You’re in college, you’re in high school, or neither of the two, but you are confronted with a dilemma: should you learn Spanish or Portuguese?
What to do to learn everything about the Spanish or Portuguese language?
Which is the most beautiful language, the most useful, the easiest?
What are the respective advantages of the two languages—Spanish and Portuguese?
We weigh the two to help you in your choice between Spanish and Portuguese lessons!
When we are interested in two languages—Spanish and Portuguese—we are quickly struck by their common characteristics. That familial resemblance between two languages becomes clear when we compare the vocabulary of the two languages.
Here are a few examples: ancient is “antiguo” in Spanish and “antigo” in Portuguese; year is “año” in Spanish and “ano” in Portuguese; flower is said with the same word in Spanish and Portuguese (flor).
Is learning Spanish a cinch?
Of course, certain words are different. For example, to speak is “hablar” in Spanish and “falar” in Portuguese. These resemblances are explained by history: Portuguese and Spanish are both romance languages.
On the other hand, if Portuguese and Spanish are very similar on the written level, the pronunciation is distinctly different. If you speak neither Spanish nor Portuguese, it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate the two languages on the page, but when you listen to it the difference is rather easily heard.
Portuguese employs tone or pitch accents that are very different than those of Spanish (and those of Italian, too). Some people find Spanish more elegant, for others Portuguese is more seductive. It’s a matter of taste.
But it’s probably not on the very subjective criterion of “beauty” that you will make your choice. The decision to learn Spanish rather than Portuguese, or Portuguese rather than Spanish, depends on other criteria, other factors.
Cultural criteria especially, or matters of utility (in how many countries is Spanish spoken? And Portuguese?). To help you in your choice, we will list the advantages and the main characteristics of the two languages.
The Spanish language is one of the most popular languages in the world, along with English. Soon, around 500 million people across the globe will speak the language of Cervantes, spread throughout more than 40 countries.
In addition, various European countries have strong geographic and economic relations with Spain, and you will understand why Spanish is the second language of many Europeans. Contrary to Portuguese, Spanish is a language that one can learn in nearly any school in the United States. And as for private Spanish lessons, there are generally more Spanish teachers than there are Portuguese. Learning Spanish in New York is very easy!
A map representing the countries in which Spanish is spoken.
Here are 7 reasons to learn Spanish:
Clearly, learning Spanish is far from being useless. To the contrary, there are a lot of practical reasons to learn Spanish. And not just practical reasons. If you are not convinced, discover why you should learn Spanish.
From there, it’s a matter of personal taste or goals. And if there are a lot of reasons to take Spanish lessons, there are nearly as many in favor of learning Portuguese!
Portuguese has been seducing more and more people, especially in the last few years. More and more people are visiting and moving to Brazil. And yes, in Brazil, they speak Portuguese.
Brazil has become the most popular international tourism destination in South America and the second most popular in Latin America after Mexico. More than 570,000 Americans traveled to Brazil last year.
Today Brazil symbolizes the South American dream, the new El Dorado. Brazil is now the sixth biggest economic power in the world.
Map representing the countries where Portuguese is spoken.
Apart from this temporary phenomenon, here are 6 reasons to Portuguese:
If you have read this entire article, you will see that Spanish and Portuguese have numerous advantages in common, whether it’s on the level of the facility of learning the language, the geographic diffusion (Portuguese and Spanish are two “global” languages), economics, and culture.
In the end, should you choose Spanish? Or Portuguese? Both are good choices. It all depends on your personal goals and tastes.