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Please: If you learnt Portuguese after Spanish - your advice will be deeply helpful and appreciated

Hi, and thanks for your time in advance (for reading only, or reading and adding whatever info).

I have been learning Spanish for around 2 years (limited time per day and on & off). However I am very glad for what I am achieving and I am able to have basic conversations in Spanish already. The Latin American language learning came to a point that Spanish (and possibly Portuguese) can be determining points for my upscale in my profession.

Therefore, I would like to know please 2 points, and if you have anything else to add or mention - it will still be very helpful.

1- If I achieve the level A2 - B1 in Spanish in few months. How likely is it for me to achieve the same level in Portuguese after it, if I start Portuguese from there? (while continuing in my Spanish of course).

Example, would it likely be half the time I spent in my Spanish, or 25% - or a month full-time? etc.

2- Would being at A2 - B1 be solid enough levels at Spanish to start learning Portuguese after it without getting confused much between them? ( A person is likely to have around 1500 - 2000 words by then). For example after completing the Spanish tree with proper understanding and usage/knowledge of it all.

Thank you very much for your time once again and sorry if the post is long. However I am at a stage where I have to make it clear for myself what my plans for self-development and enrichment for the next year or longer are - and if Portuguese is a possibility with a proper advantage because I have learnt Spanish - then I will spend more time in languages instead of improving other skills. (as everyone knows - we can't improve all skills at the same time, we have to make a choice and there is always an opportunity cost : )

April 25, 2016



I'm a Portuguese native speaker and I think if you know Spanish it'll will help you as both are similar. And have you finished your tree, haven't you? If so, don't worry, go ahead and start learning Portuguese.

Just be organized! Good luck and good studies.


It's wonderful to realize the similarities from a native speaker. I didn't complete the Spanish yet, but will do in few months if I dedicate myself more to it (which it seems like I will do : ). Thanks a lot and yes hopefully will be organized :)


Great! I'm following you to track your progress and to help you if you want. :)


Thanks a lot JoaoRMarcos! I am following you too : )(y)


You will find reading Portuguese extremely easy, once you learn the basic differences of phonology and phonetics. How well you can speak will depend on how much practice you get in each language, so start your second asap. In my experience, Portuguese speakers are extremely patient, helpful and understanding with Spanish speakers who are struggling with their language, especially if they have made a real effort to learn Portuguese.


I totally second this :).

I find reading in Portuguese very easy. There are some words that are totally different, which is quite obvious ;) but still it's not hard.

Listening is a little bit more tricky, since Portuguese has more sounds but once you get used to them, it will be easier.

I, also, agree that Portuguese native speakers are really helpful and extremely nice people. They are always willing to help.

All in all, I totally agree with StuartPace, give it a shot. I did and I definitely enjoy it. :)

Boa sorte! ¡Buena suerte! :)


What you and StuartPace have mentioned is very helpful and clarifies a lot to me. Now I would only think either to put more effort into Spanish till I finish the tree then start Portuguese from the Spanish, or start another Portuguese tree from English. (I might give more attention to Spanish for the next 3 months to finish it properly then start Portuguese from Spanish). Very kind of you guys thanks a lot.


Yes, that sounds like a very good idea :). If you have any more questions, just let me know :) I may be able to help.


If you have extensive knowledge of Spanish reading Portuguese should be a breeze. It took me a month of listening to CBN Brasília for half an hour a day to hear and get accustom to its peculiar sounds. Try studying Portuguese from Spanish!! It's sure to tickle your brain ;).


Awesome first hand experience! I will study Portuguese from Spanish in Duolingo and maybe Pimsluer for listening as well after completing the Spanish. Thank you very much! (AWESOME DUOLINGO COMMUNITY: )))


I'm finding Portuguese very easy. Try doing it through Spanish, it really points out the differences and similarities, and actually makes it easier than doing it through English. Spoken Portuguese sounds quite different from Spanish, but written has a ton of similarities, including most (not all) of the grammar.


Will do! as I mentioned above, once I complete the Spanish tree. Your recommendations and experiences are so valuable and encouraging! I will definitely put more effort in completing the Spanish tree in the next few months :) Many thanks!


Oi amigo, I am bilingual in Spanish and conversationally fluent in Portuguese. I echo what everybody else has said, and can hopefully introduce you to some resources to make your task easier. In my own experience learning Portuguese was much easier because Spanish was already so well ingrained (I grew up around Cubans in Florida and as a teenager spent a year in South America speaking only Spanish). My perspective does not come from trying to learn both languages more or less simultaneously. I found Portuguese realtively easy to pick up because of its similarities and the fact that it's sometimes quirky differences in vocabulary and grammar are not that difficult to master. Verb tenses function pretty close to the way they do in Spanish. I'd say 80-90% of vocabulary closely related. Then if you are talking about Brazil there is about 10% where you go, "Where did they get that from?"

So much for editorializing and on to the resources. By far the best one I have found is the podcast Tá Falado by the University of Texas at Austin (yeah I was surprised too). It is designed to help Spanish speakers improve their Portuguese. Each lesson has a dialogue read in both Spanish and Portuguese and then discussed in English to highlight the similarities and differences. I found this to be very useful with one caveat. You need to be at least an advanced beginner or beginner intermediate in Portuguese to take full advantage of this podcast. It is intended to help you improve your Portuguese, not help you begin to learn it.

You might also check for a book titled Com Licença: Brazilian Portuguese for Spanish Speakers

Hope this helps


Thank you very much for your time to write all this detailed information, really appreciate it. I will definitely look into your resource for Portuguese (but probably minimum in a year time; as it seems like it will be my resource after I complete both Spanish and then Portuguese trees). However, it is great to have a positive path and plan to work towards from the beginning. As for the book, it is very kind of you - but I am not a "book" reader type of person :)

Thanks once again.


Personally, I don't think it is a good idea to learn another Latin language if your level of Spanish is only B1. You will confuse spelling and prepositions a lot especially, and maybe even vocabulary and grammar. You might learn to speak both of them but I don't think you'll learn to speak either of them well. I waited till I had a C1 level of Spanish before starting Portuguese. In the meantime, focus on some other language you are interested in. Something from a different family.

That is just my personal experience, and the experience of people I saw while I was living in Catalonia who were trying to learn Catalan and Spanish at the same time and ended up speaking neither.

You will not have anything like B1 after finishing the duolingo Spanish tree. Someone who knew that tree inside out would have A2 at best (without having used lots of other resources). A2 is a good level, I am not putting it down by any means, but learning a language is a long (and beautiful) road.



Quote RabbitsRabbit: I waited till I had a C1 level of Spanish before starting Portuguese.

How long (how many years) did you have to learn / practice Spanish - from scratch - to reach C1?


I would be careful starting Portuguese before being at the very least a solid B1 in Spanish, if not considerably higher. If you're struggling at all with stem changing verbs or the subjunctive in Spanish, tossing Portuguese into the mix is potentially dangerous.

Confusing languages isn't always a matter of confusing vocabulary - I started French before mastering Spanish grammar, and it took me more than a decade to realize that my Spanish imperfect was a bit Frenchier than it should have been. It's a minor problem, especially if your goal is comprehension and not mastery, but it is a problem, and the type that will stick with you for a long, long time. And it's harder to pinpoint than influences from your native tongue!

Aside from that, yes, I agree with everyone else that knowing Spanish will make Portuguese a lot easier. I was reading pretty fluently after maybe 6 months on and off of Portuguese and can write halfway decently, though my preterit is a trainwreck. Conversation is much more difficult (partly because I've only ever spoken it with people from Portugal, and their accents are dificilíssimos), but I can get by fine if I have to or am speaking with someone willing to humor me.


You may have heard that Portuguese is harder to learn than Spanish. I wouldn't know. On Duolingo, I learned Portuguese before Spanish and I did not have much difficulty with either one. They are both beautiful languages. If you know a Romance language well, the next one may be learned faster.

  • 1983

Finishing the Portuguese tree after Spanish (both from English) was not that hard in my case. Indeed,reading is easier than understanding speech. I understood very little when I was in Portugal contrary to when in Spain. The difference between European and Latin American Spanish appears smaller then in European And Brazilian Portuguese.


I'm Brazilian, and I personally find very hard to learn two languages of the same family at the same time. After some hard work with Spanish sometimes I confuse myself using Spanish words/construction, and you have to keep in mind that I'm a native Portuguese speaker HUEHUEHUE. I also confuse Italian with Spanish a lot - even though I don't speak much Italian. I'm gonna stop learning it because I want to learn Italian in the future and I don't want that to be a problem. So my advice is, if you do not confuse both Portuguese and Spanish go for it, bro!


Hi Inspired1982,

I stumbled across your thread.

Too years have passed.
How did it turn out for you learning Spanish and/or Portuguese?

What level have you gained in Spanish?

I see on your SHOF page https://duome.eu/Inspired1982/progress that you are currently quite busy with the new EN-SP tree?! ;)

Have you ever tried chatting on www.hellolingo.com?

Best regards / Viele Grüße aus Deutschland

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