How Real Life Portuguese Usage Throttles Your Learning

Portuguese conversation Allowing your Portuguese to see the light of day is the single most important thing you can do to increases your speaking abilities by immeasurable amounts.

When I was 16 and oh so nieve, I purchased a really cool car that needed a whole lot of work – a 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT.

“A whole lot of work” basically meant that there was no motor, transmission or anything mechanical in it.  The paint was shot, interior ugly and when I handed over the hard earned $200 bucks to the seller, I got several boxes of parts.

Ok cool, so it’s like putting a puzzle together right?


This was a mixture of a 10,000 piece labyrinth-puzze (if that even exists) especially since I had no mechanical inclination what-so-ever… And so I mustered my best 16 year old spirit up, purchased a repair manual and cheap-o tool kit and got to work.

I was in for a ride (no pun intended)…

Note: you are here in the Portuguese Acceleration Blueprint:

Portuguese acceleration blueprint - real life usage

Fixing, Crashing and Rebuilding it Again (Will I learn?)

I spent days and nights under that thing, had to give up a lot of my social life but after months of fighting – it was functioning.

And then that same week in a youthful gesture to show off my metaphorical manhood to the students of my high school, I launched the car off a jump leading up to some railroad tracks and crashed it… Right into an ex-girlfriend’s mom’s car…DOH!

So the toolkit came back out together with the repair manual and another spin came to this project – body repair.

This took me almost a year to fix and repair the body – all the while my friends keep asking my why I’m riding the school bus when I have a car.

But in the end – around graduation, I had a pretty awesome car!

My blinding 1986 Fiero GT after a lot of trial and error…

The Moral of the story

After being thrown under cars with a tool kit and repair manual, you would be able to have one fixed pretty fast right?  You would then owe that to refining your patience, and capabilities day in and day out for many reluctant years.

The same goes for you when learning Portuguese, you may have a small toolkit and manual to start with but when you put them into use, you will get proficient fast. Fortunately though, it will be a lot more fun then getting knuckle-busters and greasy fingers!

The simple reason for this is that our minds aren’t the only place where memory and skills are created.  They are created at our finger tips, with our tongues, mouths, noses and really our entire bodies when speaking Portuguese.

So it’s not merely enough to learn some theory, this theory has to be channeled through your body so that it turns into a skill or ability.

And as technical as this may sound, it’s actually pretty easy as your body and mind adapt to it’s surroundings all on its own.

Therefore, the only step you need to take to throttle your Portuguese learning is literally just a step.

Here are 2 ways that benefitted me during my Portuguese learning “adventure” and that can benefit you as well!

Find Brazilians to Speak and Have Fun with

The first idea is to find a way to be social with native Brazilian speakers, and since Brazilians are so guest-friendly, it will be a pretty easy task!

What worked well for me was to search out any Brazilian events locally through Facebook pages or Brazilian restaurants.

I’m sure you know of a Brazilian restaurant nearby or a little market?

It’s as easy as going to and typing in “Brazilian restaurant” to see what’s out there!

Then go to one and ask them when the next Brazilian get together will be, then mark that date in your calendar and go to it.

Once You Find Some Brazilians

Once you’ve landed yourself some type of Brazilian event and arrive, you will notice that there will be plenty of lovely smiling faces.

Whether you are alone or with a friend, meeting and greeting Brazilians is easy.  They naturally show an interest in you and are excited when a foreigner shows interest in their country.

As a matter of fact, they will be so happy to hear about you wanting to speak Portuguese that they will usually make sure to switch and help you speak more!

Look for Brazilian’s That Speak Almost Only Portuguese

Our human nature makes us always want to find the easy way out (as do our minds), so if we find a Brazilian that is really good at English (or the local language) then the conversations will always move back to the easiest language.

My recommendation would be that you find Brazilians that are the least proficient in English possible, seek them out and befriend them.

This is exactly what I did, I found a couple of guys that enjoyed hanging out and playing pool: one from São Paulo and one from Rio de Janeiro.

I then began to hang out with them and just enjoy myself.

Every time we needed to talk with each other, it always started in plenty of hand signs and broken Portuguese, though after some time, it then developed into more complete sentences and “functional Portuguese”.

And as I began to feel more and more comfortable speaking Portuguese, it became easier and easier.

Unleash Your Portuguese Potential on Facebook

Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us spend a decent amount of time on Facebook.  So why not turn that into something beneficial for your Portuguese learning?

What if your timeline was filled with quirky Portuguese interactions?

Here is a friend of mine that posted something.  She’s cheering for the other team because if the soccer team “Corinthians” win, she wont be able to sleep with all the noise that those “” are making.

Another example is different Portuguese pages that you can subscribe to:

Facebook Page

You find different pages you like in Portuguese and different pictures and updates will show up in your feed, this is cool because many of the pictures express what they are trying to say with words.

Here is an example from my own page :

All you really have to do is to type “Brazil” or the like in the search field at the top.  Then you can find groups, communities, pages and other relevant things to follow, like and join.

After you successfully do the above, your timeline will then be filled with digital interactions with Brazilians.  What’s even cooler is that Facebook often has imbedded translations to help you understand what is being written.

The best thing to do, is to begin trying to be reactive to these different Facebook groups, pages and friends.  Do your best to interact on Facebook, and it will throttle your learning even more!

Final Words

If anything, this post was meant to encourage you to roll up your sleeves and to take action on your Portuguese learning.

Learning Portuguese truly comes through doing and there is no doubt in my mind that if you do the above, that it will throttle your abilities.

So my encouragement and challenge for you this week is to seek out some Brazilians and try to use what you have.  Yeah you will make mistakes, get frustrated and it will be challenging but it will by very rewarding and fun too!

What other ways could you find and hang out with Brazilians to practice your Portuguese?

Valeu – Cheers!



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