Regardless of your personal motivation for learning Portuguese, you will find it to be an interesting and rewarding experience.
It doesn’t matter if you want to learn European Portuguese in order to spend some time living in Lisbon, or if you need a few key Brazilian Portuguese expressions to hold a conversation on a backpacking trip through the Pantanal. You will find a number of different ways to learn Portuguese, but you should pick one that matches your personal goals. After all, learning a few phrases and mastering the ins and outs of Portuguese grammar are two completely different endeavours.
Obviously you’ll need to be aware of how much Portuguese lessons cost to ensure they fit your budget, but it is definitely an investment that you should make. Throughout this article we will look at some of the different reasons why you should learn a language that is spoken by over 220 million people in countries like Portugal, Brazil, and Angola.
Portuguese is an official language in 9 UN member-countries
As we have just noted, Portuguese is spoken by over 220 million people, far beyond the borders of Portugal. This makes it the seventh most spoken language worldwide based on the number of native speakers, putting it ahead of the popular languages of French and German.
Portuguese is an official language in:
Although not an independent state, Portuguese is spoken in the Chinese autonomous territory of Macau. Some Portuguese is also spoken in Malaysia, because of the remains of colonization.
Because of this, you don’t need to worry about where to learn Portuguese. You will find classes across the world to start you on your way.
In comparison with many job seekers who claim to know German, French, Spanish or Italian, Portuguese tends to be less commonly known in the western world.
Learn Portuguese and stand out from the crowd!
If you want to take private lessons in Portuguese, you are not looking at a huge bill.
There is less competition, which means your skills will be even further appreciated.
For those wishing to work on the international scene, fluency in English, Spanish, or German is a prerequisite and almost indispensable. It is becoming increasingly common that companies want people who can speak the languages of the BRICS countries.
Because Brazil is a part of this group, people who can speak Portuguese give themselves an added advantage over other candidates when applying for jobs.
Learning Portuguese is a business opportunity.
Already one of the main economic partners of the western world, trade with Brazil has even further intensified in recent years.
Learning Portuguese is a way to give yourself the chance to seize an opportunity.
On the list of Brazil’s top 15 trading partners, you can find the USA and the UK, as well as another 5 EU nations.
The trade done with these countries also amounts into the billions, meaning that the success of such trading partnerships are important for countries across the western world. Companies are therefore keen to build on, and expand, this relationship by deepening business relations with Brazil. To do so they need Portuguese speakers.
Experience the enthusiasm of the Portuguese football culture
Taking Portuguese lessons is also a great vehicle for integration and lively discussions with the large Portuguese and Brazilian communities across the globe. Their legendary enthusiasm for sports and music will be better understood by you once you have a grasp of their musical language!
Wouldn’t it be fun to go to a bar and watch a Selecao match (Portugal national football team) as a Portuguese-speaker?
As we have seen, the Portuguese language is essentially spoken by its natives. The number of people who have Portuguese as their official language is likely to increase thanks to the recent growth of Brazil.
But not only that. The economic growth of this awakening giant will mean that, in coming years, the Portuguese language will really come into its own as an economic asset.
UNESCO estimates that by 2050 Portuguese will be spoken by around 335 million people around the world.
The Portuguese alphabet includes 9 vowels, 10 different diphthongs (syllables with two vowels), 5 nasal diphthongs, and 25 consonants.
This means a great diversity of sounds, which is rare for a foreign language. With this, there are many more nuances than in English.
Learning to speak Portuguese is also a little like learning how to sing!
Thanks to Fado in particular, Portuguese music is recognized throughout the world for its folkloric tradition.
Enriching your Portuguese vocabulary with a few language lessons will allow you music lovers to get to know the sometimes melancholic melodies of fado, and better understand Portuguese culture!
Want to learn about capoeira? Why not do it in Brazil and learn Portuguese!
Beyond Portuguese culture, exists Brazilian culture, which is also very rich.
Learning Portuguese in Brazil will mean you will be able to talk about the origins of samba, capoeira, or even bossa nova with a native interlocutor. A language is a great gateway to understanding a country’s culture.
You may know this already but the traveler’s number one enemy is the language barrier.
If your goal is to live in Brazil or Portugal – whether you are going there for your studies, for a linguistic stay, or because the Portuguese gastronomy or the Brazilian landscapes fascinate you – taking Portuguese lessons will help you to be able to interact and communicate effectively with the locals when you arrive!
You’re gonna love Brazil!
Just like English, Portuguese uses the Latin alphabet. This immediately makes it easier to learn than languages such as Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, Russian, and Arabic, all of which have their own writing systems.
This means that instead of trying to get your head around a new way of writing, with new shapes and lines, you can jump straight into learning the Portuguese language itself. What’s more, the grammar isn’t overly complicated. In fact the U.S Foreign Service Institute places Portuguese in the category of easiest languages to learn for English speakers.
If you choose the right Portuguese teacher for you, you will be able to learn effectively and efficiently. Remember that you will need to be motivated, and set yourself realistic goals in order to be successful. But the dedication is most definitely worth the reward that you will see at the end as you learn about the language and culture of Portugal and Brazil.
Despite rivalries between the two countries, no one can deny the similarties between the two languages…
Portuguese has similarities with other Latin languages such as Italian and Spanish. You will therefore see some similarities with these other romance languages, meaning that the Spanish that you learnt at school could come in useful by making your life easier when learning Portuguese grammar, vocabulary, verb conjugation, or sentence structure.
This is especially true as far as the written part of the language goes. A Spanish native or a bilingual Anglo-Spanish speaker may understand some notions of a Portuguese text without having ever learnt the language formally.
Oral comprehension is another thing altogether. The pronunciation is singularly different between Portuguese and Spanish, and it will take some serious work for you to get to the point where you are pronouncing Portuguese right!
For about ten years, Portugal has been a hot spot for retirees from a variety of countries. It must be said that this new El Dorado has many advantages:
If you want to adapt to the country faster, then why not take some Portuguese lessons before leaving?
Like Portugal, Brazil has many undeniable assets, such as its culture, scenery, and sunny weather. In fact, many Westerners move to Brazil’s big cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
The people who move to Brazil are often people who are of working age. There are less retirees who move to Brazil.
Looking to work in Brazil?
Remember that there are companies from all over the world present in Brazil, and that the country is doing everything to regain its 2010 level of economic growth of almost 8%.
If you have got this far, it is highly likely that learning Portuguese or Brazilian Portuguese is of particular interest to you.
There are lots of tips online regarding how to learn Portuguese, but you should know that all language learning requires a large dose of personal investment.
Learning Portuguese can be done to prove to yourself that you are able to make the effort to learn and question your knowledge at any age…
Many surveys show that learning a language is likely to improve your cognitive abilities.
Indeed, according to the scientific journal Neurology Today, adults learning a foreign language have a more reactive and developed mind.
At the age of 70, a person who has learned one or more foreign languages has, on average, a better functioning brain than someone who hasn’t learnt any. The key to eternal youth is before you!