How Long Does It Take to Learn Portuguese?

how long to learn Portuguese

Are you interested in finding out how much time it takes to learn Portuguese? Portuguese is a wonderful language that opens the door to amazing experiences. Not only that, but if you become skilled in it, you’ll have a perfect reason to organize a vacation to Portugal, Brazil, or any other enchanting country where Portuguese is the main language! Who wouldn’t enjoy a relaxing beach holiday with some delicious “pastéis de nata” as a delightful extra? Let’s dive into understanding the journey of learning Portuguese right from the beginning in this article.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Portuguese?

As reported by Visual Capitalist, the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) states that it requires around 24 weeks (equivalent to 575-600 hours) to learn Portuguese. This achievement places Portuguese in the ‘category 1’ classification on their scale, indicating that it’s among the quickest languages to pick up.

Factors to Consider When Learning Portuguese

Nobody can tell the exact number of hours it takes to learn Portuguese because it is an individual experience and differs from person to person. The experience depends on many factors, and we will discuss some of them below.

1. What’s Your Native Language?

Fluency and literacy in the native language affect the new language in ways we don’t even imagine. If you already speak a second language fluently or were raised in a multilingual or bilingual setting, it may be easier for you to pick on the words and phrases of Portuguese.

It is a fact that bilinguals find it easy to learn a third language, as has been proven by many studies. The main reason is that such people are inherently more accustomed to being exposed to languages other than their mother tongue.

Fluency and skills in one language also help you to become fluent in Portuguese. However, if you are not bilingual or multilingual, you don’t have to worry because any exposure to French or Japanese would be beneficial.

2. Language You Are Learning

Portuguese is relatively easy to learn, especially for English speakers. The language itself is very well structured and contains clear rules of grammar. Like many other European languages, Portuguese originated from the indo-european group of languages.

This is why you may find some things similar under the umbrella of some basic rules across these languages because all these languages have similar roots and origins.

Over the decades, Portuguese has borrowed many words from European languages. These words or phrases are referred to as cognates. The examples are:

  • Beisel
  • Baseball
  • Doctor
  • Doctor
  • Museu
  • Museum

3. How You Are Learning

The way you learn the Portuguese language also plays a significant role in how fast you learn Portuguese. If your whole approach to learning the language is limited to the classroom setting, it will take longer to get a hold of it.

However, if you are exposed to learning the language outside the classroom, you will learn it in a shorter period. It is essential to consume as much media as possible in the target language.

For instance, if you watch movies and seasons in English, you can switch the subtitles to Portuguese or the language to Portuguese and the subtitles to English. This way, you will gradually understand the words in Portuguese and the sentences.

Moreover, when you don’t aim to learn the language in your free time, you can subconsciously keep feeding Portuguese to the brain. It’s essential to have input from listening or reading in the target language. This input greatly influences the output of the language; speaking.

Try spicing up the language learning experience as much as possible with the help of technology and other media. After that, understand the pattern which works for you. Some watching movies in the target language work for some people, while it doesn’t work for others. So, find the method that works best for you.

4. How Much Time Do You Have?

How long it takes to learn Portuguese also depends on the time you dedicate to earning the language in a day, week, and month. It’s also important to dedicate effective learning hours to Portuguese because effective language learning takes so much less time.

Studies have proven that people who dedicate at least a few hours to learning the Portuguese language learn it way faster than those who only take Portuguese language classes a few times a week. This is because your frequent exposure to the language matters a lot. It plays a significant role in determining the total number of hours.

Secondly, decide for yourself how you are willing to spend these hours on a language. On some days, you can learn the basics of the language, while on other days, when you don’t feel like making such an effort, you can simply listen to people communicate in that language.

Studies have suggested that 80-100 hours of active study of the language helps the learner understand the everyday expression, create simple sentences, introduce oneself, know the present tense use, and communicate in the most basic everyday context. This is what every person who is at the beginner level of learning the language can do.

5. Your Motivation

There are so many reasons that people learn Portuguese. The first one is that you can find it everywhere in the world. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Portuguese? The football, right? Or christiano ronaldo.

But what won’t come to your mind is the rich linguistic culture and the influence of Portuguese all around the world. As a matter of fact, there are 234 million Portuguese speakers worldwide, 221 of them being natives.

Portuguese also makes learning another romance language easier, as the root language is the same. The Portuguese language also carries a mix of different cultures. So, whatever the motivation behind language learning is, you have to find it and stay true to it.

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