How Long Does It Take To Learn Portuguese?

Portuguese is one of the most widespread languages in the world, ranked at number nine just between Russian and Indonesian. The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) ranks it similarly to Spanish in terms of learning difficulty. These rankings are based on similarities to English, so if you’re learning Portuguese with a different first language, the difficulty might be lower or higher.

The FSI says that Portuguese takes around 600 hours of study, or roughly 6 months if you study hard every day. Some people report that Portuguese is more difficult than Spanish due to the wide variety of phonemes and symbols.

Keep reading to learn more about precisely how long it takes to become fluent in Portuguese. I’ll also provide you with a few tips on how to make studying the Portuguese language quicker, easier, and more enjoyable!

The History of the Portuguese Language

Portuguese is a complex language with a complex history, developing from Latin dialects spoken in Iberia around the 9th century.

Like Spanish, Portuguese has been influenced by Arabic and Celtic languages spoken in ancient Iberia, giving it a unique lexicon that can be confusing to speakers of other languages.

Is It Hard To Learn Portuguese?

Since Portuguese is a romance language (descended from Latin), much of the lexicon will be familiar to speakers of other romance languages such as French or Italian. Speakers of English (a Germanic language) will find the vocabulary a bit more challenging to memorize, but many of the words are still quite similar.

Portuguese is considered moderately difficult to learn. The main difficulties come from the symbols used in written Portuguese, as well as the unfamiliar vocabulary words inherited from Celtic and Arabic languages.

How Can I Learn Portuguese Fast?

There’s no quick-and-easy way to learn any language. However, there are several things you can do to make the process smoother and more enjoyable.

To learn Portuguese quickly, start with a robust basis in grammar and vocabulary, and progress toward natural conversation while immersing yourself as much as possible.

The fastest way to learn any language is to immerse yourself in it. This is much easier if you live somewhere where people speak Portuguese, but you can still immerse yourself quite a bit if you live in an English-speaking country.

One of the best ways to immerse yourself is to set your phone and computer language to Portuguese. This will force you to learn how to read and interact with basic Portuguese vocabulary and phrases without making your life too stressful in the process.

An excellent way to get a basic handle on Portuguese is to start with the Duolingo course. Duolingo is free, fun, and accredited by multiple language learning institutions.

Final Thoughts

Portuguese is a widely spoken language with a storied history and plenty of cultural context. If you stick with it and study every day, you should make a lot of progress reasonably quickly. The key is perseverance. And if you already have a basic (or more than basic) grasp of Spanish, you might have an easier time of it.

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