What kind? in Portuguese.

We Americans are so lazy. We get away with saying so much with so little. I probably use the word, kind a dozen times every day. But in Brazil, there are several more options used to say, What kind? in Portuguese. What kind of cheese do you want? I like all kinds of science fiction…

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Inviting Yourself

How do you say something like, I’d like to go with you sometime or ask, Can we play with you guys? In Portuguese there are several key verbs that make it easy and clear that you’d like to do something – to participate. Portuguese invitational verbs participar: to participate poder: to be able to, can…

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Porta das Fundos – laugh and learn Portuguese

A student just reminded me of a very cool YouTube comedy channel called Porta dos fundos. Besides being insanely funny, it’s actually funny to non-Brazilians as well (but, for advanced & intermediate learners). Even I find most of the great Brazilian way too hard to laugh at. There are just too many subtle cultural references…

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Modern Brazilian introductions

You can score BIG points just being able to meet & greet in Brazil. Before you even know how to say anything else, learn these. Use them to practice your pronunciation – you’ll be using them over and over. For example — Tudo bem is the main thing everyone says when seeing someone you know…

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Dia Internacional do Samba

We all have our own unsolved mysteries about SAMBA, right? Do you really have to go to a samba school to learn samba? Is there some store where you buy those outfits? Can men samba too? Does it mean you’re gay if you do? It’s just like salsa – but with less clothing? It just…

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Asking Directions in Portuguese

One sure way to quickly improve your Portuguese is to get lost… in Brazil. Even if just for a few hours. All of your speaking inhibitions will immediately disappear and you’ll be compelled to do the single best thing for improving your skills: speak to a real Brazilian! Brazilians are a helpful bunch. I’ve made…

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Sem Noção: Moto Lotada

This clip caught my attention. It’s a soft news piece. Except for the intro, it’s spoken clearly and not too fast. The vocabulary is really core also. Once you get past the intro it’s perfect for training your ear (intermediate-advanced level). We use a lot of video (quase 100%) in our course, but we generally…

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Faxineira sem noção

We use a lot of video (quase 100%) in our course, but we avoid anything that ‘s from a TV or the movies. The vast majority are just too fast and full of irrelevant vocabulary. If you do want to try a Brazilian movie, make sure you watch like this. But this clip caught my…

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Physical descriptions in Portuguese

It seemed so strange to me to first hear people being referred to as: the white guy, that fat girl, the tall one. Maybe we’re too socially correct in the US or just more sensitive (cautious?) — but we don’t casually call people by their physical attributes, especially if it’s potentially unflattering or offensive. But…

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Traveling safely in Brazil

Wallace asks: “Eu gostei muito de esse blog acerca de etiqueta no Brasil! Você pode escrever um blog sobre de como viajar com segurança no Brasil? Por exemplo, como os turistas devem vestir-se, onde não devem ir, e como usar o ônibus e o metrô de uma maneira segura. Eu planejo visitar Rio de Janeiro…

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Portuguese Sentences: great openers 2 (intermediates)

In the previous post I presented some really solid, but basic conversation starters. Now it’s time for some Portuguese Sentences that are also very common, but more complex. These are for the intermediate-advanced level learner. Vamos nessa. Just as the previous post, these sentences are linked to Google translate, and if you click the speaker…

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Portuguese Sentences: great openers

If you’ve already got some of the basics down and are looking for ways to get into a conversation, I’m going to give you a list of very common Portuguese sentences that you can use as openers. These are all simple, yet powerful and: interesting openers. This list will give you some great openers and…

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Etiquette in Brazil

Get comfortable with the double-cheek kiss. Brazilians are much more liberal with body touching and personal space than Americans. This is generally a very cool thing. You will often see even younger boys holding hands as a sign of friendship. Women do the two-kiss greeting. But beware. Don’t automatically go in for the air-kiss on…

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Shopping in Brazil: Eu levo

You’ve just entered a clothing store in Brazil. Most likely, one of the sales clerks on the floor will immediately rush over to meet you. It will usually be someone your opposite sex. The clerk will try to be your instant friend and ask you where you are from and try to say whatever english…

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Read this before you fly: Portuguese Travel Phrases

The airport is a great place to start practicing your Portuguese. Most airline staff are bilingual and will be very forgiving of your mistakes and accent. Just go for it and apologize later. Let’s do a typical check-in dialog: AGENTE: Bom dia senhor. Passaporte, por favor. PASSAGEIRO: Aqui está. Eu vou para Recife. AGENTE: O…

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What number are you?

Are they calling you a ‘nota dez’ or simply a ‘um-sete-um’ -? You better know. Brazilians love to use numbers with hidden meanings. Let’s look at the most common; zero = brand, spanking, new. > Ele ganhou um carro zero para trabalho. 10=  really, really good. > Ela é linda, inteligente e simpatica — Ela…

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Ordering in Portuguese

I had a tough time getting used to the way Brazilians order things – at restaurants, pharmacies, hotels – wherever. For some reason, I was expecting a little more politeness in the language – ESPECIALLY when ordering in Portuguese. I’d like a large iced-coffee, please In Brazil you are going to say, Give me a…

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