If you are a native Spanish speaker or if you learned Spanish as a foreign language, it’s much easier to approach Brazilian Portuguese from a Spanish base rather than from an English one.
Introduction to Com Licença!
I bought the Brazilian Portuguese for Spanish Speakers on Amazon and read it at night before going to sleep. I hadn’t ordered the cassettes that came with the book so I could not listen to the songs recommended in the text. The book was excellent as it explained in English the differences between Spanish and Portuguese.
I was reading the book at night, so I often fell asleep while studying the grammar. I have yet to finish the book and it’s been more than 14 years! But what I did get from the book was enough for me to speak and figure out for myself what the main differences are between the two languages and make my own conclusions about
Portuguese grammar that I can always verify with the book.
Currently, the University of California at Berkeley uses another book with a similar approach, Pois não: Brazilian Portuguese Course for Spanish Speakers, with Basic Reference Grammar. This book is by Antônio Roberto Monteiro Simões, the same author of Com Licença and comes with a CD with dialogues of Brazilian speakers.
Since I can’t force myself to sit down and read a grammar book, no matter how well it is written, I am using another resource aimed at Spanish speakers learning Brazilian Portuguese, Tá Falado!, a free podcast with entertaining and informative dialogues and grammar and pronunciation explanations by a University of Texas at Austin professor of Spanish and Portuguese.
There are two Brazilians and one Venezuelan reading a dialogue in their respective languages and the professor contrasts English, Spanish and Portuguese so the listener can understand how to learn Portuguese without mixing up Spanish. I listen to Tá Falado! while driving or when going for a long walk. I am entertained and I am learning more about Portuguese without boring myself by sitting in a chair and reading a grammar book. The Tá Falado! website has a PDF file for each lesson with a transcription of the dialogue and grammatical and pronunciation tips.
More Resources to Learn Brazilian Portuguese For Spanish Speakers:
- Street Smart Brazil a series of videos to help those who speak Spanish, learn Brazilian Portuguese via Brazilian songs.
- Portuguese for Spanish Speakers hasn’t been updated for a couple years, but it has articles on the differences between Spanish and Portuguese and has articles on learning Portuguese.
- The Differences Between Spanish and Portuguese
Disclaimer: I already speak Portuguese as I’ve learned most of my Portuguese by listening to Portuguese radio (http://www.languagewrangler.com/how-to-learn-another-language-passive-and-active-listening-tips/ ) and to Brazilian music. However, I need to learn the grammar of the language to understand the structure of Portuguese and be able to correct my mistakes and understand when people correct me.
Photo by: Com Licença!