You’ve taken that dream vacation to Brazil…but you were absolutely lost during conversation with anyone but your fellow tourists. This is not the ideal way to travel, as without communication with locals you lose an important look at an unfamiliar culture and don’t get to forge the opportunity to make new friends across the world. You decided that the next time you visited you would come prepared—a crew of Portuguese translators would come along with you to bridge the language gap!
All joking aside, there is no time like the present to put some serious time and energy into learning Portuguese, and the best part is that you can do so without leaving your home.
Learning Portuguese is well worth the time spent when you weigh in the eight countries whose national language is Portuguese, the huge influence it has had on English and many other language, and the approximately 272 million Portuguese speakers worldwide! Thanks to this vast diversity, Portuguese tutors are available from many of the these countries, so that you can specialize, if need be, in the accents, language peculiarities, and manner of speaking peculiar to each of these individual countries. It is reportedly the 5th most widely spoken language in the world, so you’ll be able to use your newfound language skills to communicate with tons of new people.
Whether the scenario above resonates with you or you’re looking to learn Portuguese for another reason, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to by following this advice.
Hire a Tutor
Having face-to-face guidance from another human being who is familiar with the language is an important part of the learning process. You can’t learn everything from a textbook, and a native or fluent speaker is your best resource for making lesson plans, helping you practice, and helping you understand the nuances of the language and the culture surrounding it. If you’re looking to learn Portuguese from your home, hiring a tutor that can come to you is ideal. You can find such tutors by searching local classifieds or by using online tutoring sites like WyzAnt. You can also find tutors from anywhere in the world who you can connect with through Skype at sites like VerbalPlanet.
Connect with a Language Exchange Partner
Maybe the idea of having someone guide you sounds great, but you don’t want to spend the money on a tutor. You’re in luck! With language exchange becoming more and more common, you’ll be sure to find a partner who would be interested in teaching you Portuguese in exchange for lessons in one of your skills (you speak English, don’t you?). Sites like LRNGO offer a free platform where you can connect with a partner locally or even globally by making use of video chat, and the site expands to more than just languages so you can use any of your skills to teach in exchange for Portuguese lessons.
Utilize Online Resources
There are tons of websites that offer valuable Portuguese language study tools, so be sure to make use of them. Check out some general Portuguese learning sites like BBC Portuguese or Portuguese 101, YouTube sites like PortuguesePod101, podcasts like BrazilianPodClass, and online exercises like those found at Digital Dialects. Practicing outside of your time with a tutor or exchange partner is essential, and these are a perfect way to get your practice in without leaving your home.
Put on your comfiest pajamas, kick back, and start learning Portuguese so on your next dream vacation, you’ll be able to speak like a pro.
Photo Credit: Monica Navarro Aranda
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