I was born and raised in Brazil. Portuguese was the only language I spoke growing up.
How did you start using Portuguese outside the classroom?
Nowadays, I mostly speak Portuguese with my family and friends in Brazil. I also have a really good friend in New York who's Brazilian, and I love that we can talk in our native language. Whenever I bump into a student on the street (it's happened more than once), or when we hang out outside the classroom, we always speak in Portuguese too. They think it's weird to talk to me in English.
What is your favorite thing about teaching at Fluent City?
I've been a Portuguese teacher at Fluent City for three and a half years, and my favorite thing has always been the people – teachers, students, office staff. No doubt – these are the coolest people in New York.
What fun hobbies do you have outside of teaching at Fluent City?
I love yoga! Not sure if that's a fun hobby though…let me see…I'm always looking for concerts and any type of live music in the city.
Do you have a favorite app or tool your recommend to students to complement their studies?
I like Babbel. They're the best I've tried. I personally do not like Duolingo despite all the hype. University of Texas also has a lot of really good resources online. Just go to https://coerll.utexas.edu/brazilpod, or google “brazil pod.”
Where is your favorite place to find Brazilian food in New York?
Well, you can't go wrong with Astoria. In the city, there are a couple restaurants in Little Brazil. If you're looking for something a little more special, Plataforma is a safe bet. To splurge, go to Texas de Brazil. In Williamsburg, Beco has good food and very yummy drinks!
Can you recommend a Brazilian film?
This will be a little cliché, but I think Cidade de Deus (City of God) is a good Brazilian movie for foreigners. If you're familiar with the Northeast region of Brazil (where I'm from), then O Auto da Compadecida (A Dog's Will) is definitely my first choice.
Finally, what is your favorite Portuguese word?
I have two favorites! 1) Pipoca (popcorn) – from Tupi, meaning something like “to burst the skin”. 2) Cafuné – there's controversy as to the origin, but some say it comes from Kimbundu (spoken in Angola). “Cafuné” is the act of caressing or tenderly running your fingers through a loved one’s hair.
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