Let’s learn about culture

out 062012

Nonverbal communication

There are many differences in the way Brazilians and other countries – especially non-Latin countries – communicate, and I am not talking just about the language.


In Brazil, men greet and say goodbye shaking hands and sometimes giving a slight slap on the back; women shake hands and exchange air kisses near the cheek.

When you see Brazilians talking you’ll notice that the conversation is friendly, personal, informal but also complex, combining verbal and non-verbal communication and considerable use of body language.

They usually don’t take turns speaking. Interrupting the conversation to add something or make a comment is common; sometimes even speaking at the same time as their peers.

Brazilians talk easily about personal subjects and always use first names when addressing a person. Maintaining eye contact is important. They are also expressive with their hands and like to touch when speaking. Also, the perception of personal space is different from other countries, in Brazil closeness means trust.

In Brazilian culture, like in many others countries, words don’t communicate everything you really want to say. You can see in this cool video that even if you know the language, gestures can “say” more than words.  😉

There is a wonderful book (in Portuguese) about body language that illustrates well all the aspects of the nonverbal communication:  O Corpo Fala

If you want a good one in English, my favorite is The Definitive Book of Body Language.

Tell me about the nonverbal communication in your country, I love to learn about other places culture!

set 222012

Brazil is:

  • The largest country in South America.
  • The only Portuguese speaking country in the Americas.
  • The largest Portuguese speaking country in the world.
  • The fifth largest country in the world.
  • Brazil has the eighth largest economy in the world.
  • It is the furthest east of any country in the Americas.
  • Has the second highest number of airports in the world.
  • Has the third largest road network on earth.
  • Has the 10th largest railroad network on the planet.
  • Brazil is the longest country in the world, and spans approximately 2800 miles from north to south via land.

Facts about the Brazilian Economy

  • Brazil is one of the fastest growing economies in the world today and currently has an average annual GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate of 5%.
  • It is one of the few countries that have successfully managed to reduce economic inequality in their population in recent times, when inequities are growing in so many other places.
  • Brazil is one of the world’s leading producers of hydroelectric power.
  • Brazil is 100% energy independent! That is quite an accomplishment! Brazil became energy independent in 2006, making a full turn around from years past when imported oil was as high as 70% of the country’s needs.
  • Brazil has the 9th highest number of billionaires in the world.
  • It is one of the largest producers of apples.

Facts about the Brazilian Rainforests

  • Brazil has the greatest biodiversity of any country, and the most species of plants, freshwater fish, and mammals.
  • It is third in the world for numbers of species of birds, and fifth in the world for reptiles.
  • Brazil has the most species of monkeys in the world.
  • The Brazilian rainforest is 60% of the Amazon Rainforest.
  • Brazil contains 25% of the world’s rainforests.
  • Amazon basin gets 7 feet or more of rain a year.
  • The Amazon river is second longest in the world, BUT it is the largest river in the world in water volume.