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Thoughts on Portuguese as a foreign language?


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Are there quality materials for Portuguese? If you speak P, did you learn another language more easily? I hear that if you learn P, then Spanish and Italian are easy to learn as a 3rd language.

 

Or should I just teach Spanish and let my kids decide when they are out of the grammar stage on the language they want to learn?

 

My plan for them is Latin and Greek plus at least one foreign language.

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Are there quality materials for Portuguese? If you speak P, did you learn another language more easily? I hear that if you learn P, then Spanish and Italian are easy to learn as a 3rd language.

 

Or should I just teach Spanish and let my kids decide when they are out of the grammar stage on the language they want to learn?

 

My plan for them is Latin and Greek plus at least one foreign language.

Well, I have a vested interest in getting my kids to learn it, however.....

 

I want them to learn European Portuguese. It is different from Brazilian Portuguese. Unfortunately, almost all the resources here in the USA are Brazilian (Rosetta Stone, Mango, etc), and European is hard to find. I have some books, but they are too old for my dc. DH and I speak it but are losing it, and so we are having troubles.

 

I am at the point of ditching it all for Spanish, too. *sigh* I really don't want to, though.

 

I wish I could be more help to you!

 

ETA: Portuguese is harder to learn than Spanish, imo, because there are more irregular verbs and pronunciations are not as straight forward as Spanish. When we were in language school near Lisbon, a number of folks thought I was a Spaniard who was learning Portuguese. they were very accommodating to me and kind. It is easier for a Portuguese speaker to pick up Spanish than for a Spanish speaker to pick up Portuguese because of the spelling similarity (and the number of cognates) and the pronunciation differences.

Edited by Susan in KY
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Thank you, that is helpful! :)

 

I was under the impression that the differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese were similar to the differences between British English and American English. But this is from very limited research, lol!

 

I was thinking out of Italian, Spanish and Portuguese that latter would be the hardest so we should learn that first, then if my kids want to or have a need to take Spanish it will be easier for them. Not sure how that would work in ... um, reality! :lol:

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My cousin's husband is from Brazil and his native language is Portuguese. We actually just recently had a convo about the differences between Portuguese and Spanish. He says that he and everyone he knows from Brazil can understand Spanish fairly well, but native Spanish speakers have a harder time understanding them. So maybe Portuguese would be a better one to learn first?

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You didn't mention how old your children are, but I suspect you will run into the same problem with Portuguese as I am having with French. I can't find a program that will work for us. I'm strongly considered switching to Spanish for the availibility of materials.

 

The goal is for DD to speak Spanish, French and Portuguese with at least a minimal level of proficiency, and at least one of those with high proficiency. Portuguese will come a little later, and most likely while we are in Brazil, because the options are very limited. (And I don't speak Portuguese yet, I won't be starting my own study of the language until summer.)

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I graduated high school speaking Papiamento, Spanish, English, Dutch, and French. When in college, I took Portuguese for a semester. I think speaking the other languages made me breeze through it.

 

I believe that if you learn any language, it will help you with other languages. However, a language like Portuguese especially, will translate into learning languages such as Spanish and Italian easier. I say learn the language you want to learn. You'll have more interest in it, so you'll learn it better.

 

That said, I'm making my children learn Spanish. We have Spanish around us, and Mexico is our neighbor. I would eventually want my children to learn another language. That would be of their choice.

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When I was single I went for a few years to a Brazilian Pentecostal church in Philadelphia. Lively! :D

 

I truly enjoyed Portuguese when I had the opportunity to learn and speak it with live people. Just from the bit that I learned, though, I would probably say that it might be best for you to (a) begin with Continental Portuguese ("Portugal Portuguese"), then learn the various pronunciations that are prevalent in Brazil and other Lusophone areas.

 

My Brazilian friends do say that, in their opinion, they are better able to understand Spanish than Spanish-speaking South Americans are able to understand Brazilian Portuguese. Something about Portuguese being more nasal/blended, and Spanish being "clearer." I also think that Brazilians almost naturally absorb tons of Spanish, since they are nearly surrounded by it. But other SA countries might have less exposure to Portuguese than Brazilians have to Spanish.

Edited by Sahamamama
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Thank you all for your thoughts on this! Finding a Portuguese program that would target my kids ages (2nd grade and 4th grade in the fall) will be challenging but I'm surprised to hear it is difficult to find a french program.

 

I love those Portuguese rolls they sell at my local supermarket. YUMMY
:lol:

 

Where do you live in NJ? I have an English-Portuguese dictionary, 501 Portuguese Verbs, two grammars, the Oxford 5-CD course, and few other odds and ends.

 

You could have them for FREE if you live close enough to pick them up. PM me.

 

:drool5: That would be AWESOME! But I know that you do not live near me... I live in Sussex County by the NYS border. Even without the cool language books I would still love to see you again! Maybe we should have another WTM NJ meet up? :D

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My mom is Brazilian so I grew up hearing Portuguese. For a while I could understand a LOT of it and even speak a bit. I really really want to get Rosetta Stone.

 

Portuguese is closer to Italian than Spanish. So if one learns Portuguese one can muddle through speaking to Soanish and Italian speakers. My mother after coming to the US learned Spanish fluently. She also was able to speak to people in Italian at the local Italian restaurant.

 

But- Portuguese, especially Brazilian, is a HUGE language with a dictionary twice as big as Spanish. So- becoming fluent is a much bigger hurdle.

 

But I agree with a pp...Portuguese is one of the mist beautiful languages on the planet.

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I know, I'm terrible. I think you should go for it. There must be some materials out there.

 

It's not super easy to find German materials, but we have found some.

 

My kids aren't that old so I haven't totally given up on the idea that they will learn some German. So while I have learned it's not as easy as simply wanting to do it, I haven't totally thrown in the towel yet. When we go to Germany (and we go as often as we can) within a week my oldest can talk to Oma (she doesn't speak English). So something is sinking in.

 

Did you try to have your dh speak only German to your kids? You are lucky that learning German is really a no brainer for you guys... My family has an Italian heritage but I'm a bit bitter that my grandparents didn't speak Italian to me! Now we have no connection to Italy except for a very Italian last name, lol!

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Amen. I have a boat load of people that would be willing to help if you need. My mom, friends, other church people. There's porkacheese spoken all over the place around here. Matter of fact, if you wanted to get together a class...

 

It was my first language, and I spoke it up to 7, but no one kept it up at home. I have a very easy ear for it, and always wanted to brush up.

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I was under the impression that the differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese were similar to the differences between British English and American English.

 

I have heard it compared (probably by a native Spanish-speaker) to "hearing Spanish spoken with rocks in one's mouth." :lol:

 

Based on what I know, I think the differences between continents would be more like Canadian French vs France French. I grew up 6 hours from Montreal... so naturally, they taught us France French, right? Many schools here still do. :banghead:

 

Luckily, I got a French teacher in high school with a PhD in Linguistics who made us learn the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) first so we'd know the differences between the sounds, and then proceeded to teach us a lovely Quebecois French. (it's like regular French, spoken through your nose!)

 

Frankly, I believe that just about any language paves the way for others. My father knew a bit of Italian and French, and a lot of Spanish (he did an immersion program at a university in Havana). He still had a tough time with Portuguese, but eventually picked it up too.

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Portuguese is my mother tongue although I went to French Primary School, local middle school, grade 4-6, and later finished my studies in English.

 

I lived in Portugal for the first 12 years of my life and found it easier to lear Spanish and Italian because of my knowledge of Portuguese. I never formally studied these two languages but was able just to pick them up. With Spanish I find that I need to be immersed in it for a couple of days in order for it all to come back and the same with Italian. I can watch a movie or read a books in both languages and understand it. I would not say I am fluent because of my inability to write properly in Spanish and Italian.

 

On the other hand I am knowledgeable in a few languages so maybe it just came natural to me. In order of proficiency I know Portuguese, English, Frence, Spanish, Italian, I unsderstand Afrikaans, a South African form of old Dutch and some Canton German. Took latin for several years and studied Koine Greek for 2 years at Biblical Hebrew for one year.

 

Again with the Afrikaans and the German were picked up whilst living surrounded by it.

 

It is very hard to find continental Portuguese resources and I am not to keen on the Brazilian form.

 

On the other hand I am a terrible mom as I am only now starting to teach my kids another language. We are stating with French...

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But- Portuguese, especially Brazilian, is a HUGE language with a dictionary twice as big as Spanish. So- becoming fluent is a much bigger hurdle.

 

But I agree with a pp...Portuguese is one of the mist beautiful languages on the planet.

 

It is a beautiful language, great food too. :)

 

He has only spoken in German to them since birth. They don't respond in German generally. For awhile he was making them respond in German, but the kids would get so upset it was starting to strain their relationship so I asked him to lighten up on them a bit. So they understand German, they just don't really speak it. I understand him most of the time in German too, but I can't speak it.
Wow, that seemed like the easy way to become fluent.. :001_huh: Not very encouraging, LOL!

 

 

)

 

Frankly, I believe that just about any language paves the way for others. My father knew a bit of Italian and French, and a lot of Spanish (he did an immersion program at a university in Havana). He still had a tough time with Portuguese, but eventually picked it up too.

That's what I want for my children -- the ability to pick up languages with ease.

 

 

On the other hand I am a terrible mom as I am only now starting to teach my kids another language. We are stating with French... It seems that many people have been teaching languages starting in high school and (with immersion mostly) have had their children become near fluent so... you're a good mom! :lol:

...

By the way continental Portuguese food is the best and Brazilian food is not bad either but I love food in general.

Me too. Italian food, Japanese food, Brazilian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German...:D Can you tell I love food too? :lol:

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Amen. I have a boat load of people that would be willing to help if you need. My mom, friends, other church people. There's porkacheese spoken all over the place around here. Matter of fact, if you wanted to get together a class...

 

It was my first language, and I spoke it up to 7, but no one kept it up at home. I have a very easy ear for it, and always wanted to brush up.

 

:w00t: Really? WOW, we MUST do this! WE MUST DO THIS!! I have never been so encouraged about foreign language until this moment! :w00t: When can we start? Friday's after co-op would be great... we should get a class together. We can do it here, or by you... LET ME KNOW, text or call me when you can!!

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It is a beautiful language, great food too. :)

 

 

 

Me too. Italian food, Japanese food, Brazilian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German...:D Can you tell I love food too? :lol:

 

All this talk of food!! You know what I miss the most about Brazil? Eating at a churrascaria rodizio on the veranda while the little kids play on the playground.

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http://www.amazon.com/European-Student-Activities-Manual-Encontro/dp/0131894064

 

This one is a bit pricey, but it is the one my BIL is using in College. He is using the Brazilian version, but both are available. His teacher said the book would be good for at least 2 semesters, maybe 3. This would mean at least 2-3 years of High school foreign language.

 

Bil is a native speaker. He has picked up on it very quickly, but says it isn't a walk in the park either. I plan on keeping the books for my dc to learn as well.

 

HTH

 

Danielle

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Just seeing this; we're living in Brazil and learning Portuguese. It does make Italian easier, and I think the poster who said it's closer to Italian than to Spanish is right; my dh works for an Italian owned company and is able to understand the Italian that flows around him more easily than the Spanish he encounters.

 

Also, as other have said, at least with Brazilian Portuguese, it is easier for Brazilians to understand Spanish than for Spanish speakers to understand Portuguese. Reading comprehension, though, is easy both directions; understanding the accents, pronunciations, etc. is harder though.

 

I am *thrilled* to read from someone up thread that the Brazilian Portuguese dictionary/language is so large; this encourages me in that we've been here 4.5 yrs and I still grasp for just the right word, way too often. -sigh- It's not an easy language to learn. I'm good with languages, and I can get around okay, I'm functional in Portuguese, but I'm still not what I would term fluent.

 

One thought I've not seen mentioned, and you don't say the ages of your kids, and maybe this won't matter since you do plan on other languages later, BUT: my oldest is beginning high school, and we'll be using an on-line program for him. There is zero way for him to get credit for his Portuguese, though, unless I write his transcript. There is no CLEP test for Portuguese, no SAT-subject test for Portuguese, no AP test for Portuguese. Whereas there are for Spanish and German and French and even Italian, I think. I realize, depending on the ages of your kids, that might be so far down the road you don't think it necessary to consider, but just in case. And it might change by the time your kids are old enough to need to worry about it. But my oldest son who is closer to fluent than I am will now have to study Spanish if we go with the on-line program we want to use for him. So, just a thought.

 

I can't speak to the differences between European vs. Brazilian; obviously we learned Brazilian Portuguese. We worked with a tutor via Skype in the US before we came, and have used a whole host of materials since arriving. I can dig through the texts and PM you workbook ISBNs if you want resources more suited for children than grown-ups. PM me if you'd like that info, or I'll try and check this thread.

 

It is a wonderful language, but not easy, and it takes real effort.

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http://www.amazon.com/European-Student-Activities-Manual-Encontro/dp/0131894064

 

This one is a bit pricey, but it is the one my BIL is using in College. He is using the Brazilian version, but both are available. His teacher said the book would be good for at least 2 semesters, maybe 3. This would mean at least 2-3 years of High school foreign language.

 

Bil is a native speaker. He has picked up on it very quickly, but says it isn't a walk in the park either. I plan on keeping the books for my dc to learn as well.

 

HTH

 

Danielle

 

Thank You! I may use this for myself, Portuguese is sounding more interesting (yet more difficult) by the minute. :)

 

I can't speak to the differences between European vs. Brazilian; obviously we learned Brazilian Portuguese. We worked with a tutor via Skype in the US before we came, and have used a whole host of materials since arriving. I can dig through the texts and PM you workbook ISBNs if you want resources more suited for children than grown-ups. PM me if you'd like that info, or I'll try and check this thread.

 

It is a wonderful language, but not easy, and it takes real effort.

 

My kids will be in 2nd grade and 4th grade in the fall (They are almost 8 years old and 9 years old)

 

Interesting, I had no idea there were no AP or SAT credit available for Portuguese. I would love to get some ISBNs suitable for children! Thank you so much!

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My dad speaks Portuguese and he can understand a lot of Spanish and Italian. He learned Brazilian Portuguese, though. He worked for a company that was based in Italy for a few years, and they were surprised that he could follow most of what they were saying when he was over there for business trips.

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Also, as other have said, at least with Brazilian Portuguese, it is easier for Brazilians to understand Spanish than for Spanish speakers to understand Portuguese. Reading comprehension, though, is easy both directions; understanding the accents, pronunciations, etc. is harder though.

 

 

 

I think many people think this, but you would be surprised how much us Spanish speakers understand. ;) One year some extended family of my fathers ex-girlfriend came for a visit and we understood about 90% of what they said. They were so confident that we could not understand them that they would talk about their opinions of each of us, and even personal topics. I spent much of the afternoon in the kitchen, but dh heard it all. Even today, when my fathers wife struggles for a word/phrase in English, she will give it to us in Portuguese. We almost always get what she is trying to say, especially dh.

 

Danielle

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:w00t: Really? WOW, we MUST do this! WE MUST DO THIS!! I have never been so encouraged about foreign language until this moment! :w00t: When can we start? Friday's after co-op would be great... we should get a class together. We can do it here, or by you... LET ME KNOW, text or call me when you can!!

 

 

Let me see what I can pull together. Plus, the way it's going to pool will be open soon, so we can kick back out there. And most of the people I know who are fluent are around here. I don't want to put them crazy out.

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