Brazilian Portuguese Vocabulary Mania

In English, we have the word mania which denotes a mental illness marked by periods of euphoria. In Latin, it means “insanity, madness”. It’s lesser used, secondary English definition is “an excessive enthusiasm or desire; an obsession”. In Brazilian Portuguese, the same word has the principal Read More


Brazilian Culture: History and Meaning of the Brazilian Flag

The Brazilian flag has gone through many iterations. Since Brazil was an empire (1822 - 1889), the flag has consisted of a green field, with a yellow diamond in the middle (only this previous version had a coat of arms in the center). By 1889, when Brazil became a republic, the flag changed along Read More


Why I want the World Cup in Brazil to be Awesome

A few days before the World Cup opening I mentioned to a friend that I was nervous about the event. I said that I really wanted visitors to have a great time there. My friend then said: “I know, it is because of your business, right?” No, it wasn’t what was going through my mind. Read More


Improve Your Portuguese: Books to Read in Portuguese

How many university teachers have the pleasure of checking their email during the summer break to find that a student is asking for books on your discipline for them to read during the break? That email prompted me to revisit's selection of books in Portuguese. I will share my Read More


Portuguese Music: Fado in Brazil

  The origin of fado is somewhat disputed but a strong candidate is found in Brazil. There are aspects of fado that point to it being born around the same time as the lundu (an Afro-Brazilian music and dance) and modinha (a style of sentimental love song), and also the fado-dança. The Read More


The Language Learning Myth

I read an article about language learning and how long it takes, or should take, to properly learn a language. The main idea was that it takes years of deliberate learning to acquire a language, just as it does with a countless number of other skills. I can attest to the length of time it takes to Read More


Brazilian Portuguese Vocabulary: Contramão – The wrong way

There are times when I realize I’ve forgotten the English word but recognize the Portuguese meaning and understand it in its context. It’s a bit of a strange sensation due to the fact that the sentence, in which a particular word is used, is not lost on me. I know what is being said and Read More