I would submit to you that any foreign language has a level of difficulty which will be different to each person who’s attempting to learn it. It depends on your own life experience, your native language, your reason for learning that language, which method you use, and your attitude towards learning it. If you haven’t started studying it and you are already thinking about its difficulty, that’s the wrong way to approach it. Think about the beauty of the language and how fun it will be to discover how to express your thoughts on it. Think positively towards it as any other thing that you enjoy doing.
Portuguese would theoretically be easier for a person who speaks another Romance language which utilizes the Roman alphabet and has a similar structure. On the other hand, an Asian person whose alphabet seems to be mostly pictorial or a Russian speaker with a Cyrillic alphabet would have to deal with learning a totally new alphabet and a new language structure. However, the student’s attitude towards learning can make a big difference favorably or unfavorably on either case.
However, there’s a very important point that can make or break the studying of a new language: the person’s deep desire, willingness, and commitment to learning it. In other words, when you really want to learn a new language, and you make the decision to do so on your own, you have won half of the battle. Then, you just need to take the first step and not look back.
It helps when you already have the knowledge of another foreign language. You are able to make comparisons between the target language and your own language as well as the second language. This is a great tool which aids you to better remember structures and vocabulary in the new language.
Nowadays, you have access to tons of material online. So, there’s no excuse for not immersing yourself: listen to dialogs, to music, to podcasts, to the radio and watch videos and films in Portuguese. But stick to one kind of Portuguese – be it either Brazilian or European. After you master one, you can tackle the other. I mean you can learn the variations.
Above all, you definitely have to have a strong reason for wanting to learn Portuguese to be able to stick with it when difficulties come. Do not worry about myths that have been created along the years. You will hear things like: it’s very difficult for adults to learn a new language or you’re too old; are you sure you want to study a new language? It will take forever; I’ve heard Portuguese is a very difficult language to learn. Listening to what other people say leads you nowhere, but to paralysis. When you decide to learn Portuguese or any other foreign language, make the commitment to yourself to learn this language no matter what. It’s like planting a seed for a tree in your orchard. You will have to keep watering it with care until it buds and starts growing until finally, it reaches the proper structure and size. And I guarantee it will. Don’t worry about how long it will take or how old you are! Just stop talking about studying Portuguese and start doing it now! Please, let me know if you get stuck!
Make your learning Portuguese an enjoyable experience. Please, check out our All About Portuguese page for more information about this beautiful Romance language.