How to piss off a Brazilian : Abroadee

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How to piss off a Brazilian

By on November 10, 2013 in Brazil, Cultural Curiosities with 930 Comments

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)


Here’s how foreigners can piss off a Brazilian:

1. Presume that Spanish is the national language in Brazil.

It’s true that most countries in South America have Spanish as their official language, but Brazil is different. Brazilians speak Portuguese and are very proud of their uniqueness as non-Spanish speakers.

Very few Brazilians actually learn Spanish as a second language, but many of them can understand a little bit of the language due to the similarities between Portuguese and Spanish.

So, if you don’t speak Portuguese and you don’t find anyone who speaks English, feel free to try to get by in Brazil with your Spanish. But, please, don’t expect people to understand everything you say.

2. Assume that Buenos Aires is the capital of Brazil.

Nope, it’s not Rio de Janeiro either.

3. Suggest that Maradona is the greatest soccer player of all time.

As far as Brazilians are concerned, Pelé is the best soccer player ever. No room for debate here! LOL

4. Mix up Brazil and Argentina in any way.

Rush Limbaugh, an American political commentator, once said that Mark Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina who had an affair with an Argentinean woman, “went down to Argentina to see the girl from Ipanema.” Maybe he just wanted the sentence to sound pretty, but don’t try doing that in front of a Brazilian audience.

As explained by Pablo Alabarces, a sociologist from Buenos Aires, “Brazilians love to hate the Argentineans, while the Argentineans hate to love Brazilians.” It’s a complicated relationship; don’t get the parties mixed up.

5. Ask Brazilians if they see wildlife on a daily basis.

Brazilians don’t see monkeys and snakes on the streets. Most Brazilians have never been to the Amazon rainforest either.

6. Assume that Brazilians and the Portuguese are the same people.

Although many Brazilians are of Portuguese descent, the Brazilian population is also a mix of African, Native Brazilian, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese and Lebanese descendants, among others.

7. Ask a Brazilian girl if she gets Brazilian waxes.

No explanation needed.

8. Presume that the infrastructure in Brazil is precarious because Brazilians don’t pay enough taxes.

I’ve heard this one too many times to ignore it. Just to set the record straight, Brazil has one of the highest tax rates in the world. The problem is clearly not lack of money.

9. Suggest that Brazilians are racist.

The myth of racial democracy is alive and well in Brazil. Brazilians simply don’t like to talk about racism.

10. Say anything remotely bad about Brazil.

Brazilians have the right to criticize themselves and their country pretty harshly, but that right doesn’t extend to foreigners. Brazilians definitely don’t take outside criticism very well.

Do you know any other ways to piss off a Brazilian? Feel free to leave your comments below.


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About the Author

About the Author: Juliana Selem é globalista por formação (UCLA) e viajante por opção. Brasileira, casada com um argentino, ela vive nos Estados Unidos há 6 anos. Já morou em 5 países e ama se inserir em diferentes culturas até se sentir como uma residente local. Para saber mais sobre a Juliana, clique aqui. Conecte-se com ela no Twitter, G+, Instagram ou Facebook. .


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  1. Como irritar um brasileiro : Abroadee | June 12, 2015
  1. says:

    On one hand, it is very sad there are so many ignorant people in the world. I question the global educational system, and culturally taught arrogance. …….
    One the other-hand, they make me feel brilliant for understanding people, countries, languages, cultures, nationality, and heritage can almost NEVER be summarized by one-word. ….
    I am currently dating a Brasilian Lady (not just a female – a LADY). A drop-dead gorgeous woman, with Einstein’s brain, and as sweet as my Avo / Abuela!! .. Fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, English & French! ….. No offense intended, but Giselle WHO? (please don’t tell me who Giselle is. I know. If you didn’t get it, you probably won’t. And I’m not going to be the one to explain it to you.)

    The first time Querida kissed me was after she made a comment ….. “and Americans do this” …. To which I replied …..
    “Americans? …… Which ones? …….
    North Americans? – Like Canadians, Mexicans, or Estado Unidos Gringos*? ……..
    Central Americans? – Like Guatemalans, Salvadorians**, Costa Ricans***, Panamanians? …….
    Or South Americans? – Like Brasilians, Peruvians, Chileans, Venezuelans, Columbians?****


    Moral to the story ….. You don’t have to know everything about everything … Just don’t be an IDIOT!

    *: Save the comments – German, Scottish, Cherokee – 5th generation USA born. I think “Saltine©” is somewhere on my birth certificate.
    **: El Salvador and San Salvador are not different countries. ….. One is a city. Look it up!
    ***: Costa Rica has nothing to do with the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico. +/- 1300 miles apart, look it up. Or just go call a Tica, Puerto Rican!!! ….. you’re probably going to need some ice for that.
    ****: LOL on the above comments – I actually knew not to in include Argentines!

    P.S. – If the above was VERY informative to you, please note, it is not all inclusive, and only covers one hemisphere. …… The other side is much more complicated. ….. If you can’t grasp this, you should probably just date within your family; like your mother-aunt wants you to do anyway.
    Nosotros nos encargamos de las Latinas, amigo! (They even think our bad grammar is cute!)

    • Anna says:

      Lol, I’m from Costa Rica and people always say ‘Oh the US territory’. When I say no they they look confused for a moment then say, ‘but it’s an island right? ‘. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I know we’re a small country, but come on!

  2. Rebeca says:

    Watch our channel to kind out more about Real Brazil. ^___^

    Find out “Ziriguidum Channel” on YouTube.

    We made a video talking about the myths about Brazil, check it out!

  3. Now if you’re Brazilian and want to piss off an American, just say “Ah, você é americano hem? Então, come muito hamburger, né?” or, “Você é americano? Muito rico, hem? Tem dóllar para eu ver?” or “Fala inglês aí!…. Entendi nada.” or even “Conhece o Obama?” Haha! Hated it when I was there but now I kind of miss it. Que saudade!

  4. Erandur of Dawnstar says:

    Rio de Janeiro is the brazilian Argentina

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