Portuguese is one of the five most widely spoken Romance languages that are derived from Vulgar Latin, a colloquial version of Latin. The Spanish, French, Italian and Romanian languages also share the same origin. 204 million natives speak the language, with the majority of these residing in Brazil and Portugal. However, the pronunciation, syntax and grammar of the Brazilian version are different from the European version of the language. It is interesting to note that several English and Portuguese words resemble each other in form and the meaning. Learning how to speak Portuguese will help learners interact with native and non-native speakers of the language across the world, including parts of Africa and South-East Asia.
The Portuguese alphabet comprises 23 letters, with the K, W and Y of the English alphabet missing, and 11 accented letters. Punctuation is no different from the English language. Conjugations of verbs are almost similar to English. However, the sentence structure is quite flexible with Portuguese; the order in which the parts of a sentence are organized may differ slightly. Interrogatives are usually expressed by way of tone changes, and are not necessarily in the form of a question. Apart from this, the intonations are mastered only when the student learns to speak Portuguese. There is just one question tag available in the language, which means that there is only one way to represent a question in the Portuguese language. Each noun has a specific gender with one possessive pronoun that agrees with the gender of the noun. Adjectives usually follow the noun and agree with the number and gender of the noun.
Portuguese vocabulary resembles English to a great extent, with a few words that are quite similar in both spelling and meaning. Learning how to speak Portuguese is an interesting challenge for the learner, as other aspects of the language at the entry level are quite easy to follow and grasp. Those looking to learn Portuguese should listen to and practice the spoken language. Portuguese has a lesser number of sounds than English, with about 9 vowels, 19 consonants and 6 diphthongs. In fact, the sound system of the Brazilian version is based on the syllable and the European version on the stress, very much along the lines of English.
Students eager to learn Portuguese can enroll for classroom sessions for a formal course or take up online classes to learn how to speak Portuguese. To speak Portuguese fluently, it is important to regularly converse in the language with classmates or friends who are familiar with the language.
Babbel offers user-friendly, cost-effective, ad-free online language courses, students can learn to speak Portuguese at their own pace and convenience. Multimedia lessons, vocabulary, reading and pronunciation exercises, interactions with other members of the online community all help the learners to speak Portuguese effortlessly at the end of the course.The online language company helps those learning Portuguese online to periodically review their progress and recall the lessons anytime, anywhere by offering mobile and desktop apps that can be used at the learner’s convenience. Babbel also offers free mobile and desktop applications to enhance the learning experience.