Lately I’ve become a bit of a Brazil-o-phile. I know very little about Brazilian culture except for what I’ve seen in movies, read in books or listened to on radio and in my music collection. All I know is that Black Orpheus is one of my favorite films, and that I could listen to the music of Bebel Gilberto and Ceu for hours upon hours. And now that Rio de Janeiro has been appointed the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, I’m clamoring for a trip to Cidade Maravilhoso and for more information about Brazil in general.
It should come as no surprise that the Library has a wealth of information on this incredibly fascinating country. Here are some of the things I’ve been checking out so far:
Portuguese For Dummies: I figured that in learning about another culture, a great place to start is by getting acquainted with the language. Portuguese, particularly of the Brazilian variety, is a lovely yet complex language. But Portuguese for Dummies is a great introduction to the language. For me, it helps to see Portuguese grammar and Brazilian colloquialisms and makes learning less intimidating. Seeing Portuguese in print helps me tremendously by reminding me of its similarities to other Romance languages.
Pimsleur Language Programs Portuguese (Brazilian): Right now I’m on course 1A and it’s a great way to begin tuning the ear to the language. Pimsleur’s also great for learning just about any other language you can imagine…and at your own pace.
Brazil: Nothing helps you plan a vacation quite like a guidebook. DCPL has travel books by Fodor’s, Frommer’s and Lonely Planet. The one that I’m perusing right now is a Moon Handbook which, like most guidebooks, offers helpful lodging, dining and entertainment hints. But I really like the fact that this particular book has a nice little survival phrasebook in back and fascinating cultural tidbits throughout.