Portuguese is only the seventh most studied language in the UK, which is quite astonishing when you consider that around 250 million people across the globe speak it either as a first or second language.
It’s also shocking to think that some people will opt to learn Russian, learn Japanese or learn Chinese Mandarin over Portuguese, as Portugal is one of our close neighbours and is a truly mesmerising destination for holiday-goers!
Among the most popular language study programs in the UK are French courses, along with opportunities to speak Spanish, German and the chance to learn Italian, and it is not hard to see why.
For instance, France is our closest neighbour, followed by Spain which, of course, guarantees an even better climate. Yet, with Portugal offering some beautiful tourist resorts and at relatively cheap prices, why are more of us Brits not learning to speak their official language so that we can participate in conversations with their locals, shopkeepers, or restauranteurs when we are out there?
If you are someone who visits Portugal regularly or wishes to in the future, then you may be motivated to learn the language (with an emphasis on communicative proficiency) via an engaging language study programme led by an instructor or by taking an online course to help you with learning the language.
Self study is always a possibility when trying to learn a language as there are numerous resources available to learners. Image courtesy of www.CGPGrey.com
Self study shouldn’t be ruled out either, as there are so many resources and tools available on the Internet to make use of which can enhance your comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, verb conjugation and enable you to learn more new words and phrases and expressions.
Whatever your reason for visiting Portugal, we bet that once you’ve been to the country once you will return at least once more in your lifetime, if not time and time again! All the more reason to brush up on your language studies before you plan your next trip!
Wondering if it’s a good idea to buy a property in Portugal or if you’re better off renting? This, of course, depends on a number of factors such as your connection to the place, how long you intend to live there or hold onto the property for, the current property market and the cost of a mortgage (particularly if you are an expat).
As we discovered in one of our other posts, the Portuguese economy was hit hard by the global recession, in turn, causing house prices to plummet. Yet, it is now showing signs of recovery.
Renting allows flexibility but you may not always be able to find reasonable year-round deals because of the tourism trade. Equally, if you plan to buy and let an apartment or villa then you may find that long-term arrangements are hard to come by, particularly in resort areas where it is mainly tourists with short-term travel plans who travel through.
That said, if you have a great location, you can always hike your prices up for the summer season and then accept that it will stay empty during the colder months. This, however, means that you rarely get a chance to visit your own property during the peak season when the weather is at its nicest.
Interest rates are phenomenally low in Portugal so, at times, buying property in Portugal can work out cheaper than monthly rent payments, therefore, your first choice may indeed be to purchase a property. Prices are on the rise but are still inexpensive in the grand scheme of things, so you could be looking to make a profit buying now and watching as the prices increase year on year (granted it could take many years for this growth to result in a significant profit and by then your property could be old and in need of improvements).
Should you buy a property in Portugal? Photo credit: PortoBay Trade on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND
Capital gains taxes can also affect any profits (especially for non-residents), along with estate agents’ fees.
When you think of holidays in Portugal, your thoughts often turn automatically to seaside resorts like the famous Algarve, with its gorgeous sandy beaches and blue sea. However, Portugal has an added value for those with holiday lets across the country as well as holiday-goers, in that you can participate in a number of sports.
Water sports like kayaking, diving, jet-skiing, and windsurfing are popular activities (not for the faint-hearted, might I add!) while some coastal positions are hotspots for surfing. Porto, Peniche, Sagres and Lagos are good examples of magnificent surfing areas.
In addition to water sports, visitors can enjoy a relaxing 9 or 18 holes of golf at one of the country’s many golf clubs.
Not only are the golf clubs known internationally for their standards, ex-pats often choose Portugal as their place of retirement purely for the fantastic opportunities to play golf in a stunning setting and climate. Furthermore, many golf trips take foreign players to the country when they are on the lookout for overseas golfing opportunities at low costs.
Located on Broad Street, Birmingham, these Beginner classes take place in the evening starting November 2018.
“This course is for beginners who have just completed the Beginners Part 1 course or for those who have studied the language at very basic level for about 10 hours. As a minimum, you should be able to introduce yourself, count up to 20, say where you live and what you do for a living.
Learners will have free access to Rosetta Stone online resources for the duration of their foreign language course with BAES (not available for BSL, Norwegian and Welsh). […] You will have opportunities to review your own progress and reflect on how you can further improve your language skills. You will set up your own personal targets (task, project etc.) which will be reviewed with your tutor via tutorials on a one-to-one basis.
In order to maximise your learning, [it is strongly recommended] that you spend at least 15 minutes every day (2 hours per week) on self-study, homework, language practice etc.”
Click here for more information.
Chris Polath courses offer private Portuguese lessons in Birmingham with your own friendly and professional teacher and either at home or your office.
“[Their] highly effective private Portuguese courses are ideal if you need Portuguese for business, own property overseas, are relocating abroad, travel regularly, or are working towards GCSE and A levels. [The] experienced teachers will get you speaking Portuguese in no time.
You can call […] or book online, letting [them] know your results in [their] online test if you have time to do it (no need to do this if you are a complete beginner). You tell [them] how many hours you wish to book initially and which times suit you best. [They] will discuss your Portuguese training needs with you to make sure that [they] understand exactly what you hope to achieve from your private Portuguese tuition. Within a few days [they] will assign you your Portuguese teacher and they will be in touch with you. [They] will tell you which Portuguese training materials you should buy for your Portuguese lessons.”
Among their directory are four types of lessons in Portuguese language courses:
Click here for more information.
Discover Portuguese lessons in and around your area. Photo credit: Photo YourSpace on Visualhunt.com / CC BY
Cilene, who can be found on the Superprof tutoring platform and who is based in Birmingham, is a native speaker of Portuguese offering a wealth of experience and passion for language instruction.
Her Portuguese lessons are fully tailored to your needs as a learner; whether you simply need a confidence boost and some structured conversation or a heavier focus on grammar, exercises, and explanations, your needs will be respected and acknowledged by the tutor.
After a free Portuguese lesson to enable you to meet with your tutor and discuss your requirements as well as theirs, followed by an adaptation period, lessons will be entirely taught in Portuguese if you are happy to proceed in this way. This is a sure fire way of getting you listening, speaking, reading and writing in Portuguese and learning the new language much faster than if you were taught in English.
Cilene is a polyglot with a self-confessed love for teaching and literature. She has extensive experience in private tuition, an MA in Brazilian Literature and Theatre and an LLB in Laws. Her usual rates are £25 per hour and she requires 48 hours’ notice for any cancellations.
If you need any more information about Cilene or her teaching methods, just get in touch!