About Brazil

 

Brazilian woman

Language

The official language is Portuguese, and apart from its grammar it doesn't have a lot in common with the language spoken in Portugal. Centuries of mixture with indigenous and African dialects have created an elegant and expressive language. Certainly not a language you might learn in a couple of weeks (unless you were very dedicated) and the general lack of Brazilians speaking anything else than Portuguese certainly doesn't help. Furthermore, every region and city has its own slang or 'giria'. English is sparsely spoken. If you speak Spanish you can expect people to understand you in the bigger cities, but they will probably answer you in Portuguese or Portugnol (a mixture between Spanish and Portuguese). Even where you would expect a foreign language it sometimes simply isn’t there and in those cases, a little patience will get you anywhere. Brazilians suffer from an incredible lack of bad temper and unwillingness to help, so mostly a smile and a ‘thumbs up’ will get you further than impatience which will finally only get you to an emergency cardiac unit. 

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