Learn Brazilian Portuguese or at least your basics before travelling to Brazil (recommended to all who visit). Not to mention training in Brazil you can use a basic vocabulary on the mat. If you do not speak the language you will likely still have a great time but here are four reasons to learn the native language. First off simply out of respect to the country you are visiting, learn the basics of the language (I expect the same of anyone who visits my native country). Knowing how to ask questions will help you to navigate the city, keep yourself out of harms way and in the places that are best to be. Having a basic understanding of the language will allow you to explore and understand this culture much more deeply. On the mat your understanding of instruction and ability to learn more expands with a basic knowledge of the language. Those reasons are only the tip of the iceberg.
Learning Portuguese is as easy as watching cartoons on YouTube. I had read a few children’s books in Portuguese to supplement my learning the Portuguese language but it wasn’t until American Michael Peltzer told me he was learning by watching cartoons that it came to light. Simple enough and watching the results first hand as he picked up the language very quickly watching Simpsons re-runs in Brazilian Portuguese on YouTube made me a believer. Thank you for that Mike!
There are many cartoons and TV programs that are World renowned in Portuguese on YouTube that will make your learning the language as easy as can be. So if you don’t like Simpsons; it isn’t difficult to find other shows that have been dubbed in Portuguese for your enjoyment. One of the best parts is that it costs nothing to watch.
In addition to watching cartoons and TV programs, I also suggest Kid Peligro’s Portuguese for BJJ app. Peligro is a renowned sports photographer, BJJ black belt and surfer who speaks Portuguese as a first language. Kid’s app is well made and thorough, a useful tool for any BJJ traveller in Brazil (CHECK OUT KID’S APP). Also on the list, you may find Rosetta Stone to be a very well put together program for learning the language.
Above all, even the cartoons, after arriving there is no substitute in learning a language than submersing yourself in the culture. A Brazilian Girlfriend or Boyfriend is your best asset in learning, think about it, constant help and motivation to learn. When you are here in Rio open up and speak in Portuguese, without worrying about saying something wrong. We all start somewhere and becoming good at something comes through practice… get on it.
Just the thought of investing the time into learning a new language is a deterrent for most… yet during an average day that same person wouldn’t think twice about turning on the TV for an hour or two, loosing them self in FaceBook or clicking through dozens of time wasting YouTube videos. Want to learn Portuguese, you can make time and even enjoy it. When I arrived in Rio de Janeiro YouTube had yet to be created, now days there is a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips 24 hours a day. Be thankful and make the most of it!
by: Dennis A. Asche