"But Portugal has a peaceful feel about it. I sit on the terrace overlooking the vineyard there and I feel cut off from the world. You need that sort of thing." -Cliff Richard

Portugal is a land of diversity and unique culture. When travelling through Europe, it is nearly impossible to find another place that captivates and surprises such as the cities of Lisbon or Porto.

After many times returning to the same place year after year, some Portugal vacation-goers decide to immerse themselves further into the Portuguese culture by learning the tongue of Cristiano Ronaldo and Vasco Da Gama. 

Therefore, to inspire enthusiastic learners to pick up Portuguese, we shall consider additional information about the history of the Portuguese language, the many places where it can be mastered in the country of Portugal, and unique tips and tricks to acquire fluency in no time!

History of the Portuguese Language

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The origins of the Portuguese language date back many years such as the country itself. (Source: Unsplash)

How did the Portuguese language develop into being one of the world's most spoken tongues? 

It is important to mention that the Portuguese language has roots stemming from the autonomous community of Galicia, in the north of Portugal and northwest of Spain. The original language spoken in the previously mentioned geographic locations was known as Galician.

Galician is a mixture of local dialects spoken on the Iberian peninsula and Latin; hence the reason why Portuguese became a romance language. In the 14th century, Portuguese became known as a descendant language.

Fun fact: in present day Portuguese and Galician people have no trouble understanding each other. 

Many historians have found that Old Portuguese or Galician Portuguese became popular after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. Also, it's important to state that Old Portuguese starting appearing in documents throughout the 9th century.

Little do people know that by the 13th century Portuguese had evolved enough to produce its own literature and began to split from the Galician tongue. 

While it is true that the Portuguese language originates from the Iberian Peninsula in Western Europe, only 5% of Portuguese native speakers live in the country of Portugal. This comes as no surprise since the Portuguese conquered many of the current world's most populous countries such as Brazil, Mozambique, and Angola in the 1500s.

Portuguese is currently the official language of nine distinct countries in continents all over the world.

Such as?

Nations such as Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Timor-Leste, Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde, and Sao Tome and Principe all share Portuguese as an official language. Also, it is worth mentioning that Portuguese is an official language in the Chinese autonomous territory of Macau.

Recent estimates demonstrate that Portuguese is the seventh-most spoken language in the world behind Chinese Mandarin, Spanish, English, Hindi, Arabic, and Bengali. Additionally, Portuguese is the fastest-growing European language behind English; largely due to the high birth rate of the countries such as Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, and Mozambique where Portuguese is spoken.

It is important to mention that in each Portuguese speaking country, there is a different dialect and unique expressions. For instance, many speakers in Portugal at times struggle to understand those in Brazil. Nevertheless, Portuguese is one of the world's most valuable languages that merits special attention.

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Portuguese Language Courses in the Land of Ronaldo and Port

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Attending language courses is a brilliant way to spend time with like-minded individuals who are serious about learning. (Source: Unsplash)

Portugal is a southern European country on the Atlantic Ocean that was once one of the world's greatest maritime powers. With more than 10,000,000 inhabitants, Portugal is one of the planet's most significant Portuguese-speaking countries attracting visitors from all continents.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that individuals intrigued by the Portuguese language will travel to the land of Port to learn where this European tongue originated. 

Bom dia, boa tarde, descuple, gostaria de uma cerveja, adeus! 

Although Portugal is a small country geographically, there are various cities of a considerable size where many academic disciplines can be acquired. Lisbon, Porto, Braga, and Amadora are some of Portugal's largest cities that welcome international students on the regular.

The following are some of the best academic institutes offering Portuguese language courses to all:

  • CESA Languages Abroad: one of the Portuguese language schools coordinated by CESA is located in the city of Lisbon in three central buildings that are near to one another and were established in 1959. Students boast fantastic reviews from this school since it caters to all types of language learners: from beginners to advanced students. By observing the website, there are many language courses offered at the school such as long term courses that last longer than eight weeks or some that only have a duration of one or two weeks. Be sure to undergo effective research before deciding on the Portuguese course that best suits your needs. It's also worth stating that CESA Languages Abroad provides courses in Faro.
  • Iberlinguas: a lovely language school recently established in the heart of Lisbon in 2011, Iberlinguas teaches Portuguese, Spanish, and English to foreigners visiting Portugal for long or short periods of time. Classes are offered to foreign pupils at distinct learning levels in courses such as the Intensive Portuguese Course, the Portuguese Summer Course, the Summer Courses + Conversation Sessions, and the Portuguese Summer Course + Private Lessons. Check out their website to learn more about the programme costs and start dates.
  • Oficina de Português Porto: while Lisbon is a magnificent place to study an ancient European language, most international students would absolutely adore their experience analysing Portuguese in one of Europe's most majestic cities: Porto. According to the Oficina de Português Porto, there are various Portuguese courses that have a duration of one to 52 weeks. For example, a week-long class may last 10 hours a week with two hours of class time per day. It is worth stating that this language school accepts students who are 17 years of age or more and who are serious about grasping the basics of Portuguese.

Whichever city you decide to study Portuguese in, there are fantastic options that may be found to increase overall understanding and general knowledge. Consider recommended schools such as inlingua Porto, Worldpuzzle, CIAL Centro de Linguas, EF, and Live Languages Abroad.

Did you know that you can study Portuguese via online language courses?

Helpful Tips and Tricks to Learn Portuguese Like a Pro

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There are many tips and tricks from experienced learners that make acquiring Portuguese more attainable. (Source: Unsplash)

Let's be honest, learning a new language is no piece of cake. Much time and effort are required to master a new tongue with fluency and comprehension.

It is essential to mention that certain countries in Europe such as the UK, France, and Spanish teach foreign tongues in schools; however, a solid-level of fluency is rarely acquired because of teaching methods and lack of practice. Therefore, many UK-based citizens desire to learn another European tongue such as Spanish, German, or Portuguese but struggle to acquire the basics.

How can another foreign language be mastered? 

By following the wise advice and counsel of more experienced language learners, learning Portuguese is attainable and extremely entertaining.

The following are some of the most useful tips to grasp Portuguese in an effective manner:

  • Focus on the Practical Words: when learning a foreign language it seems that there are a thousand new words a minute. Nevertheless, it is possible to learn the essential words without getting too overwhelmed and your bad memory is never a valid excuse! For instance, the amount of words acquired by a Portuguese beginner is only 780. Focus on the essential words that will help you engage in short conversations from the get-go.
  • Frequently Engage in Conversations With Natives: the excuse of not living near a Portuguese-speaking neighbourhood or country is invalid in today's digital age. Portuguese language beginners can connect with natives from all over the world using social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. Get involved by reading and regularly contributing to discussions and group chats. Consider exploring the language learning exchange application known as Tandem. On Tandem many Brazilians or Portuguese people look forward to trading language classes with English native speakers from the UK; a match made in heaven!
  • Set Specific Goals and Stick to Them: many people all over the world set the goal of "learning Portuguese" yet never attain it because their goals are too broad. We highly recommend setting smaller goals that are easier to assimilate. For example, "learn the alphabet in Portuguese", "learn how to introduce myself in Portuguese", or "learn specific food items in Portuguese." By setting smaller goals, beginners attain fluency more efficiently and engagingly.

Having the goal of attending a language programme in Portugal is a brilliant idea to effectively learn the basics of the Portuguese language in style.

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Daniel