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19 Things That Happen When You Start Learning Brazilian Portuguese

Atirar-se de cabeça.

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1. So maybe you studied Spanish in high school and you think Portuguese is going to be easy.

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2. Restaurante = restaurante. Agua = água. Zapatos = sapatos.

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3. It's like you went to bed and woke up in a cool dream world where everything is just a ~little~ bit different.

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4. There are even some new accent marks to play with, like ê and ç.


5. You are so inteligente. You can read all the words.

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OK, some of the words.

6. Then you try to speak and Brazilians are like hahahahaha não.

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7. When they say the words, it's like a totally different language.

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8. BRB, just gonna look that up on the interne-CHE.

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9. Which I will also use to write an email to my friends ee-Scotch and Hoochy.

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(Scott and Ruth.)

10. You realize you've been saying Rio de Janeiro incorrectly your whole life.

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Hee-oh. Jay. Janeiro.

11. But you still feel really self-conscious pronouncing your Rs as Hs.

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It just feels wrong somehow, like you're trying to pull off an outfit you know you can't actually pull off.

12. And you're not quiiiiiiiite pulling off tchau tchau yet either.

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Start with one, work up to two.

13. You have to remember that nail polish and gardens are male, but afternoons and doors are female.

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14. All those Portuguese verb tenses have you very confuso.

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Confundo? Confundisse?

15. Whenever you hear people use a word you know in conversation, you do a little happy dance inside.


I know what they're talking about, you say to yourself smugly. Something is happening on THURSDAY. Hopefully something that involves wearing sandals, reading books, or the other handful of actions you have the vocabulary to discuss.

16. Because you've learned a lot of very ~useful~ phrases already.

17. You feel a special fondness for the words you learned early on and take every possible opportunity to use them.


I order pineapple juice all the time partly because it's delicious but mostly because it's fun to say abacaxi.

18. TBH, the more Portuguese you learn, the more questions you have.


Why is there a Troll doll on this microphone, for one?

19. But you start to understand why Brazil is a weird and wonderful place — and you can't wait to know more.

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