Learning a new foreign language is an exciting event. Although it may take a lot of time, effort, and dedication improving your proficiency level in a new language, there’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained from the fact that learning a new foreign language can bring a variety of benefits, including:

  • Having something different and distinctive to put on your CV;
  • Having the ability to communicate with millions of people across the world; and
  • Having the chance to make a new group of friends who share the same interests as you.

Once you’ve decided that learning a new language is something you’d like to pursue, the next step is to actually decide which language is right for you! There are hundreds of languages out there to choose from, and often language learners tend to default towards more commonly-spoken or widely taught languages in the UK, whether that’s Spanish, French, German, or another language.

One language that often goes overlooked in the UK is Portuguese. While it may not be a particularly popular language to learn at school compared to others, the fact is that learning Portuguese can be a fantastic idea, especially when you consider that over 200 million people speak the language across the world.

Although Portuguese is often associated with being spoken in Portugal, the fact is that Portuguese is also spoken in many other countries, most notably Brazil. As a result, if you’re interested in Brazilian culture, or would like to travel to Brazil or Portugal at some point in the future, then learning Portuguese can be a great idea.

Search for a Brazilian Portuguese online course here.

An image of an open journal with blank pages and a blue pen in the middle. If you want to write in Portuguese you'll need to learn the Portuguese alphabet first.
There are different ways that you can improve how you write in Portuguese. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, 6689062, Pixabay)

Learn To Write In Portuguese

When you learn a new language, you’re often told that there are four particular skills that are crucial to developing your language proficiency:

  • Reading skills;
  • Listening skills;
  • Speaking skills; and
  • Writing skills.

Being able to successfully develop each of these four skills is essential if you want to improve your ability in any language – regardless of whether you’re a complete beginner or fluent. This general rule is no different when it comes to learning Portuguese.

It’s worth bearing in mind that each of the four skills listed above tends to develop at different paces for most learners. For instance, many learners may find that their reading skills develop much faster than their speaking skills, as often speaking in a foreign language takes the longest time to develop.

One of the key skills when learning any language though is learning how to write in that language. Today, with our increasing reliance on the internet and auto-correct tools, it can be all too easy to brush aside learning how to write a language properly.

However, learning how to write correctly in Portuguese should not only help improve your own writing skills, but it also means that you won’t struggle should you find yourself without the aid of a spell checker on your computer.

With that in mind, here are some tips below when it comes to learning how to write in Portuguese.

Master The Portuguese Alphabet

If you want to learn how to write in Portuguese, then your very first step is learning the Portuguese alphabet. Naturally, the alphabet is the building block of any language, and you can’t be expected to write in another language until you’re familiar with the letters that feature in that language!

You can find the Portuguese alphabet online relatively easily if you haven’t yet learnt it. If you are already familiar with the alphabet, then the key is to keep practising and testing yourself until you know the alphabet off by heart and can recite it in its entirety. You may also find it helpful to keep a sticky note of the alphabet up around your house, so you can quickly remind or test yourself on the alphabet when you’re at home.

Know What Kind Of Portuguese You’re Learning

There are two main varieties of Portuguese – the Portuguese spoken in Portugal and the Portuguese spoken in Brazil.

Although both languages are Portuguese, they do have their similarities and differences (just think of the differences between American, Australian, and British English for reference). Crucially, when it comes to writing Portuguese, it’s worth noting that Brazilian Portuguese and Portuguese do not share a common, standardised written language.

As such, it’s worth deciding from the outset whether you’d like to write in Brazilian Portuguese (if you’d like to ultimately learn Brazilian Portuguese) or how to write in Portuguese, depending on your own preferences and circumstances.

An image of a dictionary definition of the word "dictionary." A dictionary can be useful when learning Portuguese.
Having a Portuguese dictionary can improve how you write in Portuguese by expanding your vocabulary. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, PDPics, Pixabay)

Expand Your Vocabulary

Before you start writing in Portuguese, you’ll also have to know a few Portuguese words and know how they’re spelt (and, ideally, pronounced).

If you’re a beginner, try to learn a selection of the following:

  • Common verbs, both regular and irregular;
  • Common words and phrases;
  • Greetings and popular expressions;
  • Pronouns and nouns; and
  • Numbers.

When learning new words, try to memorise how they’re spelt, so you won’t have to reach for a dictionary every time you’d like to write the word down. Equally, in the case of nouns, try to learn the gender of the noun as well and whether it is male or female.

Put What You’ve Learnt Into Practice

When all’s said and done, you can learn as much as you like about the theory of a topic, but one of the best ways to consolidate what you’ve learnt is to put those skills into practice.

When it comes to writing in Portuguese, this means finding the time to write in the language. There are a number of ways you can practice writing in Portuguese, such as:

  • Searching for Portuguese writing exercises online;
  • Copying passages in Portuguese from one of your favourite Portuguese books or novels and translating it into English;
  • Potentially hiring a Portuguese tutor to help give you some pointers when it comes to improving your Portuguese writing skills through sites such as Superprof; or
  • If you’re fairly proficient in Portuguese, you could write your own creative writing pieces – perhaps in the form of a short story.

The key is practice. When you first start writing in Portuguese you might find that you write in Portuguese much slower than how you write in other languages, such as English. However, with regular practice you should find that your speed, as well as accuracy, pick up, so don’t feel disheartened at the start if you are struggling.

A 3D image of a person sitting in a chair with 3D glasses on with a bucket of popcorn placed next to him on a stool. You can learn Portuguese by watching popular Portuguese films or TV shows.
You can learn Portuguese in a number of ways, such as through watching Portuguese films or TV shows. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, 3dman_eu, Pixabay)

Learn Portuguese In A Way That Works For You

One of the most important things you can learn when developing your skills in a new language is the fact that learning a foreign language involves learning a mixture of different skills, including learning how to read, write, listen, and speak in that language.

While you can do specific exercises to develop each of those skills in isolation, it’s worth remembering that true mastery of a language only comes when all four skills are developed to their highest level.

Therefore, while it’s great to work on developing your writing skills in Portuguese, particularly if you know that you’ve previously struggled in this area, it’s also worthwhile setting some time aside to develop your Portuguese reading, listening and speaking skills too.

For example, fun ways you can develop your Portuguese language skills include approaches such as:

  • Watching to Portuguese films or TV shows and listening to what the actors are saying;
  • Speaking with a Portuguese native speaker – perhaps someone from Brazil, Portugal, or elsewhere; and
  • Reading Portuguese novels.

Reading works in Portuguese can be especially helpful, as not only will reading extensively in Portuguese help you to develop your range of Portuguese vocabulary, but it could also improve your Portuguese writing skills.

This is because, by reading news articles, books, or other written mediums in Portuguese, you should gain a better understanding of how Portuguese sentences are structured, which could improve your own understanding of Portuguese grammar and syntax, and make your writing appear closer to that of a native speaker’s.

If you’d like to have specific reading exercises in place to help you develop your Portuguese reading skills, or you’d like some help to improve any other area of Portuguese – whether that’s grammar, vocabulary, verbs and tenses, or conversational phrases – then you may want to consider reaching out to a Superprof tutor for help.

A Portuguese Superprof tutor can help provide you with tailored exercises that can help improve your Portuguese proficiency, regardless of whether you’re a complete beginner, an intermediate learner, or have near-fluency in the language. What’s more, you can choose your tutor based on the type of Portuguese that they have experience with.

So if you’d like to learn Brazilian Portuguese in particular, you can choose a tutor that has experience teaching this form of Portuguese.

By entering your postcode and selecting the subject you’d like to find a tutor for, you can be matched with local tutors in your area that would be happy to assist you on your learning journey. Equally, if you’d prefer to have lessons conducted online, there are a number of Superprof tutors that offer online-only classes, as well as tutors that are happy to offer group or one to one tuition.

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A student by trade, Daniel spends most of his time working on that essay that's due in a couple of days' time. When he's not working, he can be found working on his salsa steps, or in bed.