There are no two ways about it - learning a second language can only be a good thing.
When you consider the reasons for studying a new language such as Portuguese, it is so easy to think of the positive rewards like being able to communicate with Portuguese speakers, having an extra skill on your CV, becoming more intelligent, and so on... yet it is really tough to think of any disadvantages. Can you think of any off the top of your head?
There's a common misconception, usually among monolinguals (those who speak only one language), that being bilingual or even multilingual can cause you to become confused and mix up the different dialects. Any person who speaks a language on top of their mother tongue will disagree with this, as the different languages simply make sense in your head.
Yes, okay, you may find yourself merging similar languages at the start of your language learning journey (especially languages like Spanish and Italian, for example), but soon enough you will master the language to a degree where you will just switch from one to the other with ease and all will click into place.
So, now that we've established that there's absolutely no reason not to learn a foreign language, here are some advantages to learning Portuguese specifically.
Reasons For Learning Portuguese
1. Portuguese is a highly useful language
Portuguese is the official language of Portugal and is a widely spoken language (probably more so than you think), so is definitely worth learning. While learning French and German is common at school, there are far more native speakers of Spanish and Portuguese, with over 230 million of the population speaking Portuguese (among this number 222 million have it as their mother tongue).
More people opt for Spanish over Portuguese, but what they may not know is that Portuguese is spoken not only in Portugal but it is also a principal language in Brazil (Brazilian Portuguese), Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Portuguese is also widely spoken in Sri Lanka, Goa, India, and Macau, which shows that is commonly spoken across numerous continents.
2. Learning Portuguese opens opportunities to travel
As we've discovered, Portuguese is on many people's lips, and not just in Europe! By becoming proficient in Portuguese, you could enable yourself to travel freely across Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia with little or no language barrier. So why not go and catch up with some of the 230 million speakers of this language and discover the world at the same time?
Also, with Brazil having the eighth largest economy in the whole world, that seems like a good place to visit if you are on the search for a job!
3. Portuguese will improve your career prospects
While having any second language will work to your advantage, there's a reason why Portuguese might make you stand out from the rest. Portuguese is said to be the seventh most studied language, therefore, with it being much lower down the table than its popular peers, as a speaker of this language, you could be bringing something unique to a business.
In the US, Portuguese doesn't even come in in their top ten most studied languages, so US employers would have a field day if they saw this on your resume!
4. Portuguese will help you learn other 'Romance' languages
Fair enough, having a knowledge of Latin will ease the process of learning Latin-based languages, but why not skip this process and move straight onto learning a language that you can actually use in real life, with real-life people, and in real-life situations? By learning Portuguese, you could make learning other languages like French or Spanish way simpler. The same goes if you do it the other way around - so if you are already a French or Spanish speaker, you will no doubt find that you pick up Portuguese really easily.
Other examples of Romance languages are Romanian and Catalan, so it's not just the same old languages we are talking about here!
5. Portuguese is a beautiful language
Finally, what really speaks for itself is the beauty and elegance of spoken Portuguese.
As one of those languages that simply rolls off of the tongue of fluent speakers, it is mesmerising. It's no wonder that the 'Romance' languages are linked to love, they sound so breathtaking! Fall in love with Portuguese or fall in love with someone speaking to you in Portuguese... either way you will definitely want to learn this language once you start to learn more about it, I assure you!
See below just a snippet of the Portuguese lessons, online courses, and workshops available to you across the country. During these sessions, you will learn to speak either beginner Portuguese, conversational skills or business Portuguese and will be taught about sentence structure, verbs, conjugation, pronunciation, vocab, and grammar rules.
You might, for example, learn the days of the week and other common words and phrases, like 'obrigado' ('thank you').
Learn Portuguese In London
Where? University of Westminster, Regent Street Campus, London
When? Evening classes, starting October
Part 1 is for you if you have no or little previous knowledge of Portuguese.
You can join Part 2 if you have studied Portuguese for about 20 hours.
You can join Part 3 if you have studied Portuguese for about 40 hours.
Each part individually for £235 (£260 after 16 September)
All three parts together for £530 (£585 after 16 September)
"[These] Portuguese lessons follow a communicative approach to language teaching, focusing on the language you need to communicate in authentic situations with an emphasis on speaking and listening. [The] evening classes are taught by experienced language teachers who are native speakers of the language or equivalent."
Click here for more information about Portuguese lessons in London.
Portuguese Lessons In Manchester
Private Portuguese lessons in Manchester, UK
Where? Cactus Language School, Newton Street, Manchester
When? Evening classes, starting in October
Classes are made up of a minimum of 4 learners, with 12 being the maximum capacity.
"The Cactus Course Outlines provide a learning framework for the Cactus Foreign Language Evening Courses. They are designed to provide you with a good idea of what you might cover over a 10-week period and include typical themes, grammar and vocabulary fields. They are flexible rather than prescriptive, in that [the] teachers may decide to adapt their learning plans to the specific level, aims and interests of their classes."
Click here for more information about Portuguese lessons in Manchester.
Portuguese Classes In Birmingham
Where? Brasshouse Languages, Broad Street, Birmingham
When? Evening classes, starting in November
Level: Beginner (Part 2)
"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 Portuguese classes in Birmingham.
Learning Portuguese In Leeds
Offered by? Listen and Learn
Level: Business Portuguese, 1-to-1 / individual
"These Portuguese lessons are driven towards people who have a requirement to learn Portuguese to bolster their work output. For novices, you will find it useful to learn basic greetings and business etiquette. Once you have become more proficient, then reading and writing will come to the fore. Typical students include those concerned with imports and exports, those seeking work in multinational companies, international negotiations and anyone working with international colleagues or administration. Even in [the] most rudimentary lesson for beginners, students can expect to finish with decent telephone and e-mail Portuguese, as well as a good enough grip on the language for a short trip to the country where the language is spoken."
Click here for Portuguese classes in Leeds.
Get Fluent In Portuguese In Glasgow
Glasgow has an array of lessons in Portuguese
Where? The Language Hub, 19 Keih Street, Glasgow
When? October 18, 2018 @ 10:30 - 11:15 (and more)
Level: Portuguese conversation
"These classes are designed for those who would like to practise their foreign language conversation skills with others and an experienced teacher (native-speaker). The class is open to foreign language users at a post-beginners / lower intermediate level. Learners are invited to a free cup of coffee or tea while enjoying a conversation on general and current affairs in an informal setting. £7-/person, please book in advance."
Click here for Portuguese classes in Glasgow.
Portuguese Lessons Belfast
There are lots of ways to learn Portuguese in Belfast, whether you’re looking for general Portuguese language lessons or want to improve your level of business Portuguese.
For instance, you might decide to learn through language trainers with established branches across the UK, such as Listen & Learn or Language Trainers. Alternatively, you could look at going to Queen’s University Belfast, which runs beginners’ Portuguese courses over a period of 10 weeks.
If you are interested in learning Portuguese though, whether European or Brazilian, it’s worth noting that it will likely take some time commitment from you in order to get better at the language and improve your speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills.
For example, Language Trainers estimates that students would likely have to put in the following times in order to reach a certain proficiency in Portuguese:
- Elementary level of Portuguese – 30 hours;
- Intermediate level of Portuguese – 150 hours; and
- Advanced level of Portuguese – 400 hours.
So, if you are serious about getting better at Portuguese, it’s a good idea to be aware of how much time you can commit to learning a new language and think about which proficiency level you’d ultimately like to reach.
Try Your Hand At Online Learning
If none of the courses above seems appealing, or you’re unsure about whether you can commit to attending regular Portuguese language classes, then you could also consider getting better at Portuguese with the help of online resources.
There are plenty of apps out there that may help you get better at Portuguese, with some of the most well-known being:
- Duolingo; and
On apps such as Babbel and Duolingo, lessons are often delivered in bite-sized chunks, which makes these apps good to use to learn foreign languages such as Portuguese if you’re particularly time-poor.
What’s more, some language learning apps are free to use, so if you’re thinking about studying a foreign language, whether that’s Portuguese, French, German, Spanish, or another language, these apps can be a good way to learn about the basics of a language and gauge whether you’d be interested in further study.
It’s worth noting that, while these apps and websites can be very helpful, especially if you would consider yourself a beginner taking Portuguese classes London, you might find it harder to get as much value out of these kinds of language programmes if you’re a more advanced speaker, or consider yourself fluent or near-fluency in Portuguese.
For advanced speakers, often going to a dedicated language class where you have the opportunity to speak in Portuguese, discuss complex matters in Portuguese, and learn about advanced aspects of Portuguese grammar can be more helpful.
Portuguese Lessons Cardiff
If you live in Cardiff and want to learn Portuguese, then you’ll be pleased to hear there are plenty of options available regardless of your ability level.
For example, if you’re a complete beginner when it comes to Portuguese, then you might want to consider attending a course designed to introduce you to the basics of the language.
The University of Cardiff, for example, runs part-time courses designed for beginners’ Portuguese courses. Lasting 12 weeks, the course can help complete beginners who want to learn how to “hold a basic conversation” in Portuguese, with the course having a particular focus on Brazil.
Even if you’re not a complete beginner in Portuguese, there are other basic Portuguese courses offered by the University of Cardiff, including the “Portuguese for Beginners II” course or “Portuguese for Improvers Stage B”.
Note that the Portuguese for Improvers course runs for 20 weeks, and not 12, so you would have to be prepared to commit more time to your Portuguese studies to take this course.
There’s Plenty To Learn In A Portuguese Class
The content of a Portuguese lesson will depend on many factors, including:
- Your existing ability level in Portuguese;
- How long your course will run for;
- Whether you’re learning about European Portuguese or Brazilian Portuguese; and
- How well you can read, write, speak, and listen in Portuguese.
Beginners courses in Portuguese in Cardiff might cover areas such as basic grammar, including the past and present tense, or learning about basic adjectives, pronouns, and introductions.
On the other hand, an advanced Portuguese speaker might learn more about complex areas of grammar or learning how to discuss particularly complex subjects that require an in-depth knowledge of Portuguese vocabulary.
Moving Past Beginners’ Portuguese Lessons In Cardiff
Although it’s great to know that there are beginners courses out there in Portuguese, there are other types of Portuguese classes available in Cardiff.
For example, there are conversational Portuguese classes available through providers such as Language Trainers and Listen & Learn, who generally offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to how you take your Portuguese lessons. One to one, group classes, and Skype lessons are just some of the lesson formats available.
Aside from conversational Portuguese classes, you can also learn about Portuguese for business purposes. Cactus Language Training is just one provider that offers business Portuguese lessons, whether on a weekly or intensive basis.
Alternatively, Simon & Simon also offers business Portuguese lessons, using what they call the “Communicative Approach” to help you improve your understanding of Portuguese.
Portuguese Lessons Edinburgh
If you’re looking to learn Portuguese in Scotland, or more specifically in Edinburgh, then you have plenty of language tutors to choose from!
For example, you might choose to improve your knowledge of Portuguese by going to the inlingua language centre. Offering classes in both European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, there are lessons available for all ability levels.
So, if you just want to learn common greetings or common phrases in Portuguese, or you’d like to learn about more technical aspects of Portuguese grammar, you should be able to find a course that can help you.
It’s worth noting that how long the evening classes run can depend on the number of students attending a course. The more students there are, the longer the course is likely to run, with timeframes of 12 weeks given for five to ten students, 10 weeks for four students, and 8 weeks for three students.
If you’re looking for a slightly different approach when it comes to learning Portuguese, then you could try the Portuguese Teacher. Offering classes for both general and business Portuguese, the Portuguese Teacher offers a free trial lesson for prospective students, which is a good way of seeing if you like the lessons before committing to an extended period of study.
Yet another option for Portuguese language tuition in Edinburgh is Chris Polatch – The Language Specialists, who offer courses aimed at both junior learners as well as adults.
Take Portuguese At University
Another great option to learn more about Portuguese, whether that’s just to learn the basics such as the alphabet or take more serious Portuguese studies, is to take a Portuguese course through a university.
If you’re looking for a short course in Portuguese then you might consider taking a course at the University of Edinburgh, which offers adult Portuguese classes for both beginners and those with an elementary knowledge of the language.
However, if you’re looking to take more advanced Portuguese lessons, then you could think about going down the route of getting a formal qualification in Portuguese, such as an undergraduate degree.
Again, the University of Edinburgh can help in this regard, although it’s worth noting there are minimum entry requirements that you would have to meet if you did want to study Portuguese at the university.
If you do decide to study Portuguese as part of an undergraduate degree, then it’s likely you’ll be able to have a year abroad as part of your degree programme.
A year abroad would give you a fantastic opportunity to improve your Portuguese language skills. This is because:
- Travelling to Portugal, Brazil, or another Portuguese-speaking country can help you appreciate the culture of that country more;
- You’ll get plenty of opportunities to practice your spoken Portuguese as well as your Portuguese listening skills; and
- You’ll hopefully be able to improve your overall fluency in the language.
Looking For Lessons Outside Of University?
Whether or not you decide to go for formal Portuguese study, you don’t have to rely on university language centres in Edinburgh if you’d like to learn Portuguese.
Choosing to learn Portuguese (European or Brazilian) with the help of a language tutor, such as a Superprof tutor, is one option that could work well for you.
With a private language tutor, you have more control over how many lessons you have, where they take place, and what kind of topics they should cover.
If you think that Portuguese language tuition with a Superprof tutor might be for you, check out the range of tutors available on Superprof’s database, and see whether there’s a tutor that looks like a good fit!