Brazil

Brazil is the largest country in South America as you can see here on the map and over 7000 km are bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. Because of the treaty of Tordesilhas, signed between Portugal and Spain in 1494, it is the only country where Portuguese is spoken. All the other countries speak Spanish.

So, Karolina, I am sorry to disappoint you, but I do not speak Spanish . However, I understand it quite well because it is very similar to Portuguese. Both languages descend from Latin. I agree with you it is a beautiful and melodious language, and I am happy to know you are interested in learning it. My elder son lives in Barcelona, Spain and has a Spanish girlfriend …so when they come to visit me I try to learn from them.

So, apart from Polish and Portuguese, I also speak English and French (Helena, I have posted a little comment on your page) . I learnt English while I was still a little girl because my parents had a lot of international friends and the common language was English. I also have cousins and family who live in the USA so we frequently visited them and this helped me to develop my ear. I learnt French at school, just like you are probably learning English now. However, at that time we did not have all these modern conveniences, nor the Internet so I used to read a lot and this is how I acquired a lot of vocabulary. But I did not know how to speak it ! Only when I met my husband, who is Belgian, did I have to make the effort to communicate and make myself understood (he did not speak Portuguese and very little English). I learnt it so well (he was an excellent teacher) that I managed to bring up my three sons in French/Portuguese and they were educated in the Franco-Brazilian school in São Paulo (southeast of Brazil – see on the map) , where I teach English.

So as you can see, my family is very multicultural. I have three brothers. One is married to a Swiss…so my 3 nieces speak Portuguese and German. The other is married to a Canadian…so there they speak Portuguese and English and finally my other brother is married to a Brazilian, but they have lived some time in Spain and as their 3 kids went to the American school there… they all speak Portuguese, Spanish and English. What a mix!

It’s fun to speak and understand many languages, don’t you think so?

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Brazil

  1. Wow! It’s incredible! It must be very interesting to have relatives from many countries. You know their languages and culture… I’m sorry for my mistake. I thought that in Brazil people speak Spanish… I hope someday I would speak as many languages as you :)Best wishes!

  2. Bonjour Barbara,Cela me fait plaisir de vous lire en français… Pour le polonais, il n’y a pas de problème…. De quelle région en Pologne vient votre famille?

  3. Is Brazil generally pluri-lingual and pluri-cultural, or is it just your family?

  4. Bee

    Mario, in Brazil, the official language is Portuguese but as it is a country of immigrants, many have trasmitted the language to their chidren. I must admit , however, that our family is particularly pluri-lingual and pluri-cultural

  5. mangion mangion

    Hello Bee! Your postings really make interesting reading. I also believe that speaking or even just understanding a number of languages is fun. I discovered this when I was sixteen and my parents sent me to L’Universita`di Stranieri of Perugia in Italy to develop further both my knowledge of the language and enjoy Italian culture. It was the first time that I travelled on my own so I had to use my limited Italian vocabulary firstly to reach my destination and then in order to communicate with fellow students. I had thought it would be easy as I expected lots of students from UK there however not a single British student had enrolled. I made friends with Greek and Spanish students and we all used our broken Italian to get to know each other. What happened daily after lunch was a different matter. We all had our meals in the university canteen. Once relaxed after dessert no one made an effort and all spoke across the table in their native languages. I used to hear a familiar word here and there and jump at tthe opportunity to tell one and all that we used the same word in Maltese. Very often we ended up comparing words and expressions. It was such fun to discover that greek and Maltese used the same word for ‘strawberry’ for instance and that in Maltese we have two words for ‘carrot’, one is the same as in Italian and the other as in Spanish. This became a daily game wherby all of us learn so mush about the others’ language. Infact while in class when one of us had difficulties with vocabulary , others would immediately supply him with some type of translation and all got along so well, in and out of class. Most of us ended up learning not only Italian during those couple of months but in my case a smattering of Greek and Spanish too.

  6. Helena

    Oui, je suis prete à essayer de pratiquer votre polonais avec vous. Je ne suis seulement pas sûre d’être à la hauteur…. J’ai déjà essayé de donner des cours de polonais à une copine française et j’ai vite arrêté vu la complicité de notre langue. Ainsi, pour le moment, si vous ne voyez pas d’inconvéneints, je propose de rester au français et anglais (que j’arrive à peine à comprendre…).

  7. Hello Barbara :)I am the first time on your blog. When I was reading your posts I had a feeling you are an open person :).I agree with you that it’s fun to speak many languages :). Like Pope for example :)Hope you will visit my blog too :)Best wishes 🙂

  8. Hi Bee, its great to know different languages. At school we learn French, Italian, Maltese and English and they are fun to learn!!P.S : thanks for your commentsGreetings

  9. Taduska

    When you last wrote me a comment you asked me who are my favorite actors or actresses. As an actor i like Leonardo di Caprio.Thanks for writing me .

  10. Hi, This is an interesting posting. I like. Regards SARA

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