Although it doesn't immediately spring to mind, Portuguese is one of the most spoken languages in the world.
This represents just over 220 million native speakers around the world, and puts the Portuguese language ahead of French, Japanese, or German.
Portuguese is the official language of 9 different independent countries, including Portugal in Europe, and Brazil in South America.
The language is also spoken in some African countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, and Cape Verde. In Asia, Portuguese is spoken in the autonomous Chinese territory of Macao and East Timor.
With so many native speakers geographically spread over four continents, you can imagine why there would be so many reasons to learn Portuguese. But one of the advantages can also make it a slightly more difficult language to learn.
There are less English speakers who speak Portuguese as a second language than Spanish. It'll often therefore be more difficult to find a Portuguese tutor than a Spanish one, but that doesn't mean that it's an impossible task.
Obviously you're chances will increase if you live in a city with large Portuguese speaking populations, but even outside of this you can often find a language school offering Portuguese, or even a Portuguese tutor in your city on the Superprof website.
How to learn Portuguese no longer needs to be a question that you struggle to answer; here at Superprof we have everything you need to know to get you started.
Learning Portuguese with a Teacher at School
Historically speaking, Portuguese has always been overlooked in high schools around the world in favour of more common European languages. Obviously this is a generalisation that changes depending on where you are in the world, but it doesn't mean that you can't start taking a Portuguese language course at high school level.
You can do a search online depending on your county in order to find out which high schools offer Portuguese. You will see that there are not many but that they do exist...
There are some big differences when it comes to regions:
- You are more likely to find high schools offering Portuguese where there are large, dominant Portuguese communities. This is because the families are more likely to want their kids to take Portuguese courses London as it will be more useful to them.
- Countries and regions that have close ties with Portuguese speaking countries are more likely to offer Portuguese lessons at high school because there is a better chance it will benefit the students further down the line.
Another thing to consider is that it is also possible to find a Portuguese teacher in private schools. Online you can find the list of private schools offering Portuguese classes. Because they have a bigger control over what they teach, the probability of Portuguese being on offer increases when compared to state schools.
How to Learn Portuguese at University
You will have no problem finding a Portuguese language program in higher education.
There are plenty of variations around, including the traditional Portuguese BA in Language and Literature that offers students the opportunity to learn the Portuguese langauge in order to become bilingual at the end of their four year degree. This BA also exists for other languages such as Chinese, Russian, Spanish, French, and Italian.
The modalities sometimes differ in terms of the educational objectives. For some, literature will be a priority. In other institutions, the emphasis is on history. Your course will also include a year living in a Portuguese speaking country, so you could have the chance to live in Lisbon or Rio de Janeiro.
You can also get a certificate for the Portuguese language that does not come in the form of a BA. Lots of universities offer Portuguese classes to students studying other degrees that they can do as an extra module to complement their studies.
These courses exist in many universities and for different languages such as:
- Modern Greek,
- And Russian.
Such a certificate will give you operational communication skills in the given language and allow you to build written and oral comprehension skills. Each university structures these courses in a different way, but you expect there to be different levels of difficulty.
Finding Portuguese Lessons Online with a Tutor
Learning Portuguese online with a either a real or virtual teacher is also quite feasible. Self-taught classes can complement the courses you take with either a public or private institution, or with your classes with a private tutor. Make sure to select the tutor that is perfect for you, and who matches your learning style and aims. You can find plenty of advice on how to choose a Portuguese tutor online so that you know what to look out for.
The Easy Portuguese website offers support for learners of Brazilian Portuguese.
Many tools are available to learners and the site accompanies each student for free with:
- Videos and podcasts
- Various lesson plans,
- Conversation guide,
- Practice exercises with corrections,
- And the possibility of exchanges via language forums, for example.
The learner remains the master of their learning with the possibility of a tutor stepping when needed. Paid courses are available on the site, although they vary in price based on the expectations and level requested by the student.
For those who are fans of interactive tools and learning things more playfully, Babbel is a great virtual teacher.
A trial version is available to test out its different features:
- Voice recognition for pronunciation,
- Interactive exercises for vocabulary learning,
- And the possibility to continue learning anywhere by using the mobile application.
- The paid version of the application is available for a period of one month, three months, six months and one year with discounts being applied for the longer periods of time.
Finding a Private Portuguese Tutor on an Online Platform
Superprof, a private tutoring platform on the web, offers many options for learning Portuguese, whether it is oral Portuguese from Portugal or Brazilian Portuguese. The features and variants are numerous:
- In-home private lessons with a tutor,
- Private tuition in a café,
- Courses via webcam on Skype,
- Individual courses,
- Or collective classes in small groups.
You are sure to be able to find the teaching method that suits you, as well as the perfect teacher to match your expectations in terms of work and methodology. By choosing a private tutor with Superprof, you can also be more flexible in regard to your personal obligations and schedule.
What's more, the cost of Portuguese classes differs depending on the teacher, meaning that you are more likely to find something that suits your budget.
The Tutor Hub platform also offers the possibility of connecting a Portuguese learner with a tutor. When searching for a tutor you will be asked what your language level is, what your budget is, and what your location is.
The results of the search correspond directly to your profile.
As with anything, being well prepared and thorough in your search for a private Portuguese tutor will mean that you will get your money's worth from the classes.
Learn to Speak Portuguese Through Immersion
This is the most effective method for learning Portuguese; learning on the ground. By spending some time in a Portuguese speaking country, you will throw yourself in at the deep end by allowing yourself to be constantly surrounded by the Portuguese language. The learning will be centered on the spoken language (conversations, dialogues), but you will also see the grammar that you learn in practice too by reading newspapers and other publications.
And if this is not a feasible option, the spread of the Portuguese across the world means that lots of large cities now have Portuguese communities. It is not uncommon to find Portuguese restaurants or shops selling Iberian products in large towns and cities across the globe. Spending time in these places also increases your exposure to the language in the same immersive way as living in Lisbon or Porto does.
For a student, you could learn by working in one of these shops. Many customers are Portuguese-speakers and can help you learn the Portuguese language like a native.
For those who do not have enough time, being a customer in these stores can help you create links and opportunities with Portuguese speakers.
- Learning Portuguese is a real asset to have on your CV. Besides, it may be useful when you go for Portuguese London shopping.
- But first of all, find a competent and trustworthy teacher to transmit his or her knowledge to you when it comes to Portuguese vocabulary, grammar, conjugation, pronunciation, and accent. A flawless method will get you a long way.
- This is the key so that each learner can progress properly. Learning a foreign language also requires a significant personal time investment to achieve one's goals. Since Portuguese is a Latin language, the learning will probably be less technical than other languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or Arabic, which don't use the Latin alphabet.
- There are different paths into the Portuguese language. You can make your Portuguese learning very academic by studying at school or at university, or you can use digital means such as websites or applications. A virtual teacher can fill learning gaps and provide significant linguistic lessons to new learners. Private lessons via platforms such as Superprof can also be an essential tool for studying and improving your language level in Portuguese.
- Whatever method you choose, be sure to practice between Portuguese lessons in order to reinforce what you have studied and learnt.
There are many choices available to you!