I completely understand being unfamiliar with a country and its people, but there's a huge difference between ignorance and being unaware. People ask me about my nationality all the time and I don't mind because I love learning about different cultures and what makes them unique.
However, it's sad how many people don't think before they speak.
Here are a few of the questions, or comments, I get way too often. So here I am spreading knowledge once again, so you don't have to be this person. You're welcome.
1. “Do you know how to speak Brazilian?”
Contrary to popular belief, Brazilian is NOT a language. Too many times people have taken it upon themselves to argue with me about this. As if I'm supposed to realize that Brazilian is the language they speak in Brazil, how could I not know? Saying that is just as ignorant as someone from Brazil thinking people speak United State-ian in the United States or something stupid along those lines. (Side note: most people who have asked me are well over the age 12.)
2. “You must speak Spanish then?”
No, Brazil is one of the few South American countries that Spanish isn’t the native language. Due to the Portuguese conquest of Brazil, the primary spoken language is Portuguese. Not Spanish, or “Brazilian." People have tried to argue with me on this one too. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve encountered this.
3. “But, it’s almost the same language right?”
The only thing similar between Spanish and Portuguese is that they both derived from Latin. Believe me, when I say this, I’m a Spanish minor, and they are two VERY different languages.
4. “But, you don’t look Brazilian...”
Most people that say this have no knowledge of the country or its people, and often times are the same ones saying that Brazilian is a language. Similar to the United States, Brazil is a country full of diversity. People come in all shades, shapes, and sizes. You have everything from Afro-Brazilian to Japanese-Brazilians.
5. “Is it true that (insert stereotype here)?”
I'm not the type of person to stereotype an entire nationality or ethnicity, so these comments never fail to disgust me.
6. *insert some sexual comment about Brazilian women*
Just when you thought it couldn't get worse.
7. “I’ve always wanted to go there but it’s so corrupt...”
Not that Brazil is perfect, but having someone blatantly say this to me the day after the Vegas shooting was very ironic.