Brazil: Conversation

2015-06-12

Conversation

Brazilian communication is cordial, complex, informal and highly personal.

Men usually greet each other by shaking hands and giving a gentle slap on the back. Women are usually greeted by shaking hands and a kiss near the face (air kiss).

Brazilians are known for their ability to talk naturally about intimate and personal topics. So, don’t be surprised by the personal nature of questions, which is typical of Brazilians. To introduce a conversation with Brazilians it’s advisable to approach topics like soccer, weather, traffic (if you are in Sao Paulo), a cultural event taking place or that will take place in the city, music, and improvement of economic indicators of the country. Do not expect conversations with a high level of politicization.

Topics like poverty, security, deforestation, religion, racism, corruption, social inequality, and comparisons between the Brazilian and Argentinean soccer teams should be avoided.

Brazilians are proud of being able to laugh even at themselves. Expect spontaneity. Brazilians are considered a bit loud because they all speak at the same time and in a tone of voice that is a bit higher than usual.

During a conversation, a Brazilian will usually interrupt to add something or make a comment before someone else has concluded his/her turn to speak. That’s not perceived by Brazilians as rudeness or lack of interest in what is being said.

Brazilians touch each other a lot during a conversation. The intention is to get as close as possible. Closeness inspires trust, and trust inspires long term relationship.

Brazilians are not used to giving orders but advice, since they can get easily offended with straight talk and not cordial conversation.

Brazilian communication is complex, including elements of verbal and non-verbal communication and great use of body language.

Women are a recurrent subject in mens talk.