Guest Post: 7 Reasons To Start Learning Portuguese
Thinking of learning a new language? If you’re like most English people, chances are your answer is probably no. Forget the French you learned in school (if you still remember it) and check out these seven reasons to start learning Portuguese, the world’s sixth-most widely spoken language.
1. You won’t embarrass yourself when the World Cup starts. There are still a couple of years before the World Cup kicks off in Brazil, and even more time before the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Get learning before then and there’ll be no need to hold back when the tickets go on sale.
2. Understand Spanish while learning Portuguese. It doesn’t matter if you tried extra hard during GCSE Spanish – Portuguese takes extra study time to master. Here’s the good part – Portuguese speakers can understand Spanish better than Spanish speakers can understand Portuguese.
It sounds weird but it’s true. Because Brazil is surrounded by Spanish-speaking countries, the languages have developed so that Portuguese-speakers are at a major advantage. If you don’t know any Spanish, you’re effectively killing two birds with one stone by learning Portuguese.
3. It’s awesome to order a Caipirinha without a bad accent. There’s nothing worse than the classic English tourist trying to communicate abroad by using lots of hand-waving and an incredibly bad quasi-foreign accent. Stand out from the crowd by being the only one in your party who knows how to mingle with the locals – it’ll get you serious kudos.
4. Brazilians are hot. No doubt about it, Brazilians do tend to be pretty attractive. If you’re on the pull while on your holidays, there’s nothing more impressive than being able to chat someone up in their native tongue. Just make sure you know exactly what you’re saying before you open your mouth – accidentally insulting someone’s mother isn’t a great start for a romantic encounter.
5. You’ll know when tour guides are mocking you. If you’ve only ever spoken English (and possibly bits of broken French on holiday) you’ll probably have been mocked while abroad numerous times without even noticing.
Waiters, receptionists, taxi drivers – they all count on ignorant tourists not to understand what they’re saying while they grumble under their breath about heavy bags and changed orders. Knock them for six by letting them know you know exactly what they’re saying – then ask for the manager.
6. Get in with the Brazil’s recession-proof economy. Unless you’ve been living with your head in a bucket the past few years, the global economic crisis won’t be news to you. Most western countries are either in recession or at an economic stand-still – not so for Brazil.
Brazil’s economy is growing at a strong rate of around 5% per year and is currently the sixth largest in the world. Learn Portuguese and you won’t have to worry about job opportunities – there are plenty of roles open to bilingual foreigners. So while Brazilians check out daytime and evening English courses in London, you can check out the Portuguese courses and get planning your trip to Brazil.
7. It’s just an amazing language. Portuguese is a beautiful and expressive language, and there’s a heck of a lot of passion behind each and every word. Despite being a versatile language, there are some words and phrases in Portuguese that literally don’t translate into any other dialect in the world. Take the word ‘saudades’, for example. It basically means that you miss someone and want to see them all in one word. Cool, eh?
If point 4 swayed it for you, check out this language school in London for details of courses near you. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can forget about shuffling around Brazil, squinting at signposts and consulting your phrasebook every five seconds – a brilliant new holiday experience will be open to you.