Brazilians are the only Latin Americans who speak Portuguese. The Portuguese used in Brazil is different in accent and intonation from the Portuguese spoken in Portugal or in other former Portuguese colonies.

Until the mid-18th century, a version of Tupi Guarani, the main Native language at the time, was widely spoken. This was simplified and written down by Jesuit missionaries. Around 20,000 words from the Tupi Guarani language have become incorporated into the Portuguese language of Brazil. Tupi Guarani words can also be found in the English language: jaguar, tobacco, hammock and tapioca are some examples.

There are also many African words in the Brazilian Portuguese language. Between 1532 and 1850, about five million slaves were brought to Brazil from Guinea, Mozambique, Angola, the Congo and Benin. Each group brought its distinct language and culture. African languages have survived in religious rituals, cooking and some general words like samba, a form of music.
Did you know?

In Brazil, the Government Indian Agency documented 175 different Native languages and dialects.

Body language plays a very important role in communication. Brazilians are very energetic when they speak and usually stand a lot closer to one another than people do in a country like Canada. Greetings are usually quite physical and it is common to greet one another with kisses on the cheek, hugs, handshakes or backslapping. Thumbs up means hello or thanks. Brazilians often have difficulty in saying "no". Instead they will say, "well", "let's see" or "maybe", which is seen as being diplomatic and polite. It is also acceptable to be late for appointments.
Here are a few words for you to try:

English Portuguese
bread pao
dog cachorro (or cao)
window anela
boy menino (or rapaz)
house casa
church igreja
city cidade