Portuguese is a widely spoken language many aspire to know. Still, some people focus on aspects that seem to make Portuguese hard to learn. Thus, they end up putting the idea aside or get discouraged early in their language-learning journey.
Unfortunately, this also means they miss out on the opportunity of learning the Portuguese language. And what a phenomenal opportunity it can be!
We’ve gathered the top eight reasons to learn Portuguese:
- It is a fast-growing language
- Learning Portuguese can improve your mental and emotional health
- You can make Portuguese-speaking friends everywhere
- You will expand your job market opportunities
- English speakers benefit from many in-common aspects between both languages
- Studying Portuguese will improve your communication skills
- Portuguese from Portugal is a bridge to other Romance languages
- You will enjoy visiting Portugal all the more
If you are unsure about starting or need an encouragement boost to keep going, this post is for you. Come with us as we explore the benefits of learning Portuguese!
Reasons to Learn Portuguese
It is one of the Fastest Growing Languages
According to UNESCO, Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world and the most spoken in the Southern Hemisphere. It has about 265 million speakers spread across all continents.
Portuguese is the official language of nine countries. You might remember particularly Brazil, Portugal, and Angola. But Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe are also on the list. All these are member countries of the Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (CPLP).
CPLP and The World Portuguese Language Day
Portuguese even has its own official day: May 5th, the World Portuguese Language Day. It was established by the CPLP in 2009 and recognized by UNESCO in 2019.
Plus, Portuguese is spoken in many other countries and territories as a mother tongue or a second language by a part of the population. Hence, you can safely name Portuguese one of the most popular languages worldwide.
It Will Improve Your Mental and Emotional Health
Studies show that bilinguals and polyglots have better neuroplasticity. Simply put, language learners have healthier and more active brains.
Studying a foreign language also boosts your concentration. If you commit to a steady routine while learning a new language, you will notice improvements in focus, memory, and alertness. These benefits are observable regardless of the age at which you decide to learn a language.
Besides, as you study Portuguese and start noticing progress, you will feel more confident. As it gets easier to understand, speak, read, and even write, you feel happier and have better self-esteem.
Many People Speak Portuguese All Over the World
Besides the member-states of the CPLP mentioned before, many people in other countries speak Portuguese. Brazil is the largest country in the Southern Hemisphere, with over 200 million people. So Brazilian Portuguese is also the most widely spoken variant.
Travel More Often and Better
Nevertheless, Portuguese-speaking communities are everywhere, from South America to Asia. They are native speakers who moved to another country and people like you who decided to learn Portuguese as a second language.
Doing the same will help you grow your network and improve travel prospects. When you speak other languages, the world is your oyster. You can create new contacts anytime, anywhere.
Portuguese Speakers Have Lots of Market Opportunities
People who know more than one language generally have better job prospects. Digital nomads are growing, and remote careers, like those of tech specialists, continue rising.
People with well-developed Portuguese skills get priority access to them. Their opportunities expand as language students often opt for more popular languages.
These widely studied languages, like Spanish or French, also make up the international business scene. Yet, due to their popularity, they present much more competition and less flexibility.
Portuguese Has a Lot in Common With English
Portuguese and English come from the Indo-European language family. Besides obviously sharing the same alphabet, their vocabularies have many words in common. Did you know, for example, that 60% of all English vocabulary is of Latin origin, therefore sharing the same base as the Portuguese language?
The Portuguese pronunciation is different. But words like banana, chocolate, cinema, and zero have the same meaning and are written the same way as in English. That also goes for most words ending in “-AL”, such as normal, banal, natural, etc. In fact, watch the video to learn 500 Portuguese words in 3 minutes, based on English-Portuguese similarities.
Other words bear different but identifiable written forms, such as “champô”
If you speak English and decide to learn Portuguese, you will also notice similarities in syntax and grammar. They are both SVO languages. Therefore, the word order in most clauses follows the same pattern: Subject-Verb-Object.
It Will Help You Improve Communication, Even in Your Mother Tongue
Naturally, your native language influences the way you express yourself. After all, it’s not only pronunciation that is different. But the line of thought followed by native speakers also changes.
While you learn Portuguese, you will see more than an increase in your vocabulary. You will become more creative, empathic, and flexible to other viewpoints. This development will help you relate better to others and share your ideas eloquently in all the languages you speak.
The European Portuguese Language is a Bridge for Learning Other Romance Languages
One of the best reasons to learn Portuguese is that it paves the way for other romance languages. This classification is linked to their connection to Rome. They center around Western Europe and have Latin as their original language.
Romance languages like Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian have closely related vocabulary. So it is easier to learn one if you already know another. Each romance language is beautiful and depicts the cultural influences of the region it evolved in.
You Will Enjoy Visiting Portugal All The More
When planning a trip to Portugal or any other Portuguese-speaking country, knowing the language will help you enjoy and understand the rich culture in a way you could never do if you were to cling to your native tongue.
Taking Portuguese classes beforehand will renew your appreciation for this beautiful language. It will also elevate whatever speaking abilities you have acquired. Besides, even the most basic Portuguese language skills will help you win over the locals.
Plus, you will want to explore more than famous touristic spots during your trip. And it will be easier to avoid tourist scams and discover the best sites to visit if you can understand Portuguese.
You Can Start Learning Portuguese From Portugal Today
Many learners have their own reasons for learning Portuguese. Some see it as the language of their favorite soccer stars. Others dream of a trip to a place with stunning beaches and fantastic weather.
These are our top eight reasons to learn Portuguese. But we believe any excuse is perfect to learn more about this beautiful language. Hopefully, this post has also helped you see learning Portuguese as the way to go.
Head over to our homepage and check out the introductory video to our European Portuguese course, The Journey. Our online classes are accessible to beginners and provide all the support you need to speak Portuguese from Portugal.
We would also love to know your reasons for learning Portuguese. Let us know in the comments!