Speak Portuguese in Brazil

The 9 reasons more and more people are studying Portuguese in Brazil

September 4, 2015

By Railane Louven
Have you ever considered learning Portuguese ?

Maybe you haven’t personally, but thousands of foreigners have and followed through !

The yearly increases in the number of participants in the Celpe-Bras exam (Certificate of Proficiency in Portuguese for Foreigners) certainly go to show that Brazilian Portuguese is becoming of more and more interest to an increasing number of people. According to INEP (Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisas Educacionais Anísio Teixeira), the organism responsible for the organisation of the exam, the Celpe-Bras received 5,197 inscriptions this year, in contrast to 4,000 in 2014.

Acquiring Portuguese leads to a better assimilation to the Brazilian day-to-day

How to explain this increase ? We have listed here the principal motivations foreigners have for choosing to study Portuguese in Brazil (more specifically, at aprenda²) :


1. Brazilian Culture

How could one not relish in Brazilian culture ? Some of our students come study Portuguese here because they want to experience the unique culture that Brazil and its people have to offer (people who, as they say, are joyful, receptive, and fun).


2. Tourism

Our country tops the charts when it comes to beauty, joy de vivre, and cultural diversity. It is this unique combination that has made Brazil so appealing to tourists. If you’re roaming the land, even if only for a short time, why not take the opportunity to learn Portuguese? Yes, this is one of the reasons foreigners learn our language.


3. Portuguese is the fifth most spoken language in the world

Yes indeed ! There are approximately 220 000 Portuguese speakers in the world, most of which live in Brazil. However Portuguese speakers are also present in Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macao, Cape Verde, and Sao Tome and Principe.

This may seem unremarkable, but for many it is not. We receive students who consider Portuguese as a useful perk, especially when it comes to collaboration in the business world. But most of all, it becomes an asset for foreign companies wanting to invest in the Brazilian market.

Source: Wikipedia


4. Entrepreneurship / Economy

Even though the Brazilian economy is not doing its best at the moment, Brazil remains well seen by multinationals and small international companies. Our school often receives foreign businessmen who come to live and work in Brazil temporarily ; in such a case, learning Portuguese is an imperative.


5. The “Mais Medicos” Program

In order to palliate the lack of doctors in the country and in the peripheries, the Brazilian Government has launched the “Mais Medicos” program and effectively attracted numerous foreigners to Brazil. However, in order to work here, foreign doctors must learn to speak Portuguese and take a language proficiency test.


6. Relationships : Friendship / Love / Matrimony

With the Internet, meeting and keeping in touch with people miles away has become much easier. Many of our students enroll because  they are in a relationship with or married to a Brazilian  and need to communicate with their significant other’s family. In such situations, learning Portuguese is vital ! Then, there are those who come visit  friends and decide to learn Portuguese while they are here.


7. Unique Experiences

Finally, come those who move to Brazil  to live unique cultural experiences and try their luck in foreign lands. In order to experience total immersion in a foreign country, it is essential to speak the local language ; in our case, Portuguese !


8. Job market for young professionals

Some, specifically young professionals,  seek  to boost their career in foreign countries.  In Brazil, there is a strong lack of skilled labor, whereas in other countries such opportunities  for young professionals are becoming rare.


9. A Linguistic Gem

Some of our students enroll in our Portuguese classes for foreigners simply because it is a rich and varied language, with a trove of phonemes, which aid in the acquisition of other foreign languages.

In order to verify the claims made above, we have asked our students to answer the following question : « Why learn Portuguese in Brazil ? » Here are some of the responses :

Note: Having received an overwhelming amount of responses, we couldn’t publish them all. The names of the students have been kept secret for reasons of confidentiality.

The financial company I work for opened two new branches in two foreign countries, one of which is in Brazil.Seen as I am the chief executive of the Brazilian branch, I had to move to Brazil so as to develop and promote the company. In order to do so, I need to learn to speak and understand Brazilian Portuguese.

It became evident upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro, that I would have to learn Portuguese. You will need more than French or English to truly appreciate the Carioca lifestyle, make friends, and experience the local culture. In order to reap the most from this experience, you must study Portuguese.

When the Brazilian economy was growing, at the break of globalization, English and Chinese were the most sought after. However, you shouldn’t pass by the opportunity to learn Portuguese. And why Brazil ? Who doesn’t like a good meal, great people, and beautiful beaches?

Learning Portuguese is personally enriching ; I think it is always interesting to learn new things.

I wanted to build relationships with Brazilians and to have the opportunity to share many things with them. This is why Portuguese was an absolute must.


And for those of you interested in an immersion into Brazilian language and culture, we invite you to stop by one of our schools, Instituto aprenda²! We have two schools : one in Sao Paulo and one in Rio de Janeiro ! We also offer Celpe-Bras preparation courses, if a diploma is what you seek. Feel free to visit our website or to send us an email at contact.spo@aprenda2.org for the school in Sao Paulo or at contact.rjo@aprenda2.org for the school in Rio de Janeiro so we can send you all the information you require !

What have you thought of this list ? Do you agree ? Disagree ? As a foreigner, are you interested in learning Portuguese ? Have you studied it before ?

Tell us: leave a comment !

Source: Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisas Educacionais Anísio Teixeira (Inep)

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