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learning spanish and portugese

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean learning spanish and portugese

1. Posted by kyebrown (Budding Member 62 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I'm setting off on my lenghty RTW trip in March, my second and third destinations are Brazil and Peru. I really wouldn't mind having at least a basic grasp of each language for when I get to the countries to make things easier, does anybody have any reccomendations for self teaching books or audio cds etc? bearing in mind I have absolutley no prior knowledge of either language, also how commonly is english spoken in these countries? thanks in advance.


2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

English won't get you very far in SA, especially outside the big cities. Plus, people could mistake you for an American, and treat you accordingly :)

So it's a good idea to acquire at least some basic Spanish. Portuguese is also nice, but since most brazilians seem to understand spanish while the reverse doesn't hold at all, Spanish is more useful. As a linguist I don't believe much in self-training; better to take an introductory class in the UK, and then take some more lessons in Peru (they're usually very cheap). And talk, talk, talk to everybody; people like to see you try, and you're bound to make friends much quicker that way.

Good luck, Niels

3. Posted by edros1607 (Budding Member 12 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

This may sound like a bizarre question, but is it possible to take spanish lessons in Brazil? I already have basic Spanish skills but would really like to continue with it I am spending 3 months in Brazil and then 3 months in Argentina and am hoping to continue in Argentina too.
p.s. sorry for hijacking your thread kye!!


4. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Probably possible, but why?! If you spend that much time in Brazil, wouldn't it make more sensen to take a basic course on Portuguese?

5. Posted by edros1607 (Budding Member 12 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I know it sounds strange, the only reason is that when I return to Europe after 6 months I am intending to spend a year or so in Spain and as I already have basic knowledge it seems more worthwile to me to continue with Spanish. In my experience, many of the Brazilians that I have spoken too all understand Spanish as well as portuguese but I have not often come across Spanish speaking people that speak Portuguese so I just feel that Spanish is more universal. I will more than likely take a few basic portuguese classes but it won't be of much use to me when I return.

6. Posted by johnstar (Budding Member 53 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hello Kyebrown,

I am currently learning Spanish by using a few self teach courses and have found that despite it seeming extremely difficult and overwhelming to begin with, once you actually learn the common basics and phrases the remainder of the language becomes much easier to learn.

I've used maybe four or five different courses and would definitely recommend at least two, that you will find interesting and exciting to learn as opposed to some courses that generalise and repeat themselves far too often.

Im not sure i can post details or the names of these courses etc, however if you want to send a message i will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Hasta luego y buena suerte con todos