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Learning a new language does not only give you more professional or social opportunities: it gives you insights into a new world. And learning Portuguese will give you access to a world of over 250 million speakers that live in places as different as Brazil, Macau or Mozambique.
Don’t worry if you would like to learn but have never uttered a word of Portuguese before. With motivation, concentration, and a good teacher, soon you’ll find yourself having conversations with native and non-native speakers alike. There are many terms that, as an English speaker, you already know, such as zebra, lingo (from Portuguese língua), or piranha.
Plus, European Portuguese pronunciation is syllable-timed (same as English!), which means speakers tend to shorten unstressed words, so you’ll have an advantage when learning pronunciation being a native English speaker. Would you like to get started with Portuguese, whether face-to-face or online, but you are not sure how? Keep on reading and discover how to learn Portuguese in the fastest and most meaningful way possible!
Language Trainers organizes Portuguese courses in almost any destination!
All classes are taught by qualified, native speaker Portuguese trainers and can be arranged at your office or home for any day of the week (including weekends) in the morning, afternoon or evening.
1. Why Learn Portuguese today
If you are looking to learn a new language but are not sure which one is best for you, read on! We will present you with some compelling reasons why Portuguese is the language to learn today.
Learning Portuguese can enhance your CV and help you change your career. Portuguese is one of the most spoken languages on the planet, so learning it is an advantage if you plan to do business with Portugal, Brazil, Angola or even Macau.
For example, Brazil is slowly becoming an economic powerhouse and is today the biggest economy in Latin America and the third in the whole American continent. As a result, learning Portuguese from Brazil to advance in your career is a smart move, especially considering the strong economic relationship that exists between the UK and Brazil today (with imports and exports amounting to £6 billion in 2020!).
To Enjoy Your Trips
Those who love beaches and summer destinations cannot miss the paradisiac beaches of the Algarve, in Portugal, or amazing places in Brazil like Florianopolis, Fernando de Noronha or Copacabana beach. While you can have a good time there even if you don’t speak Portuguese, being proficient in the local language is certainly an asset.
You’ll not only be able to connect with people on a different, deeper level but you’ll also be able to discover new destinations and places not-so-well-known to tourists. Plus, you’ll be able to explore the places you visit on your own terms, without any language barriers and without needing a guide.
To Move Abroad
If you are moving to a Portuguese-speaking place long-term, then you know the importance of knowing the local language. Even though you may be lucky and find some English speakers in your new home, this is not always the case. For example, Lisbon receives millions of English-speaking tourists every year and there’s a fairly big community of UK and USA expats living in the city, so you can get by in the capital without (or with a little) Portuguese.
But this is only an exception. If you visit any other city in Portugal, soon you’ll realise everything is in Portuguese, from street signs to restaurant menus and medical leaflets. Something similar happens in Brazil, Angola, Timor Leste, and Macau. So, if you want to live comfortably in your new home, you should start studying Portuguese as soon as possible!
Still not convinced whether to study Portuguese or not? Read our article and discover 5 compelling reasons why you need to learn Portuguese today!
2. The Portuguese Language and Its Dialects
Similar to many other languages, Portuguese is not just one homogeneous language. There are many dialects , accents and regional variations, even within the actual countries where it is spoken. For example, Brazil is huge and has lots of different accents, like the Bahian, Fluminense, Mineiro, or Sulina. Also, in the borders between Brazil and Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, most people speak Portunhol, a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese. Something similar happens in bordering areas of Portugal and Spain. If you’d like to learn more about this dialect, take a look at our article about Portunhol
What’s the difference between these varieties, then? Well, while most of them are mutually intelligible, most dialects have major differences in pronunciation, sentence structure, and pronunciation.
For example, if you learn Portuguese from Brazil, soon you’ll notice they pronounce the letter “s” the same way English pronounces the “s” (as in “sit”), European Portuguese, on the other hand, pronounces the letter “s” as “sh”, so the final sound in vamos is like the one in “she”. Interested in knowing more? Read our article about Brazilian vs European Portuguese and discover the main differences between these varieties!
In regards to the dialects of Africa, they are closer to European Portuguese than the Brazilian accent due to geographical reasons, though vocabulary can vary extensively.
And if you are wondering which Portuguese you should learn, the short answer is… the one that’s most useful to you. Where are you planning to move to? Do you need to do business with Portuguese-speaking people from Brazil or Macau? Do you have ancestors from Portugal and would like to connect with your roots? Answer these questions and you’ll have the answer to which Portuguese variant you should learn!
3. Why Learn Portuguese With a Teacher
Now that you are convinced that Portuguese is the best language for you, you’ll need to decide whether you want to study with a teacher or not. While learning on your own has a number of benefits (including complete control over your schedule and the possibility of studying for free or for very little money), having classes with a teacher (whether online or face-to-face) supporting your language journey can be invaluable.
Here are some reasons why you should consider learning Portuguese with a teacher in 2021:
A teacher can pave the way and guide you so you can learn faster.
Find motivation and support to keep on advancing.
Focus on the important aspects of communication instead of irrelevant elements.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Clear up doubts on the spot.
Practise speaking in an almost real-life environment.
And more! Reach out to us today and embark on an exciting journey towards Portuguese fluency! We offer online Portuguese language lessons and traditional classes, too, depending on your needs and preferences.Take Portuguese lessons with our tutors!
Individual or Group Portuguese Lessons?
Now you are faced with another tough decision… should you study with your teacher alone or with other like-minded people? These two study options are equally great, but they suit different requirements. Analyse the infographic below and decide which one is better for you!
|Individual lessons||Group lessons|
|Type of Interaction||Just 2 people||More varied conversation|
|Personalised Instruction & Feedback||Complete||Partial|
|Control over the schedule||Complete||Partial|
|Learn from peers||No||Yes|
|Intercultural exchange/td>||Depends on the teacher||Yes|
|Cost||More expensive||More affordable|
|Real-life communication||Not always||More likely|
Of course, there are a lot more aspects to consider when deciding whether to learn Portuguese in a group (be it online or face-to-face). For example, at Language Trainers we can arrange private sessions for you and your friends to learn together, so long as you have a similar proficiency level.
Otherwise, you can sign up for our open group courses and start studying languages with students from different parts of the world. Enquire today and one of our representatives will get back to you in 2 business days! We offer a free trial Skype lesson so you can have a taste of what our lessons look like.
4. How to Learn Portuguese for Free
In addition to using traditional language learning apps like Drops or Duolingo, there are many other online resources you can access. From online dating apps to writing forums, these sites will help you learn Portuguese for free from the comfort of your home!
Access Tandem, a language exchange app where you can meet people from different parts of the world. If you are learning Portuguese in 2021, you can sign up for an account and set the filter to meet Portuguese-speaking people who also speak your native language. You can even set up in-person meetings if you prefer!
It’s also possible to learn Portuguese by playing online games! Having some fun will help you relax and will make the learning experience much more memorable. For example, MyLanguages has a section filled with short and engaging games to learn new vocabulary. Meanwhile, if you need to enhance your knowledge of grammar, you can access sites like Conjuguemos, which includes creative games like Verb Battleship (where you’ll have to sink boats by correctly conjugating verbs).
Learn Portuguese online with music! You can access apps like LyricsTraining, which are completely free of charge. There, you’ll listen to songs by popular Portuguese artists like David Carreira or Fernando Daniel that are missing some parts. Then, you’ll need to listen and complete the missing lyrics. This is great practise not only to learn new vocabulary but also to put your pronunciation skills into use while you sing along with these beautiful songs! Or you can follow us on Spotify and enjoy the best songs in Portuguese with our playlists! You can choose between Brazilian or European Portuguese playlists.
Watch Portuguese telenovelas online! Portugal produces long and entertaining soap operas, like Os Nossos Dias or Nazaré, both shows with over 300 episodes. It doesn’t matter if you are not based in Portugal at the moment: you can watch the shows using the RTP website for free! Plus, many of these options come with Portuguese subtitles, so even beginners can make use of these amazing resources to improve their Portuguese language skills.
In case you need more help structuring your own language course, you can have a look at our article with a 5-step plan to mastering Portuguese today!
And if you are looking for traditional sites to learn Portuguese online, have a look at the following options:
Easy Portuguese is a simple site that gathers everything you need to know when learning Portuguese as a beginner, from grammar rules to survival phrases.
Practice Portuguese is a great website for those who’d like to learn the European variety.
Subscribe to Language Trainers’ YouTube channel and find useful educational videos about Brazilian Portuguese and general tips on how to improve your language skills. For example, in this video, you can find great ideas on how to enhance your listening comprehension ability.
BBC in Portuguese features interesting news articles about Brazil in Portuguese. Some of the topics you can find go from their political situation to how to buy Bitcoin if you live in Brazil.
”We are over the moon with surprise at our Portuguese classes with Language Trainers! What we have discovered is our teacher Lisandro’s method is so successful at pushing our comprehension, our brains are full at 90 minutes! At the end of our rigorous 90 minutes we were breathless and couldn’t believe what we didn’t know 90 minutes before. Now, we didn’t just comprehend, but were able to converse in a basic Q&A in Portuguese. Our son is a sophomore in language studies and he sat down with us to watch a short demonstration on what Lisandro’s methodology can do and he was amazed! “Who are these people and what have you done with my parents?” was his joke!”
Ava Dorrance - Mandarin Chinese course in Tucson
5. Best Apps to Learn Portuguese
Is it possible to learn a new language online if you have less than half an hour available per day? Of course! Although it will take you a lot more time, effort, and focus than if you studied with a prepared tutor, you can certainly learn Portuguese on your own spending only a few minutes per day with the help of language apps
First, you need to understand your current proficiency level. For this, you can use one of our free level tests or our listening tests for beginner and intermediate-level students.
These some of our top picks to carry out Portuguese learning on the go:
6. Portuguese Survival Phrases
Find below a short guide to the most popular Portuguese survival phrases you'll need if you plan to travel to a Portuguese-speaking country! Meanwhile, here are some words and expressions you’re bound to need.
|English Version||Portuguese Version|
|Greetings||Hello / Hi||Olá / Oi|
|How are you?/ How are you doing?||Tudo bem? / Como você está?|
|Good Morning/afternoon/night||Bom dia / Boa tarde / Boa noite|
|Thanking others||Thank you! Thanks! (You're welcome)||Obrigado(a)! / 'Brigado(a)! / De nada|
|I appreciate it.||Agradeço.|
|Asking for forgiveness||Apologies||Perdão (formal)|
|I'm sorry /I'm very sorry||Desculpe(-me)|
|Asking for help||Where is... the bathroom/the kitchen?||Onde fica…o banheiro/a cozinha?|
|Can you help me with... my luggage/my phone?||Você poderia me ajudar com…minha bagagem/meu telefone?|
|There is a problem with/ I have a problem with...||Tem um problema com/Tenho um problema com…|
|Asking for information||How can I get to... the museum/ the hotel/ the restaurant?||Como posso chegar…ao museu/ao hotel/ao restaurante?|
|Do you know where... ?||Você sabe…?|
|Could you tell me...?||Você poderia me dizer…?|
|Ordering at the restaurant||I'd like the tuna salad/a sandwich, please||Por favor, eu gostaria de uma salada de atum/um sanduíche|
|I'll have the steak/french fries, please||Por favor, eu quero um bife/batatas fritas|
|Nothing for me, thanks.||Nada para mim, obrigado(a)|
|Asking for clarification||Sorry, can you repeat?||Desculpe, poderia repetir?|
|I don't understand. Can you say that again?||Não entendo. Você poderia repetir?|
|What do you mean by...?||O que você quer dizer com…?|
|Inviting someone||Would you like to... go to the cinema?||Você gostaria de…ir ao cinema?|
|Do you want to ...?||Você quer…?|
|Accepting an invitation||Yes, thank you||Sim, obrigado(a)|
|Sure!||Claro! / Com certeza!|
|Let's do it.||Vamos. / 'Bora! (informal)|
|Rejecting an invitation||No, thank you||Não, obrigado(a)|
|I'd love to, but I'm busy right now.||Eu adoraria, mas estou ocupado(a) agora.|
|Thank you, I have other plans.||Obrigado(a), mas tenho outros planos.|
|Asking for the price||How much is this?||Qual é o preço?|
|How much does this cost?||Quanto custa?|
|Basic Phrases||Yes / No||Sim / Não|
|My name is...||Meu nome é… / Eu sou… / Eu me chamo…|
|What's your name?||Qual é seu nome? / Como você se chama?|
7. Is Portuguese Hard to Learn?
There’s no definite answer to this question. A monolingual speaker may find Portuguese hard to learn, but this is no different to somebody wanting to learn any other language. Meanwhile, a person who already knows a language that derives from Latin may tell you that acquiring Portuguese is a breeze. As you can see, it all comes down to your background and abilities.
Still, there are some features that make Portuguese very different (therefore, difficult) from the English language. Let’s explore some of them:
Pronunciation and Rhythm
The fast pace of delivery and the rhythm of Portuguese speakers can make learning this beautiful language a bit more difficult. Plus, some regional variations can make understanding spoken Portuguese quite a challenge. For example, while speakers of Brazilian Portuguese pronounce the syllable “te” at the end of words like “chi” (as in “cheese”), people from Portugal pronounce the “t” same as English and the vowel is barely noticeable. You can hear this in words like presidente.
If you need help to improve your speaking skills, you can check out our article about perfecting your Portuguese accent and pronunciation or contact us to book a free trial class with one of our expert language instructors!
Grammar and Syntax
Verb conjugations in Portuguese are complicated (and endless), while sentence structure differs widely from English. Compare these 2 sentences:
Não me lembro o que aconteceu.
I can’t remember what happened.
As you can see, the Portuguese version doesn’t mention the subject (eu), has a reflexive pronoun before the verb (me), and also includes an article (o) before “what”. But don’t worry: these nightmarish features can be easily acquired with the help of an expert tutor with years of experience teaching Portuguese to English speakers. Reach out to us and we will find the perfect tutor for you!
Spelling and Diacritics
Unfortunately for English speakers, Portuguese is a language with 5 different diacritics:
Acute accent (á)
All these diacritics make the pronunciation and meaning of words very different. For example, the main differences in the pronunciation of maçã (apple) and massa (pasta) are how the words are stressed and the nasal sound at the end of the first word.
But you don’t need to be too concerned about these difficult aspects of learning Portuguese. While these features of the language may seem complicated, our native-speaking instructors will be there every step of the way. They will provide simple explanations for the most difficult topics, and will also explain slang, colloquial phrases, and cultural references that would be difficult to learn otherwise.
Get in touch with us and we will pair you up with a native-speaking tutor who will design a personalised programme just for you. Whether it’s online or face-to-face, we have the best option for you to get fluent in Portuguese in the fastest way possible. Soon, you’ll be unstoppable!
Switch between online and face-to-face Portuguese classes with a hybrid course!
Continue your language development and learn with your same teacher face-to-face
Start your clases online and switch to face-to-face later
Are you looking for a Portuguese teacher that adjusts to your schedule and not the other way around?
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How to Book
Take our Portuguese Language Level Test.
Let us know why you need to learn Portuguese and include the time and location that best suit you.
Review our quote and, if you are happy with it, receive our invoice and Agreement form.
Sign our Agreement form and submit a deposit* for the course.
Receive confirmation from our team with your Portuguese tutor’s details.
Begin your Portuguese training and receive your Portuguese course book.
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Client testimonialsSee some of the testimonials we have received from our clients.
”My Portuguese lessons have been going well! Evandro is prepared, answers my questions & provides additional homework and practice problems when I request them.”Portuguese course in
”The lessons are fantastic. Adriana and I have similar backgrounds and many similar interests, which makes learning even more fun.”Portuguese course in