Portugal insights?

I’ve been here nearly a year and still can’t speak a word (not for lack of trying). It’s very doable only speaking English.

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Hi @Luise I had a conversation a while back with a chap who has lived in Portugal for a number of years and says Portuguese is one of the hardest languages to learn … if that’s true and I have no reason to doubt him, don’t be too hard on yourself.

@evag008 I also wish I had learnt some foreign languages before. Portuguese is not an easy language, I have to say, and it does takes perseverance. Duolingo is Brazilian Portuguese, (and it differs quite a bit) so rather go for an online European Portuguese course … like Practise Portuguese so you can start with some basics, and once you here you can practice with the locals. :smiley:

I was not aware that there was such a big difference between Brazilian and European Portuguese. Thank you for letting me know.
I don’t see many sits in Portugal. I hope it improves. Do you get many Portuguese sits or are you relocating there?
I probably should start with urban areas to see if Portugal is a good fit for me. Cost of living is one factor but fitting in matters a lot. In any case, I need to get more THS experience (I only have 1 coming up in November) before I can succeed abroad.

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Yes it is interesting how many of the languages are so different once the cross the great waters. English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese I know first hand are very different. Even being fluent I have to retrain and often ask what some words or expressions mean. One reason I enjoy watching foreign films with closed caption.
it’s good to test and find your niche.

I see what you mean. I have been using Duo for French (I took it in high school for several years), and Spanish. They are similar languages in many ways. Sometimes I get confused on pronunciations but doing well on the app. I have tried foreign movies but can’t understand what they are saying. Catch some words here and there. You need to change your thinking about forming your thoughts and speaking. I am drilling myself so that I can I don’t rely on slow version.

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I’ve relied on Duolingo for a lot of language prep leading up to a trip. I mainly want to get the basic polite language - greetings, please, thank you etc, then basic sentences when I need to ask for things etc. Duo was great, even if the Portuguese was geared more to Brazil. I did a lot of Italian and Spanish when I was heading to those countries and I’m always amazed at how much it helps.

I do speak passable French so this past COVID year+ I’ve worked on my Duolingo French every day as well as listening to podcasts and TV shows in French to support that. My aural comprehension is my biggest struggle because I don’t get enough practice in situ.

ANYWAY, my point is that learning some of the language wherever you go is always important and people always appreciate it when we try our best to communicate in their language rather than default to English right away.

We enjoyed Portugal and would recommend the small fishing village of Salema in the Algarve if you like to get away from the crowds. Rick Steves recommended it and we stayed there for three nights and loved it.

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This is just lovely.
I have yet to go to Portugal but friends that have said they managed very well. I do intend to get there this next coming trip over. Too many places I want to visit now and since I will so close, the time is now.

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For a really incredible adventure, you could walk the Portuguese route of the Camino de Santiago. It takes about 3 weeks. I did it in 2014, and it was amazing.

One of my very favorite cities was Porto. Someone told us about a restaurant called Adega Rio Douro, where the locals go. On Tuesday afternoons they have Fado music. There is nothing touristy about it. People took turns singing. The woman who was cooking came out and sang a song. I have no idea what she was singing, but it was so heartfelt and emotional that I almost burst into tears. Good times!

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Portugal is on my radar for next Summer. I come in to Biarritz in May with intention to do El Camino Frances and I intend to get myself to Portugal before heading back to London in August.
Spent a good deal of time today researching.
So I am very interested in hearing anything and everything. Go!

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I’ll send you a direct message

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