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!

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