Brazilian Prostitutes Learning English Before 2014 World Cup

The oldest profession in the world is brushing up its resume before English-speaking soccer fans flood their country

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Douglas Engle/Bloomberg News/Getty Images

Prostitutes work in the Copacabana neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 15, 2007 in advance of the Pan American Games.

In advance of the 2014 World Cup, Brazil is getting ready for its close up. And Brazilian prostitutes are getting ready for their own close ups — with a lot of English-speaking tourists.

As the country braces for an influx of soccer fans, according to Reuters, Brazilian prostitutes are signing up for free English classes being offered by a prostitute advocacy group in Belo Horizonte, one of the cities slated to host World Cup matches. “This is important for the dignity of the work, the women need to be able to negotiate a fair price and defend themselves,” Cida Vieira, president of the Minas Gerais state Association of Prostitutes, told Reuters. Prostitution is legal in Brazil and, as with past World Cups, they’re expecting a booming business during the soccer tournaments.

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The group is seeking to expand their language offerings to include offer Spanish, French, Italian and even Portuguese classes (some of the city’s sex workers are immigrants who do not know Brazil’s primary language). Vieira said that 20 sex workers have already signed up for the courses and she expects at least 300 of the group’s 4,000 members to follow suit.

It may be the oldest profession in the world, but that doesn’t mean it can’t update its skill set.

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