What are the easiest and hardest parts of learning Portuguese? (for you?)
I am a native speaker, so I'm just interested in knowing what many non-native speakers/learners think are the hardest and easiest parts of learning the language on Duolingo.
Easiest: It's so similar to Spanish (my 2nd language), that I know what about 90% of everything means already. I just have to learn a few patterns to distinguish the difference in pronunciation and spelling and I'm good. Hardest: It's so similar to Spanish. It is sometimes hard for me to remember the words that I think are similar, but are actually quite different. Sometimes I think I know what a new word is going to be, but I am wrong.
I have the same problem, I'm Spanish but doing it in English as I'm living in London now. Sometimes I think I know the word cause it's similar to the one in Spanish but because of that I misspell it or it doesn't stay on my mind. And I'm going mad with the accents!!!
The demonstratives! To quote another post, look at this!!
este, esse, aquele, esta, essa, aquela, estes, esses, aqueles, estas, essas, aquelas, deste, desse, daquele, desta, dessa, daquela, destes, desses, daqueles, destas, dessas, daquelas, neste, nesse, naquele, nesta, nessa, naquela, nestes, nesses, naqueles, nestas, nessas, naquelas, isto, isso, aquilo, disto, disso, daquilo, nisto, nisso, naquilo, àquele, àquela, àqueles, àquelas, àquilo
The next one is pronunciation. I find Spanish pronunciation super easy, and Russian since I can speak Bulgarian and am familiar with the sounds, but it's taking me some time to get the pronunciation down.
That's an interesting question!
Hard: At first, gender of words is a difficult concept. I took French and Russian in school, so I was expecting it, but it is something that doesn't make sense at first to English speakers ("How can a book be masculine? It isn't even alive, it doesn't mate with anything!") :) But this is something I got used to fairly quick.
Verbs in Portuguese I think are very different from English, so they are tricky. We are used to "would have" "going to" "used to" helper verbs, so remembering the Portuguese endings to say the same things is something I've had trouble with (quereria vs queria, quisesse, quis, etc.)
Easiest: spelling and pronunciation because this is terrible in English. Here on Duo, I remember having some "type what you hear" exercises where I had never heard the word before, but was able to spell it correctly just by listening, because Portuguese is very consistent in spelling. The only slightly tricky part is accents but that has become easier for me over time as well.
Also nice is the number of similar words to English - "integração" "duração" "profissão" for example, those are easy to figure out since they are so much like the English equivalent.
I'm sure there's more but those are the first ones I thought of. What do you think is easy/hard about learning English?
The question was not for me, but I going to answer it anyway. Lol
At the begining, I struggled with its pronunciation, and spelling, it's completely different from Portuguese.
Also, silent letters almost freak me out. Because of it, it's quite difficult learning how to write in your language, especially for remembering the words' spellings.
Other thing I struggled with was the listening, because English is a stress-timed language while Portuguese is a syllable-timed one. And when I was expecting hearing each word being pronounced, this never occurred at all. However, when I understood that and started to listen to podcasts every single day, I quickly muddled through it.
An interesting aspect of English is that “doble words” stuff. Because, almost always there are two or more words for similar things, the first one provenient of Anglo-Saxon language, the second one provenient of Latin (and French also) (eg. Answer and response. Smart and intelligent. Enter and come in). Thus, Latin provenient ones are more formal. And this can be tricky to a Portuguese speaker.
I've got to mention phrasal verbs. It doesn't make any sense, and we have to decorate it all.
There are other aspects to talk about, but this text is too long. Haha
The question was not for me, but I going to answer it anyway. Lol
I was hoping a few people would respond so I should have made it clearer that I was interested in hearing everyone's thoughts! Thanks for sharing yours! :)
I hadn't thought about the double words in English but I can see how that would be tricky- especially when one is slightly different in meaning! You have to learn both words and a fair amount of context to figure out formal/ informal and all that.
Silent letters (and other spelling issues in English) give native speakers enough trouble, so I can imagine they're very annoying to learn. You might have heard it already but I'll share the joke about English spelling- the word "ghoti"- you know this word of course...The "gh" is pronounced like in "rough", the "o" like in "women", and the "ti" like in "motion"... So it's just "fish"! I don't think that joke could exist in Portuguese!
> It's because when I hear/read I tend to think always on the singular form. Haha
This formal/informal stuff doesn't happen only with me. It happens with all learners of all languages. :)
Yeah. That's why I don't mind if I don't know something at first that even a native speaker would have problems with. Like know how to pronouce a especific word.
Other words that have a counterintuitive pronouce:
Debris, Chassis, Facade, Rendezvous. Lol
Oh. No man, I didn't think you meant this. Haha
We also talk like this in Portuguese ("you" in the generic sense).
No worries. :)
Yes, the fact that Portuguese is so phonetic compared to English makes it much easier in that regard!
I've spoken English almost my entire life, as I live in the United States, and I started learning when I was 3 years old. Nevertheless, I find some aspects hard and counterintuitive—for example, why is the "-ough" in the word "through" not the same as in the word "dough"?
Easiest parts of English are probably conjugations and the lack of gender. Fewer things to worry about. :)
Thanks for answering, and good luck with your language studies!
Haha! Hopefully you will one day be able to speak Portuguese almost as fluently. :)
Yes, read in portuguese is very very easy, because the word is pronounced just like it was written. English is very easy, but to correctly pronounce it may be a pain in the neck for portuguese speakers that got used to pronounce everything as it was written and this does not work on english.
Pronunciation on some occassions makes it difficult. Like ''Quais são os seus sapatos?'' I can't read this question properly.. It's like a tongue-twister for f's sake! :D I mean if i read it slowly, it's okay, but what about fast? like in the speed we would say it in daily life? No! :D
I hear you, haha! I would expect that. I've recently been teaching a bit of Portuguese to a friend, and it is very hard to quickly change sounds like native speakers do; this is especially true in a language such as Portuguese, where the range of sounds is so rich.
Nice to hear your thoughts. :)
This is very true, I'd forgotten about this, some sounds have no equivelant in English, ão and ã for example. I have spent many hours repeating words and holding my nose like a crazy person but it really works, my husband taught me the nose trick and it's a good way to ensure you are producing the correct sound.
Another bit of advice that I would give you is to make sure that: 1) Your tongue is flat. 2) You can feel the vowel "resonate" near your nose and sinus area.
hello am guimaraes felipe am 12 years old i am brazilianand i am apredendo ingles
I think pronunciation is quite difficult. I've been living in Brazil for two years so far, and the Brazilians I have spoken to have said I speak well and don't have much of a foreign accent anymore, however, some words are difficult to get the pronunciation right, especially when accented letters are involved (ô and ão in particular). I have a bit of a regular challenge pronouncing 'pão' because I'm terrified it's going to sound like 'pau', so I have to stop myself and take a deep breath before I say it!
for me is the slang but I find Brazilians very forgiving of mistakes when speaking Portuguese and willing to help .compared to other people who speak different languages
For me it's conjugating verbs in 12 different ways!! I didn't learn Portuguese on duolingo though, but it's really helped to tie things together for me. One of the easiest parts of learning Portuguese for me was actually just Brazilians in general. Even total strangers in the supermarket are patient and will point out mistakes or explain words I don't know. I'm really interested in others opinions about learning with duolingo because I would like to learn Spanish. Have you had a chance to practice the languages you learn here in real life ?
That's very interesting! It's nice that you use Duolingo as a supplementary source, since you've already had some experience with the language.
French is the main language that I learn in school. I also used Duolingo to either review or go ahead and fill in the gaps. I know some French people and Canadians in my building and my neighborhood with whom I can talk, so I can get more conversational vocabulary.
If you're planning on learning Spanish, you're going to find that a lot of things in Spanish are near-identical to some aspects of Portuguese. Being a native speaker of Portuguese, I was curious to find out what my level in Spanish, having never studied Spanish, would be: I got Level 8 on the assessment.
You've probably heard this advice before, but it's worth restating: Among free resources, Duolingo is one of the best platforms for learning languages. However, you cannot guarantee an exceptionally high level of fluency of comfort with any language using only Duolingo.
I hope this helped you, and it was very nice hearing what you had to say about learning Portuguese!
I really find the accent marks very hard. I am a native Spanish speaker, I can write, speak, understand, and read well, but I still don't know where to put the accent marks in my own language. So, for Portuguese, also makes it hard. I just put the accent marks on the words and letters that I remember.
Also, I always get tripped up with, " No, Do, Na, Da, " I know what they all mean, I just do not know when to use them. On some cases it's easy, but I'm getting some sentences such as, " Meu filho gosta do berco" and I think to myself, "Why the do"? Wouldn't that translate to " My son likes of the crib?" Can it also be, " Meu filho gosto o berco?"
Also, something that always messes me up. Example, "O meu pai e famoso" again, "O meu pai e famoso" Why is there the "O"?
So yes, those are the most difficult parts of Portuguese for me. :D
Also, (sorry if this is asking too much) but I was hoping if you can help me with these three. :D
It's no problem!
( 1 ) The accent marks in Portuguese usually tell you where the stressed syllable (sílaba tônica) is in that word. Let's take the example of the word for "meatball"—almôndega. This word is pronounced al-MON-de-ga. If you did not have the circunflexo accent, it would be al-mon-DE-ga.
( 2 ) "Gostar" is an interesting verb in that it almost always takes "de" after it. See this thread for more: www.duolingo.com/comment/9473874
( 3 ) The definite article before possessives (in this case, 'o meu pai') is optional. It's widely used in Rio.
Hope this helped you out, and thank you for answering!
I know only a few accent marks rules. Even though, I can put it all almost of the right way. Just because I care with it. Most of brazilians don't mind if they write without any accent mark in everyday conversations (facebook, whatsapp). And when they have to do it (eg. On an essay or dissertation) they have problems.
So, no worries. I think it's good to you just read the rules one or two times, but it's more important always write with the accent marks to internalize in your mind when to put them (without thinking in rules.).
Someday I'm going to do the same for Spanish. xD
The rules for accentuation are not that difficult if you know Spanish. The "esdrújulas" are always the same (último, sábado). There are no "sobresdrújulas" in Portuguese (rápido is accented but rapidamente is not). And in the majority of cases the rules for "agudas" and "llanas" are also the same, the most common difference is "llanas" that end in diphtongs, which are accented in Portuguese but not in Spanish (horario/horário,mutua/mútua). There is of course a lot more cases but those rules cover most words.
As to the "no/na/do/da" and the "o meu pai", I think you are just being surprised that Portuguese is not exactly like Spanish. I'm studying Spanish and I feel the same way. Why "nos vemos el lunes" instead of simply "nos vemos lunes"? Why "me comí una manzana" instead of "comí una manzana"? Those are things you just have to learn on a case by case basis, there are no rules, only conventions.
The 'esdrújulas' rule I already knew ('esduxulas' or more commonly 'proparoxítonas' in Portuguese). It's the easyest. Haha
Others it's just instinct. ^^
Not having someone to talk with to help with the speech part of it. I'm learning through this site, but it doesn't help with the conversation sounds that I need. At times, I do listen to the news and it helps. As for reading it, I got the hang of it and can understand what the subject is in a newspaper or story. Writing is coming along too. But it is at this time it is not talking or hearing it is a struggle.
Em os ambos casos eu diria: o fato de o português ser muito símil ao italiano (minha língua materna)... muitas palavras são iguais nos dois idiomas, mas há muitos falsos amigos também, e às vezes as preposições são utilizadas de maneira diferente nas duas línguas ;-)
Para mim, aprender francês é muito mais fácil, pois eu falo português. Quando eu aprendia italiano básico, o gênero de certas palavras sempre me confundia. Como você disse, as preposições são usadas de formas bem diferentes.
Somente queria lhe dizer que seu português está muito bom! Há alguns erros aqui e ali, mas isso é natural. :)
Boa sorte com seus estudos, e obrigado por ter compartilhado seus pensamentos sobre o aprendizado da língua portuguesa!
Você tem facilidade com o francês? Haha, isso eu queria ter, acho que nasci para aprender línguas germânicas :D Já tentei e muito aprender francês, mas nunca consegui de fato guardar as coisas na minha cabeça, além de que a pronúncia e um pouco complicada também ;) E sobre o italiano, é do mesmo nível do francês? Acho uma língua interessante, você recomendaria?
Concordo com você aqui, a escrita e a pronúncia do irlandês são até muito mais diferentes entre si do que as do inglês.
Eu recomendo— acho que a língua italiana é um idioma muito belo e interessante. Tenho até mais facilidade com italiano do que francês.
Concordo que a pronúncia é bem complicada no francês! Em algumas frases, a mesma palavra pode ter várias pronúncias e definições.
It's a easy language to learn but the challenge for me is not having anyone to practice with.
That is indeed a common problem. Not many people speak it, whereas many people speak Spanish in the U.S. who would be glad to practice with you.
Thanks for sharing!
A pronuncia, tenho um sotaque italiano bastante forte e me atrapalha em prounciar em maneira certa os sons do portugues! No principio entender o portugues era bastante dificil tambèm, muito mais dificil que entender o espanhol, mas eu acho que entender o portugues para alguem que fala italiano è muito mais simples que entender a maioria das outros idiomas.
Sim, concordo plenamente. Quando eu leio artigos em italiano ou ouço pessoas falando em italiano, consigo entender quase tudo; a sintaxe, o vocabulário e a pronúncia são bem parecidos nas duas línguas.
Pronunciation is the worst, hands down. If only Portuguese would be pronounced exactly as it is written... but then again, it would more or less be Spanish.
Oh, and having "a" as a definite article when it is an indefinite article in English. Perfect source of stupid Duolingo errors.
Right now im struggling with prepositions. And the tenses of the verbs really shocked me at first. But I'm now getting used to the huge challenge they provide... Love Portuguese! <3
I have studied Portugues for 4 years and been to Brasil 13 times but I can’t converse yet or understand people when they speak. My Brasilian girlfriend only speaks English with me because I can’t understand her. Reading seems like secret code because many words have multiple meanings. Verbs are extremely difficult to understand. Any ideas? Thanks
Based on the limited information you have provided, I think your problem is immersion. By 2017, I had finished all Duolingo lessons in portuguese, and I was able to understand way more than I could speak. Actually, while I was able to understand about 95% when watching movies, I could not have simple conversations in Portuguese. Then, I met a wonderful Brazilian woman (she became my wife)that wanted to improve her Spanish, so she came up with the idea of having language weeks: we would talk one week in Portuguese so I could practice and the next week in Spanish, so she could practice. We were at the same level in each target language, and we both were native speakers of the language the other wanted to improve ( she Portuguese and me Spanish).
At the beginning, it was very hard because there was so much we wanted to share and we could only have basic exchanges of phrases , but we were very strict about maintaining the language weeks. Eventually, it got easier, and now we are able to have conversations in both languages. We still keep the language weeks. You have the incredible advantage of having a significant other that speaks Portuguese. Creating language weeks is a great strategy to improve your speaking skills. It will force you to learn. Other things I do to immerse myself in Portuguese:
Watch Netflix originals in Portuguese Listen to Brazilian music Learn about Brazilian culture in Portuguese Good grammar books (gramática ativa 1, gramática ativa 2) Read books in Portuguese
During our language weeks, all our communications are in the assigned language: including phone calls, texting, and face to face. This is why is so difficult at the beginning, but it will pay off eventually.
My ability to communicate in Portuguese improve exponentially during the last year, and I think my significant other’s idea had a great deal to do with this dramatic improvement.
Note: while I have the advantage of being a native Spanish speaker, I was not having conversations in Portuguese when I was able to understand most if it. Producing is harder than understanding. The same happened when I was learning English. Immersion is the key here. What was the best maracujá dessert that you have tried in Brazil?
Having a significant other that speaks only English with me because I can’t understand Português yet. I'm in Brasil now for all of November with a family that only speaks Português but i still can’t converse because I can’t understand what people are saying which stops any conversation. It’s frustrating. I watch the Brasilian movies on Netflix but can’t understand what they are saying and if i did I would need to translate everything. I’m not going to quit. Thanks for the help!
How much do you understand? Which percentage? Try learning the basic grammar first as you advance you should understand more. Same with watching movies, do not use English subtitles, only portuguese. Focus only on understanding what you can. When I came to USA, I did not understand any spoken English, I know how frustrating it is until you start thinking in another language. I prefer duolingo and self-thought books because I can learn at my own pace. What has helped you? Are you paying classes for 4 years?
For every Netfix original you can change the language. I used to pick series that expose me to different vocabularies.
Also, try the ankimobile flashcards app (it is free for android and PC, not for Iphone).
I also like this app to study the verbs: portuguese verbs by thinkov
Try the duolingo stories in the lab (only available on the web) https://stories.duolingo.com
I hope any of this help.
Hello! I’ve read about 125 of the Duolingo stories. I’m in Brasil again. I still can’t converse or understand much spoken or written Portuguese but it feels like after studying for 4 years and 8 months that it feels like I am learning a little which I never felt before. I quit using a translator for most everything . I was translating everything before which kept me from learning. I’m at level 25 in Duolingo. It hasn’t helped me much because I can get the answer without knowing what something means. I need to find a way to learn Portuguese so I can use it and converse. I can only understand about 1 word out of every 10 that I hear. It’s not good enough to understand what people are saying. I can’t read much yet either. Many words have so many meanings and I don’t know which meaning to use. How are you doing?
I think what helped me the most was to immerse myself in the language. My wife and I agreed to speak one week only Portuguese and the next week English. That way we immerse ourselves in the languages we sant to practice. At the beginning was very hard to carry out a conversation, but then things started to get easier. I do not understand how you can be level 25 in duolingo and only understand 1/10 words in Portuguese. Are you forgetting the words you learn? Suggestions: A. You can try learning phrases. For instance if you learn 1 phrase every day, at the end of the year it would be 365. For instance, “eu tenho fome”= I am hungry. B. You can have a list of phrases related to a topic. For instance, food: 1. “tenho fome” 2. “Quero beber alguma coisa” 3. “Gostaria de sobremesa”
C. For Netflix, start with children shows because they use simpler language.
D. Download the app “innovative” and check portuguesepod101. I think is a good resource.
Giving up the translator was a hood idea. I suggest “Reverso” to look up words. It is a dictionary that gives you many contextual examples.
I can only understand 1 out of 10-12 spoken portuguese words because when people speak I can’t understand them. It sounds like a lot of sounds crammed together and I can’t tell the words apart from each other. So it prevents conversations. I can get the correct answers with Duolingo without learning the words or phrases. They give the words you get to choose from in many activities. On others you get to touch a word you don’t know and it will give the meanings. I use Portuguêse pod 101, Netflix, Duolingo and others. I just need to keep working on understanding spoken Portuguêse without translating everything so I can learn to converse. Thanks
I still don’t know what a preposition is yet after 4 years and 3 months of studying Português. We didn’t learn many grammar terms in school. The last English class I remember was in elementary school. So it’s frustrating to hear Brasilians mention English grammar terms I’ve never heard of before. I’ve had Português teachers tell me they cant teach me Português until i learn English grammar terms
Gramatica Ativa - Versao Brasileira: Book 1 (levels A1, A2 and B1) + CD (3) https://www.amazon.com/dp/9727579310/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_6nT-BbE4874CN
This is basic Portuguese. Every lesson has the answers in the back. You need to learn some grammar to give order to your thoughts.
Learn some basic English grammar. You already use it.
With this type of book, I learned English grammar:
Basic Grammar in Use Student's Book with Answers and Interactive eBook: Self-study Reference and Practice for Students of American English https://www.amazon.com/dp/1316646734/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_cvT-BbQB7S3CR
I think that if you did all duolingo levels, you should be able to understand it.
I’m at level 23 now and returned last month from 32 days in Brasil with my new girlfriend that only speaks Portuguêse but I had to use a translator for most everything because I couldn’t understand what she was saying except for very basic things. “Good morning. Yes I want breakfast. You are nice. I am happy. I don’t understand. I am sorry. How is your day?” Basic things like that. I was disappointed because it didn’t seem like I learned anything and I thought this trip would help. I didn’t magically begin to understand Portuguêse. I had fun but it was very frustrating and disappointing. Now I’m doing Duolingo a lot more and reading new books and watching movies hoping I will begin to be able to converse and understand.
My native language is Spanish. I find some sounds very challenging. For instance,” pão de queijo.” When a phrase has many sounds that I do not have in Spanish, it is challenging to pronounce. The advance grammar is very challenging as well. For instance, the subjunctive mode.
The easiest part is spelling and pronunciation. The most difficult is understanding spoken Portuguêse and conversing because I can’t understand most everything( everything sounds like one long word)or converse yet after 4.5 years and 14 trips to Brasil. I spend a lot of time and effort including writing and speaking with a Brasilian 1-3 hours per day for 16 months and I have to use a translator for almost everything. When I can understand a phrase I stop and say “Eu entendi sem tradutor!” and we celebrate which is terrible after studying for so long. It’s frustrating. I often stay up all night studying because it drives me crazy. I’m doing something wrong or there is something wrong with me. I’ve never had problems learning before. I have a tough time understanding the meanings of verbs and then remembering all of them. 97 different words for each verb seems impossible to me. I have to translate almost everything which slows things down even more.