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Old 02-21-2011, 12:20 PM
 
47 posts, read 73,470 times
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I really want to go to Rio de Janeiro for my after-graduation vacation in 3 yrs. The thing is I don't know how to speak portuguese, however I can speak spanish and english. Would I be able to survive with these two languages?

I assume many Brazilians know spanish and are taught it in school, because of the fact that, they are surrounded by spanish-speaking counties, can I make this assumption?
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:18 PM
 
12,686 posts, read 14,068,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RECON5 View Post
I really want to go to Rio de Janeiro for my after-graduation vacation in 3 yrs. The thing is I don't know how to speak portuguese, however I can speak spanish and english. Would I be able to survive with these two languages?

I assume many Brazilians know spanish and are taught it in school, because of the fact that, they are surrounded by spanish-speaking counties, can I make this assumption?
With three years to go and a knowledge of Spanish already under your belt, you should be able acquire a decent knowledge of Portuguese before you leave.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:26 PM
 
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Actually most Brazilians don´t speak a word of Spanish. Within the middle class you will find a lot of younger people who speak English. Most of the lower class can´t speak more than a few words.That being said, they can understand Spanish pretty well. You may have a harder time understanding them though. When I first moved to Rio I only spoke Spanish and English (my native language) and although there were times when there was miscommunication, I survived. Don´t worry, people in general try to be helpful in Brazil. However, since you have three years you should try to study some Portuguese if you can. It will make your trip way more fun if you feel comfortable communicating. Try to find some Brazilians in your area, if there are any do a language exchange or something. Also although Rio is cool remember this is a big country and you should try to see more than just Rio if you can.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
597 posts, read 1,156,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RECON5 View Post
I really want to go to Rio de Janeiro for my after-graduation vacation in 3 yrs. The thing is I don't know how to speak portuguese, however I can speak spanish and english. Would I be able to survive with these two languages?

I assume many Brazilians know spanish and are taught it in school, because of the fact that, they are surrounded by spanish-speaking counties, can I make this assumption?
Don't worry if you intend to live in Rio de Janeiro. You'll be "very, very" welcome.
If you speak spanish you will be "able" to live here, the languages are very similar.
If you don't speak spanish, no problem too. Our people are very nice and friendly and you always will find someone who will try to understand you.
And so, in few days, you will be speaking and understanding Portuguese
Don't be afraid. Come and enjoy Rio.
The best place of world.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,149,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRAZILIAN View Post
Don't worry if you intend to live in Rio de Janeiro. You'll be "very, very" welcome.
That's true!

I'm a white American person who lived in Brazil for six months. I didn't have any Spanish or Portuguese knowledge upon arrival. (It was kind of a whim I went to Brazil at all - I went to Santiago Chile to study Spanish, and found myself bored out of my mind there, and everyone told me to go to Brazil, so I did).

Nontheless, most Brazilians do not speak or understand English. However, they do understand Spanish, so whatever Spanish you'll know, they'll generaly understand it. However, you won't understand what they say when they speak back to you in Portuguese!

Basically Portuguese is not phonetic, whereas Spanish is. It is easy to say things in Spanish once you know how each letter is suppose to sound. Portuguese is kind of like English, where you really have to hear the word a lot, to know how it is suppose to sound, despite the letters you see. It is also nasally at times, and has some more added vowels that takes awhile for an English speaker to master. Spanish is phonetic, and once you understand the pronounciations, you can repronounce almost any word you see in Spanish.

That being said, Brazilians are lovely people to be around, and will be VERY patient with you and your lack of Portuguese. I found myself studying a little bit everyday, and whatever I learned, I could quickly use with people.

This is unlike Spain, where years later I went there with some South American Spanish under my belt, and no one had any time for me, as my Spanish wasn't that good.

Whereas in Brazil, whatever Portuguese you know, Brazilians will be thrilled to hear you use them, and have all the time in the world to teach your more, and just lovely people all the way around.

Someone else said, don't forget there is more to Brazil than just Rio de Jainero. I would agree. Rio is a very beautiful city, but so is all of Brazil. Since most of the tourists go to Rio, I found it nice to get away from that city, just to get away from the tourists.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,564 posts, read 4,650,797 times
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Well, I'm Brazilian and I can tell you that Spanish is similar to Portuguese in some aspects, but they are not the same language.

Middle class Brazilians speak some English, and understand Spanish without so much difficult. But lower class people don't speak English, and have a lot of difficult to understand Spanish.

But, if you study a little of Portuguese, you can "adapt" your Spanish, and speak a kind of "mixed language", that will be easier to lower class Brazilians to understand. Just learn the basic words in Portuguese, and "fill the blanks" with Spanish. In other words, try to speak Portuguese, and, when you don't know how to say a given word in Portuguese, say it in Spanish. People here call it "Portuñol" (mix of Portugues and Español).

The grammars of the two languages are very similar, and the word order too. So, it's mostly a vocabulary difference. In fact, many words in Spanish are equal to Portuguese, at least in the written form, although it can have different pronunciations.

A good hint to you is: most words that finish with "-ion" in Spanish (and in some cases, in English as well), finish with "-ão" in Portuguese. Ex.: inmigración (Spanish word for immigration) is imigração in Portuguese. The pronunciation of "ão" can be a little tricky for an American, but you get used to it with time!
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