One of the reasons that people decide to learn Portuguese is that they will live or travel to Brazil to be with a spouse or significant other. In this case, learning Portuguese can either be a breeze or a bit of a struggle.
That’s because one of the best ways to learn a language is to date a person who speaks that language! If the person spends much of his or her time speaking that language to his or her partner, it’s like an immersion course, no matter where in the world you are. This is a great situation to find yourself in.
But if your significant other spends much of his or her time speaking English or your native language, this may not be easy. Without hearing and using Portuguese all the time (before your move or travel) can put you at a disadvantage. It’s also hard because if your significant other is fluent in English and you’re a beginner at Portuguese, it can feel awkward or frustrating to try to speak Portuguese.
So here’s a tip: if you’re someone learning Portuguese because of a significant other who doesn’t frequently speak to you in Portuguese, try to spend at least one hour a day speaking only in Portuguese. For example, at dinnertime, talk about your day only in Portuguese, or whenever you’re in the car together, only speak Portuguese. It’s important that it is every day, even if it’s just for an hour. That way, you will be able to work your way toward speaking more in Portuguese and having the advantage of a native speaker to talk to. It may feel weird, but it’s key to get out of your comfort zone.
Did you learn Portuguese due to a significant other? What did you find helpful?