Monday, August 8, 2016


I've looked like a complete idiot everyday in Brazil. But I really needed to. I had no choice! Every friendship made, every conversation I ever had with native Brazilians happened only because of my ability to speak Portuguese. The ONLY way to create meaningful relationships here is to be able to have an open mind to learning. I know what you're thinking 'how could I possibly learn an entire language in only two months?' I'm not asking you to learn it all! But just to try and master certain situations. Google translate, talk, mess up, and keep persisting. The trick is to mess up frequently and consistently. AND TO NOT BE SHY ABOUT IT. I've asked a million questions, googled translated practically every word I can think of, and sounded like a complete idiot a thousand times. But it allowed me to grow as a person, increase my vernacular and navigate busses, supermarkets, bars and general day to day conversations with people. I've met many Americans here who have varying levels of Portuguese fluency. Tomi for example has kept an open mind to learning Portuguese and has managed to pick up the language very rapidly here. Where as other people I've met haven't been as open to learning the language, or rather may have been too intimidated to even begin. And that's ok! But this lead to poorer relationships with native people who may not speak English well or at all. So do your research on the language! Try and learn the basics of how the rules and grammar function and build from there. I know it's tough. I studied two years of Portuguese and I felt lost so many times in Brazil. Now I've arrived at a point where some may consider me fluent. But I only achieved this through constant errors and sounding like a complete idiot. DAILY.  But it has been so worth it. So for the best trip possible, try to become fluent in the language of your country. Never feel bad about messing up and sounding dumb. That's all I've been doing here and it's definitely paying off now. Oh! I don't know about other countries but Netflix in Brazil has Portuguese options. So I watch everything dubbed in Portuguese. You can use subtitles in either Portuguese or English.

As my friend Tomi once wisely told me "you need to sound dumb before you can sound smart"

That was deep.

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