So, you want to learn Portuguese. But what kind? Portuguese is a global language with native speakers in every corner of the world, from South America to Oceania, and has many different dialects. However, the main two different types of Portuguese are Brazilian and European Portuguese, which together account for over 95% of total native Portuguese speakers worldwide. Unless you have very specific needs (for instance, if you’re traveling to Angola or Mozambique), you will almost certainly be learning one of those.
In this post, we’ll look at the advantages of both to help you come to an informed decision as to which option to take when you learn Portuguese. Whichever you go for, it’s important to learn Portuguese the right way. The best option is to learn with an expert tutor like the ones at PortugueseTutoring.com.
3 Advantages of European Portuguese
It’s the original form of the language.
Because Portuguese originated in Portugal and was spread across the world by the Portuguese Empire, it’s the root of all the various dialects of Portuguese, including Brazilian. As such, it’s generally recognized as the global standard for both written and spoken Portuguese, so if you learn Portuguese the European way, you’re guaranteed to command respect.
If you have a taste for classic literature and want to get to grips with Portuguese canon classics by the likes of Fernando Pessoa or Almeida Garrett, then it’s European Portuguese that you’ll need to learn.
It’s the best option for Europe.
Portugal has a rich history and unique, classical culture. It’s an excellent place for a European vacation, and learning European Portuguese is the best way to get around and immerse yourself in the country.
3 Advantages of Brazilian Portuguese
It’s easier to learn.
Generally, in Brazilian Portuguese the grammatical rules are less rigid, and it’s a significantly simpler version of the language. In particular, there are less verb conjugations to memorize, which are often troublesome when you learn Portuguese. It’s also probably more forgiving in terms of pronunciation.
It has more speakers.
Whereas Portugal has a population of just over 10 million, Brazil is a huge country of over 200 million people. If you learn Brazilian Portuguese, you’ll be able to interact and communicate with much a larger number of people.
The Brazilian economy
If you’re learning Portuguese to get an edge in business, then Brazilian is probably the option for you: Brazil has a GDP of nearly $1.8 trillion, with excellent prospects for growth over the next two decades. Access to this market is going to be increasingly important, so Brazilian Portuguese is an in-demand skill.
Ultimately, the answer to the question of which type of Portuguese you should learn is: it depends on your needs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, whatever you choose, you’ll be able to make yourself understood on either side of the Atlantic. While there are significant differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese, in the end they’re dialects of the same language, and Portuguese people and Brazilians communicate with each other all the time without much trouble.
What’s most important is making sure you learn the language to a high standard, so you’re able to communicate effectively and command respect. The best way of doing this is with an expert tutor. At PortugueseTutoring.com, resources are provided for both Brazilian and European Portuguese. Learn Portuguese online here.