Posted in Blog

Rio – The Wonderful City

“O Rio de Janeiro continua lindo” – Rio is still beautiful, the song amazingly sang by Gilberto Gil in ‘Aquele Abraço’ – A Big Hug – tells a lot about the amazing city of Rio de Janeiro. If you haven’t been there yet, you should, as Rio is a wonderful place from where you can start your journey exploring this great Country.

I am from Sao Paulo, in the Southeast of Brazil, but I never hid my love for Rio de Janeiro and my dislike for Sao Paulo. Rio is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the World, although I don’t really know what is so special about it.2014-12-11-21-18-06

It might be the uncertainty, the relief, the contrast between the rich and the poor slapping us on our face or the amazing coast landscape. Whatever it is, you have to be there to find out by yourself. I don’t like everything in or about Rio, but what I love about it is exactly the impossibility to describe what it is to be in Rio.

I know and I agree with anyone that there are many other great and wonderful places to visit in the globe and that most of them might have an incredible and unique beauty,  but there is nothing like Rio. Nothing that you could compare Rio with. Rio grows on you and once it gets into your heart it will be there forever, trust me.

If you are careful and streetwise enough to know how to behave in Brazil, where to go, what to say, ‘in Portuguese preferably’ and don’t take safety for granted, you will be okay in Rio and you will want to visit it many and many times in your life.2014-12-16-21-34-51

There are a few theories for the origin of the name of the city. Some historians say that it was named Rio de Janeiro (River of January), because when the explorers went from Bahia to Rio they arrived on the 1st of January 1502, which is actually in the register, and they thought that Guanabara Bay was a river and not part of the sea. Others don’t believe that, so there are other explanations. I like this theory, so I will stick with it, until someone proves something different.

I try to go to Rio once a year and know quite well the do(s) and don’t(s) of this big city, but instead of writing a big list of what you do and don’t do I would like to sumary it in two lines:

Do enjoy yourself with all the fun you can have


Don’t do anything silly.

(Edinaldo E. Santo)


Here it is the video from youtube:

“Aquele Abraço” By Gilberto Gil

The lyric:

Aquele Abraço
Gilberto Gil

O Rio de Janeiro continua lindo
O Rio de Janeiro continua sendo
O Rio de Janeiro, fevereiro e março

Alô, alô, Realengo
Aquele abraço!
Alô torcida do Flamengo
Aquele abraço

Chacrinha continua
Balançando a pança
E buzinando a moça
E comandando a massa
E continua dando
As ordens no terreiro

Alô, alô, seu Chacrinha
Velho guerreiro
Alô, alô, Terezinha
Rio de Janeiro
Alô, alô, seu Chacrinha
Velho palhaço
Alô, alô, Terezinha
Aquele abraço!

Alô, moça da favela
Aquele abraço!
Todo mundo da Portela
Aquele abraço!
Todo mês de fevereiro
Aquele passo!
Alô Banda de Ipanema
Aquele abraço!

Meu caminho pelo mundo
Eu mesmo traço
A Bahia já me deu
Régua e compasso
Quem sabe de mim sou eu
Aquele abraço!
Pra você que me esqueceu
Aquele abraço!
Alô Rio de Janeiro
Aquele abraço!
Todo o povo brasileiro
Aquele abraço! Continue reading “Rio – The Wonderful City”

Posted in Blog, Italian

Discovering Italy – Friuli Venezia Giulia

Our journey in Italy continues and this week we explore Friuli Venezia Giulia.

With a complicated and rich history, Friuli Venezia Giulia is the gateway to East Europe and for centuries its inhabitants have cultivated traditions from Italy, Austria and East European countries.


Il Friuli Venezia Giulia è una regione del Nord Italia, è una regione a “statuto speciale” come il Trentino Alto Adige.

Le province principali sono Udine e Pordenone in Friuli, e Gorizia e Trieste in Venezia Giulia.

Il capoluogo è Trieste. La citta’ di Venezia non è in Friulia Venezia Giulia

Le lingue ufficiali sono italiano, sloveno, tedesco e friuliano.

Questa regione è parte dell’Italia da dopo la Seconda Guerra Mondiale, la sua storia è molto complicata.

La cucina friuliana include piatti tipici slovacchi e dell’Europe dell’Est. Il prosciutto di San Daniele viene da questa regione.


Did you enjoy this? If you want to join us and learn about Italy and its culture email us at

Posted in Blog, Italian

Discovering Italy – Trentino Alto Adige

During our Italian classes for Beginners in Shepherd’s Bush we are discovering week by week Italy’s regions to learn more about their cultures, traditions, cities and delicious dishes.

Let’s start with Trentino Alto Adige! Watch this video to discover the beautiful landscapes of Italy’s northernmost region and practice your Italian learning about it.


Il Trentino Alto Adige è la regione più a Nord in Italia, è una regione a “statuto speciale”.

Le province principali sono Trento e Bolzano, il capoluogo è Trento.

Le lingue ufficiali del Trentino Alto Adige sono italiano, tedesco e ladino.

La regione è famosa per la natura e i paesaggi belli, le montagne Dolomiti, i fiumi, i laghi e le foreste.

I piatti tipici sono speck, canederli e strudel.

I prodotti tipici sono mele, frutti di bosco e legna

A dicembre ci sono molti mercati di Natale famosi.


Did you enjoy this? If you want to join us and learn about Italy and its culture email us at

Posted in Blog, Brazilian portuguese

Brazilian Portuguese lessons deal on WOWCHER – tell your friends

Brazilian Portuguese lessons via Skype on WOWCHER!!!!

This month we have two great deals for new students coming from Wowcher.

The first deal is for a 1h Brazilian Portuguese lesson via Skype and the second deal is for a 5h Brazilian Portuguese lesson via Skype.

They are great deals for those who would like to taste our lessons before any longer term commitment.

These deals on Wowcher are advertised as Skype lessons, but students wishing to use them to take a face to face lesson will be more than welcome, if you can have your lessons at our classroom in  Shepherds Bush – W12 8QQ.

Please, let us know if you will take them as Skype lesson or if you would like to haver your lessons at our classroom.

Students won’t have to commit to any other lessons after they finished the package they purchase from Wowcher.

Handouts will be provided for lessons, so there won’t be any other expenses, making these

two deals the best ever.

Give us a try or buy as gifts for your friends. They will love us.

Here are the two links on Wowcher. Check us there.

Brazilian Portuguese lessons on Wowcher – Deal One

Brazilian Portuguese lessons on Wowcher – Deal Two

I will see you on Skype.

Edinaldo E. Santo


London Lessons


Posted in Blog, Brazilian portuguese

Brazilian author to read this month.

A Brazilian Author you should read regardless if you are learning Portuguese or not is Paulo Coelho (Paul Rabbit). He is one of my favourite authors despite the Brazilian critics being regularly condemning his work. He has been translated into so many languages that probably even he doesn’t know how many anymore.

A book I would recommend you to start with either in Portuguese (Brazilian or European) or any other language you speak is the novel ‘The alchemist‘ (O Alquimista). To read it in Portuguese you should have a level of at least higher Intermediate, otherwise you won’t understand the most important parts of the book. alchemist

Paulo Coelho has a popular approach in his writings, therefore it is easy to understand and digest what he writes, making him a popular choice in Brazil, but not so popular with the critics, who generally don’t consider his novels good literature.

He generally writes one book per year and you can find e-books online to download for free, including from his personal website: PauloCoelhoWebsite . I didn’t find the Alchemist for download for free, but I found 5 other books on his site.

He is also very open minded about people copying and distributing his work for free, as long as people read what ho-alquimistae writes and are sharing because they like it and not for profit.

So, if you are looking for a good book to read in your language or in Brazilian Portuguese, why not start with ‘The Alchemist’? Anyway, even if you start with any of the free e-books from his site you won’t regret it. If you do, choose ‘Manuscript found in Accra‘ or ‘Brida‘. You can download the full book (livro completo), if you choose Brida.

Edinaldo E. Santo

(professor de língua portuguesa – London Lessons )

Posted in Blog, Brazilian portuguese

Brazilian film you should watch

The film TrashHope Comes From rubbish (A Esperança Vem do Lixo), 2014 is a great film you should watch. The plot is great and the main characters were extremely well played.

If you are learning Brazilian Portuguese, it will help you, if you watch it with subtitles, unless if you don’t need them, but try not choose English.

You can choose the language for the subtitles, so those who can not speak Portuguese at all can have subtitles in English or in another language, but my advice for those learning Portuguese is to have the subtitles in Portuguese, if any, if you have at least an intermediate level in the language.

To set the subtitles can be a quite tricky, so click on ‘settings’ at the bottom-right of the screen, choose Portuguese and good luck, as I managed to get the subtitles once and then not anymore.

Depending on the region on your laptop, you should be able to watch it on Netflix with subtitles as well, if you have Netflix of course.

Let us know afterwards if you enjoyed the film.

Trash -Hope comes from rubbish Trash- A esperança vem do lixo