Anyone in Curitiba or Floripa want to practice English?

Avatar do usuário Sra_Tradutora 3290 6 73
Hi everybody, I'm a Canadian in my early 40s and I will be visiting Southern Brazil and Northeastern Argentina for the first time from late April to mid-May. I should be in Florianópolis around April 26 to May 5-6 (improving my Portuguese in a language school) and in Curitiba around May 13-14 to May 20. When I travel, I am more interested in meeting the locals and learning about their culture than visiting tourist sites and buying souvenirs. I will be traveling alone (as usual) and it would be cool to meet people on this forum. I'm mostly interested in music, arts, food, games, architecture and nature. I could help you with English and maybe you could show me around and speak Portuguese with me. I look forward to your enthusiastic replies :-).
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Avatar do usuário PPAULO 38685 6 32 676
Wow! this would be a golden opportunity to learn some English, one of a lifetime!
What a pity! too bad that I am stuck with my job and live currently in Rio de Janeiro (approximately 845 km from Curitiba - 525 miles, estimated distance road)
Anyway I hope you make the most of it, it´s a very interesting place to go (I myself have been to Paranagua once, Curitiba just in passing...)
I am sure you will like it, and please during or after your travel share your views with us, I am more than pleased to know about your travelog.
I got to Curitiba bus station, and from there I got Paranagua, it was in the winter season, about May or June, and it was brrrrrrrr! talk about a cold season!
It is not every year that it is so cold, but this year was particularly freezing (it didn´t stopped me of dipping in the beach and coming out shaking!).
The city is very well planned and the bus transport system seems like the best in Brazil, the same seems not be applied to the security in the roads.
Not that the roads are to blame, are the best designed and cared in the country, but the drivers...well I´ll leave it to the locals to tell you.
Good luck, and have fun.
And if you have any issues with Portuguese words or even culture, please ask to us. See you around.
Avatar do usuário Sra_Tradutora 3290 6 73
Thank you very much for your reply PPaulo. Your English is very good, by the way :-). I believe my school in Florianópolis organizes language exchanges with the locals so I might be able to meet some people there. I am aware that Brazilians from the South are "colder" and more difficult to know than in the North, but I tend to be the same and I'm usually a bit uncomfortable around people who are very outgoing and talk all the time (what we call social butterflies). If I am not mistaken, I just need to take the initiative (start talking first) and I shouldn't have a problem meeting people.

I have often read that Curitiba is of no interest to tourists, but like I said, I'm not going to Brazil for the tourist attractions, which in many cases are actually tourist traps. And yes, I am curious about the city planning and the public transportation system, as well as the parks, the architecture and social innovations like the libraries in the lighthouses. I like doing what the locals do so I will probably just get a newspaper and see what's happening in the city at that time. I will most likely take the train to Paranagua as a side trip.

I hope it will be warm enough in Floripa to take a dip at the beach. I might have better luck in Paranagua, however, since it's more up north. I usually write down my impressions when I travel. I will be happy to share them with you when I return.
Avatar do usuário PPAULO 38685 6 32 676
Ha ha, I couldn´t help laugh to myself...Paranagua might be a little warmer than Curitiba, but not much. I made the mistake of having a beer there (with buddies), and it was only one...I couldn´t have more, I shaked uncontrollaby with
the help of the temperature of 12 C or so. And they said that the place is warmer!

As for the "colder" people, I can´t agree with that notion. Okay, it takes some time to get to know them, and it takes more of an effort, but they make the warmest people on the heart, I made friends with people of Parana, Santa Catarina and RS and they are in touch with me to this day. And that from some decades ago!
So, be yourself and you´ll make friends everywhere here in Brazil, and you have a plus, people are crazy for all things English. Knowing English is an ice breaker here, doesn´t matter wich state or region you are, your experience and insights are what counts (and the willingness and interest to deal with people and to learn/teach as well).
I praise you for doing meaningful work, it makes one a better person, and why not to take in some beautiful sights, to travel a bit in the leisure time?
I am sure you will like it, and my words didn´t meant to discourage your talking about the weather, indeed in was a particular year (even the La Nina was a factor). Indeed our weather isn´t as cold as it have been in the U.S. this year, far from it.
Anyway, it´s advisable to bring some parka/anorak or something to shield you from the wind drafts.
In Paranagua at afternoons, 4:00 P.M or in the whereabouts the weather turns cold at short notice. It gets cold all of sudden (my impression is of some years ago, it´s advisable to talk to some buddies and confirm.)
Congratulations for getting the hang of it, "Floripa" for Florianopolis goes well with the locals, they take pride for the word, he he.
Ha ha, by the way, I am from the North(eastern) region, so as you said "outgoing", eh? I hope I am not leaving you a bit uncomfortable! But, I don´t regard myself such a social butterfly, nobody complained as yet! To make up for it, at least I offered some information, he he.
You will like it, I think.
Ah! thanks for praising my English, it inflated my ego, altough I know better! ha ha. ... o-Mar.html
Avatar do usuário Sra_Tradutora 3290 6 73
Thanks again PPaulo for your reply. Anybody else want to join in? :-). My reply is completely incoherent as a continuous text, so I numbered my comments instead.

1) I had a look at a few Youtube videos and that train ride to Paranagua really looks interesting.
2) Thank you for correcting me regarding the temperature of the people in Curitiba. I look forward to seeing this for myself.
3) I'm a bit surprised about your "people are crazy for all things English" statement, however. I understand that English helps you at a practical level, to find work and do business, but I thought that there was some kind of resistance to it at the same time because it's the "language of the oppressor".
4) 12 degrees is a nice spring day for me. I might go for a swim if the weather reaches 23-24.
5) I like learning languages and using them in my daily life, so I don't see it as work :-).
6) There's nothing wrong with being an outgoing social butterfly. I think more than 50% of the population is that way.

I've been googling "english practice", "language exchange" and "praticar inglês" in Curitiba and I haven't found much, which is a bit surprising. I hope to see that you're right about 3) when I get there.
Avatar do usuário PPAULO 38685 6 32 676
Hi there, Tradutora. I googled "curitiba" and "ingles" and got a lot of hits; such as "Canadian English", Wizard, Cultura Inglesa (focus on British English), BTC (with immersion), Berlitz...just to name a few.
Ah, don´t sweat about the text, to me it is coherent, who cares about a neatly text when is in need to communicate in English? :-) Believe me, you are a golden opportunity to do so. Relax, chill out, eh?
Maybe people like English here because of culture, mainly the musical one, I think. Just ask the English speaking singers that set foot in our country, they even relax when they come here. An instance was that Lady Gaga was spotted visiting went some slums in Rio, she was very warm with kids in there.
Obviously she had plenty of Brazilian and American bodyguards surrounding her, but you know, fans are fans everywhere, they can do crazy things!
So, people are open to languages, I met some people in Northeast that spoke were Russian, Japanese, French, Korean (or of some other Asian country nearby), and I could only to talk to them in English (shame on me).
In Rio I have seen not only English courses, but of Japanese, German etc, the other day I took a bus and saw a man reading something in Hebrew! not to mention the Chinese that read their Newspapers in their mother tongue.
Some years ago, a Federal Congressman submitted a draft bill which intended to ban English words being used in commerce(when an equivalent existed in Brazil), so hot-dog would be "cachorro quente" and so on. It didn´t catch on.
Some time ago, other law was passed that regulated communications. Radio and TV broadcasts had to broadcast more Brazilian songs, since people were listening more and more music in English.
That´s more, Brazil is the big participant of social networks. Brazilians constitute a big group that use Facebook, Orkut, Tweeter etc.
Not to mention, the gadgets they buy and the trips to Orlando (DisneyWorld and the likes).
It´s no surprise, the American government "easied" the VISA procedures to attract Brazilians tourists/students/travelers. To my think, it would "fast track it" even more.
As for the outgoing social butterfly, I was kidding around, kinda. I am open and easygoing, but not to the point of invadind other´s spaces.

As a plus I leave this site, and you see that many people from abroad came, and their experiences are a variegated lot, some like it much, others not so much, others miss home, others plan to come back someday but will stay. It`s life, c´est la vie! aniway, you might be interested in the reading. Enjoy it.
Ah, most of them come to Rio-Sao Paulo axis, but then it´s like there´s almost an "urban sprawl", being prevented only by the Serra do Mar.
As you see, my writtings are a bit haphazard, he he.

Brazil Through Foreign Eyes

Ryan Griffin - Sao Paulo
Rami Alhames - Sao Paulo
Maya Bell - Espirito Santo
Melanie Mitrano - Rio de Janeiro/Sao Paulo
Rob McDonell -Sao Paulo
Jennifer Souza - São Paulo, currently Rondonia
Scott Hudson - Goiania
Bill Holloway - Sao Paulo
Elaine Vieira - Sao Paulo
Pieter Kommerij - Sao Paulo seashore (Ilha Grande etc)
Rich Sallade - Rio de Janeiro
Meet Robyn and Willem Van Der Merwe - Itaparica Island, 30 km away from Salvador -Bahia seashore.
Michael Smyth - Paraty (RJ seashore)
Danielle Carner - Campinas - Sao Paulo
Chris Caballero - Rio (traveled for fun, and liked)
Andrew Draffen - Rio, Northeast for business and fun, Lonely Planet guide co-author.
Meredith Noll - Sao Paulo
Avatar do usuário Sra_Tradutora 3290 6 73
Hi again, PPaulo. Yes, there are lots of language schools in Curitiba, for courses that you have to pay, but there is no mention anywhere (on those sites or elsewhere, like forums and community sites) about people looking for language partners or practicing English conversation for free. I know that there is an English expat community in Curitiba. Don't both groups talk to each other?

Relax, you say? I'll have to learn how to do that, I guess. :-). Yes, of course, English-speaking singers are very popular, but there is no need to learn English to listen to their songs and learn them. I know of people who learn and sing songs in other languages and they don't even know what the lyrics mean. I've done that myself a long time ago, when I was singing in a choir. We would sing these beautiful songs in Hebrew, Latin, Russian, German, etc. and I had no clue what they were about. And I still don't because I haven't learned those languages to this day. But that's why we have Google Translator, right? :-)

I live in a French-speaking region of Canada so we also have similar laws here to try and use French words whenever they exist. The French term for "hot dog" (chien chaud) never really caught on here either. I don't like hot dogs anyway :-). And we also have the same thing regarding the quotas for English songs played on the radio, etc.

And to end this, thank you very much for the link to "Brazil Through Foreign Eyes". It will give me a better idea of what to expect when I go there. :-)
Avatar do usuário PPAULO 38685 6 32 676
Hmm, food for tought indeed.
Indeed in Brazil many people want things for free, but they don´t value it. To the contrary, if they pay for something, it might be good (a frequently misleading idea, but it´s the culture...go figure! ). However, don´t overestimate the part culture play in society, for better or worse (in this particular case, for worse!)
Other trait we have is that of "what I can profit/what I am getting out of it?", an imediatism of sorts.
That´s why, perhaps, that people studying English seriously are the older ones, the young that takes a course for example don´t grasp the importance (till they go in a exchange program abroad...)
This way, if one want to form a group, the first thing to attract participants is to charge a fee! he he. Even so, many people will think I will learn it, since I am paying...without much active participation, there are plenty of classes going this way, believe me.
I did exaggerate a bit, but you will see it for yourself.
Anyway, there are many people interested in languages. Music had been a gateway to this interest, to attain a promotion at work or going abroad in an exchange, people into trade/commerce/services (the Third Sector) and into tourist industry.
So, there´s no shortage of reasons, but some of us lack the willpower, there are family issues, work time, and other laziness and that many people don´t know the 10,000 hr. theory!
I am sure, tough, in a language school there will be a higher possibility that people are interested and will be warmer towards you, my thinking. Maybe 'Cultura Inglesa" could be an entry point.

Some views I shared in another Forum: ... e_id=96295 ... e_id=80206

According to Dale Thomas there is a club in Curitiba, hope he say something about it to us. ... e_id=67093 ... e_id=31682
Avatar do usuário Sra_Tradutora 3290 6 73
Thank you again PPaulo for your reply. I believe that to really learn a language, you need to practice, practice, practice, and not just take lessons, whether paid or free. Free language exchange without learning the theory is pointless, but paid classes without conversation practice outside the classroom is pointless as well. So for sure, without active participation in class or elsewhere, you don't get much out of the whole language learning experience. This is actually part of the reason that I'm going to Brazil: I don't think that I can really learn Portuguese (or any other language) without true immersion. I know that I'm going to feel stupid and make many mistakes, especially during the first few days since I've hardly ever spoken Portuguese in my life, but that's normal when you're learning something. Oh well, I guess I will see for myself what my options are when I get there. Parabéns for your efforts and dedication to learn English. I am sure that this will pay off for you in the long run if it hasn't already.
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Avatar do usuário PPAULO 38685 6 32 676
Smell the coffee! this is the attitude!
Sometime ago I knew virtually nothing in English (I tought I knew), now I am beggining to learn. Granted, I make much less mistakes than I made in the past, but I tried communicate no matter what.
Sometimes I went to a chat room and people didn´t even answered me, or corrected my mistakes (and I got really annoyed sometimes) but put embarrass and angry behind me, and here I am! Not much, but I can at least read a novel or The Guardian/The Economist/New Yorker and the likes.
From your display of determination to learn and your mood I can see you will succeed, and will like it.