Fala Bonito

By: Juan Mesa

Flight? Booked. Hotel reservations? Done. New bathing suit? Packed. If next on the list for your trip to the 2014 World Cup is a travel guide, the Party Brazil Phrasebook should be it. Written by Alice Rose, Nati Vale and Jadson Caçador—West Coast residents and Brazilian-culture connoisseurs (Caçador is actually from Bahia)—the pocket-size book simultaneously serves as a basic English-Portuguese dictionary, a travel guide and a World Cup handbook. In other words, a hat trick of a little book.

Its implicit premise is that language gives self-assurance. That is why Party Brazil tackles the Portuguese pronunciation of vowels and consonants first. Then it goes into a deep introduction of the world of futebol (soccer) and what it means to Brazilians. And because—you may have heard this—the beautiful game (jogo bonito) is at the top of Brazilians’ list of passions, the guide provides a list of essential words for having a real soccer talk. Dirty words and phrases like “Vocé só fala merda” will give you street cred or start a bar fight, so use them wisely.

The boldest part of Party Brazil is the connection of the soccer event with the other attractions of the country. The book provides tips on how to flirt with the local garotas, including advanced bedroom talk (“Tira a sua roupa” = “Take off your clothes”). There are also phrases and tips for beach time, shopping, eating, the LGBT scene and alcohol (the list of different levels of drunkenness known to Brazilians seems almost deserving of a separate book).

As if that weren’t enough, Party Brazil provides complete information about the 32 World Cup teams, from the bios of the Brazilian team players to the cities and venues of the great event.

In other words, bem-vindo ao Brasil.

Party Brazil Phrasebook 2014: Slang, Music, Fun and Futebol, available now

Juan Mesa is a freelance writer based in New York City. He covers soccer and Latin music. When he's not writing, you can find him watching soccer games, talking about soccer or collecting soccer memorabilia. To relax, he plays house music vinyls.