You know that speaking Portuguese is essential for having a successful life in Brazil.
If you’re not yet living in Brazil it might be difficult to conceptualize just how important it is to speak Portuguese. Especially if you’ve never lived in a foreign country before, you might take for granted all of the little situations whereby you can effortlessly communicate with people throughout the day.
To help motivate you, we’ve come up with a list of 101 reasons why you should learn Brazilian Portuguese.
Even if you’re already in Brazil and speak some Portuguese, some of the items on this list will remind you that there’s always something more to learn.
You should learn Portuguese so that you can…
- order a bowl açaí exactly the way you want it.
- confidently greet Brazilians and make them think you’re Brazilian too.
- ask for extra feijoada at the restaurant.
- feel like you are an insider and not an outsider in the country you’re in.
- call TIM to cancel your phone before you leave the country and ensure that you don’t accrue a debt you’ll have to take care of when you come back.
- give a non-committal answer when someone asks you what you’re doing later.
- understand the commentary on the football game you’re watching.
- laugh with everyone else at the banter between the bus driver and the old woman sitting at the front of the bus.
- put a smile on the face of the stressed out woman who is ringing up your groceries.
- sing Cidade Maravilhosa as you take the gondola up to Pão de Açucar for the first time
- communicate with other foreigners who live in Brazil who don’t speak English.
- ask what is on the menu.
- ask if they can prepare the dish in accordance with your specific dietary needs.
- complain when they didn’t make the dish the way you asked and ask them to do it again.
- remark to your friend that the service at this restaurant sucks and that someone could make a killing in this city if they opened up a restaurant that had good customer service.
- talk about how hard it is to get anything done in Brazil and compare the ease of doing business to other places.
- remind your friends when they get too negative about Brazil about all of the cool things about Brazil has to offer.
- explain why you are living in Brazil when everybody asks.
- tell people what you do for a living when they ask.
- talk to that girl at the club when the music is playing really loud.
- smooth talk the door man to let you step outside with a glass.
- signal to the waiter at a boteco to come over so you can order a pastel
- order ‘mais uma cerveja.’
- cheers like a Brazilian.
- tell the waiter that you want the bill
- dispute the bill with the waiter because you only ordered 6 beers, look they’re still on the table, count them, one, two, three, four, five, six.
- sing along to the songs at the pagode circle and feel the music deep within your soul.
- charm that friendly looking girl who doesn’t speak any English.
- tell the insistent guy that you’re not interested in him.
- ask the fruit vendor which papaya is ripe so that you can eat it right away.
- ask for directions when you get lost.
- make sure you don’t end up with a bad hair cut.
- understand the layers of subtlety that underly Brazilian communication.
- know that the friend who said they’d show up at your party has no intention of showing up.
- understand that when someone says that something is interesting it could be a polite way of saying that was a stupid idea…
- or they think it’s a really good idea and don’t want to show how excited they are about it.
- talk your way into a football game for free.
- chant along with the rest of the fans at a football game.
- ask for the pass during a game of football.
- tap out verbally when your leg is about to break in jiu jitsu.
- explain that you learned Portuguese using a really cool video course that you took online.
- coordinate better with your dancing partner in Forró.
- order a 300ml açaí juice with orange, strawberry, pineapple and no sugar.
- ask your friends if they’ve heard of Ayahuasca
- ask your friend to take you to an Ayahuasca ceremony
- understand the lyrics of the songs that they play at the Ayahuasca ceremony.
- talk to that old guy at the park and ask him about stories from his life.
- impress your spouse’s family with your Portuguese knowledge.
- explain that your parent’s are fine with the fact that you’re living in Brazil.
- make people laugh in a foreign language.
- feel accomplished that you made people laugh in a foreign language.
- specify which pão de queijo you want from behind the counter. no not that one, the other one. yeah that one.
- give directions to lost tourists in Rio de Janeiro.
- yell at your roommate to bring you more toilet paper.
- wax philosophical about life with the cashier at the padaria that you see every day.
- understand the lyrics to Aguas de Março and remark at how perfectly it describes Brazil.
- negotiate the terms of English class with your private students.
- research the significance of orixas to Brazilian culture.
- explain the story of Ogum to your Brazilian friends who have never heard of him.
- tell off the annoying telemarketers from TIM.
- tell the beggar who interrupted your date that you’re not going to give him anything.
- give your opinion when someone gets upset that you called yourself an American
- negotiate prices with street vendors.
- learn how to play cavaquinho with Allan Sales.
- tell people that the main lyric of your favorite funk song is also the currency of Albania.
- ask for more cavaquinho strings when they break.
- ask your neighbors to turn down the volume on the funk music that they’re playing at 2am.
- talk to your bros about girl problems/talk about cute guys with your girlfriends.
- explain to the cashier that she gave you too much change, you were only supposed to get R$2 back, not R$12.
- ask for the wifi password.
- tell the waitress that the wifi is slow and if she could restart the router please?
- ask the person next to you what time this place closes.
- skype with your Brazilian friends in Portuguese when you go back home.
- know that you should end your emails with ‘abraços’ or ‘beijos.’
- communicate over Facebook chat with your friends.
- know that someone is not being racist when they say ‘kkk’.
- laugh at the latest Porta dos Fundos video.
- ask someone to watch your bag while you go to the bathroom.
- ensure that you get the least uncomfortable seat on the overnight bus to São Paulo.
- ask if there’s any upgrades to first class on your Gol flight.
- yell to the bus driver to let you off at the next stop.
- tell the taxi driver the best route to follow to take you home.
- reply indignantly to the guy at the beach that you’re not going to pay R$20 for a caipirinha, what do I look like a gringo or something?
- tell the guy at the popcorn stand that you know it only costs R$2.50.
- ask for the waiter to bring over napkins.
- exclaim that whoever designed these napkins was an idiot, they don’t clean up anything.
- give an interview on Fantastico.
- understand when someone is being sarcastic.
- ask someone at the beach to put sunscreen on your back.
- understand signs that you see every day.
- laugh at the ridiculous things that politicians say in their campaign videos.
- explain that you didn’t know any better because you’re not from here.
- understand what a Brazilian really means when you’re speaking English and they use a false cognate.
- differentiate between different regional accents in Brazil.
- ask someone what are the best things to do in the city.
- do research on Kekanto to find cool new restaurants.
- make listings on meracodlivre.com.br and olx.com.br to sell the stuff you brought from the US.
- post in a local Facebook group that you’re looking for an apartment.
- communicate on the phone with your friends about your plans for tonight.
- laugh at the silly video that your friend sent you on Whatsapp.
- make friends with the coolest people on Earth.
These are just a few reasons we came up with real quick for why you should learn Portuguese. It’s important for your success as a language learner that you come up with your own reasons for why you want to learn. Share one or two of them down below with us in the comments.
If you’re ready to get serious about learning Portuguese, find out why Semantica will teach you Brazilian Portuguese more effectively than any other course out there.