Learning to learn

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Learning to learn

By: Graça Gesteira

We now turn to our foreign students who wish to learn Portuguese because they are in Brazil to work.

These students have little time to attend a Portuguese language school and normally spend eight hours a day communicating in English at work.

For them, the acquisition of the new language, really necessary to their daily communication in this new country, becomes a difficult task. If you are reading this text, live in Brazil today and here you will stay for some or many months, it is necessary to prepare to learn Portuguese. This preparation for effective learning requires you to say a few basic principles:

  • Time with the language

At the beginning separate 15 minutes of your day to dedicate yourself to learning Portuguese. Go increasing this time gradually according to your well being. You need to reach the time of 1 hour daily, as long as it becomes a pleasure and you feel your gradual progress. Daily contact with Portuguese will help you memorize words, phrases, verbs, expressions necessary for your communication in Brazil. 

The faster you can communicate, the more you’ll feel comfortable in this new Brazilian environment.

  • Motivation

If you are in a new country, it is essential to interact with native speakers.

Meeting people, experiencing a new culture are enough reasons for you to want to learn Portuguese. That motivation gets even more intense when you feel you are learning. And, in order to feel that you are learning, it is necessary to be attentive to the basic principles that we speak here. Your teacher will select subjects necessary for your learning like greetings, transportation, restaurants, etc, and will guide you in memorizing vocabulary, verbs and expressions of each theme. Together with your teacher you will set goals to be achieved each week.

  • Attention and observation

To learn Portuguese, you need to be aware of patterns, forms, meanings, structure, always observing how language works and where the classes of words are positioned.

Be curious, be open to the new, and notice the beauty of this new language. Listen to music in Portuguese and sing them. Watch movies in Portuguese, more than once the same movie.

  • Give priority to Portuguese

As you begin your Portuguese learning, try to forget your native language. Do not read books or listen to music in your language.

  • Stop asking the reason behind the structures

There are students who want to know why. When for example we talk: “ele é muito inteligente” and “ele é inteligente demais”, the students soon ask: Why can’t it be “ele é demais inteligente”?

This will not help you much in learning Portuguese. You do not have to waste time with this.

  • Plates scattered around the house

Write in Portuguese the name of the objects in your house, such as stove, refrigerator, sofa, chair, table, bed, bathroom, etc. and paste next to the objects. You will memorize this vocabulary more quickly. Who has the broader vocabulary communicates better.

  • Make associations

If you want to, for example, learn the name of the colors, do not memorize them separately (blue, red, green, etc). Associate, for example, the name of the colors with the fruits. Eg: The banana is yellow.

If you can get past the first 10 days, your learning will be easier!


French and Portuguese

By: Graça Gesteira

If you are a foreigner, speak French, you are hungry in a Brazilian restaurant and you want to eat a typical dish with a very northeasterly dessert, do not be intimidated. Ask the waiter for a “purée de papate douce com filet mignon e um douce de banane ou jaque”.

If you do not eat meat, “lagouste com legumes e vinaigre” can replace the “filet”. The waiters will understand you perfectly. After all, who is the Brazilian who does not understand this French?

Thanks to the similarity between French and Portuguese, it is sometimes very easy to memorize some names of fruits, vegetables, condiments and other foods.

Beware of the genre and with the pronunciation and Bon Appétit!



Les fruits de mer Os frutos do mar Seafood
Farine de manioc Farinha de mandioca Cassava flour
La purée O purê Mashed potato
Le filet mignon Filé mignon Filet
Le miel O mel Honey
Le sel O sal Salt
Le vinaigre O vinagre Vinegar
Le salade A salada Salad
La patate douce A batata doce Sweet potato
La tomate O tomate Tomato
L’espinard O espinafre Spinach
Les fruits As frutas Fruits
La banane A banana Banana
Le cajou O caju Cashew
Le kaki O caqui Khaki
Le coco O côco Coconut
La goyave A goiaba Guava
La jaque A jaca “Jaca”
La mangue A manga Mango
Le melon O melão Melon
Le chocolate O chocolate Chocolate
Le guarana O guaraná Guarana
Le soda O refrigerante Soda
L’aperitif O aperitivo Appetizer
Le pain O pão Bread
La soupe A sopa Soup

Conversation Club

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Conversation Club

By: Cristina Leifer

Our new blog is online! Every week we will post chronicles of our daily experiences as a Portuguese language school for foreigners! We are three members with great experience in the area! Graça Gesteira, Ana Burgos and Cristina Leifer!

Our chronicle today will be about our Conversation Club! A great opportunity to speak Portuguese and live a unique experience! We have already done many events! Caipirinha lesson with music for dancing and tasting, beach volleyball with beer, barbecue with music, caipirinha and beer and many more!

Experiences go beyond borders and allow intercultural energy exchange! In addition to more vocabulary and expressions in Portuguese, we also learned a little bit about other cultures. Japan, England, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, all together living in a free, harmonious and fun way! A great lesson for today’s world where many people kill because they can not stand the one who is different! But we loved the difference! To learn and grow it is important to be all different!

Volunteer Work

BrazilLink is a Portuguese language school for foreigners that has a volunteer program. You can study Portuguese here at our school and, at the same time, help poor Brazilians and youngsters get into the job market. Young people and children in Brazil need to have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and intellectual development in … Read more