Staff from a Stokesley firm have been brushing up on their Portuguese vocabulary so they can spread the word about Deteção de gás (gas detection).
The Analox sales and marketing team is taking part in a study programme ran by Durham University which will help them to develop a functional working knowledge of Portuguese.
The ability to speak a foreign language even at a basic level can improve cultural awareness and build relationships, which could potentially open doors to new opportunities and markets.
There are 180 million native Portuguese speakers in the world, and it’s the seventh most widely spoken language.
By learning Portuguese this will help support Analox’s ongoing business activities with external partners in Brazil and enhance staff’s ability to speak a foreign language.
The team is studying level two after they completed the first level of the course last year, and with dedicated study they can work up to A level standard over a two year period.
The programme is running for nine weeks, with a two hour session once a week.
Staff are also expected to undertake up to five hours per week guided independent study, with preparatory exercises to be undertaken before each class.
The course will enable learners to understand the key structures of the Portuguese language, build a basic vocabulary, hold short conversations on matters of general interest, and have the ability to send and receive short emails to colleagues in Europe, Latin America or other Lusophone-speaking countries.
“We’re dedicated to helping their employees progress and learning another language is one of the many ways that the company have provided support to us,” said Analox sales manager Becca Dodds.
“By learning Portuguese this will help us to communicate more efficiently with foreign customers and help us to exceed in business internationally.”
Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth largest in the world making it an ideal candidate to learn their language.
Their climate differs greatly to the UK as the majority of it is tropical and it contains around 60% of the Amazon Rainforest.
Their national dish is Feijoada, which is a stew with black beans and a variety of smoked and salted pork and beef. This is usually served with white rice and sliced oranges.
They also produce several sweet treats including a Portuguese lemon cake, which the team at Analox were treated to during their last lesson before Christmas.
Since learning some Portuguese, the team already have some favourite phrases which are:
Ate Logo – See you later
Vamos la – Lets Go
Excelente – Excellent
Deteção de gás – Gas Detection
Deseja um cerveja? – Would you like a beer?
At the end of the course, staff will have a grounding for future learning to develop skills such as holding contract negotiations or detailed business discussions, writing reports and holding telephone conversations in Portuguese.