Portuguese is a brilliant language to learn. As one of the most spoken languages in the world, with around 200 million native speakers, there are plenty of people you can speak Portuguese with!
Regardless of why you might be interested in learning Portuguese, it can be difficult to find a place where you can learn the language, especially if you’re an absolute beginner or an intermediate speaker.
This is because Portuguese isn’t typically taught as a modern foreign language at schools, whether that’s at primary school or secondary school. This is because other languages, from French to Spanish and German, are generally preferred.
So, if you want to improve your Portuguese skills, you need to look outside the box for a language tutor. This article outlines some of the ways you can learn Portuguese in Belfast.
While you might think you need to be an advanced Portuguese speaker to study the language at university, you can actually take language courses at university that are designed for beginners and intermediate level learners.
For example, at Queen’s University Belfast, you can study a beginners Portuguese course that lasts for 10 weeks. The course is designed for complete beginners, and course attendees aren’t expected to have any knowledge of Portuguese as a language before taking the course.
According to the university’s website, the learning outcomes of the course are as follows:
“Students will have developed a beginner’s vocabulary in the topic areas outlined above so that they can communicate at a basic level in the language. Students will understand basic words and phrases. Students will be able to formulate simple sentences.”
If you’re not a complete beginner in Portuguese, or you’ve completed the level 1 course at Queen’s University Belfast, then the university also offers a level 2 in Portuguese.
This course also runs for 10 weeks and could cover topics such as:
Of course, if you are an advanced Portuguese speaker, or would really like to learn about the language in great depth, then there is the option to apply for a place at university to study Portuguese at degree-level.
Queen’s University Belfast can also help in this regard and offers a number of degree programmes that include Portuguese, such as International Business with Portuguese, Spanish and Portuguese, French and Portuguese, and Archaeology and Portuguese.
Language schools can help teach you basic greetings in Portuguese (Image Source: Pixabay)
If studying a language at university doesn’t appeal, then you could also try your hand at improving your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in Portuguese at a language school.
There are a few language schools in Belfast, such as Language Trainers, which offers Portuguese lessons in a number of formats, including:
So, whether you’d like to learn Portuguese for work-related reasons, or you want to learn the language for personal reasons (maybe to travel to Portugal or Brazil) you should be able to find a course.
To give you a guideline of how much time you would need to commit to learning Portuguese, Language Trainers gives an estimate of the number of hours needed to reach a certain level:
Another language school you might like to research in Belfast is Listen & Learn, which offers language lessons across the UK and Ireland.
Like Language Trainers, Listen & Learn offers a range of Portuguese courses depending on why you’d like to learn Portuguese.
You can find face to face, one to one lessons for both general Portuguese and business Portuguese, as well as group lessons. Portuguese lessons can also be held via Skype.
Flexibility is emphasised with Listen & Learn, as their website states:
“You and your group can be trained by our native speaker qualified Portuguese teachers and can meet at your place of work or home at a time convenient to you. Tutorials can take place any day of the week, including weekends, and can be scheduled for the morning, afternoon or evening. If your home or office is not suitable for you, you can attend the lesson at the teacher’s offices. You will be provided with all relevant lesson materials.”
You might find that having Portuguese lessons in a group setting works better for you (Image Source: Pixabay)
If you’re looking for a more flexible way to learn a language, then you could also consider learning Portuguese, or another foreign language, online.
There are plenty of resources available on the internet at price points to suit all budgets.
The BBC, for example, offers some language learning resources for Portuguese, such as “Talk Portuguese” – an online language course for beginners. The course covers a range of topics, including, but not limited to:
Aside from the BBC, there are other ways to learn languages online or through your phone, with some popular examples highlighted below.
Babbel is one of the most well-known language learning apps available. A paid-for service, Babbel offers:
“Lessons crafted by language experts, and voiced by native speakers, [that] will get you ready for real-life situations.”
“Interactive dialogues [that] will give you the confidence to speak, and our speech recognition technology will help you get it right.”
“Curated review sessions [that] will reinforce what you’ve learned by bringing it back in new contexts, committing it to memory so you’ll never struggle for the right words.”
Babbel also offers short, easy to digest lessons, which tend to last 10 to 15 minutes, which is great if you’re time-poor but still want to get better at speaking Portuguese or learning the language more generally.
Babbel also offers many different languages, such as Italian, German, Spanish, French, and Russian. So, if you’d like to learn another foreign language alongside Portuguese, Babbel can certainly help.
Another popular language-learning resource is Duolingo.
Like Babbel, lessons tend to be bite-size, making it easy to learn on the go, whether you’d like to learn about Portuguese grammar, the alphabet, or would like to expand your vocabulary in general.
Other languages are also offered aside from Portuguese, such as Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Italian, and Chinese.
You can access a free version of Duolingo or choose a paid-for version that removes adverts and offers offline courses, among other things.
If you’re after something a little bit different when learning Portuguese, you could try MosaLingua.
The Portuguese course offers features such as:
Apps that offer Portuguese lessons can be a great way to learn more about the Portuguese language (Image Source: Pixabay)
Language apps and online language courses, such as those run by the BBC, can be really helpful if you’re new to a language or want to learn in a flexible way that suits a busy lifestyle.
Additionally, while there are certain things you can learn relatively easily through an app, such as learning common greetings and sayings in Portuguese and learning basic vocabulary and grammar, there are some drawbacks.
This is because, while an online course can help you improve your reading and writing skills in Portuguese, you might find it harder to develop your speaking and listening skills to the same level, unless the course incorporates exercises that practice these areas.
Ideally, when learning Portuguese, you should have regular exposure to the language as it’s spoken, and you should also have the opportunity to speak in Portuguese as well. This is why having a Portuguese tutor that you can converse with while speaking Portuguese can be so beneficial, as a tutor:
If you’re looking for a new Portuguese tutor to help you take the next step in your language learning journey, then you could consider tutoring websites such as Superprof. Superprof has tutors in Belfast that teach a wide array of subjects and languages, including Portuguese.
If you have a particular preference as to whether you learn Brazilian Portuguese or the Portuguese spoken in Portugal, let your tutor know as well and they’ll do what they can to help you.
The benefits of having a Superprof tutor teach you Portuguese is increased flexibility, as you can have more choice when it comes to when to have your lessons, and you also have a greater voice when deciding what you’re taught.
So if you’re looking to improve your business Portuguese, want to learn common greetings or basic sayings, want to revise the Portuguese alphabet and basic grammar, or would like someone to practice your speaking skills with, a Superprof tutor could help you.