In the US corporate world, is learning Portuguese worth it?
Portuguese is a Romance language that proudly enjoys the patronage of about 215M speakers who speak Portuguese as their first language. It is South America’s most frequently used language and Latin America’s second-largest language. As the first colonial empire in Europe, the Portuguese enjoyed the freedom to spread their language in a number of countries, especially South America. It now enjoys the status of being an official language in 9 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America!
Portuguese is one of the most widely spoken languages around the world. The language is exceptionally popular in South America, especially in Portugal and Brazil where it is spoken most.
Portuguese is also a Romance language, therefore, it is closely connected to the language of English, Spanish, French, Italian, etc. In fact, Portuguese has gained a huge demographic of the population who wish to master this language, due to the popularity of the sport of football. There is no doubt that Portuguese is an extremely useful language. With that said, it is not as useful in the US corporate world. The US corporate world is dominated by the language of English, French, Spanish and finally Italian.
With Spanish and Italian being utilised the least. English and French are the most prominent languages used in the US corporate world. Portuguese might give you an edge over other candidates for a job, but there is no saying how far it will get you in the corporate world. It could most definitely help you expand your business from the US to many countries of South America, or maybe enable you to communicate with South American clients. Keeping that in mind, there is no guarantee of how much of this language is used in the US corporate world.
Portuguese has its own set benefits of learning, most of which are enjoyed by its students in South America, specifically in Portugal and Brazil, that does not mean that it has no worth or any value in the US corporate world. As previously mentioned, it could most definitely give you an edge over other candidates for the same job. It is just not very popular in the US corporate world. You will most probably come across French clients or completely English-speaking clients. And trying to impress them with Portuguese is going to be useless as they won’t even understand a thing. With that said, it doesn’t mean that you will never come across a Portuguese client. And if you do, you can most definitely impress them with your Portuguese speaking skills.
Its interesting to know that most Portuguese speakers of the world live in Brazil’s São Paulo, while Portugal houses a mere 5% of Portuguese speakers. A whopping 1.2M Portuguese speakers live in the United States, districts such as Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; and New York/Northern New Jersey.