Brazilian Portuguese/Getting Started
Why Learn Portuguese?
Portuguese is a Romance language spoken by 240 million people - more than the number of German, Italian, and Polish speakers combined. It is the 7th most-spoken language in the world. It is very closely related to other Romance languages such as Spanish, Catalan, Italian, and French. Most Portuguese speakers are located in Brazil, although large numbers of Portuguese speakers are also found in Angola, Moçambique, as well as in other places in Africa and Asia.
Portuguese is considered a Category I language, meaning it is relatively easy for English speakers to pick up. As you'll see, Portuguese does carry a few similarities to English.
In this course, you'll learn Brazilian Portuguese, which is different in some aspects of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation from other dialects of Portuguese.
Don't be overwhelmed by accented letters in the language - keep in mind that the Portuguese language has actually been simplified over the years (provàvelmente - provavelmente; diccionário - dicionário; idéia - ideia; ambìgüidade - ambiguidade). It has actually lost an accent: the trema, which used to be used as ü, and the grave accent, which used to denote secondary stresses, today only appears as à in only one specific case.
How to Use the Lessons
The language lessons in this textbook are made to be followed in a certain manner to ensure full absorption of the content. There are twelve sections per course, of which there are two: Basic and Intermediate. Be sure to follow these steps:
- Look over what will be presented in the lesson. Keep it in mind as you move along.
- Listen to the dialogue or text reading provided; you might not understand it completely at first, but keep in mind that you will by the end of the lesson.
- Repeat the speakers as you move along in the pronunciation section. You'll be presented with vocabulary at this time.
- Complete all of the vocabulary exercises provided.
- Read the grammar section and try to understand it thoroughly. If you have any doubts, feel free to ask about them in the Discussion section (the tab at the top) of the page.
- Complete the grammar exercises.
- Listen to the dialogue again. You'll be surprised at how much you've learned.
- Complete all the review exercises.
Editing the Course
This course was very carefully planned so try to avoid modifications to the overall structure of the book and the order that the content is presented unless you find it absolutely necessary. Remember to keep the book well-illustrated! Illustrations help to fix things in memory. Do not hesitate, however, to contribute to the book (and sign your name on the contributors list. After all, that's what Wikibooks is there for!
This book follows many of the guidelines displayed in the Authoring Foreign Language Textbooks Wikibook.
Good luck in your studies!