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Long ago I took a year of Portuguese in college. After that I had little contact with the language until 2005, when I decided to pick it up again, this time seriously, with the idea of eventually visiting Brazil and getting to know the people that I would meet there.

Since I didn’t have any outside pressure to study, and no time limits or tests, I was free to take my time and do only things that I really enjoyed. It seemed to work. This article describes my method. Give it a try and you may have the same results. Read more

How to say YES in Brazil

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In Spain they say “Sí, sí”, but not in Brazil!

One of the first words you’ll probably learn in Portuguese is sim, which means “yes”. It’s pronounced like the “sí” of Spanish, but with a nasalized sound, almost like the English word “sing”.

However, sim is nowhere nearly as frequent in Portuguese as “yes” is in English, or “sí” is in Spanish.

Espera aí!” (“Hold on!”) “I thought Brazilians were friendly!”

They are! This doesn’t mean that Brazilians prefer to say “não” (“no” in English). They just have a different way to accentuate the positive. When it’s time to answer, they simply repeat the verb in the question, without using sim.

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