is learning portuguese hard

Is Portuguese Hard to Learn? Why Many People Struggle

(Last Updated On: November 29, 2023)


Although Portuguese may be easy to pronounce, it’s often labeled as one of the hardest languages to learn globally, especially when it comes to speaking and writing the language. The reason? There are five different variations of Portuguese that are said across the globe! Here’s everything you need to know about this popular language and why so many people have trouble learning it.

The grammar rules are tricky.

Portuguese is similar to Spanish, making sense as they’re both Latin-based languages. Like Spanish, Portuguese has three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. While learning gender might seem like a strange hurdle for an English speaker (where all nouns are either male or female), it does come in handy for some words.

For example, Portuguese uses adjectives differently than English. In Portuguese, adjectives must agree with their nouns—which means that adjectives must change depending on whether they’re used with a masculine or feminine word.

For example, if you want to say the white dog, you have to use o cão Branco because cão is masculine. If you want to tell the pretty girl, you have to use a Menina Bonita because Menina is feminine. And then, there are irregular verbs and tenses.

It’s not easy, but with practice, you’ll eventually get it. The important thing is to keep at it! Don’t be discouraged by Portuguese’s reputation as one of Europe’s most complex languages; once you start getting into the rhythm of things, everything will make more sense.

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The Accent is Hard to Master

The Portuguese language has lots of upsides—it’s beautiful, full of life and character, and music to your ears. It’s also spoken in a rich variety of dialects that add even more flavor. However, as much as many people love Portuguese for all these reasons, its sounds can be complex for them to grasp.

The sounds rr, ch, and g are entirely different from those in English or Spanish. Learning to pronounce these letters is difficult enough without considering how many combinations of vowels and consonants are used! Having an accent can make you seem unprofessional or poorly educated in some cases; therefore, even if you plan on living in a Portuguese-speaking country forever, it’s best if you learn how to speak correctly.

There Aren’t Many Opportunities to Use it in Real Life.

One of Portuguese’s most challenging elements is how rarely it is used outside of Portugal. Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese are different, especially regarding pronunciation and particular regional dialects, making it hard for students who learn in one region but travel to another.

And because there aren’t a lot of opportunities to use it abroad, they don’t get a chance to practice what they have learned. It often takes longer for students trying to acquire European Portuguese versus those learning Spanish or French because there isn’t as much opportunity or exposure.

Because Portuguese speakers live primarily in Europe, Brazil, and Africa, people studying Portuguese may not be able to rely on their travels to help them further develop their skills. In some ways, Portuguese is more complex than Spanish to learn—for example, you must take care not to place accents on cover letters that you don’t need; otherwise, you could end up saying something entirely different from what you intended!

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Vocabulary Is Difficult

The first thing many new Portuguese speakers notice is that it’s hard to form sentences. The grammar of both languages can seem odd at first (Spanish’s tenses tend to be a bit easier). There are some critical differences in pronunciation, most noticeably in letters like b and v, which sound very different in Portuguese than they do in Spanish (the same is true for d and th).

If you’re familiar with one Romance language, it’ll help you get started learning another one—but if you don’t know any Romance languages, it will take time before your brain can switch between Spanish and Portuguese without making mistakes.

However, once you’ve learned how to speak Portuguese, writing becomes much easier because of Portuguese’s use of written accents over words to change their meaning. While English has a few rules about accents, there aren’t nearly as many exceptions and tricky spellings as in Portuguese. Native English speakers often say that when speaking or listening to someone else speak Portuguese, it seems far more complicated than it is! It just takes practice!

How long does it take to learn Portuguese thoroughly?

It takes 575-600 hours to thoroughly learn Portuguese, according to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI).

What is the hardest language to learn?

The hardest language to learn is often debated. While many languages are difficult to learn, it is often said that the difficult language to learn is Mandarin Chinese. This is because Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, meaning that the same word can have different meanings depending on the tone in which it is spoken. This can make it difficult for beginners to pronounce words correctly. In addition, Mandarin Chinese has a complex writing system that uses thousands of characters, making it one of the most challenging languages to read and write.

Is Portuguese like speaking Spanish?

No, Portuguese is not like speaking Spanish. Although both languages are Romance languages, they are not mutually intelligible. Portuguese is more similar to the French language and Italian languages than Spanish. Portuguese speakers will often find it easier to learn Spanish than Spanish speakers learn Portuguese.

Some People Never Get Past the Basics.

Even if you’re learning Portuguese in a classroom setting, there’s no way around it: You’ll have to make mistakes. And that may be one of your biggest challenges when learning Portuguese because many native speakers will think of your mistakes as funny or cute—which is something you probably don’t want as a native language learner.

If you find yourself in an informal setting and trying out some new phrases on native speakers, don’t be afraid to ask them if they could repeat themselves slowly or explain what they said so that you can get it right next time.

Don’t worry about being rude; like most people who speak Portuguese, they’ll likely appreciate your effort! But remember that asking for help doesn’t mean you won’t eventually learn Portuguese. Most learners agree that getting feedback from native speakers is a great way to improve quickly.

The trick is finding someone who can give constructive criticism without being too critical (or even overly friendly). Start by asking friends or classmates for help before moving on to more formal settings like tutoring sessions or native language clubs.

The most challenging things about Portuguese

One of the most challenging things about learning Portuguese is pronunciation. There are many sounds in the language that are difficult for English speakers to produce. In addition, the grammar can be pretty complicated. Portuguese has a lot of irregular verbs, and the pronoun agreement can be tricky.

However, with some hard work and dedication, it is possible to learn this beautiful language. Secondly, there are several different dialects spoken in different regions, which can make it difficult to understand others. With some effort and perseverance, however, Portuguese can be a rewarding language to learn.

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Portugal’s Language and Culture

Portugal is a fascinating country with a rich culture and history. The Portuguese language is also unique and exciting, with many dialects spoken throughout the country. Here are three interesting facts about Portuguese culture and language. Did you know that Portugal is the oldest country in Europe? That’s right – it was founded in 1139, making it nearly 800 years old! This long history has resulted in a rich culture with many different influences. You can see this in the architecture, food, and music of Portugal. Do you want to know the Portuguese breakfast?

The Portuguese language is also very unique. It is the only Romance language written with the Latin alphabet, but it has many different dialects. Portuguese is spoken differently in Portugal than in Brazil – the two largest Portuguese-speaking countries globally. Portugal is also home to one of the world’s most famous explorers – Vasco da Gama. He was the first person to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, and he opened up the trade route between Europe and India. This made Portugal a mighty country during the Age of Exploration.

The non-Sovereign States Where Portuguese is Spoken

Portuguese is spoken in many non-sovereign states, including Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, and Cape Verde. Although these states do not have sovereignty over their territory, they have significant political and economic power. Portuguese is also spoken in East Timor, a former Portuguese colony now an independent country.


Portuguese is the predominant language in Brazil. It is estimated that over 190 million people speak Portuguese in Brazil, making it the largest Portuguese-speaking country globally. Portuguese is a Romance language that originated in what is now Portugal and has since spread to other parts of the world, including Brazil. Portuguese is a member of the Romance family of languages, including Spanish, Italian, and French.


Macau is a particular administrative region of China, and its official languages are Chinese and Portuguese. Portuguese is spoken by a minority of the population but is an essential language in Macau. Portuguese is the language of education, law, and government in Macau. It is also one of the four official languages of the United Nations.

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Portuguese is the official language of Angola, spoken by approximately 70% of the population. It is also spoken as a second language by around 19% of Angolans. Portuguese is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia, in northwestern Spain.

It is the sixth most widely spoken language globally and the third most spoken European language, after English language and Spanish language. Portuguese is also the official language of Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe.

Cape Verde

Portuguese is the official language of Cape Verde, a country located in the central Atlantic Ocean. It is spoken by the majority of the country’s population, as well as by significant minorities in other countries. Portuguese is a Romance language that developed from the Latin spoken by the Roman Empire. It is the fourth most widely spoken Romance language after Spanish, French, and Italian.


Do they speak the English language in Portugal?

According to a recent study, over 80% of the Portuguese population speaks English as a second language. This makes Portugal an ideal destination for English speakers looking to travel and learn a new language. While Portuguese is the official language of the country, English is widely spoken in major cities and tourist areas.

How close is Portuguese to Italian?

When it comes to Romance languages, Portuguese and Italian are two of the closest. Though they have their differences, they share a lot in common. If you know one, you’ll have a much easier time learning the other.

Is Portuguese like French?

No, Portuguese is not like French. Although they are both Romance languages, they have very different origins and histories. Portuguese is a member of the Romance branch of the Indo-European language family, while French is a member of the Gallo-Romance branch.

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