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#10 Things You'll Need in Order to Study in Brazil

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I've received quite a few messages from some of those friends who just dote on this country. Most of them usually want to spend some time over here (studying and/or working), but what often happens in cases like this is that they don't really have someone who could give them some pointers. That's why I'm here! First and foremost, I'd like to say that I am NOT a specialist. It's ok to ask me about such things (after all, I'm a Brazilian), but keep in mind that I may or may not be forgetting something important. I'll try to be as helpful as possible but, again, there may be something missing (since it depends on where you come from, your nationality and where you're going to).

That being said, let's get down to it. In general, these are the things you'll need:

1 - You'll have to pass our college entrance exam. Most universities will accept ENEM (it is almost like the American SAT) marks as a way of admission. Some of them have international academic partnership programs. If this is the case, maybe this test will not be necessary. Maybe there's one like that between Brazil and your country. Who knows?

2 - A student visa (it usually lasts for a year, but you can renew it without any trouble - you have to do it a month before it expires). If you get good marks on the ENEM test, you'll be able to enroll in the course that you want to take. It's possible to select the university according to your needs and to their availability. When you're done with this, take a Proof of Enrollment with you. Then, proceed to the Brazilian embassy/consulate in your own country.

P.S.: This visa will NOT allow you to work in this country.

3 - A proficiency test called "Celpe-Bras" (Certificado de Proficiência em Língua Portuguesa para Estrangeiros). This test is like TOEFL and IELTS, but for those who want to study in Brazil. You must speak Portuguese in most cases.

P.S1.: You won't need it if you're just a High School student.

P.S2.: Depending on your major, some private universities (such as USP, Fearp, Unifor and PUCRS) will provide some classes in English, but this is not something that you'll easily find. If I were to choose one of them, I'd go for PUCRS.

4 - Proof of High School Completion and High School Transcript.

5 - Some universities will requinte a Statement of Financial Responsibility of at least $400.00 USD/month.

6 - An international health insurance. What if something happens to you while you're staying here? Most of the universities will require something like that.

7 - A vaccine against yellow fever. It lasts for 10 years (recommended).

8 - As soon as you receive your acceptance letter, and you're ready to come, don't forget to bring it with your passport (with your student visa), the university card (or a copy of the enrollment), and a proof of your health insurance.


9 - When you get here, you'll have 30 days to go to the Federal Police Department to create a temporary ID. If you don't, you'll receive a penalty charge for each day of delay. In order to avoid it, go to this site and download your GRU forms (click on services, on the left side of the screen, and use the codes 140082 and 140120). 140082 stands for the ID card fee ( $56.00 USD) and 140120 stands for the fee related to the registry of foreigners ( $30.00 USD). Print them out, go to any Brazilian bank and make the payment. Don't throw your receipt away! Take it with two pictures (3x4 - 3cm = 1,17 inches / 4cm = 1,56 inches - white background), your passport and a copy of all pages of it to the FPD and wait for their instructions.

10 - And don't forget to include eating costs, rent and transportation in your budget!

Well, these are the basics (of course!). There are a way more things. This is not just a hangout with some of your friends on a Saturday night. We're talking about living 4 or 5 years in a different country! I'm sure you already have something in mind. As you can see, this topic is huge! I wrote this post based on questions that I've been asked. If something is not clear and/or you have a new question, feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with me through this page.

Make sure to contact the Brazilian embassy/consulate in your country for detailed information and/or consult the School/University or Travel Agency that will be assisting you in this process.

Oh, I almost forgot! Don't forget to check the pages below (in Portuguese). They can be really useful!


Have a nice weekend! :)

My Conversion to Islam

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Hey there, everyone! Assalamu Alaikum! It's been what? Three weeks? OMG! Sorry again! I've been REALLY busy! I've taken French lessons on Duolingo, Arabic lessons on Arabic Genie (just to learn the alphabet though - it's really hard) and also some activities related to religion on the New Muslims Academy... Yeah, that's exactly what you just read! I am a Muslim now! :)

At first that would seem, by far, sort of impossible. I live in a small town with a population no bigger than 30k and, to top it off, NOBODY in this place is a Muslim. That's right! You won't find any mosques, women wearing a hijab or men with that traditional attire. In my whole life, I've never met a Muslim physically. People down here do know the basics about Islam (they teach us the five pillars and even a bit of Mohammed's history in High School), but since 80% of this population is composed by Christians (Catholics and Protestants) and the rest basically follows some kind of Afro religion that has something to do with spiritualism, there's not too much room for Islam. So... How come I converted to a religion I had never had any contact with?

Before converting to Islam, I went through Catholicism (my parents' religion - a branch of Christianity), Wicca (neo-pagan religion) and Protestantism (another branch of Christianity). After that, I kind of took a break of a year or so. I literally lost my faith. I still used to believe in God, but for some reason, I was just aware of His existence. I didn't really try to approach or anything.

During this period, I had a dream. Believe it or not, I usually have a way more déjà vus than the average of people do. That's why I take them seriously! This one, however, was more like a nightmare. I was going to my mom's bedroom, and I could hear her talking to my granny who, by the way, is already dead. Then, when I got there, they both started staring at me. They didn't say a word though. All of a sudden, they disappeared and everything was on fire. It was the worst feeling ever! The flames were not burning my skin. Instead, they were burning my happiness and my soul. Everything was sad, almost as if all good feelings had never existed. I was getting weaker and weaker, and then... Boom! I woke up... I was terrified, sweating and it was just 03:00 AM. I couldn't go back to sleep... I was afraid I'd dream about it again.

This thing was literally stuck in my head. I couldn't help but to think about it all the time. Then, after a week, a Muslim guy hit me up on twitter and said:

"_You are going to hell."

I was like:

"_Whaaaaaaat?! OMG This can't be happening!"

I didn't even know that guy. It was really random! Because of that, I started doing a web search on Islam. Yeah, I know it doesn't make any sense. "_So, a guy says you're going to hell and you simply become interested in his religion? Come on!". Don't worry, I'd think exactly like you. I wasn't a Christian anymore! At least I didn't feel like one. This whole thing about 1+1+1 = 1 had never made any sense to me. I just felt a connection. It's hard to explain. You have to feel it in order to understand what I'm talking about. The thing is that Islam was the first thing that came to my mind. But let's not jump the track!

By doing this search, I came across a website called Islam Unveiled. It's a nice place for those who are learning about Islam. They give away free books to anyone. You just need to enter your personal information and voila! They'll ship them out to you in the blink of an eye. I even wrote a post about them. Check it out here.

Anyway!

When I finally received those books, I took some time reading up on them. Since I didn't grow up in an environment that provides too much knowledge about other religions, I had to form a good and logical sense in order to decide whether that was right or not according to my own principles. Thank goodness, after some weeks I felt like that was exactly what I was looking for.

Then, I went to Skype and told an Arab friend about my decision. He brought in another friend and we did a 3 way call. Then I took my Shahadah. :)

How's my family in all this? Uh... I haven't told them yet. My dad is a deacon of the Catholic Church and my mom is crazy for Jesus. I'm sure they wouldn't kick me out, but uh... I wouldn't feel so comfortable with all the hints that I'm sure they and my relatives/friends would drop. I know they're my family and that they just want the best for me. However, they're still humans and, as such, they can also commit mistakes. I'm not saying that I'm better than them, but I'm just following what I think it's right. And just for the record, my dad and I are not on very good speaking terms anyway. We had a falling out about a year ago, and we haven't been talking to each other ever since. I don't think Islam would be a major problem in the middle of what's actually going on, but as I have a really short temper when people try to meddle in my life (trying to change my beliefs, for instance), I don't think I could cope with all the jokes that he would eventually tell. He'd probably take all the things that he doesn't like about me and would chalk them all up to Islam. So... It's better to avoid more arguments!

Yeah, I know I have to fix my relationship with him, but I have no idea how to do it. It's easier said than done! That's life! Maybe I'll be able to take a step back and get my priorities straight someday, but that's something that takes time - a lot of time. Whatever!

Sorry for writing so much! I'm afraid I got carried away... I hope you didn't get bored with my letting off steam. :)

May Allah's blessings fall upon you and your family.

Have a wonderful week!

Brazilian Slang! #2

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Did you ever get that feeling that you're getting too old for something? If your answer is yes, welcome aboard! I'm still 19, but things are changing really fast. I'm feeling like most of the slang that I know are out-of-date and falling into disuse, which is really sad. I've always seen those terms as something innovative, expontaneous and natural. However, that was when I used to understand what they meant. Nowadays, I can't seem to mix in with teens and youngsters anymore. Most of them use slang all the time! It's really embarassing when you're talking to someone in your own language and you're like: "_OMG, what does that mean?". It sucks - literally. Because of that, I've done a new search on the "oracle of humanity" (which is Google) and ended up with #8 "new" terms that are really popular! Do you want to check them out? Read on!

  • Muleke zika: first and foremost! The correct term is moleque. Moleque is a slang that usually describes a little boy (or it did at least - in my day) who is really naughty and is always acting up. If you call an adult moleque though, man... That is serious! You've got a problem. It is really offensive, and it means that this person is irresponsible, heedless, a scoundrel, disloyal, acts like a child and usually breaks their promises. Now, muleke zika is someone who's not afraid of anything and is always getting into trouble. Because of that, this kind of person is often the spotlight. Sometimes it can be a compliment (it is among brazilian funkers), meaning that the person (+/- 14-25 y.o.) is really cool/popular but, in general, it comes with a negative sense. Zika (or zica) is another slang that means problem/misfortune. That's why! Just one more thing: on the web, you'll also find shorts for these terms. I've already seen mlk zika and lek (for moleque) and mlk top as a synonym. I don't mean to confuse you even more, but you'll have to check the context to figure out which meaning is apropriate for the situation.

Ex1.: Caraca meu, o Marcos é um mlk muito zika! Ele é o rei das novinhas!
        OMG, dude, Marcos is really cool! He's such a stud!

Ex2.: Se eu fosse você eu parava de andar com aquele mlk. Ele é muito zika!
         If I were you, I'd stop haging out with that guy. He's trouble.


Ex3.: Vê (veja) se vira homem e para (pare) de agir como um moleque!
         Man up and stop acting like a boy!


  • Bonde: it's a group of people (usually friends). It's used a lot when it comes to brazilian funk bands. You'll find many of them that are called bonde dos/das something. When this word comes in its diminutive form (bondinho), it means cable car (like the one in Rio - bondinho do pão de açúcar). There's also an idiom known as pegar o bonde andando. It means that you broke into someone else's conversation without hearing the whole thing, and then you ended up making a statement that has nothing to do with that

Ex1.: Ah, cara! Vou chamar meu bonde pra (para) dar uma volta...
         Oh, dude! I'm gonna call my friends to hang out for a while...


Ex2.: Você chegou a andar nos bondinhos do Pão de Açúcar quando foi ao Brasil?
         Did you ride the cable cars at Sugarloaf Montain (in Rio) when you visited Brazil?

Ex3.: Meu Deus! Detesto gente intrometida! Eles pegam o bonde andando e já vão                  falando o que não sabem.
        OMG, I hate nosy people! They don't even hear the whole conversation and start               saying things that they don't know about!

  • No sapatinho (sometimes no sapato): when you act no sapatinho, it means that you are "careful in your speech and actions, in order to avoid causing offense and/or gain an advantage." You are very discreet and mind your own business. This way, you always end up winning people over. If you do something no sapatinho, you do it secretly. In other words, you try to keep it on the down low. If you hear someone saying dançar só no sapatinho, it means dancing without touching your partner.

Ex1.: O Daniel chegou no sapatinho e aos poucos foi ganhando a nossa confiança.
        Daniel walked into our lives and gradually gained our trust. 

Ex2.: Se você quiser se dar bem, fica (fique) no sapatinho.
        If you want to succeed, mind your own business.

Ex3.: Tô (estou) querendo dar um festa, mas preciso deixar isso no sapatinho.
        I want to throw a party, but I need to keep it on the down low.

  • x9: it's a slang for snitcher. x9 is also known as dedo-duro. I don't think I need to expain this one, do I?

Ex.: Toma (tome) cuidado com aquele cara! Ele é mó (muito/maior) x9!
      Be careful with that guy! He's such a snitcher!

  • 0800: that's a slang for free. If something is 0800, it means that you don't have to pay for it. 

Ex.: Cê (você) vai na (à) balada hoje à noite? Fiquei sabendo que vai ser 0800!
      Will you go to the disco tonight? I've been told that it's gonna be totally free!

  • Tamo junto: it means "you can count on me". On the web, you'll also find the short TMJ

Ex.: Precisando de mim, é só falar! Tamo (estamos) junto!
      Let me know if you need anything. You can count on me!

  • Ralar peito/vazar: it means "to go away", "to leave".

Ex.: Rala peito, mermão (meu irmão)! or Vaza daqui!
      Get lost, dude!

Ex2.: Nossa, essa aula tá (está) um saco! Quer saber? Vou vazar!
       OMG, this class is so boring! You wanna know what? I'm leaving!


  • Arrastão: It's an organized robbery done by a group of people (heavily armed). They usually cover their faces, wear black clothes and grab everything they can. A similar term in English? Mmmmmm... Well, the closest thing that I found is "steaming" (UK). However, the arrastão is not limited to buses and trains only. It can happen anywhere! I think "hit and run robbery" will do just fine.

Ex.: Ontem aconteceu um arrastão no banco!
      There was a bank robbery yesterday!


Well, that's it! Make sure to let me know if you have any questions. Have a nice week! :)
        

The Brazilian Lunch

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Almoço Brasileiro
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I really need to have some food around while I'm writing posts like this. If there's one thing that I really appreciate in my country is the culinary. I'm always finding something different wherever I go. Seriously, you need to come here and visit three or four different states to understand what I'm talking about. It's almost as if we were on another planet - different people, different accent, different culture, different food and so on. The best part, of course, is the food. That's something we never forget. When we enjoy eating something, we always try to make it at home. The saddest part is that most times it never turns out like the one we ate at that place. There HAS to be something missing... Hahahahaha

On the last week I wrote a post about the brazilian breakfast (if you haven't read it yet, check out this link). Fortunately, it was a success. I had never spent so much time on Skype talking about food like I did in the past few days. The main questions were about pão de queijo (cheese rolls) though. It is indeed delicious. Many people said they wish they could've taken a whole bag of these with them when they're were going back home. They just love it (so do I)! Anyway!

Arroz e Feijão
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Today we're are going to talk about the most important meal of the day (for a brazilian): o almoço. The Brazilian lunch usually happens between 11:00 AM and 01:00 PM. Like breakfast, lunch also has its main dishes. Arroz (rice) and feijão (beans) are considered a must by most brazilians. Wherever you go, they'll always be there. It's worth pointing out that most brazilians have their lunch at home on the business days. The weekend is totally free! Some people like to go to a restaurant and others like to stay at home and invite their friends over.


Arroz, feijão, salada e carne
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Every meal has side-dishes that complement it, and lunch is not different. Along with rice and beans, we'll usually find carne (meat) - beef, ground beef, chicken, pork or fish - it's up to you - and salada/vegetais (salad/vegetables). This is practically a basic lunch. If you want me to go further, I could say that there's a huge variety that can come next. I'll try to stick to the ones that are more popular. They are:



1.
Batata frita (french fries) -> 
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2. Purê de batata (mashed potatoes) -> IMAGE SOURCE
3. Batata palha (shoestring potatoes) -> IMAGE SOURCE
4. Farofa (manioc flour toasted in butter and mixed with meat, eggs and some vegetables) -> IMAGE SOURCE
5. Macarrão (pasta) -> IMAGE SOURCE
6. Any sort of molho (sauce/gravy) -> IMAGE SOURCE
7. Stroganoff -> IMAGE SOURCE
8. Moqueca (fish stew) -> IMAGE SOURCE
9. Pirão (fish gravy) -> IMAGE SOURCE
10. Almôndegas (meatballs) -> IMAGE SOURCE
11. Nuggets -> IMAGE SOURCE
12. Torresmo (pork rinds) -> IMAGE SOURCE
13. Bacon -> IMAGE SOURCE
14. Salsicha (sausage) -> IMAGE SOURCE
15. Salpicão (chicken salad) -> IMAGE SOURCE
16. Milho (corn) -> IMAGE SOURCE
17. Creme de milho (creamed corn) -> IMAGE SOURCE
18. Angu (cornmeal mush) -> IMAGE SOURCE
19. Ovos de galinha (chicken eggs) -> IMAGE SOURCE
20. Ovos de codorna (quail eggs) -> IMAGE SOURCE
21. Omelete (omelette) -> IMAGE SOURCE
22. Banana frita (fried bananas) -> IMAGE SOURCE
23. Lasanha (lasagna) -> IMAGE SOURCE
24. Feijão tropeiro (cattleman's beans/trooper beans/tropeiro beans) -> IMAGE SOURCE
25. Tutu de feijão (refried beans) -> IMAGE SOURCE

Like I said in the last post, we don't eat it all together. It obviously depends on the occasion and on which food goes with which food. But hey! Don't limit yourself to this list only! This is nothing compared to the infinte possibilites! 


The weekends are often more special, because that's when we get together with our friends and/or family members and the variety of food is almost always bigger. Depending on our habits, that is, if we're vegetarian or not, we like to have churrasco (barbecue) for lunch. However, the Brazilian barbecue is a little bit different from the ones we see in the american movies. We start seasoning the meat (normally different cuts of beef, chicken, pork and sausage) the day before we plan to serve it. After that, they are skewered in metal spits and cooked over coals on a charcoal BBQ grill, in a brick BBQ grill that is usually built in our backyards or in a pit dug in the ground. The barbecue can be served with rice, pão de alho (grilled garlic bread), vinagrete (pico de gallo), farofa or feijão tropeiro

26. Churrasco -> IMAGE SOURCE
27. Pão de Alho -> IMAGE SOURCE
28. Vinagrete -> IMAGE SOURCE

   
What about the drinks?

Again, it depends on what you're eating. BUT, it's likely that you'll find:


**Caipirinha is a drink made with cachaça (a brazilian white rum made from sugar cane), fresh limes, sugar and ice.
**Caipiríssima is a drink made with rum, fresh limes, sugar and ice.
**Caipirosca is a drink made with vodka, fresh limes, sugar and ice.

Are you still reading this? OMG, you're probably drooling on your keyboard! Are you bored or hungry? I hope it's the latter. I'm sorry for making it so long, but I really needed to try to provide an almost complete information (I know I'm forgetting something, but whatever).

Feel free to add something, share your experience or ask a question in a comment below.

Have a nice week! :)

What Does "Gordice" Mean?

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Have you ever stopped to think about how the internet affects our lives? It's amazing the way it works! Back in the day, people used to spend their free time in the streets, talking to their friends and literally socializing. Nowadays, the internet took place. I personally don't know a single person who doesn't have at least a profile on any of these social networks out there. Along with this new "virtual street", a lot of terms were created. Some of them are just used on this place and some find their way through the real life. Almost all the languages in the world have been receiving more and more slang because of that, and Portuguese is not different.

If you're a Portuguese student who usually goes to websites in this language, you've probably come across a term known as gordice already. Do you know what it means? Well, let's point out the obvious: gordice comes from the word gordo. Gordo(a), in its turn, means "fat". With that being said, you can have at least an idea of what it has to do with. I've searched and skimmed through hundreds of pages online and I couldn't find an exact translation. After all, this is just a slang that someone made up and took Brazil by storm. We can, however, understand what it means and, who knows, come up with a similar slang in English.

When we say that someone is doing/eating gordices, it means that they're doing something that is usually done/eaten by fat people. Most of the time it is related to something goofy or junk food. Although it sounds a little mean, brazilians don't really take it that way. It's meant to be funny. To be honest, I myself have never seen someone using this word to offend another person. You don't actually need to be fat to do gordices - you just have to act like one. Let's see some examples to understand how it is used:

Ex1.: Amo/Adoro gordices!
         I love junk food*.

**or something that makes you fat, like candies, fries, ice cream, etc.

Ex2.: Gordo só faz gordice.
         Fat people do just "fattish*" (what do you think about this word?) things.

**like eating a lot, adopting a sedentary lifestyle, or doing goofy things, for instance.

Ex3.: Ontem fui num (em + um) restaurante que só tinha gordice.
         Yesterday I went to a restaurant that had just "fattish food*".

**food that makes you fat.

Ex4.: Para(e) de fazer gordice!
         Stop acting like a fat!

Is that enough? I think that will do... Anyway! If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I'll be more than glad to help you!

Have a nice weekend! :)

The Brazilian Breakfast

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Nowadays I've usually been making friends with a lot of foreigners. It's funny how the first conversation always starts the same way: we introduce ourselves, talk a bit about life and suddenly we get on a classic topic, and most times this topic is literally about culture. It actually feels good to know that someone is interested about your country and your traditions. Sometimes I get embarrassed for not knowing anything about certain places while the other person knows almost everything about mine, but that's life - we can't know everything. Although most of these friends that I made know a lot about Brazil, the ones who have never been here eventually come up with the same questions: "_How is the food there? What do you usually have for breakfast, lunch and dinner?"

First off: Brazil is a HUGE country. It's impossible to tell exactly what we usually have. Each macro-region (north, northeast, south, southeast and middle-west) has a different culture. I'd be totally lying if I said that everyone has the same habits. What I can do is to point out the basics and tell you what I and almost everyone that I know (in southeast, which is where I live in) usually have. With that being said, I can start. In this post, I'll just stick to the café da manhã (breakfast) itself. I could write only one telling in short what we often have at these meals, but that wouldn't be what you're looking for. Anyway, let's begin!

      
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The brazilian breakfast usually happens between 06:00 and 9:00 AM. Some foods like manteiga (butter), pão de sal/pão francês (french bread), café (coffee) and leite (milk) are considered a must by most people. If you're staying in someone's house for a while, it's likely that you'll always find these four items for breakfast. Even if nobody eats them, they'll be there patiently waiting for someone - that's for sure!

Sometimes we do eat ovos (eggs), cereais (cereals), panquecas (pancakes) and torradas (pieces of toast) like the Americans, for instance, but carne (meat) is really unusual. I mean, we eat presunto (ham) and peru (turkey) in sandwiches (like misto quente - ham and cheese croissant), but things like bacon, sausage or anything similar to that are definitely out of question at this time. Ok, I don't want to sound like an extremist when exposing our traditions. Yeah, there are exceptions but, in general, we like to keep it light.

Along with the four items that I mentioned above, it's not that hard to find a bolo (cake), broa (cornbread), queijo (cheese), lots and lots of fruits, rosquinhas (donuts), bolachas, cream crackers, biscoitos de maisena (cornstarch cookies - maiZena is a brand), biscoitos de polvilho (tapioca powder cookie), biscoitos recheados (sandwich cookies) and/or other regular cookies.











To accompany this meal, we also like something to drink. As mentioned above, milk is a must. You'll find it 99% of times. Some people like to mix it with coffee, and then we have café com leite (coffee with milk). Others like to mix it with chocolate em pó (chocolate/cocoa powder). In this case, we have an achocolatado (chocolate milk). For those who like something different, we can find a simple cup of dark coffee, cappuccino, suco (juice), yogurt or a vitamina/batida de frutas (smoothie).

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Brazilians normally have their breakfasts at home, but if we happen to go to a bakery, we'll probably have a larger variety - obviously. Bakeries are literally a paradise. There we can find the famous pão de queijo (cheese rolls) that everybody loves and a bunch of other "fattish" things. If you visit this country someday, for heaven's sake, do NOT pass up on this one! It's freaking delicious! I just found another brazilian blogger whose name is Elisa. She teaches how to make them on this post.

Geez, I never realized how rich our breakfast can be! Of course we don't eat it all everyday. It actually depends on where you are staying, on the occasion and on which food goes with which food. I'm sure you'll find at least 4 or 5 of these items on a table. It's too predictable! But hey, that is a general idea of what you can find. I may or may not be forgetting something, but that's expected - after all, I'm human. If you're brazilian or have been to Brazil and want to share your breakfast experience, feel free to chime in! :)

Do you have any questions? Leave a comment below!

Have a nice week!

Confusing Words in Portuguese

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Lately, I've been receiving quite a few messages from readers who want to know why I've been so absent. Well, well... As I said on the last posts, I AM still alive! To be honest, my laptop broke down and I don't think there's much I can do about it. For this, I need to use the iPad to write my articles. The problem is that I'm not used to blog by using this device. There aren't so many options available for that. Fortunately, I found an app called Blogsy that has been helping me out A LOTbut a PC is a way better! I've been even planning on writing something about it in a few days down the line, but as for now, let's just stick to this post. Anyway! Don't take it as an excuse. I'm not making that up... It's just that all of my things are (or were) on that laptop - my pictures, my templates, my drafts, my ideas and so on - and that really sucks. Err... Whatever!

So, I've seen that most foreigners face a mutual problem in Portuguese: confusing words. This is nothing new, since the same happens to everyone who's learning a second language - especially when this language is so different from theirs. I admit that I don't understand why there's such a fuss with some words (maybe because I'm a native), but yeah, some of them are indeed confusing. Yesterday, I visited a few Portuguese forums and picked some of these words (that were sent by Portuguese learners by the way) so I could try to clear that up for you - once and for all! Then I came up with the list that follows below. Take a look:

  • Caro or Carro?

Easy peasy!


- Caro means expensive and is pronounced like the Spanish "r".
- Carro means Car and is pronounced like when we say the English "h" in "hotel", "Hawaii" and "Hooligan".

  • Crente or Quente?

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Crente means believer (or someone who believes in God). However, this term has popularly become a designation for Protestants (a group of people who follow Protestatism - a denomination of Christianity) - at least in Brazil.

Ex.: Você é crente (also evangélico or protestante) ou católico?
        Are you Protestant or Catholic?

- Quente means hot (like a hot day, a hot drink, etc).

  • Quente or Calor?

This is confusing! Although natives don't have any problems with these words, I think that it's a little bit hard to explain the difference between them. But let's try:


- As I said above, quente means hot.
- Calor literally means heat, but sometimes it's translated as hot too.

Calor is a consequence of a hot temperature. If something is quente, it releases calor. If the day is quente, you feel calor. Do you get it? No? Let's see some examples:

Ex1.: (o dia) Hoje tá (está) tão quente! Eu tô (estou) sentindo muito calor!
          Today is so hot/It's sweltering outside! I'm feeling really hot!

Ex2.: Cuidado na hora de beber o café. Tá (está) muito quente!
          Be careful when drinking the coffee. It's really hot!

Ex3.: Faz muito calor no verão! or O verão é muito quente!
          Summer is too hot!

Ex4.: Muitas reações químicas liberam energia na forma de calor.
          Many chemical reactions release energy in the form of heat.

  • Mais or Mas?

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Mais means more or plus (in math).

- Mas means but.

  • Pelado or Peludo?

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Pelado means naked.

- Peludo means hairy/furry.

  • or ?

I've already taught this one. Check out this post. :)

  • Pão or Pau?

These words have absolutely NOTHING to do with each other, and their pronounciations are completely different!


- Pão means bread. This word is pronounced with a nasal sound, like when we say a word with the prefix UN (unconscious, for instace). If you're in doubt, just pinch your nose and there you go! It's not as hard as it seems.

P.S.: It's worth pointing out that whenever you se a word with this stress (ã,õ), the sound is going to be like that (nasal).

- Pau means stick (of a tree).

  • Pegar or Pagar?

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Pegar means "to pick", "to take".

- Pagar means "to pay".

  • Seu or Céu?

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Seu means your(s).

- Céu means sky. This word is pronounced like "cell".

P.S.: Whenever you see a stress like that on a letter (á,é,í,ó,ú), the pronounciation must be made like when we have an open vowel. We pronounce "á" like in "alpha", "é" like in "bet", "í" like in "bee", "ó" like in "pot" and "ú" like in "boo".

I don't think these words are as tricky as people say they are but, again, I'm a little biased to say so. If you have any questions about these and/or other "confusing" words, feel free to leave a comment below.

Have a nice weekend! :)

What Does "Merreca" Mean?

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Do you like shopping? Whether it be online or physically, I think everybody likes to do some damage sometimes. The best thing is when we find products that cost a merreca.  If you're shopaholic like me, it's likely that you'll take advantage of the situation and will end up buying more than you actually need. Sometimes I feel bad for being like that, but it's just something that I can't control - I do get carried away in the moment. However, while some people enjoy blowing their money on merrecas, others have to work their butt off and, unfortunately, wind up earning a merreca. That's life... Anyway! Do you know what merreca means? Not yet? Ok!

-> Merreca, in general, means a little/small amount of money.

- If we're talking about products, it means that these products are really cheap and usually offered at "a lower price than its true value". In this case, we could also say barganha.

- If we're talking about salary, it means that the person who's earning it is being underpaid


Let's see some examples:

Ex1.: Cê (você) viu aqueles sapatos na loja? Estão custando uma merreca!
          Did you see those shoes in the store? They're so cheap!

Ex2.: Você só pagou $200.00 pelo laptop? Que barganha/merreca!
          You paid only $200.00 for the laptop? What a bargain!


Ex3.: Ahh, nem vem! Eu não vou trabalhar por essa merreca não!
          Don't get smart with me! I'm not going to work for peanuts!


Easy, isn't it? If you have any questions, get in touch on this page or leave a comment below. See ya! :)

Foap Review!

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A few months ago I came across a super nice app called Foap. I hadn't said anything about it before because first I wanted to learn how to use it and make sure that it was not a scam. Guess what? I'm actually pretty happy! But you don't care about it, do you? Ok, you don't need to answer. Let's get right to it!


First off, if you still don't know what Foap is, try to think of a cross of Instagram + business. That's what it is. There are differences, of course, but that's just a "general" idea. By using this application, you can basically sell the pics that you have on your smartphone for commercial/editorial usage.

How does it work?

Ok, the process itself is really simple, but I'll try to make it even easier by explaining things step by step. We usually have a bunch of photos on our phones - photos that are just taking up a good chunk of space. With Foap, you can change this. Instead of literally accumulating something that is going to be considered trash, why don't you sell them? If you have something sellable, Foap is an awesome salvation.


After downloading the app on the App Store or on Google Play and joining the community, you'll be able to upload your photo to their catalog so other people and affiliate companies (like Master Card, Puma, Heineken, etc) can buy it. In order to get these pictures there though, they'll have to make it through the community first. That means that when you upload an image, it will be reviewed by other members. If it gets at least 3 stars out of 5, you're in. As simple as that. You'll be able to rate other people's pictures too! As soon as you upload yours, you'll have to rate other five to have your upload reviewed as well. Ok... What now?


Well, now your picture is for sale. The price charged to the public is $10.00 USD ($5.00 for you and $5.00 for Foap), and the same picture can be sold over and over again (the one that I took of my dog has been sold twice, for instance). Remember that, if somebody buys one of your shots, this doesn't mean that they'll own it. They just have the right to use it however they want. So, be careful with what you send! If you want to try to make more than $5.00 USD, you'll notice that you can also join what they call missions. Those are basically a contest held by some companies. The rewards can vary from mission to mission. I've already seen rewards as big as $500.00 USD! Isn't it cool?


Regardless of the method in which the picture was sold, you'll need a PayPal account to cash out. In order to set up yours, click on the "More" tab and then on the specific field. One thing that is worth pointing out is that your money will NOT be transferred to your PayPal account right away - they'll send it to you only once in a month. I'm saying that because in my first time I thought they had set me up, which is not true, of course.


You might be wondering: "Wow, this guy joined this community MONTHS ago and still has earned only 10 bucks?! Why in the world would I waste my time on something like this?" Huuuum... I feel you. But hey! Have you ever realized that you've always been posting pictures on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc, and got nothing more than mere likes? How does that sound to you? It doesn't matter if you're going to sell one or ten! You've got absolutely NOTHING to lose. It's quite the opposite!

So, if you end up thinking that you're wasting your time,  take it as an ordinary social network (after all, you can set up a profile, follow people, leave comments on their pictures, rate them and then some!). If this should happen, remember: even I got 10 bucks from photos that would probably "rot" in an album that no one would ever check (maybe that cheers you up). Look, I'm not trying to put you off - no way! I just want you to understand that you may or may not sell your shots. It all depends on your luck and on your skills as a photographer. You don't need to be an expert - you just need to be perceptive, understand what is good and what is not and find out what's trending at the moment (they love baby/puppet pics). If you don't have at least a good sense, it's likely that you will find it a little bit hard to sell them (if they make it through the community for any reason, of course). Just try to be creative and see what you get. :)

Tips:

- Try to avoid filters, use strategic tags and NEVER upload somebody else's picture without their permission, unless you want to get in trouble in the future.

- Check out their blog. You'll find a lot of tips on how to stand out in a mission and much more!

- You can also visit their official website to learn how to take better pictures and how to sell more.

Foap is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I guess that's it for now. If you have any questions, leave a comment below or get in touch right here. See ya!

 
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