Avoid splitting things up
That language is a real, dynamic and complex phenomenon, no one can deny. The problem is when people attempt to split this complex phenomenon into parts that are supposedly coherently split but are of little help to those who try to make sense out of them. This is the way languages are thought at elementary and high schools in several parts of the world, and the result is that only few people in few countries manage to learn languages merely through attending regular classes at school. In Brazil ..
Por que vs Por quê vs Porquê
An often-confusing word in the Portuguese language for native and second language speakers alike is "por que" (why). Why is that (pun intended)? Well, although pronounced identically, the word "por que" has several different spellings that carry different meanings. First of all, there are four spellings to "por que" and at least four meanings. Let us look at this example of a short dialogue between two friends: Carol: Oi Marcos, por que você está vestido de branco? (Why are you wearing wh ..
Why and Because in Brazilian Portuguese
In Portuguese, the words for 'why' and for 'because' are theoretically the same - 'por que' written separately is mainly used for 'why', while 'porque' written altogether means 'porque'. They do sound the same - except for some occasional differences in stress and emphasis. There are a few other meanings apart from these two basic ones, and this leads to four possible combinations regarding whether the expression is written as a single word or not and whether it takes an accent mark or not. Thes ..
Four reasons to visit the financial heart of Brazil: São Paulo
São Paulo, a.k.a. the "financial heart" of Brazil, boasts the highest GDP in the country and is the 10th richest city in the world. With a GDP of approximately GBP 125 billion (2011), its economy is comparable only to that of a country. What's more, according to the UN criteria for urban areas, São Paulo is the third largest city in the world, with a population of 11.32 million (2011) spread over nearly 589 square miles. Despite these impressive, not to say slightly intimidating, figures, S ..
Beware the Diglossia!
'You may talk like this, but you may not write like this'. This sentence gives us a picture of the way some natural, spontaneous forms are banned from the written language. Not writing 'gonna', or 'ain't' at your school paper is something you take for granted, but, if in English the distance between the formal and the informal varieties is somewhat close, in some other languages even the most educated speakers employ different words, verbal conjugations or a whole different syntax in their ordi ..