How Hard Is It To Learn Portuguese?
There are few things more rewarding than learning a foreign language. Not only does it offer you the opportunity to find out more about different cultures, but it has also been found to improve a person’s cognitive abilities, including their attention span, memory, and thinking skills.
If you want to start speaking English with a second language, why not learn Portuguese? While you might be put off by rumors that it’s one of the hardest languages to learn, we’re here to show you that it’s much easier than you think.
How long does it take to learn a new language?
There are so many benefits of learning Portuguese, from the vibrant Portuguese culture to the reasons why you’ll love your lessons. But, before we dive into them, it’s worth setting your expectations about how long it could take you to learn the language from scratch.
Language learning isn’t easy and it can take months of hard work to have conversations in a new tongue. After all, you have a whole new vocabulary to master and completely different grammatical rules to get your head around.
But all language learners have to start somewhere, although finding the perfect starting point for something so vast can feel pretty intimidating. With an online short course designed with beginners in mind, you’ll pick up the basics fast and start strong on your exciting educational journey.
Learning a language fluently
Learning a language to conversational level is one thing, but it’s another thing entirely to become fluent, particularly if it’s a more difficult language. If you’re serious about becoming a master of a new dialect, you’ll need to immerse yourself in its country or culture of origin.
Since there are so many languages to learn, it’s recommended that you focus on learning one at a time and always start from the very beginning. Remember that learning a language is a marathon and not a sprint, so allow yourself to progress naturally from beginner to advanced to expert.
Why should you learn Portuguese?
Now that you understand what it takes to become a foreign language speaker, it’s time to look into all the reasons why you should consider taking up Portuguese. For one thing, the Portuguese language is easier to learn than you might think, which is something we’ll touch on more a little later on.
For another, Portuguese is often overlooked, which means that aspiring polyglots often miss out on the language’s immense beauty and fascinating background. So, if you’re trying to decide between learning Portuguese and Spanish or another more commonly learned language — then here are just some of the reasons you should opt for the less obvious option and sign up for a beginners’ Portuguese course.
1. It’s a top 10 language
Portuguese is one of the world’s top 10 languages! And, no, this isn’t just some arbitrary rating. Portuguese is the ninth most widely spoken language in the world which, when you consider that there are more than 7,000 languages in the world today, is a pretty big deal.
Portuguese speakers are concentrated primarily in two countries: Portugal, where the language originated, and Brazil where Brazilian Portuguese has evolved slightly differently. There are also pockets of Portuguese speakers scattered across countries and cultures all over the world. Altogether, these concentrations add up to around 279 million Portuguese speakers.
So, if you learn Portuguese, you won’t be short of people to converse with. If that’s not enough to convince you to start learning Portuguese, how about the fact that it’s also the sixth most common language used on the internet? As such, it will always be easy to immerse yourself in the conversations that native speakers have, and all without having to book a plane ticket.
2. Unique pronunciations
Portuguese is one of five major Romance languages, along with French, Italian, Spanish, and Romanian. However, if you’ve ever listened to a native Portuguese speaker, you might have noticed that the language sounds sort of Russian. Or, that certain sounds and vowels are pronounced differently from how a native English speaker might pronounce them.
This is because of the phonological features that Portuguese shares with some Slavic languages. For example, both have a similar spoken rhythm and both use shorter vowel sounds. If you want to learn a language that will introduce you to exciting new ways of speaking, then Portuguese is definitely the way to go!
When you learn Portuguese, you don’t just gain access to a whole new language, you also get an introduction to a rich culture. For one thing, Portuguese music is fantastic and full of life. The music of Brazil, in particular, is rhythmic and infectious – it is, after all, where the samba originated back in the late 19th century.
There is also the incredible Portuguese literary canon to consider. As well as the renowned works of writers like Paulo Coelho and José Saramago, learning Portuguese will give you ample opportunity to explore the writing of lesser-known authors and poets such as Fernando Pessoa, Luís de Camões, and Florbela Espanca.
Newly minted Portuguese speakers won’t just be excited to explore the culture from afar. As the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world, Brazilian culture is bursting with natural wonders, delicious dishes, and unique customs that are sure to delight learners. Not to mention the world-famous Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, which is the experience of a lifetime.
Portugal, too, has a lot to offer travelers, particularly those with an interest in history. With gorgeous old architecture and tasty traditional food, it is an ideal destination for visitors hoping for a slightly less hectic, but no less authentic, Portuguese-speaking experience.
How easy is Portuguese to learn?
We’d be lying if we said that Portuguese wasn’t more difficult than some of the more popular European languages. It’s not like speaking Spanish, although there are similarities.
Many Spanish-speakers even say that they struggle to pick Portuguese up when they first hear it, whereas Portuguese speakers often find Spanish pretty easy. English speakers are, therefore, often put off. But, the way we see it, the Portuguese language gets a pretty bad rap.
The Portuguese-speaking population is largely concentrated in just two countries. This might make it less tempting to learn what is considered to be a comparatively tricky language.
Still, lesser-spoken languages such as French and German are much more widely taught in schools. While Portuguese was only taught in 142 US schools as recently as 2018, 1.3 million school students were enrolled to learn French that same year.
Once you get your head around the differences between Portuguese and English pronunciation and the tricky nasalized vowels, you’ll find it much easier to learn than you may have thought.
Is Portuguese worth learning?
Learning the Portuguese language can be an immensely rewarding thing. And, even though its reputation for being tough might precede it, it is far from the hardest language to learn. While Portuguese contains unfamiliar sounds and pronunciations, other languages are completely impenetrable unless you learn a whole new alphabet.
If you’ve been asking yourself ‘how hard is it to learn Portuguese?’ — well, we have some answers that’ll show you that it's definitely a language worth learning:
1. It’s common
Millions of people all over the world speak Portuguese. This means that there are plenty of places you can go to get experience. For example, you could head to the Portuguese-speaking parts of the internet and start regularly consuming content. You could even start interacting with online users once your confidence picks up!
In addition, you could start listening to Portuguese music more often, reading simple Portuguese books, or watching television shows and online videos with Portuguese subtitles. It won’t be hard to find great resources that will help you learn the language faster.
2. The fundamentals are familiar
The sounds of Portuguese might make it difficult to understand spoken sentences. But, once you get past that, there are plenty of similarities between English and Portuguese grammar that make learning the latter fairly straightforward.
In particular, the sentence structures are largely the same, as both follow the subject, verb, object sentence format. This makes it an easier language to learn than, say, German. In German grammar, basics like word order are completely different from English and far more complex.
3. It’s a lot like other Romance languages
Portuguese isn’t as hard to understand if you already know one or more of the other Romance languages.
Native speakers from Spain or Italy, for example, will already know how to make linguistic agreements and memorize crucial conjugations. Even those who only know another Romance language as a second spoken language will have a big advantage.
Don’t worry if your native language is English, though, because English still has influences from the Romance languages that could help you make sense of Portuguese. So, despite being Germanic, it can still give you a very useful starting point.
How do I get started learning Portuguese?
You don’t have to go to a Portuguese school or dive into an intensive college course to begin improving your Portuguese as a native English speaker. With the help of a beginners’ online course, you can learn the language basics, including key conversational phrases, colors, numbers, and more.
Make your way through increasingly intensive courses — or even a course bundle — and very soon you’ll be able to understand enough Portuguese to communicate effectively.
In addition, with a comprehensive course like the ones offered by Courses for Success, you’ll also be offered exam preparation and be asked to complete assessments that will put your knowledge to the test. Upon completion, you’ll be issued a certificate that will help to prove your proficiency.
Why Courses for Success?
If you were one of the people wondering ‘how hard is it to learn Portuguese?’ then you can rest assured that Courses for Success makes it as easy as possible. All of our courses are structured specifically for easy comprehension and can be accessed 24/7 using any device, so you can work towards your certifications at a pace that suits you.
Courses for Success offers over 10,000 online courses, all of which aim to help you in your personal development and career progression. Not only that, but you can also study them anywhere and at any time, and take them at your own pace, too.
You don’t need career diplomas or specific experience to get started. Every course we offer is created to be as accessible as possible. You can be sure that all of them, from our coding courses and trading courses to design courses and developer courses, will help to boost your prospects, no matter who you are.
Beyond just the education itself, students will be issued with a certificate online after successful completion of each of the learning courses they do. Our Portugese courses are no exception. Our Portuguese Beginners: Talk Now Online Certificate courses are recognized by industry leaders and you could really make a name for yourself by signing up for a Courses for Success short course today.