By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – ‘Mundo Lingo’ is a new language exchange group that recently launched in Rio de Janeiro, and which aims to attract expatriates and Cariocas alike. The format is fun and relaxed, with their weekly meetings taking place every Tuesday evening at Jungle Garden Pub in Rio’s trendy Botafogo.
“Our grand opening party happened on December 4th, with over ninety people in attendance, while our first regular event was held last Tuesday. This coming Tuesday, January 15th, will be our third Mundo Lingo meeting, which we’re hoping to continue every Tuesday at the Jungle Garden Pub in Botafogo.” Polina Feofanova, Rio City Manager for Mundo Lingo explains.
Mundo Lingo language exchanges follow a simple formula, where participants stick mini flags of the languages they can speak onto their chests, with native at the top, and their weakest language at the bottom. They can then stand up, which means they’re willing to meet people, or sit down if they are already in conversation.
“We are a friendly crowd and our idea is to invite everyone who is interested in languages, different cultures and making friends with people all around the world,” Feofanova continues. “This could include tourists traveling to Rio, local expats, or Brazilians who are interested in practicing languages with foreigners.”
While it isn’t exactly a bar crawl, the atmosphere is relaxed and convivial. “We are happy to see people of all ages, professions and nationalities.” She explains, “Just be friendly and come thirsty, as our caipirinhas at the bar will improve your language level!”
Conveniently for those who are unsure about meeting new people, Jungle Garden Pub, the popular bar in Rio’s hip Botafogo neighborhood, will be offering a happy hour offer of two-for-one on caipirinhas between 7PM-9PM on a Tuesday evening.
“It’s free, we are friendly, and once you come for your first time you are sure to want to come back.” Feofanova says, being a convert to Mundo Lingo herself. “I love Latin America and spent a lot of time traveling around this magical continent, including three years in Buenos Aires where I started visiting local Mundo Lingo meetings.”
She continues, “I came to Rio only a year ago; it was a really intense, breathtaking year. I’m really passionate about the city’s beauty, its nature, and its crazy atmosphere! This city gives me lots of opportunities and new ideas, especially with Mundo Lingo, which I’m looking to bring up to maybe even two or three events per week.”