6 Unexpected Benefits of Studying Portuguese

6 Unexpected Benefits of Studying Portuguese

by Raja Mehar

Learning a second language can improve your memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, concentration, and better listening skills. Portuguese is not usually the go-to second language. But as you will see there are plenty of reasons for studying Portuguese to be at the top of your list of languages to learn in 2022.

1 It Shares a Lot in Common With English

English is not a romance language like French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. But they do share a common ancestor. Latin. Because of this, English and Portuguese have more in common than you might think. This is particularly true of the grammar, syntax and word class of both languages. Due to the shared Latin roots of some words, you will also run into words that sound similar. Take visionary and visionario/visionaria, for example. There are at least 38 words that follow this pattern between Portuguese and English.

2 It’s a Gateway to Other Romance Languages

Due to their shared heritage of Latin, learning Portuguese will make learning the other romance languages a breeze. This is especially true of Spanish. Portuguese and Spanish share 89% lexical similarity. What does this mean? That 89% of the words in Spanish you will find in Portuguese, and vice versa. So, learning Portuguese technically means you are also learning Spanish. And because Spanish, French and Italian all share similar ancestry, you will be getting a head start on those as well!

3 It’s Widely Spoken Globally

Not many people think of Portuguese as an international language, but it is the official language in 8 countries including countries in the African subcontinent and Macau in China. Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world with approximately 260 million speakers worldwide.  Some estimates say that number will increase to 335 million by 2050.

4 Career Booster

Portuguese is highly sought after in the job market as a second language and is a cheaper option to studying for a Master’s Degree to boost your career. Brazil’s economy currently ranks as number 8 in the world, with a workforce of around 200 million people and a cache of natural resources. Most of us are led to believe that learning a European language, Mandarin or Arabic will give us the boost we need in certain sectors. But the technology, finance and tourism industries amongst others are crying out for Portuguese speakers. And as more organisations continue to set up businesses in Brazil and the popularity of Portuguese continues to grow in Asia and India, the demand for Portuguese will only increase.

5 Understudied, But Over-Resourced

Despite it being the 6th most spoken language in the world, Portuguese is surprisingly understudied. Most people choose Spanish instead of Portuguese. But this hasn’t stopped institutions, organisations and platforms from designing excellent Portuguese courses, tools and resources.  Because so many people choose Spanish over Portuguese, learning Portuguese will help you stand out amongst the masses.

6 Studying Portuguese Lyrics

Portugal has some amazing singers and bands who make music of all genres, including modern Fado music. Fado is traditional music like no other that is usually mournful, loving and powerful. Brazil has a diverse music scene ranging from bossa nova and classic samba to funk and dance music. Not only are these great resources in helping you learn Portuguese online, but they will open you up to a whole new world of music.


Portuguese is understudied, under-appreciated and under-estimated. Choosing to learn it as a second language opens up doors to over 200 million more people you can talk to. And given how many words it shares with Spanish, it opens up doors for that language as well. Stand out from the crowd and learn Portuguese.

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