How Long Does It Take To Learn Portuguese? 5+ Easy Tips

how long to learn portuguese

Are you curious to know how it takes to learn Portuguese? Portuguese is a beautiful and fantastic language and if you master it, you’ll have a great excuse to plan a trip to Portugal, Brazil, or any other beautiful country where Portuguese is spoken! Who doesn’t love a good beach vacation with some “pastéis de nata (custard tarts)” on the side, right?

Learning Portuguese is an excellent investment in your personal and professional development. With its widespread use, cultural richness, and beautiful sound, Portuguese is a valuable asset for anyone looking to expand their horizons and make new connections.

In fact, Portuguese is among the ten most spoken languages in the world, with over 258 million speakers across the globe. This number is expected to rise in the coming years, with Portuguese becoming increasingly important in global trade and business. With that said, learning Portuguese will help you join a growing community of language learners and gain a valuable language that can set you apart in a competitive job market.

What Are Portuguese Speaking Countries?

Portuguese is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, and East Timor. It is also a minority language in several other countries, such as Andorra, Luxembourg, Namibia, and parts of India, China, and Malaysia. Additionally, there are large Portuguese-speaking communities in the United States, Canada, and other countries with significant immigration from Portuguese-speaking countries.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Portuguese?

This question, “how long does it take to learn Portuguese?” is one of the most common questions asked around the world. The amount of time it takes to learn Portuguese from scratch can vary depending on several factors, including your level of dedication, the resources you use, and your language learning goals.

However, according to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), which trains US diplomats in foreign languages, it takes approximately 600-750 classroom hours, or 24 weeks of full-time study, for a native English speaker to achieve fluency in Portuguese.

However, if you want to have complete mastery of this language, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) estimates the following number of hours per level.

  • A1 (Beginner): 150-200 hours of study
  • A2 (Elementary): 200-250 hours of study
  • B1 (Intermediate): 350-400 hours of study
  • B2 (Upper-Intermediate): 500-600 hours of study
  • C1 (Advanced): 700-800 hours of study
  • C2 (Mastery): 1000+ hours of study

If you know Spanish, learning Portuguese can be easier since the two languages share many similarities in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Learning Portuguese is estimated to be 20-25% faster for Spanish speakers than for speakers of other languages.

This means that if you are a proficient Spanish speaker, you may be able to reach an intermediate level of Portuguese (B1 or B2 on the CEFR scale) in 250-400 hours of study, depending on your study habits and exposure to the language.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Portuguese

Is It Worth To Learn Portuguese?

Learning the Portuguese language can be a beautiful and fun experience. You can finally understand what they say in Brazilian soap operas and sing along to Portuguese-language music without sounding like a tone-deaf tourist!

You’ll be able to appreciate the beauty and nuance of Portuguese literature, from the poems of Fernando Pessoa to the magical realism of Jorge Amado. And who knows, maybe you’ll even discover a new favorite author. You can impress your friends with tongue twisters like “O rato roeu a roupa do rei de Roma” and the joys of eating feijoada, the national dish of Brazil that’s almost as fun to say as it is to eat.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Portuguese

Can I Learn Portuguese In 3 Months?

Learning Portuguese in 3 months is possible, but setting realistic expectations is essential based on your current proficiency level, learning style, and the time you allocate. If you have no previous knowledge of Portuguese, it’s unlikely that you will achieve fluency in just three months. However, you can still make significant progress and acquire basic proficiency in the language with consistent study and practice.

To learn Portuguese in 3 months, you should aim to study for at least 2-3 hours daily. To master it faster, you can combine different study methods, such as textbooks, online courses, language exchange programs, and immersion activities. Here are some tips or learning methods to help you learn Portuguese more efficiently in 3 months:

  1. Focus on basic vocabulary and grammar: Start with the most common and useful vocabulary and grammatical structures, such as greetings, numbers, verbs, and pronouns.
  2. Practice listening and speaking skills: Listen to Portuguese audio materials, such as podcasts and music, and practice speaking with a tutor, language exchange partner, or language learning app.
  3. Immerse yourself in the language: Watch Portuguese TV shows and movies, read Portuguese books and news articles, and try to use Portuguese in your daily life as much as possible with family members or friends.
  4. Be consistent and motivated: Make a study plan and stick to it, even when you feel discouraged or frustrated. Celebrate your progress, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

How Hard Is It To Learn Portuguese?

Apart from the question, “How long does it take to learn Portuguese?”, most language learners also ask “How hard it is to learn the Portuguese language?” Portuguese has some unique sounds, such as nasal vowels and the palatal nasal sound, that may be difficult for non-native speakers to produce correctly. While Portuguese shares many similarities with other Romance languages, such as Spanish and French, it also has some unique vocabulary and expressions that may require additional effort.

Portuguese grammar can be complex as well, especially for speakers of languages that don’t have gendered nouns or intricate verb conjugation patterns. Portuguese grammar can be challenging for English speakers due to its complex verb conjugations, gendered nouns, and frequent use of subjunctive mood.

In addition, Portuguese has significant regional variations, such as European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, that may require some vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation adjustment. For instance, Brazilian Portuguese often uses a more informal and relaxed tone, with many unique slang words and expressions not found in European Portuguese. Furthermore, the pronunciation of certain words and sounds can also differ between the two variants, making it important to consider which regional variation you want to learn depending on your language learning goals.

Despite these challenges, Portuguese is generally considered one of the more accessible Romance languages for English speakers, especially those who already know Spanish or French. Portuguese grammar is similar to other Romance languages, and many words are similar to their English counterparts.

Would you like assistance in your learning journey?

Learn Portuguese Using Ling

Learning a new language, such as Portuguese, can be challenging. However, if you want to learn Portuguese fluently, you can use the Ling app!

Portuguese is a fascinating language, and with a tool that can help you speed up your progress, you can achieve great results faster. In addition, Ling can help you learn the basics of pronunciation, grammar, and many vocabulary words thanks to its engaging gamified features! Are you ready to try it out? Download the app for free on the Play Store and the Apple Store today!

If you wish to know more curiosities about Portugal and its language, read Good Morning In Portuguese and Portuguese Phrases and Idioms.

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