Five reasons why every capoeirista should learn Portuguese
Portuguese was the language spoken by our capoeira ancestors: Mestre Bimba, Mestre Pastinha, Mestre Waldemar, Mestre Cobrinha Verde, Besouro Manganga, and countless capoeiristas who developed the art, practiced it, and passed it down through the generations. Today, although some mestres, contramestres, and instructors from Brazil speak some English (or another language), the great majority speak only Portuguese. If you learn the language, you’ll enjoy the benefit of being able to converse and learn directly from these very knowledgeable men and women.
2. Understand capoeira songs better.
Not only will you know what you’re singing – and thus be able to learn songs more easily, even on the fly – you’ll even gain the ability to improvise in the lyrics. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of the art, and unfortunately few capoeiristas outside Brazil can do it. (If you can, you gain a whole new level of respect). It adds a wonderful layer of meaning to the roda, so let’s keep this tradition going!
3. Portuguese is the common language of capoeira around the world.
If you ever travel – whether to Brazil, France, Canada, Israel, Japan, Mozambique, or anywhere else capoeira is practiced, you may not meet anyone who speaks your language, but you’ll definitely meet capoeiristas who speak Portuguese.
4. Learning another language is good for your brain.
Studies suggest that acquiring a second language, even in adulthood, improves cerebral function and helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Learning another language also expands your perspective – you’re not just learning words; you’re learning another culture, with different conceptions and a unique perspective.
5. Portuguese is sexy.
It’s a beautiful language – enough said!