This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Daniela Ribeiro. Daniela works as an English teacher in Minas Gerais and has a wide ranging experience of foreigners from travel to France, Germany, and a brief stay in Wales! Read on as Daniela tells us about her impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.
1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?
I am from Uberlndia, MG and I am an English teacher.
2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?
Well, I believe the obstacles for them would be the language – if they intend to spend more time here and actually get to know the country and facts about its culture – and also the social differences we have in Brasil. Oh, we can’t forget to mention everything they hear or read about our country when they are in their own countries, mainly about violence and other bad things.
3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?
I can not say for sure, but I believe some of these mistakes may concern language, specially pronunciation of vowels. That can be fun to hear… hehe. Some other mistakes they might make are related to the stereotypes of Brazilians. The image that we are party people” and that women in Brazil are easy… It is a pity…
4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?
French people think they are unique… I have been to France and it was nearly impossible to communicate, because I can’t speak French and they wouldn’t speak English to me. But I have to say there are exceptions… I met a girl from Paris who was so attentious and would do anything to communicate with me and my friends in English. And I met a French boy who was really helpful, helping me find me a hotel, the way to the station and even a good – and not expensive – restaurant. He was also a great company during a train journey from Cologne to Paris. Very friendly.
5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?
I would have to say I like the Irish accent. I think it is beautiful, classy and sensual. I learned the British one. I don’t like the American accent, because it seems they don’t speak correctly… haha. I think the Australian accent is funny. Oh, and I love the welsh accent my welsh boyfriend has… It is “music to my ears”…
6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?
Germany. I stayed there for nearly 2 weeks and I was treated really well. They were very friendly. (I wish I could say Wales, but I stayed there for just 8 hours!!!)
7. Favourite foreign food?
8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie?
U2, Wuthering Heights, Tuesdays with Morrie.
9. What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?
Brazilian men are too complicated sometimes and like to play games. I like practical and romantic, and not afraid of showing he cares.
10. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or ‘culture shock’ that you have experienced with a foreigner?
I was in Cologne for the World Youth Day. There were about 1 million people at the Marienfeld. When it was time to go back home, all the buses had stopped, the trains were crowded and the police wouldn’t let anyone pass the “barrier”. So, there was this German girl, about 18 years old, with a map. I was amazed to know that she could actually read that map and in the end she guided us – on foot! – through 3 villages till we got to the place we needed to get. Phew!
11. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?
Mingle. I think it is the best way of getting to know things about Brasil. Go where the things happen. Talk to different people – learn Portuguese, at least the basics – join groups for routine activities.
To read previous interviews in the Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series click below:
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
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 email@example.com“