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Coach a monoglot in her first ever successful language learning mission! Learn more!

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My next mission: Become Brazilian in 3 months!

| 114 comments | Category: mission, travel

Rio

EDIT: This mission was a success! You can read how I spoke Portuguese with no foreign accent, and how I adapted to life in Rio. I also wrote about why I love Brazilians so much :=)

After learning 6 languages to fluency in 6 years of travels, and learning to speak Czech in just two months (and of course, telling you how I did it!), it’s time that to go on to the next level in language learning!

I think that I may finally be ready for the greatest challenge I’ve ever set myself. This time I am not only setting the bar higher, but I’m setting it the highest you possibly can! What’s the next step after fluency? “Very fluent”? Too vague. “Bilingual”? Quite good, but I can make it much more fun than that…

Destination: Rio

On Monday morning I’m hopping a flight to Rio de Janeiro, where I’ll be spending the next 3 months. Out of all the places I’ve travelled to, Brazil is by far my favourite. In 2006 I spent 3 months in the south, mostly on the island of Floripa, and in 2008 I travelled the northeast, and experienced the amazing Carnival in Olinda. Over both trips, and a total of about 5 months, I’ve mostly bussed all the way from Porto Alegre in the very south to Natal in the north-east tip (a distance of about 3,000 km…) and have friends everywhere and gotten to know many cities. Nevertheless, Brazil is big, so I’ve barely even scratched the surface!

Even so, I still at least know the country a bit. There are many, many reasons that I love Brazil and keep going back, but the main one is by far the fact that it has o povo mais legal do mundo - the coolest people in the world. Although Brazil may be famous for its amazing football players, samba dancers and very beautiful natives, there are so many more levels to them that those who don’t travel there, or just go for extremely brief holidays, just don’t get. I’ll gladly explain the many reasons I love the country and its people in a later post. For now, just know that I highly respect Brazilians, and even idolise them. Their way of living and enjoying life is something that Europeans and North Americans could learn a lot from.

So, my next mission is to become Brazilian in these 3-months. No, this doesn’t mean that I’ll be applying for citizenship. The end goal of this mission is very simple to explain, but it will be extremely complicated to achieve:

I want Brazilians to think that I am Brazilian

That’s the mission! By mid-December, I want several Brazilians to have believed that not only am I speaking Portuguese as good as a native, but that I actually am a native. This is way more than just a linguistic mission. This will involve examining and adapting everything that I do; how I walk, how I dress, how I shave, how I eat (e.g. in Brazil you shouldn’t eat a pizza with your hands, but you should smother it in tomato ketchup!), how I dance, how I socialise, how I react to certain situations and many other things that I haven’t even considered yet. I want to put on such a good show for them that they will be genuinely surprised when I reveal that I’m actually from a town in the middle of Ireland!

There are two main aspects that I’ll be working on in this mission:

Speaking like a native

Easier said than done! I’m making things really hard for myself this time because I’ve never gone beyond fluency, so this is entirely new territory, which I may not be ready for yet. Reaching a native level in 3-months (starting from fluency) in itself is already a tough nut to crack and I genuinely don’t know if I can do it. Especially in such a short time limit; I’ve met foreigners who have managed to speak a language with no accent, but it took them years to get there. If I manage this, it will have been from a total of only 8 months of exposure to Portuguese. I may be aiming way too high this time! This objective is daunting, and ridiculously ambitious… which is why I simply have to give it a try :D

Until I see how to adapt my current learning method to this new challenge, I will treat this like I have with any language. I am not aiming to speak “Portuguese” like a native, because nobody actually speaks that; in each language we usually have plenty of dialects and Portuguese is no exception. I will be focussing on trying to speak the sotaque carioca (Rio dialect of Portuguese) fluently first and then like a native, by adapting my current rather neutral and somewhat formal Portuguese to become more casual, and of course to reduce my accent and foreigner-isms, and include as many of the dialect’s nuances and expressions as I can. Then I’ll start getting into the nitty gritty final mistakes I’m still making with my pronunciation to see if I can reach the holy grail of language learners, and speak with no foreign accent! Do we really need years to achieve this? Or is it possible in such a short time-frame? That’s what I intend to find out!

Cultural and appearance

Even if I were to (somehow) speak the Rio dialect perfectly and with no accent, there is still no way that I would pass off as a Carioca in my current state. The last frustrating 6 weeks stuck indoors working double time to work off debts means that despite all the sunshine in Prague, I’m completely untanned, and even a little stressed out, so I won’t initially be as relaxed and up-beat as many Brazilians (but I’ll be chilled out soon enough over there!!) My body language screams gringo and also, my clothing, grooming, facial expressions, and many other things are simply the result of my upbringing and even some influence from countries I’ve recently lived in, and will all give me away as just another gringo in Rio.

Despite all that, becoming Brazilian is an important attempt for me to try to understand the culture a little better; from the inside. Also, imitation is the best form of flattery! There is no culture that I have grown so fond of as I have with the Brazilian one, so I want to learn as much as I can about how they think, and how they live their lives. I’ll try to adapt my outward appearance and general behaviour to the Brazilian style. Luckily, I’ve spent a lot of time in Latino countries in the last few years, so the general warmth between people is no longer an adjustment I have to make, and is something that I’m actually quite looking forward to returning to! I also fancy myself a bit of an amateur actor, so this will be my greatest role! I have fun trying to integrate myself into other cultures, as you can see when I tried to pretend to be Italian, and I will be examining every aspect of how Brazilians behave and attempt to emulate it.

Challenges and realistic limits

I am of course aware of the obvious first criticism to this being possible; I’m a white northern European! Believe it or not, even us Irish can tan pretty well. And Brazil has possibly the greatest ethnic diversity on the planet, with no “typical” Brazilian look possible, as there are African, Asian, European, native-American and many mixtures in-between there. So there are plenty of white Brazilians!! If I find that I still look too “alemão” to be a Carioca, then I have a plan B!! (And no, it’s not plastic surgery!!)

Apart from the obvious challenges (like this being a ridiculously difficult objective and the fact that you’d have to be crazy to try it), there are some that are more surprising. Brazilians are actually too nice, especially when it comes to gringos trying to speak their language. They will always compliment you and congratulate you, no matter what your level is, because you are trying to learn their language. This was excellent motivation to keep my momentum up in the early stages, but the lack of criticism is going to hold me back at this more advanced stage, so I need to make sure that I can find some Brazilians who don’t mind correcting me and reminding me of my mistakes, as I did to reach fluency in my first trips.

It is also important that I am clear about what I am aiming for and what I am not aiming for. I won’t actually reach “native” level, but I will hopefully reach a point where talking to me briefly seems like talking to a native. I don’t intend on impressing or “fooling” any linguists, or reaching a professional level of Portuguese. I just want normal people in normal social situations to talk to me for 2-5 minutes until I slip up on something, or just naturally mention where I’m from, and I want them to genuinely think that I was Brazilian. I’ll be meeting lots of new people, and unless a decent amount of them think I was Brazilian in December, then I won’t be giving myself 5 gold stars! I obviously don’t intend on lying to convince them; I want them to draw their own conclusions that I will correct.

I will say right now that I will be trying my hardest and devoting most of my free time to this project (although, I still have to work a normal work-week as a translator), but that I am totally accepting the likely possibility of not reaching this objective and will take it in my stride if I “fail”. Having said that, like in my previous project, I will presume that I will succeed and work on that assumption until proven wrong.

The best part of all of this is that even if I “fail” (as I said when I stopped my 3-month mission at 2 months, with the right attitude there’s no such thing as failure), I won’t actually fail since I will have achieved quite a lot in those 3 months! I’ll have (hopefully) greatly improved my Portuguese, and my understanding of Brazilians and how they think, and I’ll have learned what I need to do if I aim for a quasi-native-level again in another language in future (which I will). And you know… I’ll have spent 3 months in Rio, which can’t be that bad :D

As part of the cultural aspect of this mission, I’ll be trying to learn the basics of samba and will possibly make a short video documentary about it, like I did about learning tango in Buenos Aires.

How you can help!

As a novelty, I decided to blog my latest mission over the summer about learning Czech, and my general language learning tips, and the huge amount of encouragement that I got from comments, and seeing the subscriber numbers go up so quickly was definitely my main motivation to continue! Now, I’m no blogging expert or writer, but despite that the site has naturally grown somewhat popular! I’m not sure if it’s because of the mission and story itself, or because of sharing my language learning tips and ideas, or a combination of both, but seeing this growth is such amazing encouragement for me to continue!

This means that even if you don’t know any Portuguese, you can definitely help me achieve this next mission! My energy source to learn languages is pure positivity and motivation, but sometimes I do need a recharge ;) So if you’d like to join me in this new adventure, I just ask that you leave the odd comment to share your thoughts, encouragement or advice, and especially that you share interesting posts with your friends through Facebook, twitter and stumbleupon so that more people can join me in this adventure! :) Also, I’m not making any money from this site (not at the moment anyway), so if you’d like to treat me to an Orange Juice (although, my drink of choice will mostly be Guaraná for the next 3 months!) it would always be welcome :P

So, do let me know your thoughts below and share this post with others and join me as I try to become Brazilian in 3 months!!

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  • Giulia

    Good luck!!
    I strongly believe you can do it!

  • Giulia

    Good luck!!
    I strongly believe you can do it!

  • http://ichestudiolangues.tumblr.com/ Jessica Thomson

    Sounds like a great goal, I wish you the best of luck!
    (I really enjoy your blog, keep it up!)
    .-= Jessica Thomson´s last blog ..new blog! =-.

  • http://ichestudiolangues.tumblr.com Jessica Thomson

    Sounds like a great goal, I wish you the best of luck!
    (I really enjoy your blog, keep it up!)
    .-= Jessica Thomson´s last blog ..new blog! =-.

  • Agnaldo

    É Muito bom saber que você gosta do Brazil seja bem vindo sempre pois você já é brasileiro

    • Michelle

      Também concordo, com todo esse amor a nossa Pátria você já é um brasileiro!
      P.s.: Benny, o sotaque mais bonito é o de Porto Alegre, não concorda? hehe
      Abraços

  • Agnaldo

    É Muito bom saber que você gosta do Brazil seja bem vindo sempre pois você já é brasileiro

  • Dale

    You’re an inspiration.

  • Dale

    You’re an inspiration.

  • Genevieve

    Benny, I never saw this one coming! I really didn’t! I will DEFINITELY be following this one! One question: as a black British-born African female, does anyone think I could convince native Czechs that I, too, am a native Czech if I spoke Czech JUST LIKE a native? Someone help me out here.

  • Genevieve

    Benny, I never saw this one coming! I really didn’t! I will DEFINITELY be following this one! One question: as a black British-born African female, does anyone think I could convince native Czechs that I, too, am a native Czech if I spoke Czech JUST LIKE a native? Someone help me out here.

  • Teef

    I’ve been following you all the way through your Czech adventures, but wow, this one is really impressive. I’ve fooled a few Germans, but never for more than about 30 seconds. And I spent a year there and look completely German (I’m American). Good luck!

  • Teef

    I’ve been following you all the way through your Czech adventures, but wow, this one is really impressive. I’ve fooled a few Germans, but never for more than about 30 seconds. And I spent a year there and look completely German (I’m American). Good luck!

  • http://www.lingvoj.net/ lingvoj

    Good luck!!!!
    .-= lingvoj´s last blog ..Input and Output =-.

  • http://www.lingvoj.net lingvoj

    Good luck!!!!
    .-= lingvoj´s last blog ..Input and Output =-.

  • Noni

    Good luck from me too! I’m positive that you can do it. I enjoy reading your posts, it makes me feel I can learn another language as well. You’ve given a lot of great tips, so thanks for that.

    Have a safe trip!

  • Noni

    Good luck from me too! I’m positive that you can do it. I enjoy reading your posts, it makes me feel I can learn another language as well. You’ve given a lot of great tips, so thanks for that.

    Have a safe trip!

  • Carine

    Hi Benny ! I think one of the reason so many people are reading your blog (apart from the excellent tips for learning languages) is the way you always look at things with a positive approach. I have to say I am admirative of your energy and enthousiasm, and it’s communicative, so if you can make people realise that reaching one’s goal depends a lot on how much you believe it’s possible, that’s great !
    I will quit my job in 6 months for a one year trip around the world to do WWOOF (voluntary work in organic farms) and discover new coutries and people, and a lot of people tell me “I wish I could do that”. And I often reply “But you can, you just think you can’t…”.

    So I wish you luck in attempting to reach your goal, I’m looking forward yo reading your adventures !

    Carine (who asked to surf your couch in Praha and wish she could have met you !)

  • Carine

    Hi Benny ! I think one of the reason so many people are reading your blog (apart from the excellent tips for learning languages) is the way you always look at things with a positive approach. I have to say I am admirative of your energy and enthousiasm, and it’s communicative, so if you can make people realise that reaching one’s goal depends a lot on how much you believe it’s possible, that’s great !
    I will quit my job in 6 months for a one year trip around the world to do WWOOF (voluntary work in organic farms) and discover new coutries and people, and a lot of people tell me “I wish I could do that”. And I often reply “But you can, you just think you can’t…”.

    So I wish you luck in attempting to reach your goal, I’m looking forward yo reading your adventures !

    Carine (who asked to surf your couch in Praha and wish she could have met you !)

  • http://www.memorista.com/ Francis O Reilly

    Good luck in that new endeavour, Benny! We will be covering Portuguese basic language vocabulary mnemonics on http://www.memorista.com sometime before Christmas, hopefully; but probably not in time for your challenge!

    On locals thinking you’re a native: on holiday in Finland once, I was in a pastry shop, listening to a disagreement between a lady customer and the owner. Although they were speaking Finnish at a million miles an hour, of which I know nothing, it was obvious from the context they were arguing about the quality of a particular item. The owner went off to get a replacement, and myself and the Finnish lady shared a common shrug / look-to-the-heavens kind of moment. But then she flew into another torrent of Finnish to me … bear in mind I am also a pale-skinned Irish bloke, fair-haired into the bargain, probably look a bit Finnish in that blocky-head way a lot of Finnish seem to exhibit(!). The look of astonishment on her face when I had to stop her and explain in English that I didn’t speak Finnish was priceless.

  • http://www.memorista.com Francis O Reilly

    Good luck in that new endeavour, Benny! We will be covering Portuguese basic language vocabulary mnemonics on http://www.memorista.com sometime before Christmas, hopefully; but probably not in time for your challenge!

    On locals thinking you’re a native: on holiday in Finland once, I was in a pastry shop, listening to a disagreement between a lady customer and the owner. Although they were speaking Finnish at a million miles an hour, of which I know nothing, it was obvious from the context they were arguing about the quality of a particular item. The owner went off to get a replacement, and myself and the Finnish lady shared a common shrug / look-to-the-heavens kind of moment. But then she flew into another torrent of Finnish to me … bear in mind I am also a pale-skinned Irish bloke, fair-haired into the bargain, probably look a bit Finnish in that blocky-head way a lot of Finnish seem to exhibit(!). The look of astonishment on her face when I had to stop her and explain in English that I didn’t speak Finnish was priceless.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

    Thanks so much for all of this amazing positive encouragement everyone!! :) You all rule! This is why I love the Internet so much :D
    @Agnaldo – É! Sou brasileiro de coração. mas vamos ver se eu conseguir carioquizar-me!! :D
    @Genevieve Glad to see this mission was a surprise! ;) Unfortunately the Czech Republic doesn’t have much immigration from countries apart from other European ones, Russia etc. so the ethnic diversity isn’t that wide here, definitely not compared with England. You may have a little more trouble convincing them than a white Irish lad would, but where there’s a will, there’s a way ;)
    @Carine Very well said! No matter what your project is in life, nothing is impossible. If it is humanly possible (i.e. if anyone has done it in history, and it doesn’t break the laws of physics) then there’s nothing holding us back, but ourselves!
    I get the “I wish I could do that” a lot too from people. I personally don’t make wishes, I just go for what I want; life’s too short to wait “until my ship comes in”. Hopefully this blog will convince some people that they can too!
    Sorry the timing didn’t work to host you then. You’ll see that I am a host in several cities at different times, so you can always try again later :P Enjoy your WWOOFing!!!
    @Francis Great anecdote :) Actually, as long as you dress like a local, blending in isn’t *that* hard. From my very first week people were speaking Czech to me as if I was a local until I started talking back… I have to admit that I’ve used the same shrug / look to the heavens thing, and even managed to hold up fake body-language conversations “empathising” with people, not having a bloody clue what they were talking about :P
    It’s fun to be confused for a local though; I’m going to see if I can make it last longer than a few seconds :)
    I can’t WAIT to get back to a country where I can have casual conversations with random strangers :) It’s something we all take for granted, but I go on these many trips intentionally to lose things I never knew that I had so that I appreciate them all the more when I get them back…

    • http://www.lingvoj.net/ lingvoj

      “If it is humanly possible (i.e. if anyone has done it in history, and it doesn’t break the laws of physics) ”

      Absolutely Benny, I’d say even if NOBODY has done if before in history, you can always be the first to have done it.
      .-= lingvoj´s last blog ..Input and Output =-.

    • Genevieve

      Benny, you’re probably right! I guess as a black British girl, I would probably have more of a chance convincing the Brazilians that I am a native Brazilian than convincing the Czechs that I’m a native Czech. Perhaps I will try your next mission someday …

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

    Thanks so much for all of this amazing positive encouragement everyone!! :) You all rule! This is why I love the Internet so much :D
    @Agnaldo – É! Sou brasileiro de coração. mas vamos ver se eu conseguir carioquizar-me!! :D
    @Genevieve Glad to see this mission was a surprise! ;) Unfortunately the Czech Republic doesn’t have much immigration from countries apart from other European ones, Russia etc. so the ethnic diversity isn’t that wide here, definitely not compared with England. You may have a little more trouble convincing them than a white Irish lad would, but where there’s a will, there’s a way ;)
    @Carine Very well said! No matter what your project is in life, nothing is impossible. If it is humanly possible (i.e. if anyone has done it in history, and it doesn’t break the laws of physics) then there’s nothing holding us back, but ourselves!
    I get the “I wish I could do that” a lot too from people. I personally don’t make wishes, I just go for what I want; life’s too short to wait “until my ship comes in”. Hopefully this blog will convince some people that they can too!
    Sorry the timing didn’t work to host you then. You’ll see that I am a host in several cities at different times, so you can always try again later :P Enjoy your WWOOFing!!!
    @Francis Great anecdote :) Actually, as long as you dress like a local, blending in isn’t *that* hard. From my very first week people were speaking Czech to me as if I was a local until I started talking back… I have to admit that I’ve used the same shrug / look to the heavens thing, and even managed to hold up fake body-language conversations “empathising” with people, not having a bloody clue what they were talking about :P
    It’s fun to be confused for a local though; I’m going to see if I can make it last longer than a few seconds :)
    I can’t WAIT to get back to a country where I can have casual conversations with random strangers :) It’s something we all take for granted, but I go on these many trips intentionally to lose things I never knew that I had so that I appreciate them all the more when I get them back…

    • http://www.lingvoj.net lingvoj

      “If it is humanly possible (i.e. if anyone has done it in history, and it doesn’t break the laws of physics) ”

      Absolutely Benny, I’d say even if NOBODY has done if before in history, you can always be the first to have done it.
      .-= lingvoj´s last blog ..Input and Output =-.

    • Genevieve

      Benny, you’re probably right! I guess as a black British girl, I would probably have more of a chance convincing the Brazilians that I am a native Brazilian than convincing the Czechs that I’m a native Czech. Perhaps I will try your next mission someday …

  • Marta

    Hy, Benny! If you really want to be a “carioca”, you must pay attention in the sound of the “S” and “R”. It’s our differential :)

    I’m from Macaé, a city of Rio de Janeiro!

    Welcome back to Brazil!

  • Marta

    Hy, Benny! If you really want to be a “carioca”, you must pay attention in the sound of the “S” and “R”. It’s our differential :)

    I’m from Macaé, a city of Rio de Janeiro!

    Welcome back to Brazil!

  • Mélanie

    Hi Benny,
    I kind of tried your mission as I spent the last 6 months in Rio. Though it wasn’t my goal to pretend to be a local (I was not ready to renounce to everything, for example going to swim with a comfortable bikini able to resist to the huge waves ;) ), I’m quite looking like a Carioca when I’m tanned and I was often taken for a Brazilian… until I open my mouth. After a few sentences (more than the usual monosyllabic ones), I was asked if I was Brazilian (that I obviously was not, but Brazilians are really nice)!
    But I hope you’ll manage where I failed and I’m sure you will since you starting level is much much better than was mine.
    And even if you don’t, you’ll have had spent 3 months in the better place in the world, for sure having great time !
    My last 2 cents:
    - find a good friend to correct you: as you said people are too nice to correct you and even if they accept, they make it for your 2 first sentences and then stop!
    - choose a soocer team, even before leaving, you can’t be a Carioca if you don’t know which one is your favorite! (Everyone support Flamengo, so…)
    Good luck and enjoy your new challenge! Beijos

  • Mélanie

    Hi Benny,
    I kind of tried your mission as I spent the last 6 months in Rio. Though it wasn’t my goal to pretend to be a local (I was not ready to renounce to everything, for example going to swim with a comfortable bikini able to resist to the huge waves ;) ), I’m quite looking like a Carioca when I’m tanned and I was often taken for a Brazilian… until I open my mouth. After a few sentences (more than the usual monosyllabic ones), I was asked if I was Brazilian (that I obviously was not, but Brazilians are really nice)!
    But I hope you’ll manage where I failed and I’m sure you will since you starting level is much much better than was mine.
    And even if you don’t, you’ll have had spent 3 months in the better place in the world, for sure having great time !
    My last 2 cents:
    - find a good friend to correct you: as you said people are too nice to correct you and even if they accept, they make it for your 2 first sentences and then stop!
    - choose a soocer team, even before leaving, you can’t be a Carioca if you don’t know which one is your favorite! (Everyone support Flamengo, so…)
    Good luck and enjoy your new challenge! Beijos

  • http://www.jeffguthrie.com/ jeff

    Stumbled across your blog and love what you are doing! I am looking forward to hearing how it goes. Best of luck!

  • http://www.jeffguthrie.com jeff

    Stumbled across your blog and love what you are doing! I am looking forward to hearing how it goes. Best of luck!

  • http://diarmuidh.blogspot.com/ Diarmuid

    Muita sorte en a tua missao..vc pode fazerlo!
    .-= Diarmuid´s last blog ..My yearly post :) =-.

  • http://diarmuidh.blogspot.com Diarmuid

    Muita sorte en a tua missao..vc pode fazerlo!
    .-= Diarmuid´s last blog ..My yearly post :) =-.

  • http://www.fromwhoatogo.wordpress.com/ Caron Margarete

    Hahaha Benny! You’re one crazy mofo! I have absolutely no doubt you’ll pull this off and have us all in a fit of laughter at the random adventures that ensue. Bring it on! Luck you don’t need; you’ve got gumption!
    .-= Caron Margarete´s last blog ..The Haerbinger September Issue =-.

  • http://www.fromwhoatogo.wordpress.com Caron Margarete

    Hahaha Benny! You’re one crazy mofo! I have absolutely no doubt you’ll pull this off and have us all in a fit of laughter at the random adventures that ensue. Bring it on! Luck you don’t need; you’ve got gumption!
    .-= Caron Margarete´s last blog ..The Haerbinger September Issue =-.

  • Alex

    So, is this new (absolutely brilliant) project going to be here, on 80 Mays, or have it’s own site? I can’t wait for it to start!

  • Alex

    So, is this new (absolutely brilliant) project going to be here, on 80 Mays, or have it’s own site? I can’t wait for it to start!

  • Mila

    Benny,
    Você será sempre bem vindo por aqui!
    Se precisa de qualquer tipo de ajudar é só gritar!!
    Espero poder lhe fazer uma vizita durante a sua estadia!!
    Ah, e boa sorte com o sotaque carioca! Hahaha é realmente cheio de peculiaridades! Mas é um dos mais legais de se ouvir hehe.
    Beijos.

  • Mila

    Benny,
    Você será sempre bem vindo por aqui!
    Se precisa de qualquer tipo de ajudar é só gritar!!
    Espero poder lhe fazer uma vizita durante a sua estadia!!
    Ah, e boa sorte com o sotaque carioca! Hahaha é realmente cheio de peculiaridades! Mas é um dos mais legais de se ouvir hehe.
    Beijos.

  • Bruno Oliveira

    Hi Benny welcome to Rio de Janeiro, good luck to you in your next challenge, I pretty sure you can achieve that.

    E nós na fita parceiro :)

  • Bruno Oliveira

    Hi Benny welcome to Rio de Janeiro, good luck to you in your next challenge, I pretty sure you can achieve that.

    E nós na fita parceiro :)

  • http://www.dillonslattery.com/ Sarah

    I like your projects because although they sound audacious and are undoubtedly challenging, you have a realistic understanding of the scope of what you’re trying to achieve and so they’re actually quite SMART (in the Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely sense!)

    The world needs more people like you to prove that language learning can be fun, immensely rewarding and very, very do-able (Too many people think languages are too hard or not for them – it’s crazy and not true!) But most of all you’re shaking things up a bit, and doing for language learning what Jamie Oliver did for school dinners, and for that I salute you :D
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Social Sunday: WordPress from behind =-.

  • http://www.dillonslattery.com Sarah

    I like your projects because although they sound audacious and are undoubtedly challenging, you have a realistic understanding of the scope of what you’re trying to achieve and so they’re actually quite SMART (in the Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely sense!)

    The world needs more people like you to prove that language learning can be fun, immensely rewarding and very, very do-able (Too many people think languages are too hard or not for them – it’s crazy and not true!) But most of all you’re shaking things up a bit, and doing for language learning what Jamie Oliver did for school dinners, and for that I salute you :D
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Social Sunday: WordPress from behind =-.

  • russ

    Ha, kia interesa kaj bonfreneza ideo! Bonŝancon, kaj certe la sperto estos interesa, bona, kaj utila, sendepende de tio, ĉu vi sukcesos ŝajnigi esti denaska brazilano aŭ ne.

  • russ

    Ha, kia interesa kaj bonfreneza ideo! Bonŝancon, kaj certe la sperto estos interesa, bona, kaj utila, sendepende de tio, ĉu vi sukcesos ŝajnigi esti denaska brazilano aŭ ne.

  • http://www.rogjorn.wordpress.com/ rogerio

    Voce sabe que como carioca original que sou estou aqui para te ajudar de todas as formas que forem necessarias.
    conte comigo!
    .-= rogerio´s last blog ..Na terra dos Vikings, capitulo IV a capital do Reino =-.

  • http://www.rogjorn.wordpress.com rogerio

    Voce sabe que como carioca original que sou estou aqui para te ajudar de todas as formas que forem necessarias.
    conte comigo!
    .-= rogerio´s last blog ..Na terra dos Vikings, capitulo IV a capital do Reino =-.

  • Adrienn

    Hey Benny,

    How’s the weather in Rio today? Hope you had a good flight. As for your new mission: coolissimo idea, best luck to you! I’m sure you’ll not only make it but also have tons of fun in the process. For a bit of encouragement, let me tell you that when I went to live in the States, even though normally I’m a not at all tanned Hungarian, lots of people thought I was Brazilian when I spoke English to them :)

    Your story is greatly motivating though: I told a friend I was about to learn Spanish to a near-native level in one year and he thought your blog is probably the best source of inspiration as well as ideas. I agree with him… Thanks for sharing all this!

    Keep rocking,
    Adrienn

  • Adrienn

    Hey Benny,

    How’s the weather in Rio today? Hope you had a good flight. As for your new mission: coolissimo idea, best luck to you! I’m sure you’ll not only make it but also have tons of fun in the process. For a bit of encouragement, let me tell you that when I went to live in the States, even though normally I’m a not at all tanned Hungarian, lots of people thought I was Brazilian when I spoke English to them :)

    Your story is greatly motivating though: I told a friend I was about to learn Spanish to a near-native level in one year and he thought your blog is probably the best source of inspiration as well as ideas. I agree with him… Thanks for sharing all this!

    Keep rocking,
    Adrienn

  • http://www.pondjumperscroatia.com/ Pond Jumpers:Croatia

    Good luck Benny! I am sure you will have a blast!
    .-= Pond Jumpers:Croatia´s last blog ..learning about the siege on Sarajevo =-.

  • http://www.pondjumperscroatia.com Pond Jumpers:Croatia

    Good luck Benny! I am sure you will have a blast!
    .-= Pond Jumpers:Croatia´s last blog ..learning about the siege on Sarajevo =-.

  • Johano

    Keep it up, Benny!
    By the way, I just came across this video of a hyperpolyglot:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAtWuQmdexs

  • Johano

    Keep it up, Benny!
    By the way, I just came across this video of a hyperpolyglot:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAtWuQmdexs

  • http://twitter.com/malvadao Malvadão

    Quer começar treinando ??? [ Brincadeira ]
    Cara… pra tu falar que nem carioca… tu vai ter muito trabalho!!!

    Eu ia traduzir… mas você já tem que treinar ;)

    Boa sorte aê!!! <- Viu ? Já tô ensinando!!!
    .-= Malvadão´s last blog ..malvadao: @dtravessuras Ahhhhhhhhhh! Depois podia pensar em abrir um canal Meninas e Apreciadores… O que me diz ? =-.

  • http://twitter.com/malvadao Malvadão

    Quer começar treinando ??? [ Brincadeira ]
    Cara… pra tu falar que nem carioca… tu vai ter muito trabalho!!!

    Eu ia traduzir… mas você já tem que treinar ;)

    Boa sorte aê!!! <- Viu ? Já tô ensinando!!!
    .-= Malvadão´s last blog ..malvadao: @dtravessuras Ahhhhhhhhhh! Depois podia pensar em abrir um canal Meninas e Apreciadores… O que me diz ? =-.

  • Dri

    “how I eat (e.g. in Brazil you shouldn’t eat a pizza with your hands, but you should smother it in tomato ketchup!)”

    Só no Rio, coloque ketchup na pizza em São Paulo e poderá apanhar! xD E em casa tudo bem comer pizza com as mãos.

    E pode mandar um e-mail qualquer coisa. =)

  • Dri

    “how I eat (e.g. in Brazil you shouldn’t eat a pizza with your hands, but you should smother it in tomato ketchup!)”

    Só no Rio, coloque ketchup na pizza em São Paulo e poderá apanhar! xD E em casa tudo bem comer pizza com as mãos.

    E pode mandar um e-mail qualquer coisa. =)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

    I’ve finally arrived!!! I love Rio and the district (Urca) that I’m living in, it’s spectacular!
    Thanks everyone for all the further positive energy. This encouragement, and that of locals has been excellent! :)
    @Alex, I’ll be blogging about the mission and language learning tips on this site. The other site is just for videos ;)
    @Sarah Thanks so much!! The Jamie Oliver of learning languages, I like it!! :D
    @Adrienn, it was pissing down when I arrived, but it’s nice now! I’m uploading a guided tour of my flat, keep an eye out for it ;)
    @Malvadão Valeu, não tem que traduzir, entendi :D Vou ter que aprender mais do que só “aê” pra conseguir nessa missão rsrsrs

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

    I’ve finally arrived!!! I love Rio and the district (Urca) that I’m living in, it’s spectacular!
    Thanks everyone for all the further positive energy. This encouragement, and that of locals has been excellent! :)
    @Alex, I’ll be blogging about the mission and language learning tips on this site. The other site is just for videos ;)
    @Sarah Thanks so much!! The Jamie Oliver of learning languages, I like it!! :D
    @Adrienn, it was pissing down when I arrived, but it’s nice now! I’m uploading a guided tour of my flat, keep an eye out for it ;)
    @Malvadão Valeu, não tem que traduzir, entendi :D Vou ter que aprender mais do que só “aê” pra conseguir nessa missão rsrsrs

  • http://twitter.com/malvadao Malvadão

    Fechô cumpadi! Se ( com o “s” bem chiado ) quiser aprender a falá qui nem carioca… tamô aê…
    Vô querê tomá um chopp ( com o “c” muuuuuiiiiiito chiato também ) cuntigo quanti tivé poraqui… tranquilo mermão ?

    Sucesso aí na tua jornada, bicho
    .-= Malvadão´s last blog ..malvadao: @luallessi Mandou bem!!!! Putz!!! Eu não tinha pensado nisso antes!!! #ComoUmaCoisaSimplesPodeResolverTudo!!! =-.

  • http://twitter.com/malvadao Malvadão

    Fechô cumpadi! Se ( com o “s” bem chiado ) quiser aprender a falá qui nem carioca… tamô aê…
    Vô querê tomá um chopp ( com o “c” muuuuuiiiiiito chiato também ) cuntigo quanti tivé poraqui… tranquilo mermão ?

    Sucesso aí na tua jornada, bicho
    .-= Malvadão´s last blog ..malvadao: @luallessi Mandou bem!!!! Putz!!! Eu não tinha pensado nisso antes!!! #ComoUmaCoisaSimplesPodeResolverTudo!!! =-.

  • http://www.cinegrapho.com/ Juliana

    I have an american friend that has been living here in Brasil for 1 year. His portuguese is not perfect mostly because his vocabulary is still limited but his accent is really similar to the Carioca Portuguese. I dont think you’ll have any trouble. I trully believe that you can achieve this even earlier than you think. Bother me if you need any help.
    Good luck!

  • http://www.cinegrapho.com Juliana

    I have an american friend that has been living here in Brasil for 1 year. His portuguese is not perfect mostly because his vocabulary is still limited but his accent is really similar to the Carioca Portuguese. I dont think you’ll have any trouble. I trully believe that you can achieve this even earlier than you think. Bother me if you need any help.
    Good luck!

  • Roberto Amadeu

    Claro que a gente vai te ajudar! Eu sou brasileiro de São Paulo, mas estou sempre no rio de janeiro.

    Qualquer dúvida me manda um e-mail que eu te ensino mais sobre a nossa língua

    Any questions you have about our language, feel free to send me an e-mail:

    [email removed for privacy reasons]

    Grande abraço

  • Roberto Amadeu

    Claro que a gente vai te ajudar! Eu sou brasileiro de São Paulo, mas estou sempre no rio de janeiro.

    Qualquer dúvida me manda um e-mail que eu te ensino mais sobre a nossa língua

    Any questions you have about our language, feel free to send me an e-mail:

    [email removed for privacy reasons]

    Grande abraço

  • Leandro

    Benny,

    Eu fico muito feliz em saber da sua viagem. Espero que você alcance seu objetivo e possa sentir essa energia gostosa que nós cariocas transpiramos.

    Sorte aê, cara.

  • Leandro

    Benny,

    Eu fico muito feliz em saber da sua viagem. Espero que você alcance seu objetivo e possa sentir essa energia gostosa que nós cariocas transpiramos.

    Sorte aê, cara.

  • Guaraci Klein

    ,ullo Benny,
    Eu falo o Portugues Brasleiro mais formal usualmente.Nasci e sempre vivi no Rio de Janeiro. Mas como sou neto de Portugueses e Alemaes, meu pai e do sul, minha mae do Rio, minha mulher do nordeste, minha filha mora em Minas Gerais, sei imitar o sotaque deles razoavelmente tambem. So nao sei onde ficam os acentos no teclado desse lap top! Se quiser alguma ajuda e so me mandar um email que eu te tou o meu telefone
    Seja Benvindo
    Guaraci

  • Guaraci Klein

    ,ullo Benny,
    Eu falo o Portugues Brasleiro mais formal usualmente.Nasci e sempre vivi no Rio de Janeiro. Mas como sou neto de Portugueses e Alemaes, meu pai e do sul, minha mae do Rio, minha mulher do nordeste, minha filha mora em Minas Gerais, sei imitar o sotaque deles razoavelmente tambem. So nao sei onde ficam os acentos no teclado desse lap top! Se quiser alguma ajuda e so me mandar um email que eu te tou o meu telefone
    Seja Benvindo
    Guaraci

  • Pauline

    Congratulations!!! I too am living in Rio and hoping to learn Portuguese. I will be living here for 6 months, so I have a bit more time to get my tongue around the language. I teach English here and speaking my native language can’t be avoided, but I would love to go about learning Portuguese using your method :-) I wish you the best in reaching your goal! Don’t worry about the downers on the travel forums. They’re just bitter! You’re going to be great in Rio! Best of luck!

  • Pauline

    Congratulations!!! I too am living in Rio and hoping to learn Portuguese. I will be living here for 6 months, so I have a bit more time to get my tongue around the language. I teach English here and speaking my native language can’t be avoided, but I would love to go about learning Portuguese using your method :-) I wish you the best in reaching your goal! Don’t worry about the downers on the travel forums. They’re just bitter! You’re going to be great in Rio! Best of luck!

  • Bruno

    Benny, muito interessante seu projeto!
    Sou completamente carioca, nasci no Rio de Janeiro, nunca morei em outro lugar e amo essa cidade mais do que tudo.
    Se precisar de qualquer ajuda, me manda um e-mail com dúvidas e talvez até posso te ajudar pessoalmente!
    Boa sorte e um grande abraço!

  • Bruno

    Benny, muito interessante seu projeto!
    Sou completamente carioca, nasci no Rio de Janeiro, nunca morei em outro lugar e amo essa cidade mais do que tudo.
    Se precisar de qualquer ajuda, me manda um e-mail com dúvidas e talvez até posso te ajudar pessoalmente!
    Boa sorte e um grande abraço!

  • http://nomadashira.blogspot.com/ Ashira

    Good luck with your mission!
    I have a similar adventure planned, although mine will last much longer. I’m moving to Moscow on October 18, but I’ll be staying there for at least 2 years. My initial goal is to be able to communicate freely by January 1, and then to achieve fluency by May.
    I’m glad I found your blog – it’s nice to read about someone who has a passion for languages and cultures like me :)
    .-= Ashira´s last blog ..Why Moscow? =-.

  • http://nomadashira.blogspot.com/ Ashira

    Good luck with your mission!
    I have a similar adventure planned, although mine will last much longer. I’m moving to Moscow on October 18, but I’ll be staying there for at least 2 years. My initial goal is to be able to communicate freely by January 1, and then to achieve fluency by May.
    I’m glad I found your blog – it’s nice to read about someone who has a passion for languages and cultures like me :)
    .-= Ashira´s last blog ..Why Moscow? =-.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

    And the comments keep coming!! :D Thanks for joining me in this mission everyone :) Good luck to those trying something similar!! Let me know how your own missions go :)
    Obrigado por toda a ajuda brazucas!!! :D Tenho tantos e-mails agora – se eu tiver qualquer dúvida vou perguntar vocês ;) !! Adoro estar neste país!! Não vou querer ir embora em dezembro rsrsrs

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

    And the comments keep coming!! :D Thanks for joining me in this mission everyone :) Good luck to those trying something similar!! Let me know how your own missions go :)
    Obrigado por toda a ajuda brazucas!!! :D Tenho tantos e-mails agora – se eu tiver qualquer dúvida vou perguntar vocês ;) !! Adoro estar neste país!! Não vou querer ir embora em dezembro rsrsrs

  • Yami

    Boa sorte na sua estada por aqui pelo Rio. õ/

    PS: Que bom os cariocas nem usarem tantas gírias, zooa!

  • Yami

    Boa sorte na sua estada por aqui pelo Rio. \õ/

    PS: Que bom os cariocas nem usarem tantas gírias, zooa!

  • http://www.favelatour.org/ Zezinho da Rocinha

    tenho uma palavra nova pra vc “Brazingo”
    Brazilian-Gringo

    good luck in your language goals!

  • http://www.favelatour.org Zezinho da Rocinha

    tenho uma palavra nova pra vc “Brazingo”
    Brazilian-Gringo

    good luck in your language goals!

  • Juliana

    Oi Bêni, tradutor oficial de visitas aos canais subterrâneos de Bologna! :)
    Eu lembro em Bologna quando vc falou que queria voltar ao Brasil, e estava escolhendo o lugar ainda… agora vi seu post no CS que vc tá indo pro Rio!! eeeee
    Boa sorte, “mermão” e espero ter a oportunidade de te encontrar depois da experiência pra ver seu comportamento brasileiro! hehehe
    beijos e boa viagem!

  • Juliana

    Oi Bêni, tradutor oficial de visitas aos canais subterrâneos de Bologna! :)
    Eu lembro em Bologna quando vc falou que queria voltar ao Brasil, e estava escolhendo o lugar ainda… agora vi seu post no CS que vc tá indo pro Rio!! eeeee
    Boa sorte, “mermão” e espero ter a oportunidade de te encontrar depois da experiência pra ver seu comportamento brasileiro! hehehe
    beijos e boa viagem!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

    @Yami valeu! Tem muitas girias, mas eles num usam comigo muito ainda
    @Zezinho Brazingo!! ADOREI :D :D
    @Juliana Adorei os canais subterrâneos de Bologna :) Td bom com vc? Vai ver depois se eu conseguir falar “mermão” rsrs
    Bjs e abraços pra todo mundo!! :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

    @Yami valeu! Tem muitas girias, mas eles num usam comigo muito ainda
    @Zezinho Brazingo!! ADOREI :D :D
    @Juliana Adorei os canais subterrâneos de Bologna :) Td bom com vc? Vai ver depois se eu conseguir falar “mermão” rsrs
    Bjs e abraços pra todo mundo!! :)

  • Brazilian Guy :)

    Gringos são faceis de identificar. Por isso se eu o ver, identifica-lo-ei ! Isso aí mesóclise é só com a gente! Tanto é a verossimilhança do que digo que dar-te-ei exemplos: branquelo, camisa e bermuda florida e a contínua bisbilhotada nos fio-dental.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com Benny the Irish polyglot

    “Brazilian Guy” – are you sure you're Brazilian? :) “dar-te-ei” and “identifica-lo-ei” only exists in Portugal… Portuguese are gringos in Brazil too ;) ;)

  • Thiago (Rio de Janeiro)

    If you wanna speak brasilian portuguese without any trace of accent… well, good luck!!!

  • fkwan

    Vc fica vivendo minha vida de sonha! (Que idioma ruim!) De sempre eu também quis viajar ao Brasil e todos paises do mundo mas nunca deu. Aprendi o pequeno do idioma que sé inteiramente da Internet, como tentei com espanhol, francés (à maior parte depois 8 anos de colégio), alemão e até sueco. De verdade, o meu professor de sueco mora no Rio agora, se casou com carioca que encontrou…da Internet! De qualquer jeito, pudesse conseguir em todas coisas que tenta, e por favor desculpe este assassinato idiomático que escrevo. Because you are living my dream life I'd love to make yr acquaintance some day! Best of luck!

  • http://www.holidaytraveltips.net/thomson-gold-holidays/ Thomson_Gold

    I'm so love this blog, already bookmarked it! Thanks.

  • Daniel Maier

    É isso aí meu irmão, em geral somos um povo amigo e solidário!

  • http://www.aliam.ca Alexandre Guertin

    That's amazing! I'm planning on going to Brazil this year and reading your blog makes me want to go even more. I lived all over Latin America and am fluent in French (native tongue) and Spanish. Learning Portuguese (from Brazil) is a lot easier for that. I'm currently using Rosetta Stone for total immersion and I'm picking up fast. What other tricks would you have to learn the language?

  • Paulistinha

    Meu caro, uma dica valiosíssima pra vc, se quiser ser realmente confundido com brasileiro evite esse “sotaque carioca” que é grunhido por menos de 3% da população brasileira. Prefira investir seu valioso tempo numa representação mais verdadeira do nosso idioma, como o sotaque mineiro que além de deixá-lo mais charmoso o fará herdar uma simpatia danada, sô. Abraços e โชคดี !!

    • http://www.facebook.com/silas.couto.9 Silas Couto

      Mentira! Mineiros falam igual caipira! HAHAHAHA
      Tente falar como uma jornalista, sotaque de paulista!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Adoro o sotaque mineiro :) Pode deixar que vou tentar falar como vocês na minha próxima vez no Brasil!!
    Abraços

  • Monalisa

    Que legal!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Meu nome e Monalisa, eu sou Brasileira e moro no Canada ha 21 anos e estou “perdendo” meu Portugues!!!!!! E um sentimento horrivel!!!!!!! Lhe desejo tudo de bom

  • http://twitter.com/ana_freitas Ana Freitas

    Benny, I couldnt find WHEN this post was written, but please, if you ever come to São Paulo, you're very much allowed to eat pixxa with your hands and don't EVER put ketchup on it, ok? One more thing you'll be learning about Brazil is that Cariocas have this terrible habit of eating pizza with ketchup. It will simply shock everyone if you are in São Paulo (or probably anywhere else, don't know about South, but it is mainly a Carioca's habit).

  • Monica Galafassi

    Muito legaaaal! Eu sou brasileira e moro em São Paulo. Quero aprender muitas línguas como você!
    I speak portuguese, english, a little spanish and i am learning russian! Next years i will be in Netherlands for one year and i will study dutch. I really want to meet Ireland and irish is one of the languages i most love to hear, i want to learn it!
    Do you have msn? Facebook? SOMETHING?
    Monica.

  • Glittleman

    well… I never learned anything in 2 months but I have learned Spanish to the Native level in a little over a year… at least in Bolivia… I’ve had quite a few people not believe that I was from the US… I guess… if that was a defined goal and I actively worked to it it would probably have been pretty easy to do in shorter time. I went from just below fluency to native in about a year.

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  • Aline

    UAL! Amei seu blog e confesso que estou MUITO curiosa pra ouvir vc falando português, pq  tenho amigos “gringos” que falam português, mas é impossível tentar se passar por nativo. Agora me responda por favor: vc conseguiu se passar por brasileiro??? hahaha Espero que sim!!! Mostrarei seu blog pro meu namorado (ele é americano), quem sabe ele não decida aprender tbm! hehe

    Beeijos :)

  • Sebastiao Correa

    Gostei muito da sua página . Fiquei muito feliz em notar que você realmente aprendeu a conhecer as principais características do povo brasileiro , não se deixando contaminar por esteriótipos. 
    Senti-me encorajado a tentar melhorar o meu conhecimento de outros idiomas ; Consigo falar bem o espanhol , relativamente bem o inglês  , um pouco de italiano , francês e alemão.
    Vou procurar conhecer melhor a sua técnica e , quem , sabe também ser um poliglota ( sem sotaques !)

  • disqus_1ONGtcT9QZ

    America loves you Benny. Keep up the great work and safe travels, my friend.

  • paulo rogerio

    Just a head’s up on Brazilian use of ketchup:

    Most Brazilians use Ketchup on pizza, but Paulistas (citizens of Sao Paulo), like me, because of a huge italian comunity in SP, are usually purists and consider Ketchup on pizza almost a heresy!!! Real pizza doesn’t need ketchup!!!

  • Carlos GAspar

    Benny, meu velho, sou brasileiro e moro em San Francisco. Ja escrevi para vc e vc me respondeu. Mantenho o convite para ficar em minha casa em SF. Mas, fiquei curioso para saber como um brasileiro se barbeia, se veste (voce fala em clothing, grooming), diferente dos outros. Um abraço!

  • Joe Holstein

    I am embarking on an identical mission solo for 2 months in Rio de Janeiro this May and June. I am looking for advice, tips and encouragement as blending into Brazilian language and culture will be daunting, yet exciting. I am open to all suggestions.
    -Joe Holstein
    holstein.joe@gmail.com

  • monique

    I am on a mission to become trilingual in 2 years. I am learning Spanish and Portuguese. I plan to live in Panama for a year and Brazil for a month or two. I took an Oxford seminars, teach English abriad class so I can work while I am in these countries, but I too want to be able to speakvwith the natives when I go and when I return, if I do, I can use my languages here in the states. I plan to reside in the favelas in Brazil and I am unsure about Panama. I am 38 but this is my dream. Eu quero falar com as pessoas quando vou ao Brasilia. You have encouraged my desire.