At this stage, everything is new and quite overwhelming. The initial excitement will quickly be replaced by an awareness of just how much you don’t know! Having some structure helps you avoid the decision of where to put your focus each day. Following a series of lessons is a great way to stay on track and ensure you’re getting introduced to the most important topics.

In the beginning, don’t worry about understanding every detail. Focus on getting a sense of the language as a whole and gathering details here and there. As you work through early lessons, expect to make plenty of mistakes. These mistakes are essential to your learning, each one an opportunity to uncover a new detail.

Be sure to learn polite phrases in Portuguese, such as the words for please, thank you, nice to meet you, and excuse me. This will help you get by and feel more comfortable in early interactions.

Keep following the path until you lose momentum. When you notice the lessons are starting to feel too difficult and you don’t have the same motivation, it’s a good time to start thinking more about what’s most relevant to you personally. If you’re not sure, it’s okay to keep following the course. But if you find yourself constantly thinking “I wish I knew how to say that in the past tense” or “I don’t know what anything on this menu means”, then consider veering off the path to explore the simple past tense, or food, or other topics that come up in your own daily life.

Another strategy when you start to hit a block in your learning is to start over from the beginning. This helps you gain speed and confidence with foundational aspects of the language. With a fresh start, you have more context and more mental space to pick up details you missed the first time around.

Or, if you want a refresh without going back to square one, just devote more time to reviewing. Using a spaced repetition system will help you remember the most important phrases much more efficiently.

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the language! Watch movies in Portuguese, listen to Portuguese music, travel to a part of Portugal you’ve never visited. Learning happens in many different ways, so you may be surprised at how much you pick up when you’re enjoying yourself.

For more information contact Practice Portuguese.