Learning Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro: the Marvellous City

Season: Spring. Time: 8am. Temperature: 26 degrees! Do you know what location I am talking about? Rio de Janeiro, one of the tourists’ favourite cities in Brazil. Taking into account these figures, that’s not difficult to understand the reason for that. Located in the Southeast of Brazil, Rio used to be the capital of the country. In 1960, it lost this post to Brasília, in the Central-West region of  Brazil, where progress hadn’t come yet. Regardless of that, the Marvellous City – as it is nicknamed – is still one of the most important cities in the country and represents the second largest GDP in Brazil. Famous for its beaches, carnival and samba, it’s definitely a place to go.

Fancy a visit and improving your Portuguese? Have a look at some of the attractions 12speak recommends:


–      Christ the Redeemer statue: in the top of the Corcovado Mountain, in the Tijuca Forest National Park, there is the worldwide known 38-metre statue of Jesus. It has become an icon for Brazil and Rio de Janeiro and it is a symbol of the Brazilian Christianity, which is one of the largest Catholic communities in the world. The giant statue has been named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

–      Sugarloaf Mountain: a peak located in the Guanabara Bay that can be reached by a cable car that ascends almost 340 m. From the top of the Mountain, visitors can have superb views of the city, especially at dusk, when it’s possible to witness the sunset. The cable car was created in 1912 and around 2500 people use it daily.

–      The Sambadrome: that’s where each year during the Rio Carnival – in the beginning of the year, just before the start of Lent – samba schools parade in a competition that attracts thousands of Brazilians and international tourists. There are 4 consecutive nights of party! If you are not lucky enough to be in the country when the event is taking place, you still can have a taste of it by visiting the Samba Schools, during the pre-Carnival rehearsal period, which starts in August. Visitors can see how the carnival is produced behind the scene.

–      Copacabana Beach: one of the most famous beaches in the world, it hosts millions of visitors during the New Year’s Eve celebration. The place has a lot of hotels, bars, restaurants and night clubs. During the Olympic Games, in 2016, the area will be one of the ‘Olympic Zones’.



As you can notice, there are plenty of things to do in Rio. Regardless of your choice, something is certain: hot weather and fun are guaranteed. In order to give you some tips on how to deal with the receptionist when you arrive in the hotel and practice your Portuguese, 12speak prepared the dialogue bellow:


Recepcionista: Bom tarde, em que posso ajudá-lo?Hóspede: Eu tenho uma reserva. Receptionist: Good afternoon, how can I help you?Guest: I have a reservation.
R: Qual é o seu nome?H: John Smith R: What is your name?G: John Smith.
R: Acabei de localizar sua reserva. Você pode assinar aqui, por favor?H: Claro. R: I’ve just found your reservation. Could you sign here, please?G: Sure.
R: Obrigado. Você irá ficar no quarto 422. Aqui estão as chaves.H: Muito obrigado. R: Thanks. You will be staying in the room 422. Here are the keys.G: Thank you very much.
R: Que horas é o café?H: Das 8 às 10 horas da manhã. R: What time is the breakfast?G: From 8 to 10am.
H: Tem transporte público aqui perto?R: Sim, a estação de metrô mais perto fica a duas quadras daqui. G: Is there public transportation around here?R: Yes, the closest tube station is two blocks away from here.
R: Seja bem vindo ao Rio de Janeiro e tenha uma boa estadia.H: Obrigado. Não vejo a hora de ir à praia. R: Welcome to Rio de Janeiro. Have a good stay.G: Thanks. I am looking forward to going to the beach.







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  1. […] Not only for the city’s breathtaking landscape – which you can check out at our ‘Rio de Janeiro: the Marvellous City’ post in the Travel section of our blog – but also for the laid-back lifestyle of the cariocas (people […]

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