By Colin Pritchard – Drum Major
For those who do not know or who have never seen or heard us – there is a Highland Scottish Pipe Band in full activity in São Paulo. The Band was started in 1995 by Cristiano Bicudo & has grown from a few Pipers to a full Pipe Band.

Our recent Pipe Major – Mr Norman Macdonald was for many years a Grade 1 Piper in the Renfrew Pipe Band before going to work in Canada. For the last 2 years he was our Pipe Major here in São Paulo and the standard of piping improved immensely.

Last year the band went to Montevideo and played at the First South American Gathering – which featured seven Pipe Bands; 3 from Buenos Aires, 2 from Montevideo, 1 from Chile and 1 from Brazil. On the musical front the Scottish Link were ranked First in the group.

Plans for 2005- We are trying this year to take part in the World Piping Competition to be held in Glasgow in August. We will also be competing in the Second South American Gathering this year which will be held in Buenos Aires.

The Band is an amateur group that relies on support from Companies & Societies in Brazil and this year will be working hard to raise the money to go to Scotland.

All who are interested in Piping or Drumming; the Pipe Band teaches all new comers and the band always needs players, all are very welcome.

Cristiano Bicudo – Pipe Major, Tel (11) 3032-6614
Colin G. Pritchard Drum Major, Tel (11) 4191-1163

Fernando Saffi from São Paulo has traveled, worked and lived overseas. Now back in Brazil he has some advice on how to better adapt to Brazilian life and some insights into the mistakes foreigners (and Brazilians) make. He shares with us a great story about a small misunderstanding that turned into something rather embarrassing. Also some observations about what the French and Brazilians have in common.

Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?
I was born and raised in São Paulo city. My background is electronic engineering and I am studying for a Master in Business Administration. However, for quite a long time (more than ten years), I’ve been working with hi-tech companies in the telecommunication and information technology segments, always with business development, marketing and sales operations (all of them non-technical areas). In 2001, my employer at the time, offered me a position in their headquarters in Reston, Virginia – US (30 miles out of Washington D.C.) where I worked for almost 2 years. I also lived for a few months in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During that time, I’ve visited many many different places within US and Latin America.

What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?
Language and Culture, in my opinion are the critical ones. Portuguese is not an easy language to learn, especially with verb tenses and other particularities. Also, foreigners should understand that, due to the dimensions of Brazil, cultures varies a lot, even from one state to another.

What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?
One of the most commom mistakes that Brazilians make when they travel abroad is repeated by foreigners in Brazil. They tend to stay with their country folks and live in that small community, where everyone talks the same language and has the same culture. It doesn’t really help to learn the Brazilian culture and language if all your friends are foreigners like you, and you speak your native language most of the time.

What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?
I like the French sense of humor (believe it or not), Mexicans are really fun too. I like the British formality and the American way of getting things done.

Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?
I don’t have a preference, all of them have there own particularity. The British accent sounds really formal, and I kind of like that. Working and living in US for such a long time doesn’t help my accent to be anything but American”.

Favourite place travelled abroad and why?
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, also known as the “American Venice”, because the beauty of the city, with the canals crossing the city, and visitors from all over the world (mainly Europe and Asia). I also liked Buenos Aires a lot, a little bit of Europe down here in Latin America. In Brazil, Florianópolis is my favorite place due to the beauty of its beaches and its people.

Favourite foreign food?
Of foreign food, French is my favorite. However, I need to confess that Brazilian food is my favorite overall. My friends and I used to spend close to USD$50 per month to eat in a Brazilian Restaurant in D.C. (THE “GRILL” FROM IPANEMA), the same place in Brazil would not cost more than 10 bucks.

Favourite foreign band, book and movie?
Favorite foreign band: Journey – 70’s, 80’s and 90’s pop rock. I used to have a tribute band when I was in college, we won several prizes in music contests at the university and others promoted by MTV. I also like a Mexican Band called “Manah”.
Foreign Movies: Back to the Future, Dead Poets Society. Armageddon. I also enjoyed Farenheit 9/11, a recent one directed by Michael Moore.
Foreign Book: One I read a few months ago, called BLUR.

What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?
I am engaged now, so I hope my fiancee will not fight with me because of this! I’ve dated a few American girls, one French and most of the others were Brazilians. It is interesting to realize that French and Brazilian people get along really well. Even some jokes and games are similar. American Girls are colder, most of the time they don’t really want a serious relationship, at least with the ones I’ve dated. I still prefer the Brazilians!!! Because of their muliebrity, natural beauty and other non-tangible aspects.

Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or ‘culture shock’ that you have experienced with a foreigner?
I have several. Once, we were having dinner with a group of co-workers in a small city in the state of Virginia, some of us were Brazilians, but the majority were Americans. Then, someone started to talk about zodiac signs. One Brazilian woman sitting on the table, asked one of the Company Directors if he was “virgin” (she meant to say, Virgo, but she said virgin as in Portuguese as it’s the same word for both meanings). Once she realized what she had said, she was so embarassed! Of course everyone understood the situation and we were all laughing so hard about it. I guess she finally learned that in English, there are two words for this different meaning.

I also recall several stories when I was younger, we used to teach the wrong meaning of the words to foreigners, to have some fun. So, one day, a Japanese guy asked us about some nice words to say to a girl if he wants to ask her for a date. Just imagine what type of words we had taught him! Of course, we clarified the situation before he received a slap in the face. He became our friend and after learning a little portuguese, he was the one tricking foreigners and making fun of them.

What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?
Hang out with local people as much as you can. Take Portuguese classes, it’s not easy I know, but no pain, no gain.

Despite all the problems this country has, I still enjoy living here and would have a hard time leaving again. Have a nice stay for all foreigners!

If you would like to reach Fernando he can be contacted at

To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below:
Fabiano Deffenti
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
Gabriela Kluppel

If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to

The countdown is on for Carnaval 2005, which starts on Feb. 4 this year. Samba schools around the country are already fervishly rehearsing for Brazil’s biggest annual street party.

If you plan on staying in São Paulo over the Carnaval period, don’t despair, the city has a large Carnaval stadium called the Sambodromo (Av. Olavo Fontoura, 1209 – Santana) and the quality of its exotic floats, thundering bands and scantily clad dancers etc. is not far behind that of Rio.

São Paulo Carnaval Schedule 2005

Friday, February 4
1. Mancha Verde
2. Imperador do Ipiranga
3. Vai – Vai
4. Acadmicos do Tatuapé
5. Mocidade Alegre
6. Acadmicos do Tucuruvi
7. Rosa de Ouro
8, Império de Casa Verde

Saturday, February 5
1. Tom Maior
2. Barroca Zona Sul
3. X-9 Paulistana
4. Nen de Vila Matile
5. Camisa Verde e Branco
6. guia de Ouro
7. Unidos de Vila Maria
8. Leandro de Itaquera

Sunday, February 6
1. 1a da Aclimaão
2. Combinados do Sapopemba
3. pérola Negra
4. Camisa 12
5. Unidos do Peruche
6. Gavies da Fiel
7. Unidos de São Lucas

Tickets cost from just $R10 and head steeply. You can contact Sambódromo on (11) 3832-9006 for tickets and information or check the website Tickets can also be purchased from Ticketmaster

By Prof. Lu
Today we are finishing (from F to V) the alphabetic list we started in our last class. To learn these words we use of the analogy existing between the words in Portuguese and in English. The list of words you can find below is an important tool to enrich your vocabulary. To memorize them you don’t need a big effort because the meanings of these words, in both languages are, pretty much the same.

For the correct pronunciation of these words, the only thing you need to do is to change the termination action (in English) by the termination aão (in Portuguese) which we pronounce o’su.

Our first example starting Fascination” In English is “Fascinaão” (focino’su> in Portuguese.

Attention: In Portuguese the word stress always falls on the aão (a’su) and not on the precedent a as in English.

So, let’s take a look.

English Portuguese English Portuguese English Portuguese
Fascination Fascinaão Fermentation Fermentaão Formation Formaão
Imitation Imitaão Indication Indicaão Inflammation Inflamaão
Information Informaão Inspiration Inspiraão Installation Instalaão
Interpretation Interpretaão Interrogation Interrogaão Investigation Investigaão
Irritation Irriataão Limitation Limitaão Mediation Mediaão
Moderation Moderaão Modification Modificaão Narration Narraão
Nation Naão Notification Notificaão Observation Observaão
Operation Operaão Particiapaton Participaão Penetration Penetraão
Preparation Preparaão Presentation Apresentaão Preservation Preservaão
Provocation Provocaão Ration Raão Reconciliation Reconciliaão
Recreation Recreaão Relation Relaão Represetation Representaão
Respiration Respiraão Separation Separaão Transformation Transformaão
Trepidation Trepidaão Verification Verificaão Vocation Vocaão

To read previous articles by Prof. LU click below
Learning Portuguese Words by Analogy – Part 1

Prof. LU is available for individual or group lessons, translations, interpretation, business support and special city guided tours in São Paulo and can be contacted by email at

By Colin Pritchard
The origins of Hockey are difficult to trace. People have been hitting rocks with sticks since, well there were people, rocks and sticks. Many of these stick-and-ball (or rock) games began to be organized as early as the 10th.century.

The Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Persians, and Ethiopians all played variations of the game. Several centuries before Christopher Columbus found his New World, the Aztec Indians were playing it in Central America. The Araucano Indians of Argentina invented a game similar to Hockey called Cheuca, believing it would make them better warriors.

Evidence of the game was discovered at Ben Hassan in the Nile Valley, in a tomb which was built circa 2000 BC, on the wall of which are depicted two figures in relative position resembling a bully. The Egyptian Hockey Association makes extensive official use of this image and a plaque presented by the Egypt HA to the FIH is on display in the FIH Office in Brussels.

A bas-relief, discovered in Athens in 1922, in a wall built during the time of Themistocles ( 514-449 BC ), shows six athletes holding curved sticks, two of whom are actually engaged in an activity resembling a bully in the game which was known as ‘ Keritizein ‘

Field Hockey is moving along well in Brazil and a lot of preparation for the 2007 Pan-American games to be held in Rio is being done.

First on the legal front – The ABH – Associacao Brasilaiera De Hoquei has now become the – CBH – Confederacao Brasileira de Hoquei. This is made up of three Federacoes – namely – FHESP – Federacao de Hoquei do Estado de São Paulo, Federacao de Hoquei do Estado do Rio and Federacao do Estado de Sta.Catarina.

In São Paulo there are four teams, namely; SPAC/Nassau, Casa de Macau, Interlagos and Indiano. SPAC/Nassau is made up of ex-pats from Europe (Holland & UK) plus a few senior players – some 60+ – Georg Waitz & Colin Pritchard, but also some young Brazilian Players- the Goal Keeper being only 17. SPAC/Nassau reached the final of the State championship and just lost the final to Interlagos 2 x 1.

Hockey today is played on artificial turf – Astroturf -with only have one small field in operation. Plans are being made by the FHESP to build and operate a full sized AstroTurf field here in the City of São Paulo. We are always looking for players so if you are over 14 or even over 60 there is room for you

Contact – Colin Pritchard, SPAC/Nassau Hockey Team, Tel (11) 4191-1163 or e-mail

By John Fitzpatrick
If you visit Brazil as a tourist or on business you will get no real idea of how poor and underdeveloped the country is. You will see signs of poverty and misery, such as favela shanty towns, beggars, and children living in the streets, but these are only the tip of the iceberg. Poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy and lack of access to decent housing, water and sewage treatment are prevalent in both urban and rural areas. Tackling these problems is beyond the ability of the federal, state and city governments, regardless of their political hue. The reason is simple – lack of money. The government taxes companies and individuals at extremely high rates but this does not bring in nearly enough resources to end social misery. One of the reasons is because most Brazilians are too poor to pay tax or they work in the unofficial sector, which accounts for at least 35% to 40% of the official economy. If the government were able to regularize this sector, it would have access to billions of dollars in extra revenues. Corruption is another chronic problem which means that public funds are often diverted into illicit bank accounts and often whisked abroad.

The authorities cooperate with international organizations like the World Bank and UNESCO, as well as church groups, NGOs and other voluntary bodies, but this is still not enough. The government also borrows from domestic and foreign investors but these loans have to be repaid with interest and the nation is highly indebted. In short, Brazil is bust and nowhere near eradicating its social problems and ending the wide gap between the poor and better off.

Private individuals and companies are aware of this problem on a daily basis. Middle class people pay taxes for public schools, hospitals, and security services but do not benefit because they are inefficient and unsatisfactory. The better off people end up sending their children to private schools, taking out private health insurance policies and hiring their own security. By doing so, they are freeing up resources for the government bodies, subsidizing the poor and preventing the current bad situation from becoming much worse.

Corporate Citizenship
At corporate level, virtually every company has some kind of social responsibility program. Some of the larger concerns even have foundations and institutes with full-time professional staff and annual budgets worth millions of dollars. These help educate and look after the health of hundreds of thousands of young people and adults all over the country. As well as education and health, companies sponsor environmental, cultural and sports initiatives. I will not single out any company but you only need to visit their sites to see the size and scope of their activities. Some companies even publish separate social reports along with their annual business activities report.

This kind of corporate action is different from western Europe or North America where good corporate citizenship tends to concentrate on other areas, such as the environment. It is impossible to imagine a big German or British industrial company running a large hospital, as one of the Brazil’s biggest conglomerates does in São Paulo. The social responsibility displayed by domestic and multinational companies in Brazil belies the politically correct view that they are only interested in profits and exploiting people.

Looking After Cerebral Palsy Sufferers
However, tens of thousands of charitable organizations do not have a big sponsor and rely on individual donations and voluntary workers. An example of one such body is the Sister Clara Fraternity (Fraternidade Irma Clara or FIC) which looks after cerebral palsy sufferers in São Paulo. This organization operates under conditions which would make most Europeans and North Americans shudder. It is based in cramped, narrow quarters under a viaduct in the Barra Funda region, with traffic thundering by literally above its head. The FIC looks after 36 patients, most of whom are children. The infrastructure is old and inefficient due to the location. However, all the clinical, social and living conditions have been approved by the statutory health and government agencies, as well as by professional bodies representing nurses and doctors. The center spends a huge amount of money to meet all the requirements the government imposes on it even though the authorities do not reciprocate.

The sad truth is that these children would have nowhere else to go if the FIC did not exist. Many have been abandoned by their families who could not look after them while others are wards of court sent there by judicial order. Most are very badly deformed, cannot walk and require intensive treatment. Most cannot speak and communicate in other ways – by smiling, crying, raising their hands or rolling their eyes. Three quarters of the patients require help just to masticate their food since they have little strength to swallow. Others are incapable of any movement and have to be shifted around regularly to prevent bedsores and related conditions. Albino Campos, director of communication, says that adult visitors are often so shocked when they see the children that they cry. Despite their plight, the children are conscious of what is happening, said Cibelle do Nascimento who edits the FIC’s newspaper. Volunteers are told not to patronize them. They are interested in television, football and music and have their favorite players and singers,” she added.

Eight children are able to go to a special school nearby. This is a private school and charges around R$1,800 (US$640) a month but the FIC has some full and half-time scholarships. The other children spend their time at the center, taking part in activities and receiving remedial treatment. They are cared for 24 hours a day by a team of 55 professional and auxiliary staff, including doctors and nurses, supported by volunteers.

Those with families receive visitors and sometimes they are even taken to see their families. These visits bring hope to everyone, not just the patient, Mr. Albino said. “The members of one very poor family put a lot of work into cleaning and tidying up the shack where they lived when the child paid the visit and one of the uncles even stopped drinking for a week. This shows that places like the FIC can help everyone involved.”

It costs R$150,000 (around US$53,000) a month just to keep the center running. Since the FIC receives no financial support from any government body it must raise this money itself. It has no political, religion or corporate links, although it wants to develop corporate partnerships. Money is raised in various ways, through appeals, fund-raising events, bazaars etc. It also receives donations of food, drugs, clothes and other items from well-wishers and supporters, and runs a thrift store. It publishes a magazine, which has a circulation of 7,000 copies, and has a site in Portuguese and English. Most of the funds come from Brazil but it has also received help from people in the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium.

A rehabilitation center, containing a heated swimming pool and physiotherapy facilities, was opened in May 2000. It took several years to raise the money and organize donations of construction material for this project but it was worth the effort. This more modern part of the center has provided hope for many children. Nurse Luciana de Giussio spoke of one girl who was successfully treated for a severely curved spine. However, dramatic successes like this are few. “Just moving a finger which had been paralyzed is a breakthrough in some cases,” she added.

New Center Planned
The FIC is planning to build a new center nearby at a cost of at least R$5 million (around US$1.78 million). The land has been donated by the city government but the cost of construction and maintenance will be borne by the center. The aim is to accommodate patients in the new center in more modern conditions and use the existing center for out-patients receiving day treatment. This would allow the FIC to reach more patients at a lower cost.

The organization was founded 22 years ago and is run by an elected board of directors. It has won a prestigious Brazilian national award for its efficiency and international registration by the US Charity Aid Foundation (CAF). This registration is particularly important since it means that Americans can donate funds to the FIC through the CAF and receive a tax benefit from the US authorities. Non-Americans can also make donations directly through the CAF. Its site is

Cerebral palsy is a good example of a disease which penalizes the poorer section of society. The usual cause is not genetic but an accident during birth, especially involving asphyxiation. The diagnosis in most cases can be made at birth but Brazil’s, inefficient public health infrastructure does not provide conditions for that. If a child is born under healthy conditions, where the mother has had pre-natal exams and support, nutritious food, good living conditions and is in a healthy psychological state, the chance of an accident can be reduced. Even if the worse happens, the babies can still be well treated. However, this does not happen with children born in cases where the mother has had no pre-natal treatment or post-natal support. These babies end up having severe brain palsy. Parents are usually traumatized when diagnosis is made and often the father just abandons the baby with the mother.

Every year 40,000 children are born with cerebral palsy in Brazil. That’s why places like the FIC will continue working for a long, long time and take on the burden which is assumed by governments in more developed countries.

If you are in São Paulo, you can visit the FIC at Avenida Pacaembu, 40 from Tuesday to Sunday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It is located under the Viaduct, close to the Barra Funda metro and near the Memorial da Amrica Latina. You can also visit its site at and make a donation or become a volunteer. Telephone: (55) 11 3666 2727.”

This week’s entertainment guide features a pizza restaurant in Vila Mariana, a first time exhibition from an artist 81 years old, a boteca in Itaim which was founded in 1927 and still oozes character, the latest film release – a comedy that is sure to make you cringe and the opportunity for kids to try out a different sport.

Mariana PizzaMariana Pizza restaurant is not surprisingly located in Vila Mariana. The restaurant is decorated is a modern style with a combination of exposed steel beams, timber and glass. As you enter the restaurant there is a wine cellar that rises six meters which gives the space a modern feel. The restaurants main attraction of course is the food and namely the pizzas and pastas. The menu offers 36 different pizza options form traditional, exotic, light and sweet. The most popular pizza is called Mariana (prepared with mushrooms, parmesan, mozzarella and basil) or you might fancy eggplant (or aubergine) with garlic topped with mozzarella. If you have enough room you may fancy the bread stuffed with sausage. Located Rua Joaquim Tvora, 1195 Vila Mariana. Phone (11) 5573-0730. Open from Tuesday to Sunday. Average cost R$25 per person.

Antonio Titto Artist Antonio Titto is set to display his work for the first time at the age of 81 years. Museu Brasileiro da Escultura will display 47 pieces that have been created over a period of 30 years in an exhibition called Manifestaão. A characteristic of Titto’s work is his exploration of the geometric forms. The artist uses diverse tools such as rulers, nankins, compasses and paper to express his ideas. Titto never previously considered showing his work, however at the insistence of family and fellow artists, he yielded to the pressure. The exhibition is being shown at Museu Brasileiro de Escultura – MuBE, Rua Alemanha, 221 Jardim Europa. Telephone (11) 3081-8611. Opening on 28 January the exhibition is open Tuesday to Sunday up to 17 February, 2005. Entry is free.

Botequim do HugoBotequim do Hugo is a simple bar that is located amoungst some of the more chic and upmarket bars in Itaim Bibi. Founded in 1927 it caters to a mixed crowd. Up until 1974 the bar was known Empório Cabral, named after the Portuguese founder Marcelino Cabral. It is a narrow bar and has only five tables, a marble balcony and wooden shelving on the walls. The place is adorned with objects from around the world such as Arabian knives, Tibetean artifacts, old bottles and some great photos from another age. As a result this place is oozing character which likes to treat all customers as if they were old friends. The beer here is served cold in bottles. To accompany the drinks you can choose boteca favourites such as homemade pastels, and fried sausage. Located on Rua Pedroso Alvarenga, 1014, Itaim Bibi. Phone (11) 3079-6090. Open Monday to Friday and close don weekends. Average cost R$25. Check the website

FockersMeet the Fockers, the sequel to ‘Meet the Parents’ is due for release in Brazil on 28 January, 2005. Having given permission to male nurse Greg Focker (Stiller) to wed his daughter (Polo), ex-CIA man Jack Byrnes (De Niro) and his wife (Danner) travel to Detroit to “meet the parents”, who this time around are Mr. and Mrs. Focker (Hoffman and Streisand), who are as different from them as can be. As asked in the first movie, what sort of people name their son Gaylord M. Focker? And you thought your parents were embarrassing! Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and a brief drug reference.

Junior Golf In order to promote the game of golf in São Paulo, the Federaão Paulista de Golfe has a new programme just for children. Golf which is often seen as an elitist sport is trying to break from this by encouraging young people to participate. Called Junior Golf this programme is free and open to all children between the ages of seven and 13. The idea is to teach children the basics of the game; how to swing (and hopefully hit the ball), the rules and some etiquette on the golf course. Lesson as given on the driving range where students are provided with golf balls, clubs and personal instruction. After a period of two months students who enjoy the game will be invited to join the club. Classes are given at FPG Golf Center on R Dep João Bravo Caldeira, 273 Jd Ceci. Telephone (11) 5587-5844 check the website

See below for previous editions of What’s On in São Paulo

What’s On Guide, Jan 19-26, 2004
What’s On Guide, Jan 12-18, 2004
What’s On Guide, Jan 5-11, 2004
What’s On Guide, Dec 15-21, 2004
What’s On Guide, Dec 8-14, 2004
What’s On Guide, Nov 25 – 1 Dec, 2004
What’s On Guide, Nov 17 – 24, 2004

Braslia, Jan 27 – The Brazilian Central Bank hinted Thursday in minutes of its January policy meeting that further interest-rate hikes will be necessary to bring future inflation to the 5.1% goal stipulated by the monetary authority for 2005.

In the report, the banks monetary policy committee, or Copom, reaffirmed its conviction that additional stages in the current adjustment process are needed.”

Lingering concerns about inflation prompted the Central Bank to boost its benchmark Selic interest rate by half a percentage point to 18.25% annually at the end of its two-day policy meeting last week.

Monetary tightening began in September last year, when Selic was first hiked, to 16.25% from a previous 16%.

In the minutes, the Copom said it examined the convenience of accelerating the upward adjustment of interest rates “given the possibility that the recent consumer price dynamic could represent an exacerbation of risks to converging inflation to inflation targets.”

The Copom noted, however, that the idea of raising Selic by more than half a point last week was “ruled out” in face of the economic data present at the moment.

Brazils 2004 inflation as gauged by the official IPCA consumer price index was 7.6%. While the 2004 target was set at 5.5%, it carried a 2.5-percentage-point margin of tolerance that allowed for inflation of up to 8%. This was the third time Brazil met its annual IPCA target since the countrys inflation-targeting policy was first implemented in 1999.

In the report, the Copom warned it will be ready to tighten monetary policy “in the magnitude necessary” if inflation continues to show resistance to the policy adopted since September or if it perceives “an exacerbation of inflation-risk factors.”

The Central Bank noted in the minutes that its own inflation forecast as well as market projections remain above the 5.1% inflation goal set for this year.

In the latest Central Bank survey of market expectations, analysts and economists pegged Brazils 2005 inflation at 5.7%.

Adriana Fernandes/Gustavo Freire – AE”

By Prof. Pedrina
Brazilians are very friendly people and one of the first things you will need to learn when you come here is how to greet people. In formal situations a hand shake is appropriate while in all other circumstances you will normally greet a female with a kiss on the cheek. In São Paulo it is common to give one kiss when you know the person well and two (or three) when you are meeting for the first time. This can vary from region to region and there is no strict rule, so it is quite common for one side to be literally left hanging mid air (or kiss). Don’t worry though, even Brazilians get caught out on this sometimes.

The most common verbal greeting is Tudo bem? or Tudo bom?, which both mean exactly the same thing. Another, more informal greeting is;

E a, beleza?

Hey, what’s up?

Beleza, which literally means beauty, nowadays has a much wider meaning. Saying beleza means things are going fine.

The expression is mostly used by young people and is very informal. It also has shorter versions like: Beleza? or even Bel?

Here are some ways to reply

1. Beleza 2. Tudo bem 3. Mais ou menos 4. Tranquilo

Other informal greetings include tudo jóia? tudo certo? tudo certinho?

Grammar Corner

Verbs SER (be) and IR (go)- these verbs have the same form in the past. So, how can we tell one from the other?

Eu fui um bom jogador. I was a good player.

Eu fui a Roma. I went to Rome.

Ela foi uma boa amiga. She was a good friend.

Ela foi praia. She went to the beach.

Eles foram os melhores. They were the best.

Nós os convidamos, mas eles não foram. We invited them, but they didn’t go.

Generally, when there is a place involved, we use the verb IR. The verb SER has the same meaning as the verb to be.

Try the following questions before checking the answers below:

1 – Eu fui Sucia em setembro.
( ) ser
( ) ir

2 – Voc foi praia sozinha?
( ) ser
( ) ir

3 – Voc foi uma boa aluna?
( ) ser
( ) ir

4 – Quem foi ao parque ontem?
( ) ser
( ) ir

5 – Quem foi o vencedor da corrida?
( ) ser
( ) ir

Answers: 1. I went to Sweden in September (ir); 2. Did you go to the beach alone? (ir); 3. Were you a good student? (ser); 4. Who went to the park yesterday? (ir); 5. Who was the winner of the race? (ser)

Expression Of The Week

Dar as caras – to show up, to pay a visit.

Ele não deu as caras por aqui esta semana.
He hasn’t showed up this week.

When this expression is used in the negative, it generally means someone is upset about the absence of another.

If you have doubts or suggestions for this section, please write to You can also contact Prof. Pedrina for individual or group lessons in São Paulo at the same e-mail.

By Prof. Claudia
In Portuguese, we use mais” for both more and most, the comparative and superlative, in English. Don`t confuse it with mas, which means but. Also, be careful with common errors such as “mais grande”. The correct way to say bigger in Portuguese is maior.

Activity 1 – Superlative
Have a look at the beginning of the song Pessoa, by Marina Lima:

“Olhar voc
E não saber
Que voc a pessoa mais linda do mundo…”

to look at you
yet not be aware
that you are the most beautiful person in the world

The expression “a pessoa mais linda do mundo” is a superlative, because there’s no one else more beautiful.

Activity 2 – Comparative
Now read this sentence:

O Monte Everest mais alto do que o Monte Fuji.
Mt Everest is higher than Mt Fuji

The expression “mais alto do que” is a comparative, because it is comparing two objects.

Here are more examples:
O estado da Bahia maior do que o estado do Cear.
Bahia state is bigger than Cear

Hoje o tempo est pior do que ontem.
The weather today is worse than yesterday

Activity 3 – Exceptions
Here are some “irregular” terms which don`t use mais in the comparative or superlative.

Check this table:

Superlative Comparative Wrong usage
o (a) melhor The best Melhor que better than
(Or melhor do que)
o (a) maior The biggest Maior que bigger than
(Or maior do que)
o (a) mais grande
o (a) pior The worst Pior que worse than
(Or pior do que)
o (a) menor The smallest Menor que smaller than
(Or menor do que)
o (a) mais pequena

In Portuguese, adjectives follow the noun, so they can be in the plural form, as in this example:
O Pantanal possui algumas das mais belas paisagens do Brasil.
The Pantanal has some of the most beautiful landscapes in Brazil

See you next class!
Prof. Cludia

Prof. Claudia is available for private classes in São Paulo. She can be contacted at