No courses are scheduled for the time being. Fill up the form below and I will let you know when new dates are released.

In-person Intensive Courses Upcoming
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Intermediate B1

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the B1 level. The language of instruction is Portuguese. I will speak in English only if need be.

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My suggestion for these two weeks is to focus on*:

  • Conversation
  • Listening comprehension
  • Reading comprehension
  • Compound tenses (Ter auxiliary) / Personal Infinitive / Imperative Mood / Present Subjunctive
  • Prepositional usage

*There's always room to adjust the course according to the group's preferences:

After this course, you'll have come closer to the B1 level and have the tools and strategies to get there and beyond.

Not sure if you should enroll in the A2 or B1 course?

Take this placement test

Any questions?

Inquiry

Beginners A2

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A2 level. The language of instruction is English/Portuguese typically in a 30/70 ratio. (I always speak with you in Portuguese as much as possible.)

CEFR Scale

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My suggestion for these two weeks is to focus on:

  • Listening comprehension
  • Oral interaction
  • Past tense (Perfeito vs. Imperfeito)
  • Prepositional usage
  • Any other aspects according to your preferences as a group

After this course, you'll have come closer to the A2 level and gained the tools to take it further all by yourself.

Not sure if you should enroll in the A2 or B1 course?

Take this placement test

Any questions?

Inquiry

Beginners A1

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A1 level. The language of instruction is English/Portuguese typically in a 60/40 ratio. (I always speak with you in Portuguese as much as possible.)

If you've just started your learning journey, it may be that you will find this course a bit challenging. Nothing wrong with that. However, if you want to take it easy, consider enrolling for the Clean Slate A0 instead (if available).

CEFR Scale

Learn more about the CEFR scale

This is an all-round course, which means that we’ll work on all aspects of language learning according to the A1 level*:

  • Pronunciation
  • Listening comprehension
  • Reading comprehension
  • Conversation
  • Grammar

* There's always room to adjust the course according to your preferences as a group.

After this course, you'll have come closer to the A1 level and gained the tools to take it further all by yourself.

Not sure if you should enroll in the A1 or A2 course?

Take this placement test

Any questions?

Inquiry

Clean Slate A0

Geared toward Absolute Beginners, this course gives you a solid start and foundation to build upon. The language of instruction is almost entirely in English.

CEFR Scale

This is an introductory course to the Portuguese language as spoken in Portugal. Throughout the course, we will focus on the Portuguese sound system and basic Portuguese grammar.

You will also learn how to introduce yourself and day-to-day, useful phrases. Finally, we will discuss learning resources and strategies to support your learning journey.

After the course, you will have a basic understanding of European Portuguese pronunciation and grammar. You will also be capable of engaging in simple, short oral interactions. Last but not least, you will be aware of a variety of learning resources and strategies to help you succeed at learning the language.

Any questions?

Inquiry

New dates covering the period Mar–Jun will soon be announced. Fill up this form and I will keep you posted.

Online Intensive Courses Upcoming
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Can't you attend any courses this season? Fill up this form and I will keep you posted on upcoming Intensive Courses.

In-person Intensive Courses Upcoming
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Surprise surprise!

Do you know what constipado means in Portuguese? Probably not what you are thinking...

Get a list of 50+ English-Portuguese False Friends and be surprised.

False Friends
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Struggling with Pronunciation?

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Portuguese Language Historical Origins

With over 220 million native speakers, Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language in the world. That is something! But where did this language originate?

Being a Romance language, Portuguese’s history surely goes back to Latin. Let’s find out more.

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The Romans arrived

The history of the Portuguese language has close ties to the history of the Iberian Peninsula, especially to its western fringe.

Following the Roman conquest of the peninsula in the 3rd century BCE, Vulgar Latin – a colloquial version of classical Latin – was spread by Roman soldiers, settlers, and merchants.

Despite the Latin incursion, the language spoken by the peoples of the Iberian Peninsula preserved the influence of the much older Hispano-Celtic ancient languages.

For instance, the Portuguese language is also known as Língua Lusitana after the Lusitanians – a Celtic tribe that lived in the territory of present-day Portugal and whose vernacular impacted Portuguese. 

Put another way, the Lusitanians integrated the Latin language into their own as Roman settlers moved in – their original tongue was not obliterated. 

By the way, the prefix luso in words like Lusophone ties back to the Lusitanians.

Germanic invasions

As the Western Roman Empire started to crumble (between the 5th and 8th centuries CE), the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by several Germanic tribes, namely the Suevi, Goths, and Visigoths. 

Although the invaders originally spoke Germanic languages, they quickly adopted the late Roman culture and Vulgar Latin dialects present in the Iberian Peninsula.

Over the next 3 centuries, they’d melt into the local cultures and leave their imprint on the language.  

Indeed, a number of words of Germanic pedigree are today still part of the Portuguese lexicon, for instance, words like guerra or frio.

The Moors

Following the Moorish and Beber invasions of the 8th century, Arabic became the administrative language in the conquered territories, exerting a strong influence on the spoken language of South and Western Iberia. 

For instance, Portuguese words beginning with the letters “al” are of Arabic origin. Words like alface, Algarve, or alameda fall into that category. 

Also, countless agricultural products and technologies that were brought by the Moors to the Iberian Peninsula have their etymological roots in Arabic.

Despite the considerable cultural and linguistic influence exerted by the Arabs, a Latin-based vernacular – commonly known as Mozarabic – continued to be spoken by the majority of the Christian population in the Iberian Peninsula. 

Middle Ages

Throughout the Middle Ages, in the regions of southwestern Europe, the mishmash between Vulgar Latin and other ancient dialects matured into several Romance languages.

One of these Romance languages came to be known as Galician- Portuguese or Old Portuguese. 

Galician-Portuguese was primarily spoken in the western fringe of the Iberian Peninsula (a region equivalent to present-day Portugal and the autonomous region of Galiza) until the 14th century. 

Portugal’s declaration of independence in the 12th century triggered a series of events that led to the cultural separation between Portugal and the other regions in western Iberia, namely Galicia.

Two hundred years on – somewhere in the 14th century – the linguistic differences found in Portugal and Galicia were large enough for linguists to consider Portuguese as a separate language in its own right.

The Age of Maritime Exploration

Starting in the late 14th century, the age of maritime exploration by the Portuguese brought their language to the four corners of the world – various regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

The marriages between the explorers and local peoples also helped to further spread and instill Portuguese in exotic, distant regions. 

Another relevant factor was Christian missionaries. They, too, made an important contribution to the dissemination of Portuguese and the formation of creole languages. 

By the mid-16th century, Portuguese had become lingua franca in Asia and Africa not only for trade purposes but also to facilitate diplomatic communication between local authorities and officials of several European countries (also invested in maritime trade). 

As a language, Portuguese both influenced and was influenced by other languages. For instance, Malay still keeps today in its lexicon many words of Portuguese origin. 

Equally, a few Portuguese-speaking Christian communities in India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia have preserved the language (to some extent) long after cutting official ties with Portugal.

Conversely, there are many words from native South American dialects that have left their mark on Portuguese, especially Tupi (spoken by Brazilian Indians and used as lingua franca between them and Portuguese settlers.)

Many words of African origin, too, can be found in Portuguese, much as a result of the need to refer to local objects, fauna, and flora unknown to the Portuguese. 

Modern and contemporary Portuguese

Modern Portuguese dates back to the 16th century and coincides with the Renaissance period and the epic poetry of Luís Vaz de Camões.

Camões’ most acclaimed work is called “Os Lusíadas” and the author is to the Portuguese language what Shakespeare is to English.

Portuguese eventually became a sophisticated language reflecting its classical Roman and Greek origins. It is nowadays used for international and scientific communication in hundreds of universities across Lusophone countries.

Unsurprisingly, English has exerted a great deal of influence on Portuguese over the last decades, especially in the areas of technology and science (as new concepts are currently being developed mostly in Anglophone countries).

Lusophone literature is vast (from Brazil to Portugal to Angola to Mozambique) and has dozens of internationally acclaimed authors, for instance, Natalia Borges Polesso, Mia Couto, António Lobo Antunes, and of course the Nobel-awarded José Saramago, just to name a few.    

In 2006, the Museum of the Portuguese Language was founded in São Paulo (Brazil) which, with over 12 million inhabitants, is the city with the greatest number of Portuguese native speakers in the world. 

Stay tuned for upcoming Courses, Stories, and other Novelties.

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