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Brazilian Culture: Is trust a must?

A brand new study from the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics (IBOPE) says that 62% of Brazilians have little trust in other people, yet 72% have a lot of trust in their family. On one hand, it’s not too surprising that any segment of the population from any country have a healthy distrust of strangers (I consider humans to be tribal at heart). On the other hand, this information can help to better understand Brazilian life. READ MORE>

Brazil's Tweeting Machine

“Brazilian journalist Sérgio Charlab watching Brazil (finally!) unfold, sharing English language news, stories, analysis, opinions, facts, tidbits & niceties.”

Not everyone understands Twitter or how to use it but among all the noise (and there’s definitely a lot of that), there’s a few rays of hope, of real people doing really cool things with their information feeds. The Brazil Character Lab (going by the handle @scharlab) is one of those such feeds. READ MORE>

My Intro to Brazilian Telenovelas: Gabriela, Cravo e Canela

As a man, I feel I must confess. I’m watching a soap opera (my first) and, you guessed correctly, it’s Brazilian. It’s rather coincidental that I started watching it as I was walking past a street fair and saw a famous book for sale so I bought it, and the book was Gabriela, Cravo e Canela by Jorge Amado. As I started to read it, I felt there were too many characters being introduced for me to keep track and that’s when I remembered the telenovela made in Brazil a few years back called Gabriela (after a 1970s version with Sonia Braga in the lead). READ MORE>

Brazilian Music and Colloquial Portuguese: Está no Sangue


Gilberto Gil is a Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist who has played a key role in the musical and cultural scene in Brazil. From co-founding the Tropicalismo movement in the sixties to acting as the Brazilian Minister of Culture in 2003, when Lula was the President, Gil has helped shape Brazilian music. READ MORE>

Learn Portuguese: Por or Para? How to give thanks in Portuguese

In this Portuguese lesson I will show you how to use the correct preposition to thank people for something they have done for you.

I often see advanced Portuguese speakers making mistakes when saying simple things such as “Thank you for the information” or “Thank you for helping me.” Starting today, you will be able to always say it right. In the video, I will also give you and important pronunciation tips. READ MORE>

Learn Portuguese: Making Plans with Your Friends - Combinado


My friends and I were planning to have brunch together and the conversation chain on Facebook was in Portuguese. Then Carl comes and says: "I told Vanessa we were going to join them for brunch. Why did she say 'combined' in response?"

I immediately knew what was going on. When making plans with friends: READ MORE>

Learn Portuguese: How to say "Any Questions?" in Portuguese


Very often literal translation from English to Portuguese or from Portuguese to English is not the best way to say what you want. Here is a good example:

  • Alguma dúvida?

Literally, this question translates to: "Any doubt? But in the classroom setting it is the Portuguese equivalent to "Any questions?" READ MORE>

Life in Brazil: São Paulo's Big Worm

If the image above looks familiar, you may have seen it in person in São Paulo or in one of several Brazilian films such as Foreign Land (Terra Estrangeira), Not By Chance (Não Por Acaso) or Blindness (Ensaio sobre a Cegueira) which all featured the giant overpass. READ MORE>

Brazilian Movies: Brazilian Spotlight at the Newport Beach Film Festival

The Newport Beach Film Festival in Orange County, CA, will be special this year: It will host a special screening of the Brazilian movie The Invisible Collection (A Coleção Invisível) as the 2014 Brazilian Spotlight film. The Brazilian gala will be immediately following the screening on Wednesday April 30th. Street Smart Brazil clients and community members get a discount for the festival. More info below. READ MORE>

Brazilian Music: DJ Dolores


DJ Dolores, aka Helder Aragão, is a Brazilian designer, DJ, and musician from the northeastern state of Sergipe who makes electronic music, as well as soundtracks to films (most recently, Neighboring Sounds and Tatuagem). One of the earlier contributors to Recife’s Mangue Beat/Bit movement made popular by Chico Science and Nação Zumbi in the early 90s, DJ Dolores didn’t start making his own music until almost a decade later. READ MORE>

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