Learning Portuguese in Brazil

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Why You Need to Learn Portuguese
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Map of Portuguese in the WorldIf you are planning on living in Brazil, or traveling there for any substantial length of time, a solid conversational knowledge of Portuguese in indispensable.

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While many Brazilians, especially those working in business and with university educations, have knowledge of English, the vast majority are not conversational, and outside of the major cities of Sao Paulo, Rio, and Salvador, you will find it difficult to communicate.
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A knowledge of Spanish will definitely help greatly, as the two languages share a substantial amount by way of grammatical structure, vocabulary and syntax. However, don't expect that dusting off a bit of your high-school Spanish will suffice. A few weeks or months of preparation and language study will go along way, and you will find that Brazilians will be extremely grateful for your knowledge.

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Language Basics
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Street Sign in Portuguese

First of all, remember that Portuguese is a romance language and as such, is closely related to other romance languages: principally Spanish, but also French, Italian, and English, which although not a romance language, shares many Latin roots with Portuguese.
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Those with a working knowledge of Spanish will be amazed at the similarity between written forms of Spanish and Portuguese, and most likely shocked at the very different sound and pronunciation of Portuguese compared to Spanish. For that reason, Spanish speakers will likely be able to read quite a bit of Portuguese, but the accent will throw them something of a curve ball.

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Recommended Language Schools
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If you are serious about language study you essentially have two routes: a school or institute, and personal study. Your preference will depend on your style of learning, time frame, budget, and personal interests.

If you have an aptitude for languages, you may find that with a grammar guide and phrasebook you may be quickly ready to venture out on your own, and learn through the best manner of all: immersion. Once you have the basics down, go out into Brazil and talk with everyone: shopkeepers, bartenders, businessmen, taxi drivers. You will be amazed at how friendly Brazilians are, and how accommodating they will be once they see your desire to learn the language.

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If you prefer instruction, consider looking for a private tutor, who will almost certainly charge less than a school or institute. If you are more interested in formal study, several schools come highly recommended. Among them are:

Idiomas Rio

Probably the best quality/ price Portuguese School in Rio. They have great immersions program to learn Brazilian Portuguese in 1 month in small groups. A communicative, fast and dynamic method to help you to live and work in Brazil. They work with all levels, have progress assessment and you can even try it for free!
www.idiomasrio.com.br


Languages in Action


Offering individual and group programs in both Sao Paulo and Salvador, this company offers courses specifically designed for each student.
www.languagesinaction.com

Associacao Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos

This association, located in Salvador, goes further than a mere language school, by providing many cultural opportunities, and even arranging a stay with a host family. Typically a one week stay is expected.
Av 7 de Setembro, Vitoria, Salvador
Tel: 800.284.2828 (US)
www.acbeubahia.org.br

Idioma Escola de Portuguese

This is another excellent option, also located in Salvador. In addition to language courses, they offer fabulous classes in Brazilian cooking and capoeira.
Rua Greenfeld 46, 1st Floor
Tel: 3267 7012
www.portugueseinbrazil.com
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