The answer is… It depends on many different factors and scenarios
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO LEARN PORTUGUESE?
1 – STUDENTS WHO SPEAK SPANISH AND / OR ITALIAN
If you have a strong background in Spanish or Italian, it will be quite easy for you to understand what Portuguese people say. But it will be very hard for these students to “lose” the Spanish/Italian accent that will affect their Portuguese accent. After 6-9 months of hard work, many students can finish level B1 in Portuguese.
2 – STUDENTS WHO SPEAK MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE (none of them is Spanish or Italian)
For those students, learning Portuguese in Lisbon is usually a quite simple process. Learning a third language is always easier than learning a second language. Those students are already comfortable with many concepts, such as verbs, regular verbs, irregular verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and prepositions. After 9-12 months, as a result of their effort, many students can already solve 90% of their problems in Portuguese (1 on 1 conversation) – B1/B2 students. In a group situation, with noise and with Portuguese native speakers speaking very quickly, these students will still face problems.
3 – STUDENTS WHO SPEAK ONLY THEIR MOTHER TONGUE (and that language isn’t Spanish or Italian)
For this final group, we have many different examples. We have several students that after 1 year are finishing level B1. But we also have other Portuguese students who struggle to maintain a simple conversation after 12 months (which means that they are still A2 students).
Concluding, it really depends on your background and also depends on the following decisions:
- The number of hours per week that you will spend learning Portuguese.
- Materials that you will use
- The teacher that you are going to choose
- How much you will enjoy your Portuguese lessons and how keen you are to start speaking the language
- Your personality. Extroverted people tend to learn Portuguese faster because they are not afraid of mistakes.