Learning Portuguese in Lisbon (top tips for 2019)
Are you planning to move to a region or a country that speaks Portuguese? If this is the case you are probably going to need to learn this colourful language!
Touristic areas (in Lisbon) tend to have a very high number of English speakers. However, the reality in towns and villages is rather different. To learn Portuguese you have to… start! Just keep in mind that you will need several months of practice in order to grasp the language to an effective and practical level.
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You can’t expect perfection!
When learning a new language you need to be realistic and reaching “perfection” will not happen until you’ve been speaking that same language for at least three, four or more years! You will make thousands of mistakes along the way but there is no other road to fluency, trust us and be patient!
Practice little but often! (as often as possible)!
You will probably start your learning process by spending several hours per week studying the language. Yet, this strategy is usually highly ineffective. It is a proven fact, that you will not be able to retain that information on a long-term basis. The best way to study is to try and spend 15 to 20 minutes per day studying Portuguese. This routine will reinforce and store the language learnt far better in your memory, and is more likely to stay with you on the long term.
Be in charge of your pace of learning
The secret to learning a new language is to go at a pace that best suits your own needs! Taking a class with other students can more than often have an adverse effect on learners. You might feel that the other students are moving too slow or too fast. Speaking from experience, we believe that private lessons to be the perfect solution!
Practising with a Partner
Having already mentioned that you should learn a new language at your own pace, we do ,however, also believe that it can be effective to have a learning partner!
If you have decided to learn Portuguese through an app, website or another technological platform, you might well learn the principles of the language, but that methodology will not prepare you for a fluent conversation. That requires a solid knowledge and understanding of the language. Try to practise your Portuguese with your/a partner. If you do this on a regular basis, we guarantee you will be surprised at the progress you make in a short space of time.
If you are an intermediate student of Portuguese (B1 or B2), you must listen to other people speaking Portuguese! It is critical! This can be as simple as turning on a Portuguese channel, on your TV (or radio) (why not try with Portuguese subtitles as well). The words (language) that are used on TV / Radio programmes are what Portuguese people use on a daily basis, so this is bound to help!
Writing in Portuguese
Writing in Portuguese is a truly beneficial activity for your learning process. This will give you the chance to consolidate many words and structures. Try to use different tenses whilst writing in Portuguese (present simple, past simple, the future, the imperative and any others you may know). Ask your teacher to correct your texts. Analyse the corrections and try to learn from them, so not to repeat the same mistakes. Once again, don’t expect perfection; be patient and tolerant of your own capabilities.
Reading in Portuguese
If you are an A1, A2 or B1 student do not try to read a Portuguese novel. Spend your time reading texts for your current level of competence. If your level is already B2 (or C1) you are ready to read almost everything in Portuguese (newspapers, magazines, books etc.). Keep yourself as subjected to the language as much as possible! That’s the key tip that we can offer you!
If you follow these pieces of advice, we are sure that you will build a strong foundation for Portuguese. Don’t forget that if you decide to start your learning process on a Portuguese language learning platform of any type that will provide a solid basis for communicating on a basic level. Yet, if you want to improve your language skill set further, we strongly recommend you do a Portuguese course, in Lisbon!