If you are reading our blog, chances are that you are interested in learning Portuguese. Maybe you know some Spanish and you are curious how different these two languages are? Or are you considering a trip to Brazil? Or perhaps you just want to know more about Portuguese culture and people. Whatever the reason, Portuguese is an easy language for English speakers to master. It has many similarities with the Spanish and Italian languages. Most importantly, it is spoken by millions of people around the world, and the benefits of speaking Portuguese are numerous.
In this article, we speak about the many reasons why to learn Portuguese and why you should consider taking up this language as your next foreign language. We will answer the question: “Why learn Portuguese as a foreign language?”.
Portuguese Helps In International Business and Economy
As more and more Brazilian companies expand their international operations, Portuguese is becoming the go-to language for business in Latin America. Learning Portuguese will not only allow you to communicate with people from all over the world, but it will also help you understand Brazilian and Latin cultures, which might be quite different from your own. It may even open up new professional opportunities for you or your company.
Brazil is the second-largest economy in South America, and it plays an important role in the global economy. As the largest exporter of agricultural goods globally, Brazil is a significant player in international trade. Speaking Portuguese and learning about this world economic player will give you an edge on the job market, especially if you work in international trade, shipping, or logistics.
Many People Speak Portuguese
Brazil is the largest and the most populous country in all of South America. There are approximately 220 million native Portuguese speakers in the world. It’s the official language of Brazil, which makes up about half of South America’s population and Portugal. There are even some countries and communities in Africa that speak Portuguese!
Portuguese Is a Beautiful and Unique Language
Portuguese is often considered the “younger sister” of other Romance languages. It has developed comparatively recently, and it draws its roots from other Romance languages. In most aspects – phonology, morphology, lexicon, and syntax – Portuguese has essentially originated from Vulgar Latin. It is the result of the organic evolution of Vulgar Latin with some influences from other Roman languages. With the help of an experienced Portuguese teacher, you can learn the similarities between Portuguese and Latin, Spanish and Italian.
Moreover, the phonetic simplicity of the language makes it easy for English speakers to learn Portuguese. The pronunciation is mostly straightforward, and spelling rules are similar to Spanish and Italian. The vowels are clear, too. This makes learning Portuguese easier than you would expect at first glance.
An interesting fact: the Portuguese language influenced many African languages such as Wolof and West African Creole languages such as Yoruba. And vice versa, Portuguese uses many words derived from African languages. That’s because Brazil is the country with the largest Afro-descendant population outside Africa. During the colonial period, African words were used in Portuguese to express concepts that could not be easily translated into European languages. Over the centuries, these words got widely adopted and continue to be used in modern Portuguese today. These words of African origin make the Portuguese language unique because they are not found in any other Romance language.
Portuguese Helps You Learn Spanish
Many Spanish speakers wonder what the benefits of learning Portuguese are, and the answer is plenty! If you are a Spanish speaker, the chances are that you already understand some Portuguese. Of course, you will still need to put an effort into learning the language, as there are significant differences between Spanish and Portuguese. But as a Spanish speaker, you will be a more confident speaker of Portuguese.
You may have heard from speakers of Spanish that they find Portuguese hard to understand, whereas Portuguese speakers find Spanish relatively easy to understand. On one side, this is due to the simpler phonology of Spanish. Portuguese is a phonetically richer language than Spanish and as such, it is somewhat more difficult to learn for both Spanish and non-Spanish speakers. So if you are interested in learning both South-American languages, and you don’t want to limit yourself to learning one or the other, start by learning Portuguese first. As a matter of fact, on italki.com, you can find many Portuguese teachers who teach both languages.
The main benefit of studying with a Portuguese teacher or tutor is that that will help you learn Portuguese better, faster and more effortlessly. Portuguese also has similarities with other Romance languages such as Italian, making learning even more useful for your linguistic skills.
Portuguese Opens Up More Travel Opportunities
Learning Portuguese is a great idea if you long to travel in Europe, Latin America or in Africa. Portuguese is one of the fastest-growing European languages. There are over 200 million people who speak Portuguese as their native language – this is more than those who speak German, French, Italian or even Russian as their mother tongues! A little-known fact about Portuguese is that many countries use it as an official language. As a result, knowing even basic Portuguese opens doors for you to visit different places, including Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, and Mozambique. Learn Portuguese as this will open up an entirely new world for you and increase your ability to travel, work abroad and interact with people from other cultures.
Portuguese Opens Up More Career Opportunities
If you learn Portuguese as a second language well, you will have a greater chance of being hired for a job in international trade, logistics and many other fields! As more and more businesses require employees who can speak more than one language, it is important to communicate with different people within the same company. Learning Portuguese opens up your opportunities for working and living abroad.
As we saw, Portuguese is a language spoken by millions of people worldwide. It has some similarities with Spanish and Italian, and therefore learning Portuguese is easier for English speakers. The benefits of speaking Portuguese are numerous, and this language is a valuable asset in today’s globalized society.
If you’re looking for the best Portuguese teacher to help you learn this exciting language, italki is the place to start from! Choose one of our online Portuguese teachers and enroll in your first trial class to experience personalized one-on-one learning.