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Brazil 101 – Language + Geography

Every once in a while, in an airport here or there, I am reminded of a few things people might not know about Brazil, or about our language or culture. I don’t really blame them. They genuinely don’t know.

In fact, maybe it’s our fault. Maybe there just aren’t enough Brazilians promoting our culture out there in the world. So! I thought, why not do a little introduction just in case?

Language – Oi, oy, oi!

If someone greets you with “Oi!” it’s not because you’ve already exasperated them. “Oi” means “Hi!” And “Ola” (not to be confused with “hola”) is “hello”.

Also! Brazilians don’t speak Spanish. It’s kind of insulting both to Spanish speakers and Brazilians if you assume Brazilians speak Spanish. 🙁 Not all of us do. In fact, you will likely have more luck with English in most cases.

We also don’t speak Brazilian. We fazer speak Brazilian Portuguese! While the Spaniards colonized, well, everywhere else, Portugal colonized Brazil. So we speak Portuguese, much like Americans speak English not American. We have our own accent and nuances to our language, so we fazer speak Brazilian Portuguese, like American English!

Want to say hello? It’s like this:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc0GRj-ec9s?start=34&w=560&h=315]

Geography – Brazil is …

Brazil is in South America. In fact, it takes up most of South America. It has been dubbed “the Sleeping Giant”, and a few years ago it seemed like it was waking up and noticing its true potential. Unfortunately, it keeps tripping on its own feet and getting in its own way.

But Brazil is not just the Amazon. It’s not just favelas. There’s more to it than Rio and Carnival and soccer. We are so so so much more. Come and see for yourself.

You will find so much life, so much beautiful and preserved nature, history, buzzing metropolises, and a variety of cultures and food that change drastically as you go from one end of the country to another. It’s one country that can fit several within it, and in a way it does.

Explore all of it!

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