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Monday 9 December 2019
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Diplomat to students: Learn multiple languages

Newly accredited Brazilian Ambassador to TT Jose Antonio Gomes Piras is encouraging local students to become multilingual regardless of the profession they choose.

At the presentation of credentials ceremony held last week at the Office of the President, St Ann’s, Piras commended President Anthony Carmona for inviting students to the ceremony to become acquainted with international relations. As Consul General in Hamamatsu, Japan, Piras said, he regularly invited students to visit the Brazilian mission to familiarise them with the many facets of life in Brazil and its relations with the international community. Students from the British Academy, Presentation College in Chaguanas and Queen’s Royal College were present.

As a diplomat, lawyer and pianist from a diverse background, Piras said that speaking many languages in today’s world means that anyone from any profession and from any country could ply their trade almost anywhere in the world. As one of the most diverse countries in the world, Brazil, with a population of some 200 million, he said, has as many languages with its diverse cultures even though Portuguese is the official language of the country.

In Brazil it is mandatory that students learn either English or Spanish as a foreign language.

His father, he related was Italian-born while his mother was Brazilian with an indigenous background. His wife’s father was Russian-born and mother, a Brazilian. Brazil has immigrant German and Italian populations which still speak their European dialects alongside Portuguese. Brazil also has a large Lebanese population of over two million people. Acknowledging Brazil’s huge economy and its gift of samba music and dance to the world along with Brazilian football, Carmona suggested that Trinidad and Tobago could learn from Brazil’s EduKick programme in which the country’s international football academies provide academic studies and training in football at the same time. It is a programme which, Piras said, Brazil shares with the international community.

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