A growing number of people in Brazil's large Japanese community are studying Japanese under non-native teachers.

"I would like to go out on a date with you this weekend," one student practiced saying in Japanese during an entry-level class in Sao Paulo's Liberdade district, which has the city's largest Japanese community.

"No, no! Japanese people avoid direct expressions because they are shy," Aline Wanderley, teacher of the 13-strong class, said in Portuguese, arousing laughter.