Ever considered learning Brazilian Portuguese?
Being able to speak a cool foreign language like Brazilian Portuguese can change your life, but in order to become fluent, you need some serious motivation.
We came up with five great reasons why you might want to consider learning Portuguese as your next foreign language.
Você está pronto? (are you ready?)
#1 It’s a widely spoken language
Apart from Brazil and Portugual, speaking Portuguese also enriched my travel experiences in Cape Verde.
Portuguese is a widely spoken language in the world.
It is not only spoken in Portugal and Brazil. Some of you world travelers out there might have visited some of the other 7 countries where Portuguese is the official language, such as Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, and São Tomé and Príncipe.
Additionally, statistics show that Portuguese is spoken by over 222 million of first-language speakers, with the total over 236 million speakers (some statistics estimate over 260 million speakers!), placing it as the 6th most widely spoken language in the world!
When considering these statistics, chances are you are likely to run into someone who speaks Portuguese. It’s good to be prepared!
#2 Traveling made easier
If you enjoy traveling, you already know that speaking the local language will help you connect with the natives much better.
If you want to experience one of the most beautiful and vibrant South American countries, we suggest that learning Brazilian Portuguese will be very rewarding. It has definitely helped me to connect with the locals in a deeper way and feel more at home.
I spent around 6 months in Brazil and I can safely say that it is a great place to travel to! The country has a great vibe, and the people are open and friendly and love to engage in a conversation.
It’s the largest country in South America, sharing a borders with all of its other countries, except for Chile and Ecuador. As home to the largest and most impressive rainforest, the best carnival in the world and some of the most amazing waterfalls, just to name a few attractions, Brazil should already be on your bucket list of places to visit.
#3 It’s not very hard to learn
There are languages, such as French, Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese, that are closely related to English.
If English is one of the languages that you already speak, then learning Portuguese will not be too big of a challenge for you.
Of course, mastering a new language is always a challenge but just getting started is relatively easy.
Some of the similarities that the two languages have, are found in the vocabulary. Take a look at the words below:
Compacto = compact
Intelecto = intellect
Inteligente = intelligent
Opinião = opinion
Responsável = responsible
Turista = tourist
Especialmente = specially
Permissão = permission
Absoluto = absolute
You can see that the above mentioned words differ only in their endings (suffix) which makes our task of remembering Portuguese vocabulary easier.
As mentioned in our previous article ‘’how to learn vocabulary’’, making connections of the words to the language you already speak makes it much easier for you to remember new vocabulary.
Another similarity between the two languages is the sentence structures. The word order in English and Portuguese is often the same. Take a look at the sentences below:
Brasília é a capital do Brasil.
Brasilia is the capital of Brazil.
A família geralmente visitam no domingo.
The family generally visits on Sunday.
The structure in the mentioned sentences is the same, following the rule:
subject + verb + object (adverb).
Having such similarities with the English language makes learning Portuguese from scratch much easier than some of the other languages. Not only that, but it is also a good base if you want to learn some of the other Romance languages at some point, such as Spanish, French, Italian, or Romanian.
#4 The people
Learning Portuguese eventually lead to meeting Lucas and starting LanguageBoost
As mentioned before, knowing the local language will help you to connect better with the natives during your travels and give you a better insight into the culture.
The people in Latin America are very warm and welcoming. I experienced it myself while I was in Brazil for about six months. They are very open to conversations. Speaking the local language lets you experience that in a real way.
Their culture is slower paced. They put emphasis on relationships and are less individualistic than people in the Western cultures. Brazilians are diverse and vibrant (you can easily see a jogger in the 40-degree weather), generous, and very friendly.
People like that are a joy to get to know and they can certainly enrich your life. Don’t let the language be a barrier that stands between you and them. Make new friends using Portuguese as a bridge to gaining new life experiences.
#5 Portuguese is a beautiful language
With no intention of bashing any other languages out there (each one beautiful in its own way), Brazilian Portuguese is, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful ones. It’s simply a gorgeous language! It sounds so smooth since speakers use a lot of intonation in their speech, especially in Brazil.
There are certain languages which are more melodic and nicer to hear or speak, than others. Probably nothing can beat Italian in music and operas. The language flows so nicely, just like a song. I experienced a similar thing when speaking and listening to Brazilian Portuguese.
In comparison, I often feel stressed when I have to speak Spanish. It sounds crisp, like hearing someone play staccato music. Portuguese is much softer and flows better in my opinion.
The Romance languages have a certain flow to them that make them very agreeable to the ear. Maybe there’s a good reason they belong to the group of romance languages?
Not only the language is beautiful, the Brazillian landscapes are beautiful too!
Finally, in addition…
I should point out that there are certain differences between the Portuguese spoken in Portugal and Brazilian Portuguese. They’re similar (in terms of differences) between American and British English.
For example, there are differences in spelling. The word for reception, in European Portuguese, is spelled receção, and in Brazilian Portuguese, it’s spelled recepção.
Another aspect in which the two languages differ is vocabulary. Some of the words are completely different in these two languages. Here’s an example:
Ice cream – Sorvete (BP) – Gelado (EP)
Bus – Ônibus (BP) – Autocarro (EP)
In addition, in Brazil, people usually don’t use forms of formal speech and address everyone in an informal context, quite similar to English. In European Portugal, there is a distinction between formal and informal context.
These two languages also differ in accents, making Brazilian Portuguese more pleasing to the ear for a lot of people.
These were the five reasons I found to be very important and a good motivation to learn (Brazilian) Portuguese. Follow the wise words of Rumi: speak a new language so that the world will be a new world.
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About the writer of this article:
Jan van der Aa traveled to 100 countries and learned 10 languages before he turned 30. On his website he shares his language learning experience and helps people from all over the world to learn languages faster.