Portugal once ruled a vast trading empire ranging from the port of Macau in China all the way to the depths of the Amazon in Brazil, and the effects of this empire can still be felt. Today, Brazil is the largest Portuguese-speaking country with over 200 million people, but Portuguese is also spoken in places like Mozambique, Angola, and, of course, Portugal. This puts the total number of Portuguese speakers around 260 million making it the sixth most spoken language in the world, and third most spoken European language after Spanish and English. Because of this huge number of native speakers, learning to speak Portuguese can be very beneficial.
Starting with Brazil, this huge country takes up roughly half of the South American continent and has the 7th largest GDP per person in the world. It’s the world’s largest exporter of coffee and a huge producer of petroleum products through the semi-state owned corporation, Petrobras. It’s also home to the Amazon rainforest, the largest and most biodiverse rainforest region in the world. So whether on business or for pleasure, there’s plenty to do and see in this vast country.
Portugal, on the other hand is a relatively small country in Europe, it’s culture and influence are however by no means little. It is the fifth most peaceful country in the world, and home to the beautiful and culturally unique cities of Lisbon and Porto. These cities, as well as places such as the lush vineyards of the Douro Valley and the sandy beaches of Nazaré make Portugal a wonderful tourist hotspot where you can enjoy food, wine, sun, sport, and history. In fact, the USA Today ranked Portugal as The Best European Country in 2014.
Just like in a classroom, this can be a great way to get to know another language. Learning directly from a native Portuguese speaker allows you to practice reading, writing, speaking, and listening to Portuguese the way it’s actually used. If you’re looking to master the language in the shortest amount of time, this one-on-one method is ideal. On the other hand, private lessons can be quite expensive, and a skilled, qualified teacher can be hard to find. Another equally good options is to find someone who wants to learn your language, and give each other lesson. After all, sharing is caring.
Similar to a classroom, this is an excellent way to get to know another language. You can learn directly from a native Portuguese speaker, and practice reading, writing, speaking, and listening to Portuguese the way it’s actually used. This one-on-one interaction is ideal to master the language in the shortest amount of time. However, private lessons can be quite expensive with a qualified language teacher. One good option is to pair up with someone trying to learn your language, and help each other - Tandem style.
Although this method is falling a bit out of style, it was once one of the most popular ways of teaching yourself a new language. If you’re more of the independent study kind of person, you may want to check this out. However, the drawback is that it is a quite solitary method, and unless you have an iron will, it’s easy to get burned out. It also lacks a lot of the social interaction which makes other methods of language learning worthwhile and interesting.
One effective way of learning Portuguese is with computer learning software. There are many programs which try to mimic natural learning processes to teach you to associate names of places, things, and situations directly with the target language instead of having to filter new vocabulary through your native language via translation. This method, however, can lack the personal interaction with other speakers of the language which makes learning more fun and exciting.
This is far and away the best method of mastering any new language. However, not everyone has the resources or the time to go for an extended stay in another country. And, unless you already have the basics of the language under your belt, you may find yourself scratching your head in confusion once you get there.
There are a lot of websites which offer to teach you to learn Portuguese online, and a lot of them are even free (or quite reasonably priced). This is a great way to “dip your toe” into learning a new language if you’re unsure if it’s something you’d like to commit your time and money to. However, advanced language learners could become frustrated with the slow pace, and elementary level material offered by many of these courses.
Apps are a great way to connect with native speakers and other language learners from around the world to practice speaking almost any foreign language. Now, you can log in and practice speaking Portuguese whenever and wherever you happen to be, right on your phone or tablet. The world of language learning is getting a whole lot smaller.
The Tandem app is the best way to learn Portuguese online for free. With millions of members, Tandem is one of the largest language learning communities out there! With the Tandem app, you can connect with native Portuguese speakers all over the world and practice by speaking via text, audio message, and video call. Master Portuguese now and download the app!
Private lessons more your thing?
With Tandem Tutors, you can master the Portuguese language even quicker. Our Tutors are certified professionals who offer one-on-one lessons anytime, anywhere. With Tandem Tutors, it’s easy to find someone who matches your style and works around your schedule. Your language learning journey begins today — Get started now!