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Monday, July 27, 2009

Interview with English learners №3: Brazilians are warm and happy people, in a general way:)

Hello everyone. It is time for the third interview at My English Webmarks. And our today’s guest is from sunny Brazil!

Name: Flavio Renato (I've got two first names, you can call me any)
Age: 26
Native language: Portuguese (Brazilian)
English level: Intermediate (probably)

Interview with English learners №3: Brazilians are warm and happy people, in a general way:)
"By my side there's a quartzite rock (if I'm not mistaken), and we're in front of the Ouro Preto School Of Mines, in Minas Gerais state (where you find the best food in the country)."
Hello Flavio (this name is more usual for me:)) Could you tell us a little about yourself?

First of all, hello to Anna's readers! I always find it hard to say anything about myself. People are usually defined by what they work with. I have never worked for real, as most of people usually do. I'm on my second graduation; because of a scholarship I've received in the latter years of my first graduation, I was being paid to research (which is really good). Besides that, I'm just a regular guy who loves music and is very curious about everything - a characteristic that often leaves me a little bit confused. Recently I've succeeded to pass on a concourse to be a teacher, so I guess that's what I'm going to do, at least for a while.

Well, here are three standard questions for you:

Why are you learning English language?

At first, I began to learn it in primary school. Here in Brazil, schools must offer two foreign languages, English is a standard. When I was younger and my family could afford, I studied in a private school, which means better quality compared to the public ones. There I've learnt most of the basic words to assemble a good vocabulary (I was about 9 years old). We were thought some common verbs and their conjugations. But unfortunately I had to move to public system and they are usually stuck in verb 'to be'.

As I grew along the 90's, I was strongly influenced by north-american media, so it was easy to keep interest and search more information about English language. But I really enjoyed this, specially being able to talk to people around the globe, when internet was turning this sort of 'social globalization' a real possibility. Since then, that will to learn and improve my English is a constant matter in my life. Having English as second language is a requested issue in the region I live in (Southeast), professionally and personally speaking.

How long are you learning English?

Since I became aware of it. I can say about 8 years old. My mom is graduated to be a teacher (if she wanted to - she's formed in Portuguese and English as the adopted foreign language)... So, she always taught me something new. And of course, we have to learn it in school, as I told you.

How are you learning English?

Entertainment is the easiest and the most pleasant way to do it. Movies, tv series, music, chat... If you can, to travel abroad is probably the best experience. Unfortunately, I didn't have this opportunity yet. In college we have to read many texts in English, so those who are not familiarized might face serious problems, depending of the course they're on.

To ingress the public Universities we have to achieve a minimum knowledge or in English or Spanish or French. Some Universities demand only English. After you get in, some courses oblige students to have a few classes in their schedules (I would have had two semesters, but as I had achieved a minimum grade to skip them, I did it).

Some more questions for you:

In your twitter account you wrote you are a Geofreak. What do you mean?

That's a hard question to answer. My first graduation was in Geography, and the second, in Geology. I think that Geosciences help me to satisfy my natural curiosity about how things work... But in Brazil none of these courses have their importance properly recognized, not by the society nor by the market. Few people know what a geologist do. Most people think a geographer is formed only to be a primary school teacher. So, it's really challenging to opt a graduation in any of these.

Aside the issue presented by the lack of recognition, we face internal silly disputes and competition with other sciences. I have chosen to graduate in Geography because it tries to explain the motivations that drive human settlements and are how they are able to change the landscapes with cultural movements and technologies aggregated - the amount of knowledge that's applied to techniques, through work - and how they receive influence of the built environment, along with the nature and social variables that they interact with.

Geology is the raw matter, how Earth shows itself to us after millions of years passing through several processes that formed the natural platform over which societies spread and seek resources. It's really fascinating - but study it deeply might drive you nuts...

I saw your blog. I do not understand Portuguese language but I guessed your blog is about music:) Are you a musicfreak too? Who is the best singer in the world in your opinion? Why?

Thanks for passing by! Actually, it's not only about music. 'Confabuloso' is a word that could be translated like 'Thinker'; as I'm almost 24/7 listening and/or thinking about music, your guess wasn't wrong at all. But my blog it's what I think a blog should be: a virtual space to deliver thoughts, to exercise the freedom of expression, to give tips, to find people who might be facing the same issues I am, and shout out some random nonsense...

Answering your question, I am a music freak as well. I regret I can't play any instrument (shouldn't have quit the piano classes when I was 9)... Wow, the best singer in the world? That's even harder to answer! I can say that right now I have two passions: Tina Dico and Jay Brannan, both have amazing voices and are really kind with their fans. But my favorite singers change according to my mood.

Brazil is known in Russia as a country of carnivals and soap operas. What could you tell about your country?

Regarding to natural landscapes and cultural background I love being a brazilian. Our nation is a mixture resultant of a wide range of other cultures, in a way that there is a common root and a singularity to each region. We're a warm and happy people, in a general way. A nation that finds a little relief of the hard everyday life on leisure events such as carnivals and soap operas broadcasted.

Unfortunately, our celebrations have been deviated from their original meanings, specially those which had a deep religious significance, due to market influence and the alienation of the people. Amazingly, if tradition seems to be losing its space in big cities, in some regions, in smaller communities, it gains strength of movements of cultural recovery, although as a way to attract tourists...
I wish people here weren't so numb by this forms of leisure that is intentionally forged to disconnect them from the arduous reality they live, a situation that could be different if they were aware of their rights.

By the way, my congratulations with your driving license! Is it hard to get driver’s license in Brazil? Did you nervous about your exam?

Thanks, Anna! The exam itself is not that hard. There are cultural issues about it. Most of my friends had learnt how to drive with theirs fathers when they were teenagers, but my dad was never against rules. I mean, legally you can only drive after you've completed eighteen years old, so I had never touched on a steering wheel... Later on, we had hard times when we had to sell almost everything to keep ourselves alive... So, when I had the age to drive, I didn't have the means. It is such a standard situation, that my driving instructors laughed at me when I told them I had never driven.

But the test was easy, despite the nervousness that I was feeling, the rain and the cold... We have to park the car and complete a course without making serious failures or light faults that exceed a minimum of 4 points summed.

Oh, my God! I probably said too much! Sorry! And sorry about any English mistakes, feel free to correct them or edit my answers! Hugs! =)

Wow! Flavio, thank you for the great interview! I think your English is better than mine, so original spelling and punctuation is preserved:) And I wish you good luck in your teacher’s career!


Of course, comments are welcome:)

9 коммент.:

  1. Hi Anna and everyone!

    Thanks for posting this interview! Reading it for the forth time, I still find many mistakes... But I guess and hope people can understand.

    Hugs from Brazil! =)

  2. You are welcome! It was pleasure for me to interview such a assiduous English learner:)
    And look at me, I do not care about mistakes!

  3. Hi. You're not intermediate. I thik you are advansed or higher. I have many points what I don't catch you because of my lower level than you. I' keep studying to become like you. d(^_*)

  4. Oops, many my misstakes. (-_-;

  5. @toshiharu I agree with you about Flavio's english level

  6. lol I get so happy when people tell me that. Although I can't believe it! I'll be satisfied when I live abroad.

    p.s.: Anna, when are you going to publish a new interview? I'm looking foward to meet new stories!

  7. @flavio I had some problems with my PC. And I installed Windows again. But it is ok now:) So I plan to to publish a new interview at next Monday:)

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