Portuguese is a Romance language that is closely related to Spanish. It is spoken by about 180 million people world-wide, principally in Brazil and Portugal. The Portuguese writing system presents little difficulty to native English speakers. Portuguese uses a Roman alphabet, omitting the k, w, and y of English, but adding 11 letters of its own. Punctuation largely remains the same across the two languages, although Portuguese grammar does tend to be slightly more challenging for native English speakers than that of Spanish. Like Spanish, the large number of similarly spelled words with similar meanings means that native English speakers must be wary of false cognates, words that appear to be the same but in fact have different meanings.
Portuguese has fewer prepositions than English does, and personal pronouns are often omitted altogether. There is also a single possessive pronoun for his/her that agrees in gender with the item possessed. (“She is having dinner with her husband” would equate to “she is having dinner with his husband.”). Students of Portuguese need to keep in mind that the language varies dramatically from region to region. European and Brazilian Portuguese are further apart linguistically than American and British English. Anyone interested in taking Portuguese should first consider what region of the world they would be speaking the language the majority of the time.
The Language Island offers comprehensive, one-on-one instruction for students at every point on their journey to learning Portuguese. Tutors work with a student to develop an individualized lesson plan tailored to his or her needs. Our tutors are passionate, caring and highly fluent in the languages they teach. They pride themselves on connecting with their students and being able to carry on fluent, natural sounding conversations entirely in the language being taught. Entry-level classes are taught in both Portuguese and English, with an increasing amount of Portuguese being used as a student becomes more comfortable with the new language. Intermediate and advanced-level students can take advantage of full-immersion classes, where the course is taught entirely in Portuguese. Our tutors use only the best materials available. They have sorted through the fads and gimmicks to find the most effective techniques that have truly stood the test of time.