Here’s to new beginnings!

Natal 2017

Created by Erick Tonin

Before I started writing yet another end-of-the-year post (this is the fourth of the blog), I took the time to read the previous ones (Unwrap your memories, A 2014 wrap-up/New Year resolutions, What I learned from a bad year and 2017 resolutions for translators) and to recall old resolutions. Have you ever tried recalling/reading your old resolutions? It’s nostalgic and it gives us that warm feeling inside. It shows us how much we and our priorities change with time. Try it for yourself.

Last year was one of those years to me, so I was really looking forward to it ending for good. At New Year, I said, “Finally! May it be gone for good and take everything bad that happened.” An uncle made fun of me, saying there is no such a thing as year-ending and problems magically disappearing, something along those lines. I know problems do not magically disappear, and nothing changes if we are not willing to and if we don’t actually do something. However, can you imagine living in a world without weekends and Mondays, ends of the year and beginning of new years, birthdays? I can’t. I think we need these time blocks and breaks to recharge our batteries, rethink our lives and find the inspiration and will to change things. At least that works for me. Luckily, my birthday is right after New Year, so it’s perfect timing as well.

New years are clean slates where you can write the story of your life the way you wish. Take in all the positive energy, love and happiness of the holidays and use them to your benefit, transforming them into determination, focus and attitude to change. Leave old thoughts and feelings behind, let them go with the year that ends, and restart fresh. Even a small change makes a difference. Start small and see where it takes you. Take it from me, you will not regret.

My 2017 was amazing! Why is that? Because I was determined to change what didn’t work in the previous year and took it seriously. I got back to exercising and eating healthily, and was able to drag other people with me, so now, when I need some inspiration, they are the ones who help me. I am more conscious of how valuable my time is and of what is really worth doing and what is not. I had two major changes of opinion: I never really fancied traveling to other countries in South America nor to the US. I went to both this year, and loved both experiences. I got new clients and rewarding feedback from the existing ones. Luckily and fortunately, I didn’t have any project downtimes.

Now, with eleven days left of 2017, I am feeling beat, but not in a bad way. It’s that feeling of exhaustion for doing a lot, accomplishing more than I expected and going beyond, and having a blast of a year. Now, after spending some quality and fun time with family during Christmas, traveling to have fun with friends during New Year, and traveling to the beach with family for my birthday, I will definitely be ready for yet another new beginning full of promises, new resolutions, dreams and wishes.

Are you also ready to a new beginning? If not now, when?

2017 Resolutions for Translators


Christmas is here. We have 11 days left in 2016 before starting a fresh new year. We will have a clean slate comprised of 365 days to do things better – learn from the mistakes we made in 2016 and improve those actions in 2017.

I am well aware that the whole “New Year, new life” mindset is actually a myth. January 1 will be just another usual day in our lives. However, I do believe in the spirit of renovation and what it can do for us. After all, change only depends on us. And if this spirit inspires us to change somehow, then anything can happen – we just need to believe and act upon it. And since change can start from every one of us, I also believe we can make the world a better place too.

In my last 2016 post – this is my fourth end-of-the-year blog post, which also something to reflect upon –, I would like to point some things we, translators, can change in the next year to become a better person and translator. Let’s start applying the change we want to see in the world to our lives?

Less negativity, more positivity

This may be the most common New Year resolution, but that is because it is valid every year. The world is full of sad news and horrible people. And that will hardly change overnight. Actually, it may never change. However, what good does it bring if we just complain about it? Quite the opposite: it only makes things even worse.

Instead of complaining about rates, agencies, clients, how about stressing the perks in translation? Stop posting about translation mistakes and start recognizing the amazing job of a fellow colleague. Stop complaining about horrible clients and start praising a client who values professional translators. Stop posting poor memes of translators working overnight, on weekends and holidays and glorifying it, and start spreading tips for a quality work-life balance. Simply stop sharing bad news and start sharing good news. If you do not have anything good to share, simply do not share anything at all. And this can be applied both online and offline.

Less complaining, more doing

When I was a university student, I used to call my mom, crying, complaining about how things were difficult. She would say, every single time, “That’s the life you chose for yourself. You wanted that, now you have it. Do you want to come back home? No? So deal with it. Do you want to quit? No? Then deal with it. You are the only person who can sort things out.” Some will think she was a hard mom. That was what I thought back then. After all, all I wanted was a shoulder to cry on. However, after hanging up the phone, I would wipe my tears off, take a deep breath and take the bull by the horns. Maybe, if she did give me what I was looking for, I would not have the courage to face my problems and would be a whiny adult waiting for things to get better on their own.

What does this have to do with what we are talking about? Complaining, whining and crying do not lead us anywhere. Having the guts to face our problems will. And this applies to anything in life.

That client does not pay well or is not worth it? Raise your rates to whatever suits you, start prospecting with the adjusted rate and fire that old client. That colleague pisses you off every time he/she posts something online? Unfollow him/her. You are tired of working non-stop, with clients contacting you at any time of the day, any day of the week? Determine your working hours, notify your clients about it, display it on your social media channels, website and e-mail signature, and try to stick to it.

How about joining the first point to this one and, whenever you feel like complaining about something, think twice and see if you can do the opposite: try to take something from it and focus on it.

Less work, more productivity

It is a funny thing how translators pride themselves at working practically non-stop – weekends, holidays, overnight; with no vacation for [fill in time here] long years; only sleeping for [fill in time here] hours. I admit I will never understand the logic behind it.

Do not get me wrong. I have already worked under those circumstances – and in all of them at once – in my early beginning. However, I never thought it was something to be proud of. So much so that I learned with my mistakes – as I usually do – and changed. And I do rarely work (but only part time) on the weekend or on a holiday or until later (but definitely not overnight), if necessary. But those are exceptions, and that is fine.

The problem is we usually procrastinate a lot and/or do other things rather than translate and then we have to work more time to deliver an assignment on time. It is possible to work less (time) and produce more. All it takes is discipline, organization and determination. Do you want to work only 6 hours per day? Do it. Yes, you can! Leave social media, personal e-mails, Skype chats, whatever non-work-related tasks for before and/or after your working hours, and set up a fixed day of the week and time for other professional tasks, such as invoicing and marketing. And translate like crazy in those 6 hours. You will see time will fly and your productivity will really increase.

Your translation quality highly depends on it. Lack of sleep, for example, interferes with your thinking capacity, as does working for long hours and multitasking. Focus is the new black.

Less anything bad, more quality of life

If you apply the tips mentioned above, you will already have a better quality of life and more time on your hands to take up on other activities to improve it even more. More positivity means you will also be more positive towards yourself and your life. More doing means you will focus on increasingly improving personally and professionally. More productivity means more quality = more translations = more clients = more reliability = increased rates = professional fulfillment – not exactly in this order. It is a vicious circle of only good things.

Use the time left to exercise, take a CPD course/webinar, meditate, go to the movies, go out for a coffee/beer with colleagues/friends, sleep, you name it – whatever you feel like doing. Do not forget to eat well and take regular breaks throughout your working hours.

What is the point in working your health off and then spending money with doctors, or being unable to work for being sick in bed because your immunity is low for working too much, or getting burned out?

I saw someone post on social media this week, asking for tips on books or anything that could help her stop procrastinating. Books, blog posts, magazine articles, friend’s advice, nothing will work if you are not willing to change. Even this blog post will be in vain if you think it, by itself, will solve all your problems. As I said at the beginning of this post: change starts with us.

So, what do you say? Let’s do this, together?

Meanwhile, I wish you all a merry and joyful Christmas, and an inspiring and happy New Year!

Five things to be grateful for


It’s past mid-November, and I have several reasons to celebrate it: it’s my 5-year business anniversary this month, today is Thanksgiving and the Holidays are just around the corner (as is my birthday right after them). And even a few months ago, I already had that lucky feeling of mission accomplished this year, when you feel the year can already end, because plenty of good things have already happened and you couldn’t be happier. I hope you know what I mean, because it certainly feels fantastic.

We do not celebrate Thanksgiving here in Brazil, but I think it’s a shame. People seem to take pleasure in complaining, but not in being grateful and acknowledging the good, instead of the bad. (And here I am, complaining about people who complain. It’s a vicious circle, you see?)

A Brazilian runner I follow on Instagram, Débora Aquino, once mentioned a Brazilian entrepreneur, Bel Pesce. Débora always talks about being grateful and not complaining, talking about other people behind their back and the like, and one of those times she mentioned Bel, saying people like this young entrepreneur do not have time to complain and talk about other people because they are always busy building something and innovating. (Obviously, I immediately started following Bel as well and can confirm she is indeed an amazing professional.)

Therefore, as a celebration of my 5-year business anniversary, I decided to list 5 things I’m grateful for this year:

  1. Having a job.
    Or even better: being able to do what I love and love what I do. After all, isn’t that a blessing?
    This end of the year, the project flow has been slower than usual. I could complain. Instead, I choose to focus my free time on other things that demand my attention and take the time to innovate, have new ideas, brainstorm, etc. Besides, I still have a “job” and I still get to do what I love.
  2. Choosing a healthy lifestyle.
    In fact, my lifetime decision to change to a healthy lifestyle was made last year: I completely changed from being a sedentary person who crazily ate absolutely everything it was in front of her to someone who started exercising and following a healthy diet. This year, however, I took everything to the next level: started running 10 km; playing tennis for good, including taking part in a competition (I’m currently in the semi-finals); and weight-lifting. Exercising and eating healthily are now part of my normal routine and it feels great.
  3. Friends and colleagues.
    It’s no secret my friends have always been like family to me. Having lived far from home for many years, they turned out to be my home-away family, so they do have a very special reserved space in my heart.
    And translation has brought me several wonderful colleagues, many of which I can now call friends. Many of them I only met online, some Brazilian ones I had already had the chance to meet in person, but some other international ones I had the great pleasure of meeting in person this year, at the IAPTI conference in Bordeaux, France, to name but a few: Chiara Bartolozzi, Emma Becciu, Marta Prieto, Mila Rapizo, Gala Amat (with whom I shared a flat), Rita Maia, Paula Arturo, Vanessa Marques. (Please forgive me if I haven’t mentioned your name, but you are all equally important.) Besides, one of the greatest things that the conference provided to me was to finally meet Marta Stelmaszak and Valeria Aliperta, my role models, in person and to attend one of their talks.
    After all, working as freelance, all by ourselves behind a computer at our (home) office is nothing without our colleagues, right?
  4. Being able to afford a comfortable lifestyle.
    I’m a wanderluster, and translation allows me to travel a lot, sometimes even more than once a year, as was the case this year: I had the chance of traveling to Fernando de Noronha island, one of the greatest (if not the greatest) beach destinations in Brazil with my wanderluster friends in April, and to Europe in September, also with a dear friend.
    I’m able to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
    I was able to move out and live by myself again.
    I can afford to buy things I love, and not simply wish I had them.
    I was finally able to buy my very first car.
    I know things and money do not equal happiness, but they certainly help.
  5. You!
    Yes, you! If it weren’t for all my followers, supporters and blog readers, I wouldn’t be compelled to keep passing on what I know and increasingly wanting to learn more to do so. You keep me going and motivate me to innovate and always help. Thank you! 🙂

Reflecting on our accomplishments and writing them down make them feel real and avoid us from taking them for granted. We all have gifts in life, lessons learned and achievements every year, and I think it’s important to acknowledge them and be thankful before moving on and setting new goals and resolutions. Also, reward yourself on your achievements and reflect upon what didn’t go right in order to change and innovate, instead of keeping the same old mistakes. The time is now. I can already feel Christmas approaching. How about you?

P.S.: I love you!

Just kidding! LOL I couldn’t miss the joke.

Now, seriously, I’ve just received 200 likes on the blog with this post, so there’s something else to be grateful for. Thank you! And I guess I do love you as well, after all. 🙂

A 2014 wrap-up/New Year resolutions


It’s that time of the year again. Everybody is working like crazy to take some time off for the holidays or simply because clients seem to think the world will end during the holidays. Christmas is around the corner, some of us have already sent our season’s greetings, others are hurrying up to do so now. Mine, by the way, are already on the way. I hope the ones shipped to the other side of the ocean arrive in time. New Year will follow right after that and, when we least expect, it will be already 2015.

As some of you may already now, our blog will take a three-week break for Christmas, New Year and my birthday (I know, I’m being repetitive, but I do love birthdays, so please let me be). Therefore, I wanted to wrap this year up before taking a break. I think it’s worth it having a look back at what we have accomplished and set goals for the fresh new year to come. It makes us recognize everything we were able to achieve (even the mistakes and the bad things, which are also valuable as life lessons), finding closure and allowing us to focus on the upcoming year determined, with a plan to follow.

So here’s my retrospective of 2014:

  • I finally took the courage and changed my life to a much healthier one! Besides changing my eating habit, I started exercising. Now I certainly have a proper work/life balance and, guess what, I feel great!
  • I started running and fell in love with it. After hurting my knee starting out recklessly, I learned the lesson, started practicing Pilates focused on the recovery of my knee, ran my first competition of 4 km (ran and walked). After training more and recovering, I was finally able to finish a 5-km run just running from the beginning to the finish line. Two other running competitions followed up, with better times. It may be nothing to some people, but for me it was a lot!
  • I lost 10 kg! 😀
  • I started the guest post series on the blog and hosted amazing people.
  • I e-met awesome people on social media (especially on Twitter) and engaged more with the ones I already knew. Personally met other equally awesome people.
  • My portfolio of direct clients increased.
  • I started working with a translator role-model and received great feedback from her.
  • I took my branding to a whole new level: created my brand (Alberoni Translations) with a new logo, remodeled my website, took some professionally-shot pics, sent my first custom-made Christmas cards and ordered my first custom-made freebies.
  • I started out as a lecturer at a translation event at the same university I was once a student, which made it even more special.


My goals for 2015 are:

  • Running 8 km in March and then 10 km.
  • Competing in tennis.
  • Starting practicing Yoga.
  • Attending the IAPTI Conference in Bordeaux, France, and taking the opportunity to visit my beloved England again.
  • Presenting in other translation events.
  • Meeting e-colleagues in Europe in person (those who live in France/England and/or will attend the IAPTI Conference, I’m talking to you).
  • Improving my branding even more.
  • Buying my own apartment and moving out again.

I may have forgotten one or two achievements and goals, but that’s pretty much it. I’m really thankful for everything that happened this year. I must say it was better than expected. Thank you all for reading our posts, liking them, sharing them and commenting! This blog would be nothing without you. Now I hope 2015 is even better, not only to me, but to all of you. May you accomplish all your goals/resolutions and land lovely clients/projects!

Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year!

See you next year! 😉

Importante note: Posts will be back on January 13th.

Giving thanks

Hello, dear followers! How are you doing? Are you ready for December?

As for me, I’m having a lazy and rather sleepy morning, so I decided to start the day with our weekly post to see if I manage to “wake up”.


As you know, today is Thanksgiving. (I love it when special days fall on Thursdays! :D) Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated in the US and in Canada every year, on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a religious holiday that does not really belong to any religion in particular. People gather with their families and friends around a table filled with food to give thanks for everything.

In Brazil, we call it Dia de Ação de Graças, but we do not celebrate it at all – it is not even a holiday actually.

However, I do like the idea of being thankful and using the date as an “excuse” to acknowledge all good things that have happened.

This year, I’m thankful for:

  • First of all, as always, my family. We lost one member, but won another, and another one is on his/her way.
  • Secondly, also as always, my friends, who are like family to me. They are always there for me when I need, always by my side in the good and the bad moments.
  • My professional life. I work with something I love the way I have always dreamed of. I wouldn’t change it a tiny bit.
  • The incredible year I had, both professionally and personally. I achieved many goals and accomplished wonders. I also completely changed my health life, and now have a perfect exercise and diet routine.
  • Meeting wonderful people who acknowledge my work and are incredible human beings. And all the other colleagues, for still being there and brightening up my day, every day.
  • And last but not least, you, my readers, of course, for reading, liking, commenting and sharing my posts.


After writing this year’s list, I read last year’s. It is interesting to see the things we were grateful for in the past – what remains the same and what has changed.

Wouldn’t you also like to take this chance to thank for something?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Related resources:
Menu para o Dia de Ação de Graças (English version)
Seven Thanksgiving Related Words and Phrases
The Best Foods to Eat this Thanksgiving (for runners – since I’m into running)
25 Thanksgiving Jokes That Will Get You Through Dinner With Your Family
Give Thanks in 30 Languages (since Portuguese is not on the list: Obrigada!)

Giveaway and other announcements


  • Translation Day Sweepstake

September is the translators’ month (September 30 is the International Translation Day), so let’s celebrate it with a giveaway!

Want a chance to win a copy of the book 101 Things a Translator Needs to Know?

It’s simple. First of all, access this link. As you can see, it’s a Facebook sweepstake app. If you already like our Facebook page, all you need to do is click on Quero participar (the app is in Brazilian Portuguese). You will be redirected to allow the app (you can delete it afterwards). If you haven’t liked our Facebook fan page yet, you’ll be required to do so before being able to participate on the giveaway. The following message will appear: Para participar da promoção, você precisa “Curtir” esta página (To participate on this promotion, you need to “Like” this page). When you’re done, the following message appears: Agora você tem um cupom para esta promoção! (Now you have a coupon for this promotion!).

The winner will be chosen on September 30.

Good luck!

Please help share.


  • 2014 Community Choice Awards has announced the nominees of this year’s Community Choice Awards, and I’m among them!

Voting phase is already underway and ends on September 22. There are two main categories: translation-related and interpretation-related. I have been nominated in the translation-related main category as:

Blog: Best overall blog, based on activity and content from January 2013 to date – Carol’s Adventures in Translation;
Website: Best overall professional website – Alberoni Translations;
Twitter account: Best overall “Tweeter”, based on activity from January 2013 to date – AlberoniTranslations (@AlberoniTrans);
Facebook page: Best overall Facebook page or group, based on activity and content from January 2013 to date – Alberoni Translations;
Blog post: For a single blog post, as opposed to the “Blog” category, which is based on a blog as a whole. This category may include guest blog posts – 22 dicas importantes sobre alguns erros comuns em português; profile: Most professional/attractive profile – Caroline Alberoni.

You can vote for one nominee in each category. As I haven’t been nominated to all of them, you can vote for other people or leave them blank, if you wish. You can also vote for the interpretation-related main category. There are great people who were also nominated, so it’s worth having a look at all of them. 😉


  • Russian and/or Chinese translator

Are you a translator from English or Brazilian Portuguese to Russian and/or Chinese? If not, do you know anyone who is? Please send CVs to caroline(at)alberoni(dot)com(dot)br.

Love is in the Air


As some (or all) of you know, I’m Brazilian. And in Brazil, Valentine’s Day (Dia dos Namorados) is on June 12. 

Besides, I’m single. 

No reasons to celebrate Valentine’s Day today or even to enjoy all the love being spread on the internet then, right? 


I actually like Valentine’s Day. I do. Yes, the North-American one, celebrated today. 

In Brazil, the day is celebrated exclusively by those who have a girlfriend/boyfriend, husband/wife. Now that is boring, because, of course, it does not include me. However, the North-American one, on the other hand, embraces the idea of love. And love is not exclusive to lovers per se, but to friends and anything else you might actually… love! Now that includes pretty much everybody (unless you are a grumpy person that does not love absolutely anything). 

Because of that, I decided to treat you with a bonus post this week! I want to share with you my love for… 

  • Translation. I love my job! If you are a translator and also love what you do or if you are not a translator, but love your translator or simply support us, this is a great opportunity to spread the love! Have you already heard of these wonderful initiatives: Love Your Translator and Pro and Proud? Access the links, learn more and help us spread the love. 
  • You! My lovely readers who follow my posts, read them, share them, comment, follow me on social media. I ♥ you!

Here’s a Happy Valentine’s Day full of love to you all! 

My present to you is this great list of love-related articles. Enjoy!

Why writters and bloggers need a lot of love
Be my Valentine!
Do you heart your translation company? Why communication builds a strong relationship
Valentine’s Day: legend, traditions and tips to celebrate it
A whole lot of history behind ‘x’ and ‘o,’ kiss and hug
11 British Chat Up Lines for Single People to Use on Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day: How to Talk About Love



The New Year slowly and lazily starts today not only for me but for many other people (although I actually have to admit mine only starts for good after my birthday – which is on the 8th).

Professionally, I cannot complain about 2013. It was the year of changes:

  • I had the opportunity of working work in-house at one of my clients, so now I unquestionably assert I am a pro and proud freelancer. Do not get me wrong: it was an insightful experience. I was able to understand how an agency works and personally met some wonderful people. However, commuting to work, having to follow business hours, producing non-stop – without being able to make stops for social media or for simply walking around the house – and having to accept whatever project fell on my desk are definitely not my strong suit.
  • I stopped working for only one agency and improved – a lot – my client portfolio, including an international agency and an international direct client. You go, girl!
  • I improved my social media presence. I already had my Facebook fan page and my Twitter account since 2012, but my engagement increased last year. In 2013, I e-met some great translators from all around the world on Twitter, with whom I learned a lot, and exchanged experiences and knowledge. I finally got the courage to star my blog, created a Pinterest account and finally gave in to Google+.
  • I attended three translators’ conferences, where I personally met some colleagues, networked and met new translator friends. Besides learning a lot with all the talks, I also visited two cities I have never been to before.

As to 2014, I have a great feeling about it. I am positive it will be a blast, packed with good news, translation projects, new clients, new translation events…

  • I will keep looking for new clients and aiming increasingly higher.
  • A brand new logo is coming up, followed by a redesigned website. With it, I hope I increase my fans and followers, and their engagement in my social media. I also plan on keeping my blog up and running at full speed.
  • Unfortunately, Brazil is a bit too far from Europe, where all the great translation events take place. But I do plan on attending the IAPTI’s Conference in Athens. It would be just incredibly fantastic to meet all the great translators in person! Besides, there are the national events, which I will undoubtedly attend.

All in all, we always hope the new year is greater than the previous one, right? Why not hope that this one will also be surprisingly better?

A happy, productive and successful 2014!

Unwrap Your Memories


I was proudly invited by the sweet Meg Campbell, from Destiny USA (Facebook, Twitter), to write a special blog post on my favorite holiday memories/traditions to participate on their Unwrap Your Memories Campaign.

I have loads of cherishing memories from my holidays with my family and friends, but the one I spent in England while living there for my master studies was quite unforgettable. Besides studying hard, I also worked part time as a waitress at a café and at an Italian restaurant. That was from 2009 to 2010. I was so lucky to meet a bunch of great friends from a couple of other countries, with whom I learned a lot and exchanged wonderful experiences that I’ll take with me forever.

I’ll never forget my shifts at the café at the mall, with background Christmas songs or live Christmas carols, gorgeous Christmas decorations with shiny green and yellow balls hanging from the ceiling, and the lovely English customers bustling in carrying bags full of presents for their loved ones.

ImageAfter calling it a day at the café, my Christmas Eve dinner was among dear friends from Poland, Italy and Colombia. We ate traditional food from our home countries (e.g. pierogi, from Poland, and tiramisù, from Italy), exchanged lovely presents and pulled Christmas crackers, wearing the golden hats that were inside for the rest of the evening.

On the 25th, I proudly managed to roast a turkey for the first time! After going to mass early in the morning, I enjoyed a Christmas lunch with two friends from Tanzania who lived with me at the dorm. They also prepared ugali, which they usually eat with their bare hands (that’s why a woman from Tanzania will only paint the nails of one hand, leaving the one they use to eat clean).


On New Year’s Eve, some friends from Poland and Italy, and I went to London to see the fabulous fireworks. However, we never got to the river Thames and couldn’t actually see them! lol The place was crowded and the police were blocking the streets that would lead to the river. Nevertheless, we had so much fun roaming around London streets, taking pics with strangers, laughing our hearts out and celebrating the brand new and promising year. Before taking the train back home, we stopped for a hot dog, and it magically started snowing! It was so cool! When you come from a Southern country where people usually spend their holidays at the beach, wearing shorts, tank tops and flip-flops, being able to get the real holiday feeling with snow is something special.


Being away from home, especially during holidays, is really difficult, but the friends I made and the moments I spent with them turned them into the most special holidays I’ve ever had.


Why don’t you also share your holiday memories with us? I would love to hear your story! 🙂


Christmas Traditions in Brazil


The blog Love Your Translator is celebrating the 24 days in anticipation of Christmas with an intercultural Advent calendar on their Facebook page. Starting on December 1st, every day they are posting a Christmas tradition from one country – it can be a short story, a recipe, or a picture of how people celebrate Christmas around the world.

I decided to take part in it and share Brazilian traditions.

I must admit I had a bit of a hard time trying to think on something particularly Brazilian. We celebrate this time of the year in a very similar way as the US and the rest of the world. We decorate our houses and the streets with Christmas trees, Santa Claus (called Papai Noel), and even “snow” (since it is summer here, we have to improvise); we exchange gifts and have a great dinner on Christmas Eve with the family, in which turkey is also present. However, we do customize our dinner with plenty of fresh fruits and rabanada (Brazilian-style French toast – find the recipe below).

ImageBesides, at this time of the year, supermarkets are packed with panettones (a type of sweet bread loaf originally from Italy). They are most commonly made with candied fruits and raisins, but you can also find chocotones (made with chocolate, instead of candied fruits).

Brazilians also like to play Secret Santa (amigo secreto – secret friend), in which members of a group (at work, or amongst friends or family) are randomly assigned a person (by a raffle) to whom they should buy a gift (the price range is usually established). The entire process is secret, and people only find out who their secret friend is when the gifts are exchanged, usually at a get-together – if not on Christmas Eve. We also have some variations of the game. One of them is secret enemy, in which we poke fun at our friends giving them something unusual, exotic and funny that she/he should never use. Another is amigo-ladrão (thief-friend), in which you do not know who your secret friend is: participants buy generic gifts that can suit both men and women. The raffle is conducted at the get-together, and you can choose your gift from the pile – without unwraping them though. If you do not like what you’ve got, you can “steal” gifts from those who already have theirs. The problem is, if you are one the first, you run the risk of having your gift stolen not only once, but several times. It’s so much fun!



1 medium sweet baguette or 1 medium sourdough baguette
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
6 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 -4 cups vegetable oil (for frying, estimated)

Cut bread into 1-inch thick slices on the bias. You should get about 16 pieces. If you have more, adjust other ingredients to compensate. Whisk together the eggs, condensed milk, whole milk, vanilla extract, and salt until well mixed. Coat bread slices on both sides in the egg mixture, and place coated bread in a shallow pan or pie plate, add any remaining egg mixture to it. Cover with press and seal wrap or foil and place in the refrigerator to soften overnight. Mix together sugar, cocoa and cinnamon in a small shallow bowl big enough to hold one slice bread. Heat oil in a deep skillet to about 2-inches until it reaches 330F (use a candy thermometer to check). Lift the bread from the egg mixture until it stops dripping, and pan fry the pieces in the skillet on both sides until golden and crispy. Keep the oil hot while frying (check temp), raising the heat if needed. As the pieces are removed from the skillet, drain on paper towels then dredge in the spicy sugar mixture.


You can find the three first “windows” of the Love Your Translator blog’s intercultural Advent calendar here:
December 1st – Italy
December 2nd – Canada
December 3rd – Serbia

Did I forget any other Brazilian tradition? Would you like to share your family/region/country’s tradition? Please feel free to comment. I would love to hear your stories!