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.
Never mind worrying about which tie to wear to an interview, with an extra language skill on your CV you could ooze confidence and sail through the process. Photo on Visual Hunt
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.
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?
Learning a new language like Portuguese opens up opportunities to travel and get by across the world. Photo credit: flossyflotsam on Visualhunt
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’).
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.
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.
Find Portuguese classes at a venue near you. Photo credit: dalbera on VisualHunt
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.
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.
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.