Brazil's Obsession with Languages

On the way to and from work, I pass three English, one Japanese and one Mandarin Chinese school. If I drive one block off my regular route I can also pass infront of Portuguese, French, German, Spanish and Italian schools (although some do double duty). These little schools are more common in Brazil than Starbucks are in the US.
It reminded me when I was working at my previous job, there was this new guy who started working next to me. He wanted to learn 4 languages. I didn't know what to say. I mentioned that I speak four languages, but it never really helped me get a job. Even in Brazil where knowing English can really be an asset (and thus all the English schools), I hardly ever had a chance to speak it at work. For a while, I was even working for an American company in São Paulo (Convergys) and the only time I got to speak English was when I went out to a bar with the Americans.
I just didn't have the heart to tell him that he should really learn another computer language, like say Python. I suppose his problem was he wasn't very passionate about programming and was more interested in traveling the world. Nothing wrong with that.


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