What do Americans think about Brazil?

Hi everybody! A conversation started recently on Quora about what people from all over the world think about we, Brazilians and our country. I found the comments pretty interesting because it shows what people really think about us and decide to publish this article about it here on Inglês na Rede.

So, to put our reading skills into practice and improve our English, today we are gonna find out what some guys really think about us and get to know how our country is seen. But first I’d like to say that this not a general thinking, as you might presume. The examples given on this article are opinions from specific people and they should not be taken as general, neither they make part of any broad research. So with this clear in mind, let’s go!

The whole conversation about what Americans think about Brazil started with a simple question on Quora, let’s take a look at this question:

 

What is that all other countries think about Brazil?

The best answer from this question was to Phil DiNuzzo, right below I reproduce DiNuzzo post from Quora so that you can read in his own words what he really thinks about us Brazilians and the Brazil itself.

I’m American and live in an city with a modest Brazilian population, so I know a few Brazilian people. I also studied international politics in school at a time when Brazil was first becoming a country that stood out internationally (early-mid 2000’s). So I have a fair amount of knowledge and plenty of opinions, but I’m not at all typical. However, having some background on the topic, I can tell you about my impressions from talking to other Americans about Brazil.

The American perspective seems to be pretty limited. The average person would probably know that Brazil is a large country, but they don’t assume anything about Brazil’s regional or global role. It’s just another third world country in South America. It’s known mostly for a few cultural and geographic assets, such as skimpy bikinis, beautiful people, gorgeous beaches and tropical rain forests. It’s possibly a nice place to visit, but most Americans would travel somewhere they view as a little safer and more developed.

A lot of Americans could name Rio de Janeiro, some São Paulo, very few would know the capital is Brasília. Extremely few Americans can name a city outside of those three. I certainly can’t, and I had to look up the spelling of these three.

Some Americans will know about the high use of biofuels in Brazil. Some know Rio de Janeiro is home to the Christo Redentor. Some know the Amazon runs through Brazil. Some are aware that Brazil has one of the largest populations of people that would be considered black in America. I’d guess that about half of Americans know that Brazilians speak Portuguese, not Spanish. These are all little facts that some people pick up and others never do.

This is all based on my experience talking to other Americans about Brazil. Overall, Americans don’t think much of Brazil. But don’t take it personally, we don’t think much of most other countries. If I had to ascribe a typical judgment that Americans have of Brazil, I’s say it was “fairly positive, but mostly indifferent”.

Comment from Phil DiNuzzo on Quora (Check out other comments on quora).

This comment from Dinuzzo pretty impressed me because I really thought Americans payed much more attention to Brazil than it seems. And it was kind of a shock to me to find out the contrary.

Either way, let’s look at some other American thoughts about the Brazilian people:

 

  • Brazil is super-fun and exciting. The country is associated with amazingly cool and relaxed people and amazing parties;
  • Soccer in Brazil is awesome. Best soccer country in the world maybe. Moreover, the soccer is played beautifully and exuberantly. A lot of us associate Brazilian soccer with Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, and Pele. High-energy, friendly, fun guys who are awesome to watch;
  • Crime. Brazil is dangerous. Kidnappings, theft;
  • Beautiful women ( I always think of the Brazil women’s volleyball team );
  • Lots of natural resources;
  • It is always hot and humid, Jungle-ey;
  • Amazon river;
  • Decent tax rates, but more progressive than the U.S; (A totally disagree on that! (Renato Alves) );
  • Multiracial;
  • Ronaldinho is from there; I know this from an Advertising agency I once worked at that used him in some material;
  • Soccer is huge there;
  • Still developing nation, one of the BRICs, whatever that means.
  • Even with the recent growth, there are still a lot of poor people there and everything that goes with that (disease, malnutrition, crime).

 

These thoughts about Brazil and the Brazilian people were from Marc Bodnick and Cameron Ellis, also from Quora.

 

The question “What the Americans think about Brazil?” was long in my mind and every time I talked to an American asking their opinion about it I had a totally different answer. Thanks to the internet, today we can have a broad answer from people all over the world for just a simple question. Besides we are getting to know how we are being seen as individuals and as a country.

I hope these comments and opinions help you too understand how we are seen outside our beaches, cities and states and help you gain more understanding on what the Americans really think about us.

If you wanna check out other American and other nationalities comments about Brazil, check the Quora thread right here. Also, if you are a foreigner, let your comment below explaining what you think about Brazil.

If you are Brazilian, do you agree with the fellows comments about Brazil? What do you guys think about it? Share your insights on the comments area! Cya next tip! 😀

 

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