visited the country before, our minds were full of curiosities about the land of sun, samba and caipirinhas.  Not only were all of our expectations fulfilled, they were exceeded day by day.
Obviously, when you first think of Brazil your mind is immediately drawn to that silhouette of Jesus standing high above the Cidade Maravilhosa, and so it should be.  What we weren’t expecting is how much more the country has to offer.  Stunning beaches in Fortaleza and Ilha Grande, waterfalls in Paraty, displays of traditinal capoeira in Salvador and the breath taking Iguacu Falls.
Having studied Portuguese at University, we were pretty confident that we already had a good grasp of the country’s culture and knew what to expect.  However, it became more and more apparent as the weeks went on that we would barely scratch the surface.  We got to experience the vast differences between the concrete jungle of Sao Paulo to the laid back surfers’ paradise Florianopolis to the colonial cobbled streets of Paraty.  Being foodies, we were so excited to uncover what Brazil had to offer: por kilo restaurants (in our eyes the best invention man has ever made); sweet and refreshing acai; churrascarias, a meat lover’s paradise; exotic fruit that you can’t even buy in Waitrose; the freshest sea food you could imagine; and the most delicious home cooked food.
It goes without saying that it would have been impossible to have had such an incredible experience if we had not had even the simplest grasp of the language.  It’s true that tourists can visit Brazil and scrape by with the odd obrigado accompanied with wild hand gestures, but if you really want to experience all the country has to offer this just isn’t enough.  Although we were skeptical,  having not used our Portuguese for a good two years after graduating, we were touched by how many people were grateful for us even trying and encouraged us to keep going.  Whether it be over a family dinner, discussing different types of fruit to trying to explain what role a Learning Mentor plays in British schools on a night out.  Without a doubt our ability to communicate, even in the smallest sense, allowed us to form friendships with people and see things that we will never forget and that you most definitely won’t find in the Lonely Planet.
Out of all of the countries that we have visited so far on our travels, Brazil is the one that has really captured our hearts (sorry but it’s true!) and we are already planning our next trip hopefully for a special occasion in the near future!! to discover more of what it has to offer.
Sara Morgan and Jessica Catteril
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10 Reasons to Learn Portuguese

Brazilian Portuguese is a passionate, musical and romantic language, where the focus is on expressing yourself rather than following tons of grammar rules, making it the ideal learner’s language. And brazilian people just LOVE when foreigners do everything they can to learn their language, then you have a great recipe for language success. 

This is why our first post on this blog will be about the reasons to start learning Portuguese! 

keepcalmportuguese

1) Brazil is now the world’s favorite country 

Always called country of the future, Brazil is starting to look  a lot more like the country of the present. Everybody  wants to come to Brazil, to invest here, to live here, to work here and the next few years will be very busy, specially with some world’s events taking places in Brazil.

In 2013, Brazil will host the Confederation Cup, a major international soccer event. The events will be held in 4 to 6 cities throughout Brazil. And with the upcoming World Cup (2014) and Olympic Games (2016) in Brazil, there are a LOT of positions to be filled by bilingual speakers!

2) Brazil has emerged as a global economic player and expectations are rising of further success ahead.

It is the 5th largest economy in the world and considered 21st-century economic powerhouse!  Brazil (whose main language is Portuguese) belongs to the BRIC group, an acronym for ‘Brazil, Russia, India and China’, which means its economy has grown rapidly during the last years. So, it makes sense in the global economy to study Portuguese.

Besides, with the economy growing so fast ( Brazil is the industrial and economic super power of Latin America) the demand for professionals in different areas also increased. Areas such as Engineering and Telecommunications have a large gap of professionals, so it’s really common to hire foreigners. So, you just might find yourself moving to Brazil to work or having a competitive advantage over colleagues at your company if you speak Portuguese.

3) Sixth most widely spoken

This language is spoken in four continents: Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. More people speak Portuguese as their native language than speak French, German, Italian or Japanese.

4) Equal status to Spanish in Uruguay

In Uryguay’s educational system at the north border with Brazil Portuguese is as important as Spanish at schools.  In the rest of the country it’s taught as an obligatory subject beginning by the 6th grade.

5) Brazilians Accept You as One of Theirs

Brazilians are naturally friendly and if you can communicate in their language it’s even better!

In Brazil, it’s all about who you know, i.e “networking” and this is a natural built in part of the language. So you effectively kill two birds with one stone in learning the language, as amazing doors of possibilities begin to open.

6) Portuguese/Spanish: the perfect pair.

No matter what career path you choose, you will multiply your chances for success if you speak these two languages since they cover all of South America plus many other places in Europe, Africa, and Asia. If you already speak Spanish is even easier to learn Portuguese!

7) The astonishing richness of literature in Portuguese

Everything from The Lusiads, the greatest epic poem of the European Renaissance — to the modern Brazilian narrative and poetry, the best-kept secret in the Western Hemisphere. The Portuguese writer José Saramago won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998.

8) Those interested in world music will greatly benefit from knowing Portuguese. Over the last five centuries, 

Portuguese, African and Amerindian traditions, instruments, harmonies, dances, rhythms, and other musical elements have been mixed to form unique sounds and rhythms such as samba and bossa-nova.

9) You can enjoy your trips much better

Brazil is one of the major tourist destinations in South America. Knowing the language of the country you visit provides the tourist with choices not available to those who don’t.

10) Broaden your view of the world.

Learning a new language is not just learning grammar and vocabulary. It is learning new sounds, expressions, and ways of seeing things; it is learning how to function in another culture, how to know a new community from the inside out. Portuguese can help you do so.

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?