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Translating Brazilian Culture: 7 Facts You May or May Not Have Known About Brazil

Tutorials » Translating Brazilian Culture: 7 Facts You May or May Not Have Known About Brazil

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Brazil is an interesting country, as it is the only country in Latin America where the culture and language are not inherited from Spain, but rather Portugal. Many people outside of Brazil tend to forget this, and group Brazil’s culture in with the rest of South America.

In order to combat this generalization, let’s take a look at what makes Brazil, uniquely Brazil.

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  1. Language is one of the most important aspects of Brazil’s national culture. Portuguese is spoken by nearly 100 percent of the population. The only exceptions are pockets of immigrants, primarily from Japan and South Korea, who have not yet learned Portuguese.
  1. There is about as much difference between the Portuguese spoken in Brazil and that spoken in Portugal as between the English spoken in the United States and that spoken in the United Kingdom. Within Brazil, there is only one dialect of Portuguese, but there are some regional variations regarding accent, vocabulary, and use of personal nouns, pronouns, and verb conjugations.
  1. So many Brazilians have intermarried to the point that it sometimes seems that almost everyone has a combination of European, African and indigenous ancestry.
  1. The family is the foundation of the social structure in Brazil. Families tend to be large and the extended family is quite close.
  1. Nepotism is considered a positive thing, since it implies that employing people one knows and trusts is of primary importance.
  1. If you are invited to a Brazilian’s house, arrive at least 30 minutes late if the invitation is for dinner and up to an hour late for a party or large gathering.
  1. In business, face-to-face interaction is considered extremely important, more so than interaction over-the-phone or through email. However, any contracts must be written out and scrutinized prior to agreement.

With these facts in mind, next time you’re in Brazil you will fit right in! Provided you speak Portuguese, of course.


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Tutorials » Translating Brazilian Culture: 7 Facts You May or May Not Have Known About Brazil