Out of more than 7000 spoken languages in the world, which one should you pick? Rough question. Sometimes the motivation for learning a language is what helps you reach a higher level of proficiency. Are you looking for something that can boost your career prospects? Or do you want to learn a language that can help you integrate into the country you just moved to? There are plenty of benefits to learning a language, but it’s the choosing part that is a bit difficult. Maybe I can be of some help with that. Let me show you 5 reasons why it’s beneficial to learn the Portuguese language. 

1 – You can find it all over the world 

What comes to mind when you think of Portuguese? Some people might think of Portugal, which will eventually lead to football, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Or, they might think of Brazil and its amazing culture. But what many might not know is that Portugal once had an incredible linguistic influence around the world, during the age of maritime exploration, in search for the route to India. In fact, there are 234 million Portuguese speakers worldwide, 221 million of them being native speakers! This ranks the Portuguese language as 6th most spoken by native speakers and 9th in terms of total speakers.

Presently, there are 10 sovereign states where Portuguese is the official language, among which Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, and Portugal. By learning the language you will unlock several opportunities in these countries.

2 – Portuguese will make learning other Romance Languages easier

Once you learn Portuguese, you’ll find it easier to learn other Romance languages, as they all derive from the same root language: Latin. In fact, the language with the highest lexical similarity (89%) to Portuguese is Spanish. Interestingly, you’ll notice that it is easier for a Portuguese speaker to understand and speak Spanish without having learned the language, compared to the other way around. This is due to the variety of sounds and articulation used in the language. So not only will you be able to talk to Portuguese speakers, but you’ll also easily understand 534 million Spanish speakers. We are talking about 768 million people!! If you’re interested in knowing more about the similarities between Portuguese and Spanish, check our previous blog post.

3 – Influence in the Global Economy

Brazil is a key player in the world’s current economy. It ranks as the “7th largest economy in the world with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of U$2.4 trillion.” This is equivalent to more than 40% of Latin America’s economy. Moreover, it is the world’s largest exporter of meat, coffee and sugar, and the second largest of soybeans and iron ores. These multi-billion dollar industries are highly influenced by the language in which negotiations are held – Portuguese. Hence, the importance of learning the language.

4 – Discovering Different Cultures 

The Portuguese language carries a mix of different cultures. As a result, a Portuguese language learner will be able to explore the intricacies of African culture (Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Equatorial Guinea), as well as, Latin American culture (Brazil) through music, literature and television. Maybe you’re interested in listening to the endless Brazilian musical genres, such as: forró, repente, coco de roda, axé, sertanejo, samba, and bossa nova. Or you’re into Angola’s kizomba and kuduro. Look at how one language can open doors to so much!

5 – Portuguese Language Influence

When learning Portuguese you might hear some familiar words. Does that mean you’re basically an expert in your first language session? No, but it just comes to show the amount of influence the Portuguese language has had around the world. Just like French words are commonly used in the English language: apostrophe, chic, and hotel. You can also find Portugal’s influence in the English language: banana, flamingo, cobra, zebra, and such. There are also many similarities between Indonesian and Portuguese. The word Mentega comes from the Portuguese word Manteiga, which means butter. These mixes between the languages might make it easier for you to understand and possibly learn faster.

Have we made a good case for you to start learning Portuguese? Great! Start learning it today by joining one of  SPEAK’s online or offline Portuguese Language Groups, where you’ll meet people from all over the world!

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Author: Ishika Shantilal

Ishika is a marketing intern at SPEAK, she is Portuguese and is a student at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. She loves to play the piano and listen to music.

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