How Long Does it Take to Learn Portuguese ?

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You are in the right place if you are interested in learning Portuguese. You may be thinking, how long does it take to learn Portuguese? Don’t worry. We have got your back. At the end of this comprehensive analysis, you will surely be able to answer this question yourself!

1. How Long Does it Take to Learn Portuguese?– An Introduction

Learning a new language is fascinating. It is an amazing experience overall on its own, for sure! It is a rewarding experience for all the language learners out there. 

Portuguese is one of the most famous languages amongst the language learners. It will open a lot of opportunities for you to learn this language! No doubt, it takes a lot of time and effort for that.

And we all know nothing comes without hard work.  Hard work and dedication is the key to learning the Portuguese language. You have to be passionate and dedicated about the language. You should know how to be consistent throughout your learning process.

how long does it take to learn portuguese
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One has to keep discipline with their daily practice of the language. Practice is the key to language learning!  You should practice daily. The more you will do, the better. This will improve your fluency!

The duration required to learn Portuguese depends on a list of factors. For example, learning methods, resources, prior knowledge, practice duration, etc. Your exposure to the language also plays a key role here. 

The intensity of your study is important. Your learning style determines the period of your learning process. Motivation and dedication to the language also play a crucial role.

In this article, we will give you a comprehensive analysis and complete guide to the Portuguese Language. We will deep dive into all the factors and try to draw conclusions. The answer to the question, How long does it take to learn Portuguese, will be clear.

2. How Long Does It Take To Learn Portuguese?

Learning a language is a unique experience. You may face difficulties, especially if you have never learned a different language. But don’t worry. If you have the right passion for your goal, you will drive through it!

The time duration required to learn Portuguese is influenced by several factors. Language background, time commitment, and learning methods are the most important factors.

It takes approximately 600 to 750 hours of study and practice of the language. This, too, is to achieve an intermediate level in Portuguese.  This equals 6 to 9 months of full-time learning. It can also take upto 12 to 18 months if you are learning part-time. 

3. Factors Affecting Your Learning Timeline

3.1 Language Background

Your prior experience matters a lot. If you have learned a similar language to Portuguese before, it will be easy for you because. This is so because you will be easily able to understand the grammar easily. You will grasp the pronunciation of the language quite easily.

If you have learned Romance languages like Spanish, Italian, or French, it will be comparatively easy for you. This is because of the shared vocabulary and grammar structure of these languages.

3.2 Learning Methods 

Learning methods undoubtedly play a vital role in the learning process of a language. Using effective learning methods and strategies will help you in the long run.  Techniques like using flashcards for practice can be a game changer as you will be actively recalling vocabulary and concepts of the Portuguese language. Immersive techniques like language exchange programs can help a lot in the process.

Living in a Portuguese-speaking country and practicing with native speakers will yield faster results.  This is because real-life communication will help you practice Portuguese more effectively. These learning methods and techniques can yield results much faster than relying solely on textbooks.

3.3 Time Commitment

We all are aware that consistency is the key to learning a language.  Practicing consistently will help you achieve your goals comparatively in a short duration! Discipline towards learning is what truly matters here.

 You should devote time each day to your language learning and practice. Plan out short and intense sessions throughout your day. In these sessions, focus on your practice and learning of the language. Remember, we can’t afford distractions here!

In this process, you don’t want yourself to burn out. Therefore, schedule short sessions. Aim for at least 1-2 hours of focused learning every single day. This will help you achieve your goals in less time!

3.4 Immersion 

how long does it take to learn portuguese
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Immersing yourself in the language can drastically shorten your overall learning duration. Immerse yourself in Portuguese culture. Surround yourself with people who can speak or who know Portuguese.

Try to listen to podcasts in Portuguese. Watch Portuguese media, news, and movies. Listen to Portuguese songs and music. Read newspapers and books that are in Portuguese language.

All these things will accelerate your learning process and duration!

Here are some concepts you will find interesting! You can learn them in a short time!

4.1 Portuguese Alphabets

The Portuguese Alphabet is a phonetic. This basically means that each letter corresponds to a single sound. This makes Portuguese alphabets easier to learn and practice.

There are exceptions to this rule. For example, the letters c, g, and ç have different sounds. This depends on the context.

The Portuguese alphabet is, however, based on the Latin Alphabet. The Portuguese Alphabet has 26 letters. And also 21 consonants and 5 vowels.

Portuguese Conversation for Beginners | BR Portuguese


4.1.1 Portuguese Vowels : 

  1. a – ah
  2. e – eh
  3. i – ee
  4. o – oh
  5. u – oo

4.1.2 Portuguese Consonants : 

  1. b- beh
  2. t- teh 
  3. v- vay
  4. x- shish
  5. z- zay
  6. c- seh
  7. d- deh
  8. f- ehf
  9. g- geh
  10. h- a-gah
  11. j- jota
  12. l- ehl
  13. m- ehme
  14. n- ehne
  15. p- peh
  16. q- qay
  17. r- eh-ree
  18. s- eh-sse

4.1.3 Five Diacritics of Portuguese alphabets : 

  1. The Acento agudo (´)
  2. Acento circunflexo (^) 
  3. Acento grave (`)
  4. Tilde (~)
  5. Cedilha  (ç)

4.2 Prepositions In Portuguese

Pela vs Pelo and other Prepositions in Portuguese

4.2.1 Examples of Portuguese Prepositions-

  1. De- of, from
  2. Em- in, on, at
  3. Por- for, by, through
  4. Com- with
  5. Sobre- about, on, over
  6. A / para- to
  7. Contra- against
  8. Depois- after
  9. Sem- without
  10. Antes- before
  11. Durante- during
  12. Ate- until, up, to
  13. Para- to, for
  14. Entre- between, among
  15. Perto de- near
  16. Junto a- next to

4.2.2 Examples of Portuguese Prepositions in Sentences-

  1. Esto na escola. ( I am in the school. )
  2. Vou para o Brasil. ( I am going to Brazil. )
  3. Acabei de falar com ele. ( I just spoke to him. )
  4. Falamos sobre o trabalho. ( We talked about work. )
  5. O carro está entre as árvores. ( The car is between the trees. )
  6. O banco está junto à parede. ( The bench is next to the wall. )
  7. Moro perto da escola. ( I live near the school. )
  8. Lutamos contra o mal. ( We fought against evil. )
  9. Vim com meus amigos. ( I came with my friends. )
  10. Fiz isso por você. (I did that for you.)
  11. O gato está em cima da mesa. ( The cat is on the table.)

4.3 Portuguese Verbs

20 must-know verbs in Portuguese

4.3.1 Basic Portuguese Verbs : 

Examples of Portuguese Verbs-

  1. Falar- to speak
  2. Comer- to eat
  3. Ver-bto see
  4. Haver- to have, to exist, to happen, to be
  5. Dar- to give
  6. Ir- to go
  7. Dizer- to say, to tell
  8. Poder- can, to be able to
  9. Ser- to be
  10. Estar- to be
  11. Fazer- to make, to do
  12. Ter- to have

Portuguese verbs are basically divided into three conjugation groups. This is based on the ending of the infinitives. They are as follows : 

  1. ar verbs- falar (to speak)
  2. -er verbs- comer (to eat )
  3. -ir verbs- dormir (to sleep)

4.3.2  Portuguese verbs conjugated in the present tense : 

Examples of Portuguese verbs conjugated in the present tense:

A. -ar verbs : 

  1. eu falo (I speak)
  2. tu falas (you speak)
  3. . ele / ela fala (we speak)

B. -er verbs : 

  1. eu como (I eat)
  2. tu comes (you eat)
  3. eles / elas comem ( they eat )

C. -ir verbs : 

  1. tu dormes (younsleep)
  2. eu durma (I sleep)
  3.  ele / ela dorme (he/ she sleeps)

4.3.3  Portuguese verbs conjugated in the past tense : 

Examples of Portuguese verbs conjugated in the past tense:

A.-ar verbs : 

  1. eu falei (I spoke)
  2. tu falaste (you spoke)
  3.  ele / ela falou (we spoke)

B. -er verbs : 

  1. eu comi (I ate)
  2. tú comiste (you ate)
  3.  eles / elas comeram ( they até )

C. -ir verbs : 

  1. tu dormiste (you slept)
  2. eu dormi (I slept)
  3.  ele / ela dormiu (he/ she slept)

4.4 Easy Long Portuguese Words

20 Portuguese Words for Everyday Life - Basic Vocabulary #1

Examples of Easy, long Portuguese words-

  1. Subdesenvolvido – underdeveloped
  2. Interplanetario – interplanetary
  3. Antitetanico – anti – tetanus
  4. Superinteressante – super interesting
  5. Transcontinental Mente – transcontinentally
  6. Anti Constitucionalmente – unconstitutionally
  7. Semipresidencialismo – semi – presidentialism
  8. Multifacetado – multifaceted
  9. Electrocardiograma – electrocardiogram
  10. Macro Economicamente – macroeconomically
  11. Pluridisciplinar – multidisciplinary

4.5 Portuguese Pronunciation

Here are some examples of Portuguese Pronunciation-

  1. Vowels a, e, i, o, and u are pronounced in the same way as in Spanish.
  2. The letter ç is pronounced as s.
  3. The letter nh is pronounced like ny in the English language.
  4. Letter z is pronounced as s between the vowels. And it is pronounced like zh in English at the end of a word or a syllable.
  5. The letter r is pronounced with a rolled sound at the beginning of a syllable or a word. Similarly, with a tap sound in the middle of a syllable or a word.
  6. Letter g is pronounced as g in English before e or i. Similarly, it is pronounced as j in English before a, o, or u.
  7. The letter c is pronounced as s before e or i. Similarly, it is pronounced as k before a, o, or u.

Examples of Portuguese words with their pronunciation : 

  1. U : u – oo, lingua – ling – guh
  2. E : e – eh, mes – mehs
  3. I : i – ee, xicara – shee – kah – rah
  4. A : a – ah, cafe – kah – feh
  5. E : e – eh, mes – mehs

Here are some tips for improving your Portuguese Pronunciation-

  1. Listen to the native speakers as much as you can.
  2. Practice pronouncing the words and phrases aloud.
  3. Be patient! Practice the Portuguese Pronunciation of words daily. Don’t get discouraged.

Introduction to Portuguese Pronunciation

4.6 Portuguese Articles

The two types of Portuguese Articles are mentioned below-

4.6.1 Definite Articles : 

  1. Masculine singular : o
  2. Feminine singular: a
  3. Masculine plural : os
  4. Feminine plural: as

Advanced Rules to Use Definite Articles in Brazilian Portuguese - Learn Portuguese #plainportuguese

4.6.2 Indefinite Articles : 

  1. Masculine singular: um
  2. Feminine singular: uma
  3. Masculine plural : uns
  4. Feminine plural: umas

Indefinite Articles in Portuguese Grammar | European Portuguese for Beginners

4.6.3 Examples of Portuguese Articles in Sentences: 

  1. O livro está na mesa. ( The book is on the table. )
  2. Eu vi uma mulher na rua. ( I saw a woman on the street. )
  3. As casas são grandes. ( The houses are big. )
  4. Os carros são pretos. ( The cars are black. )

4.7 Cognate Words In Portuguese

Examples of Cognate Words in Portuguese : 

  1. Love- amor
  2. Education- educação
  3. Information- informação
  4. Language- linguagem
  5. Hospital- hospital
  6. Friend- amigo
  7. Doctor- doutor
  8. Family- familia
  9. Book- livro
  10. Computer- computador

5. Average Time To Reach Proficiency Levels

According to some sources, these are the average durations required to reach respective proficiency levels in Portuguese. However, the duration of time may differ from person to person as it depends on various external and internal factors and circumstances.

5.1 A1 Beginner Level

This level requires 150-200 hours of study. Students/learners understand Portuguese’s basic phrases and everyday expressions at this level. This level is the foundation of the Portuguese.

5.2 A2 Elementary Level

This level requires 200-250 hours of study. At this level, students/learners understand the basic communication terms. They can communicate in simple routine tasks with people. For example, ordering food in a cafe or restaurant, asking for directions, communicating with the locals in Portuguese, etc. Basic communication skills are developed.

5.3 B1 Intermediate Level

This level requires 350-400 hours of study. 

At this level, students/learners understand the Portuguese language quite well. Usually, they have a good command of Portuguese. They can manage to live in a Portuguese country with natives. They can fluently communicate with the natives and express their opinions.

5.4 B2 Upper Intermediate Level

This level requires 600-800 hours of study. 

Students/learners understand the Portuguese language’s complex texts, concepts, and phrases at this level. They can freely speak in Portuguese and express their opinions. They can easily engage in detailed conversations with the people in Portuguese. Ultimately, they develop a solid foundation to learn more advanced language skills further.

5.5 C1 Advanced Level

This level requires 900-1000 hours of study. 

At this level, students/learners understand the advanced-level phrases of Portuguese. At this level, learners have advanced level proficiency in Portuguese. They can understand demanding texts in Portuguese. There is no language barrier.

They can speak fluently in Portuguese. The students are able to use Portuguese in their academic and professional lives without any difficulties. They are able to express themselves. 

Learn Portuguese in 20 Minutes - ALL the Basics You Need

6. Frequently Asked Questions ( F A Q’ S ) 

1. Can I learn Portuguese through apps?

Yes, of course! Language learning apps and tools are a valuable resource for learning. But remember to practice learning through real-life communication to get better results!

2. Do I need to visit a Portuguese-speaking country to become proficient in the language?

No, it’s not necessary. However, immersion can give better overall results. But through practice, proficiency in Portuguese can be reached from anywhere.

3. Is Portuguese a very difficult language? 

Portuguese is a challenging language. It requires a lot of time to learn it. With passion and the right learning methods, anyone can succeed! Effort is essential, too.

4. Are online tutors a good choice to master Portuguese?

Yes! Online tutors will provide you with personalized guidance throughout your journey. They will correct your mistakes. They will provide you with cultural insights.

5. Is Portuguese pronunciation hard to master?

Portuguese pronunciation can be a little tricky initially. But with daily practice and exposure, you can improve over time.

6. How can I maintain my Portuguese skills after learning?

Continued practice is the key here! Try to engage with Portuguese media and have daily conversations with native speakers. Consider taking advanced-level courses and practicing daily to maintain, grow, and improve your language skills over time.

7. Conclusion- How Long Does it Take to Learn Portuguese?

The journey of learning Portuguese is very fulfilling!  You should aim for your goal but enjoy the journey as well. Learning Portuguese will open new doors of rich culture for you. You should be passionate about the language.

Having the right passion and dedication will help you in the long run in this journey. Learning Portuguese will not be easy. But, it ain’t impossible as well. You should keep your eyes on your aim.

Also, you should choose the right resources for your language learning. You should choose the learning style that gives you the best result. You should aim for the one that will give you the maximum benefit and output.

how long does it take to learn portuuese
By Tima Miroshnichenko/ Pexels

So, what is the answer to the question, how long does it take to learn Portuguese? This will depend on your language proficiency goals, motivation and discipline, and practice period. 

You have to set realistic goals. You have to be disciplined throughout your learning process of the language! Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself, as being unable to complete them will demotivate you.

In conclusion, there is no definite answer to the question, how long does it take to learn Portuguese? But what truly matters is enjoying the journey and language learning process.

So, in the end, you will undoubtedly ace the race of learning Portuguese by considering these factors! Remember; to practice regularly, stay disciplined, and finally enjoy the process of learning and exploring a new language and culture! Boa Sorte! ( Good Luck! )

Let us know about your favorite language in the comments below!

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Last Updated on by SushmitaBiswas

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