Portuguese is a Romance language originating in the Iberian Peninsula of Europe. It is the sole official language of Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Brazil,while having co-official language status in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, and Macau. A Portuguese-speaking person or nation is referred to as “Lusophone” (lusófono).
With approximately 215 to 220 million native speakers and 50 million L2 speakers, Portuguese has approximately 270 million total speakers. It is usually listed as the sixth-most spoken language and the third-most spoken European language in the world in terms of native speakers. Being the most widely spoken language in South America and all of the Southern Hemisphere, it is also the second-most spoken language, after Spanish, in Latin America, one of the 10 most spoken languages in Africa,and is an official language of the European Union, Mercosur, the Organization of American States, the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, an international organization made up of all of the world’s officially Lusophone nations. In 1997, a comprehensive academic study ranked the Brazilian variety of Portuguese as one of the 10 most influential languages in the world.
From enjoying Portuguese music to having a terrific study abroad experience, learning Portuguese can expand your horizons and job prospects while enriching your life.
If you need any more motivation to start studying today, here are 10 great reasons to learn Portuguese!
10 great reasons to learn Portuguese!
1. A large number of people speak Portuguese.
Portuguese is very widely spoken, so it is not some old, unnecessary language you will never use (we’re looking at you, Latin).
World language resource Ethnologue estimates that there are over 236 million Portuguese speakers in the world, including a whopping 222 million native speakers.
To be fair, Spanish does have more native speakers—a total of 442 million speakers, in fact.
However, French and German, other popular languages with students, have significantly fewer speakers. French has around 76 million native speakers, while German has nearly 79 million native speakers. That means Portuguese has significantly more native speakers than some of the most widely studied foreign languages!
2. Portuguese is spoken in a lot more places than you may think.
When you think about Portuguese, chances are you immediately think of Brazil and Portugal.
While the language is most well-known for being spoken in these countries, you can find it in some other, more unexpected places.
The “Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa” (“Community of Portuguese Language Countries”), an organization of countries where Portuguese is widely spoken, has nine member countries: Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe.
Because of historic ties, Portuguese is also widely spoken in Sri Lanka, Goa, India and Macau, China. So you might find yourself needing your Portuguese skills in Europe, South America, Africa or even Asia!
3. It is not particularly widely studied.
So while a lot of people speak the language, not many are studying it in the US. This means that studying Portuguese can help set you apart from the masses studying more popular languages and allow you to interact with a huge population that other language students cannot communicate with.
Plus, speaking a less commonly studied language looks super cool on any résumé.
Perhaps because it is overshadowed by its super-popular sibling, it can be difficult to find in-person Portuguese courses.
4. If you speak another Romance language, you already have a leg up on learning Portuguese.
Other Romance languages, like Spanish, French, and Italian, have a lot in common with Portuguese. Since these languages have similar origins, you will notice some overlap in vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.
Therefore, if you have studied another Romance language, you are likely to find learning Portuguese much easier than learning a language from a different family.
It is always nice to have a head start!
5.It is Perfect for Changing the Environment
If you are tired of living in your native places or cities where the cost of living is high, you want to change the environment and settle down for a decent and enjoyable life. Well, Portugal is one place to contemplate. Portugal is a beautiful place to live in.You can spend your life in areas like Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, and many cool cities worth moving into. Sorry that I sound a bit bias.
However, thanks to Portugal’s low cost of living, fantastic weather, great food, and laid-back lifestyle, you can’t help but list it as your number one spot to be. That is why expatriates, entrepreneurs, retirees, digital nomads, tech specialists, and many more people are moving to Portugal. Learn Portuguese, and it will allow you to settle down and enjoy a new life in the land of Magellan. You can also travel to Brazil, the country with the most Portuguese speakers globally, and a paradise for tourists.
6. Learning Portuguese opens up worlds of travel opportunities.
Portuguese is spoken in some very popular tourist destinations.
If you enjoy beautiful beaches or enchanting rain-forests, learning Portuguese can help you on your next trip to Brazil.
Prefer European destinations? Portugal is popular with tourists for its beauty and affordability.
7. It is a way to gain even more enjoyment from soccer.
Sports fans rejoice! Soccer is huge in both Portugal and Brazil. So if you love soccer, Portuguese is a great language to learn.
Not only will learning it help you enjoy tons of soccer coverage, you will finally be able to follow your favorite soccer stars on social media and actually understand what they are saying!
8. It is a beautiful language.
French. Italian. Spanish. These languages are considered some of the most beautiful and romantic languages in the world.
Now, let’s get real: They are called Romance languages because they descend from the language Roman people spoke and not because they are romantic, but the fact remains that we have come to associate them with love.
But French, Italian and Spanish are not alone in the Romance language family! Other Romance languages include Catalan, Romanian and, you guessed it, Portuguese!
9. Learn Portuguese To Enhance Your Job Prospects
The global economy is growing, and Portuguese is known as the official language of some of the world’s rising and relatively prosperous economies. Learning Portuguese as a second language will help boost your resume. It takes you a notch ahead of others who speak other popular languages like Spanish and French when searching for a job.
Learning the language will give you a competitive advantage in closing deals with businesses and companies operating in Brazil, Portugal, some countries in East Asia, and Africa. Also, career opportunities are opened in Portugal for people who speak Portuguese.
Sectors like the Service Industries, restaurants, hotels, and tourism, telecommunications and computers, offer an excellent range of job opportunities. Also, in Africa, the Portuguese–speaking country of Angola offers the best place to find a good-paying language job. The country’s economy is thriving, and it has attracted many foreign investments, while many Portuguese native people are getting jobs in the country.
Plus, you can also work or do freelance jobs as a translator or an interpreter or tour guard for a decent income.
10. It will help you connect with rich cultures.
Portugal’s history of exploration brought together food, culture and products from around the world, so Portuguese-speaking regions tend to have intriguing cultures enriched by this diversity.
For instance, Brazil is shaped by the various groups that have inhabited the region. There are notable Portuguese, African and Indigenous influences. Waves of immigrants from Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan, Poland and more have further added to the dynamic nature of Brazilian culture.
This creates an intriguing and lively culture that is completely unique from every other culture in the world.
Learning Portuguese can help you enjoy these unique cultures on a deeper level. Don’t you want to take such amazing advantages of this language?
Learning a second language is essential for everyone in the 21st century, and Portuguese is such a tongue. The economic, social, and educational prospect it offers is bright and rewarding, now and in the future. If you’re on the fence about picking Portuguese, don’t hesitate and do it! It will be worth it!
All the best!!!