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Language Learning: How to Create Immersion from Home

I recently read an interesting study: Viewing images that remind you of your home country can decrease your fluency in the foreign language you are learning. The study was done with Chinese students who were living in the US and learning English. When those students were speaking English while viewing pictures that reminded them of China, they produced 11% to 16% fewer words per minute on average. The study also showed that the students tended to use their native language structures and literal translations more often when viewing pictures that reminded them of home. READ MORE>

Portuguese Lesson: Verb Ter, Present Tense & Pronunciation Tips

Our lesson today is about the irregular verb Ter.

  • Ter = To Have in English.

I will teach you the conjugation of Ter in the present tense (presente do indicativo) and will give you lots of pronunciation tips. The pronunciation tips will work for your Brazilian Portuguese in general, not just for this verb. At the end of this post you will find practice exercises.

In our next lesson, I will teach you to use the verb Ter to say things like “I have to work today”. READ MORE>

Tirar do sério – Learn Colloquial Portuguese

Here is a great colloquial expression that we Brazilians use quite often. I am certain that you will find this expression in novelas, songs, and articles.

  • Tirar do sério = to make someone mad, to piss someone off, to make one lose his/her patience

Let’s see a few examples of the expression in use with practical vocabulary for you.  READ MORE>

Bota frio nisso! Learn Colloquial Portuguese

This lesson was inspired by the cold front we have today in Brazil. I am in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro, and it is 8C or 46F. Here in Brazil we don't have heaters. Everyone is freezing. If you were here, you would probably hear the following dialogue in every corner:

Brian: Que frio!" 

Luciana: Bota frio nisso!

This is a colloquial expression that we use a lot here in Brazil. I will explain what it means and how versatile it is. First, you need to know that: READ MORE>

Festas de São João: Vocabulary, Traditions, and Resources

Viva São João! We have written about São João or Festas Juninas before.  We have also told you about Forró, the traditional São João music and dance. Today I’d like to share with you São João vocabulary and traditions, and offer some great resources to learn more about this traditional Brazilian celebration. READ MORE>

Pedir vs. Perguntar: Get It Right with Street Smart Brazil - with Video

The verbs Pedir and Perguntar cause a lot of trouble to learners of Portuguese. I hope to put an end to your questions today :) And at the end of the lesson I will give you a very useful tip about the verb “Perguntar”. READ MORE>

Dar-se bem: Two Different Meanings in English

I recently posted  the pictures below on our Facebook pageDar-se bem is a common idiomatic expression in Brazilian Portuguese. It has two different translations to English, and for each meaning, a different preposition is used. I am sure that this will be useful to all learners of Portuguese.

Notice that the verb is used with the reflexive pronoun in these expressions. READ MORE>

How to Say More and More and Less and Less in Portuguese

Here is a very useful structure in Portuguese:

  • Cada vez mais = more and more; literally: each time more
  • Cada vez menos = less and less; literally: each time less

The examples below will get you ready to use your new Portuguese language structure. I will organize the examples in three sections:

  1. Cada vez mais
  2. Cada vez menos
  3. Special cases


Sharpen Your Portuguese: 28 Brazilian Magazines You Can Read Online

Here is a great way to increase your Street Smart Portuguese, build your vocabulary, and learn more about Brazilian culture: Below is a list of 28 Brazilian magazines on a wide variety of subjects: social issues, health, food, business, technology, lifestyle, sports, cars, celebrities, movies, and more.

If you are going to take the Celpe-Bras proficiency test, this is a must-do: Get in the habit of reading in Portuguese every day. Celpe-Bras uses authentic materials including articles from several of the magazines below. READ MORE>

How to use POUCO, POUCA and UM POUCO DE in Portuguese

Let’s see how to use POUCO in Portuguese. You will learn when we have the plural (POUCOS, POUCAS) and the feminine (POUCA), and when we don't. In this lesson you will also learn the useful construction UM POUCO DE. READ MORE>

If you are ready to speak Portuguese, book your 30-minute demo class or email us for more info.