Why do some people speak fluent Portuguese after only a few months in Brazil while others can hardly order at a restaurant after being here for a year? Watch the video to learn about the language learning habits of successful Brazilian Gringos.
Brazilian Gringo vs Gringo
The number one factor that determines how quickly someone learns Portuguese is if they are a Gringo or a Brazilian Gringo.
Brazilian Gringos come to Brazil because they are fascinated by Brazilian culture. They invest themselves heavily into life in Brazil and are constantly seeking to learn more about their new home. They fall in love with some aspect of Brazilian culture and immerse themselves in it, whether it be dancing, martial arts, ayahuasca, food, or just the Brazilian way of life.
Gringos on the other hand don’t have this curiosity about Brazilian culture. For whatever reason they just aren’t curious about the country they’re living in. They don’t seek out new opportunities to learn about Brazilians culture and would rather stay within their comfort zone and converse with other foreigners. It’s debatable whether these people were actually in Brazil at all. Language is culture. If you don’t learn the culture you won’t learn the language.
Speak Portuguese From Day 1
Brazilian Gringos come to Brazil with the intention of speaking Portuguese with Brazilians. They start learning Portuguese before they get to Brazil. They learn how to say a few words then start putting those words to use immediately with Brazilian friends that they meet online.
Brazilian Gringos understand that learning how to speak Portuguese is like like learning how to ride a bike. You might make a fool out of yourself the first few times you try it, but once you get past that it gets a lot easier.
They understand that communication is more important than speaking perfectly. They don’t wait until they’re “ready” before they start using the language in real conversations. Ideally you should start practicing Portuguese even before you apply for your Brazilian tourist visa.
Use Portuguese Every Day
Because Brazilian Gringos are so invested in Brazilian culture it’s easy for them to use Portuguese every day. They speak it with their friends, their coworkers and random people on the street.
They seek out new opportunities for them to be able to live the language. They accept every invitation that someone offers to hang out, visit a new place or try something new. They start conversations with strangers. They do whatever they can to learn the language.
Even before they get to Brazil they make an effort to use Portuguese every day, even if it’s only for 5 minutes. They understand the importance of building good language learning habits, and that greatness is the result of persistent effort.
Make everyone your teacher
Brazilian Gringos don’t need to pay for Portuguese classes because the world is their classroom.
They learn how to say things like, “How do you say,” and “What does that mean,” so that they can turn every conversation into a learning event. As enthusiastic students, their friends are always willing to teach them new words and phrases.
Don’t speak English in Brazil
The most successful Brazilian Gringos make a strong commitment to not speak English when they get to Brazil.
They prioritize relationships with Brazilians so that they can spend more time speaking in Portuguese. They live with Brazilian roommates, they work with Brazilians, they hang out with Brazilian friends.
It’s comfortable to make friends with other foreigners and speak English, but Brazilian Gringos are wiling to put themselves into uncomfortable situations so that they can learn Portuguese.
If they meet Brazilians who want to speak English with them, they say things like, “Hey, I’m trying to learn Portuguese, let’s speak Portuguese.” If someone is really insistent in speaking English with them they say things like “I’m Chinese, I don’t speak English.”
Be a Brazilian Gringo
Don’t wait until you come to Brazil before you start learning Portuguese. Start listening to Brazilian music, watch Brazilian movies and chat with Brazilians online before you come to Brazil.
If you’re really serious about learning Portuguese, sign up to Semantica Portuguese. Forget outdated and boring language learning courses. Learn with an interactive video course that’s filmed in Brazil with Brazilian actors.