Geared toward Absolute Beginners, this course gives you a solid start and foundation to build upon.
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.
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This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A2 level.
In 1990, various Portuguese-speaking countries agreed on a spelling reform to create and maintain a cohesive, international standard across borders.
In Portugal, in particular, the spelling reform came to effect in 2009 followed by a transitional 6-year period where the old and new orthographies were allowed to co-exist.
In Portugal in particular, there is to this date a de facto spelling double-standard in Portugal.
This double standard is caused, on one hand, by a widespread lack of awareness of the new spelling rules and, on the other, by the fact that several journalists, authors, and a few publishers simply refuse to follow the new orthography (for reasons that are outside the scope of this post).
To see the same words spelled differently on different sources can be a bit confusing for language learners (for instance, baptismo vs. batismo). The goal of this article is to clarify what has changed since the latest Portuguese spelling reform came into effect.
Let’s get started.
Note! The spelling reform pertains exclusively to orthography, that is, it doesn’t have anything to do with phonology or lexicon. This means that Brazilians, the Portuguese, Angolans, and other Portuguese native speakers* keep pronouncing the words as they did before the reform. Also, they obviously keep using their local, culture-specific words and expressions.
With the exception of h – which in Portuguese is always mute – we no longer write unpronounced consonants such as silent c’s or p’s.
Here’re a few examples:
. . .
But! We keep the c’s and p’s when we pronounce them:
. . .
! A common misunderstanding
I often hear people (Portugal) talking against the spelling reform (and refusing to follow it) based on a widespread misunderstanding: they think that all those p’s and c’s mentioned above are – according to the reform – gone, even when you pronounce them, which is not true as illustrated by the table above.
There are a few words subjected to alternative spellings. Those are cases where some pronounce the c’s and the p’s while others don’t. Then, either spelling is considered correct:
‘’ or infecioso
‘’ or setorial
‘’ or olfato
. . .
Last but not least, in some words, these c’s and p’s are pronounced in the European standard but not in Brazilian. And vice-versa.
In these cases, there is a double standard according to each variant of Portuguese: