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123 Feb 13
RIO DE JANEIRO -- If English is the language of world commerce, Brazil hasnt gotten the memo -- only a small fraction of its 200 million people have a basic proficiency. Cheap Womens Air Max 90 Orange . Fluency is also rare for other languages such as German, French and even Spanish, despite Brazil being bordered by seven Spanish-speaking countries.Many of the hundreds of thousands of tourists expected to descend on Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics in a few weeks could frequently find themselves in a linguistic muddle.Vanderclei Silva Santos, who sells caipirinhas, Brazils national cocktail, says he struggles to communicate with foreign tourists who stop at his stand on Copacabana Beach, so he uses his fingers and toes to write prices and shapes in the sand.Most of the time it works, but trying and funny moments are common, like the time a woman made chomping gestures to ask where she might find fresh corn on the cob. There was also the time a man seemed to be urgently asking for a banheiro, which is a toilet, but it turned out he was trying to figure out where to take a banho, or shower.Communicating is tough. We move our hips, we smile, which tourists like. We find a way, said Santos, a 39-year-old who hopes to one day take a basic English course, something that until recent years generally was available only for wealthy Brazilians and is still not widely offered.Attempting over the last year to bridge the language gap for the Summer Games, Rio de Janeiro state, the Olympic Committee and several companies have offered in-person and online English courses to several thousand service industry workers, Olympic volunteers and police -- those most likely to come in contact with tourists.Do you know the meaning of `Im going to kick your butt? teacher Rafael Vianna asked this week to a dozen tourist police in an advanced course aimed at preparing them to help English speakers sort through any issues that come up, from harassment to robbery. Its often used in sports and can be interpreted in different ways depending on the context.On the blackboard, Vianna wrote and defined some words that tourists in distress may use, such as mace, malice, mayhem and nuisance.Vinicius Lummertz, the president of Embratur, a government agency that promotes Brazil overseas, said Rio will be ready. And he argues that any linguistic struggles will be part of the experience.A lack of English is a problem, but trying to communicate with Brazilians who only speak Portuguese becomes a flavor, Lummertz said. Do you want a world that is exactly the same everywhere?Latin Americas biggest country is roughly the size of the continental United States, which has tended to insulate its people. And vast inequalities permeate every walk of life, including education. Most Brazilians have never had a chance to study other languages.Virginia Garcia, former head of the British Council in Brazil, said research by the council a few years ago found that only 5 percent of Brazilians spoke English at a proficient level.Garcia said English instruction in public schools is limited, although several big events hosted by Brazil in recent years, including the Pan American Games, the World Cup and a visit by Pope Francis, have slowly pushed the country to expand language teaching.Twenty years ago, only people coming from the high classes could learn other languages in Brazil, Garcia said. Its slowly getting more democratic.Antonio Carlos de Moraes Sartini, director of the Sao Paulo-based Museum of the Portuguese Language, said Brazils intense focus on Portuguese dates to 1750, when the Portugals monarchy made teaching the language mandatory to create a national identity different from the surrounding Spanish-speaking colonies.At the time, only about 20 percent of people in Brazil spoke Portuguese, while more than 1,000 indigenous languages prevailed. A few hundred of those languages are still spoken, mostly in the Amazonian region, but the vast majority of indigenous peoples now also speak Portuguese.The language spoken here today expresses Brazilians expansive, affectionate nature, said Sartini.That nature often includes having a good laugh when it comes to foreign languages.Joel Santana, a former soccer player and coach, has parlayed his halting English into a second career in television advertising. In 2010, while coaching South Africas national team, he gave an interview in English that was so indecipherable that it became an internet sensation. Since then, he has pitched products such as Pepsi and Head & Shoulders shampoo in commercials, throwing in barely understandable words in English.Jens Heftoy, a journalist from Norway who has visited Brazil several times in the last decade since marrying a woman from Rio, said that in his experience even Brazilians who have a decent level of English prefer not to speak it unless they work in the tourism industry.Three blocks from here, youll have problems in communicating, Heftoy said while walking on the tourist mecca of Copacabana Beach. It works out, but you have to be patient.---Associated Press writer Stan Lehman in Sao Paulo contributed to this report.---Online:Joel Santana interview: Peter Prengaman at ;Womens Air Max 90 Blue Sale .Y. -- Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Wednesday that J. Cheap Womens Air Max 90 Brown . Ancelotti says Ronaldo has recovered from a hamstring injury but "but he doesnt feel comfortable yet so we wont risk him." Madrid is third in the Spanish league, six points behind leader Barcelona, going into Saturdays game against Valladolid. . Rinne played two periods in his first game since left hip surgery in early May. Gabriel Bourque scored 3:07 into the second period and Austin Watson tallied 5:15 later for Nashville. Kimi Raikkonen thinks Ferrari has more performance to find in Hungary after finishing the opening day of practice behind the fastest Red Bull.Raikkonen finished a full second behind Daniel Ricciardo, who was three tenths up on Sebastian Vettel in the other Ferrari. With Mercedes Nico Rosberg a massive 0.6s quicker in FP2 the early indications are that the Mercedes drivers will be in a private battle for victory.Raikkonen refused to be drawn on Mercedes dominant start but is sure Ferrari can close the gap to both the world champions and Red Bull on Saturday.Asked about what he thought of the gap to Mercedes, he replied: Well I haventt looked at all the times so its too early to say. Womens Air Max 90 Grey UK. But we know they are fast and obviously Im certain we can improve. How much they improve tomorrow is another case, but we will see tomorrow.Speaking about Ferraris day, he said: In the end it was pretty OK. As a Friday we made some improvements and for sure we can still improve but overall it wasnt too bad.He was then asked if Ferraris main battle would be with Red Bull, and not Mercedes, to which he laughed and said: Lets see, I cannot say! Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys AuthenticWholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '