Portuguese and English: One happy language family

People interested in language learning are always asking: “Is Portuguese a hard language to learn?” The answer remains the same: “Well, it depends.”

That’s because there are 7,102 distinct living languages estimated to exist in the world. Both English and Portuguese belong to the Indo-European family, which contains approximately 445 other languages, including French, Russian, Dutch, Greek and Icelandic.

Native speakers of Indo-European family languages make up about half of the world’s population. Nonetheless, each language has its own characteristics and idiosyncrasies. So, what makes these two linguistic cousins so different and how can a comparison help us determine if Portuguese really is a hard language to learn?


Learning every language is both hard and easy. To make things more complicated, the language(s) you already speak can make the process of learning Portuguese (or any other foreign language for that matter) easier or harder depending on the degree of similarity between these languages.


What really matters is dedication, plenty of written and oral exposure to the foreign language and access to great tools to help you achieve your goals. How about committing one hour a day to reading in a foreign language? You can learn new words in both Portuguese and English. Pay close attention to the pronunciation of the words you look up, collect several new words a day and you will be amazed at how much progress you can make and how easy it will become to improve vocabulary in the foreign language you have decided to learn. The most relevant piece of advice I can give you is… Don’t worry too much about difficulty, have fun learning and above all, enjoy life!

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