Use Languages to Meet People

Recently while at a Provincial Park, I met three Brazilians. By listening as I walked past them, I noticed that they were speaking what I thought was Brazilian Portuguese. I wasn’t sure, so I asked. 

How to do it

When you overhear people speaking a language that you have some knowledge of, you have a grand opportunity to join their discussion. Even if you don’t have a full understanding of the language, it is still a great opportunity to say hello. I don’t speak fluent Portuguese, but having lived in Brazil almost 20 years ago, I can still get by with it. 

In this case, I said,

“Excuse me. Are you speaking Brazilian Portuguese?”

And with smiles, they replied, “Yes.” From there, it was easy for the four of us to have a conversation. 

Making a connection

When you know something about another language or culture, use that knowledge along with your curiosity and listening skills to join conversations. Common life-experience such as speaking a certain language makes for a natural ice-breaker.

I use my imperfect language abilities to meet people as often as I can. It has the added bonus of creating an opportunity to practice language skills too. Take a look at the short video below about my recent experience of using a language to meet people.

Give it a go, and see what happens. 

Muito obrigado.

Passionate about human connection, Tony Esteves is a play-based workshop facilitator, keynote speaker, circus performer and coach. He studied at the Second City Improv Training Centre, has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and has been performing with Le Cirque de la Nuit since 2014. He was a part of their TEDx performance, “The Creative Process.” In the circus, Tony juggles, dazzles and co-creates memorable experiences with audiences. 

As a presenter and coach, he teaches networking skills and how to meet people through Talk2MorePeople. In 2016/17, Tony met over 550 people by connecting with at least one new stranger a day for an entire year and transformed his life for the better. The Talk2MorePeople book will be published in late 2020.

Tony has travelled to 40 countries, speaks four languages and spends as much time as possible snowboarding and hiking the Canadian Rockies.