Learning Spanish and Portuguese at the Same Time

By OptiLingo • 6 minutes read

Being in a position to speak multiple languages especially the romances languages is attractive. Besides, it will help boost your memory, enjoy other culture and expose you to more job opportunities. Today, the world has over 220 million native-romance language speakers. Spanish and Portuguese language command a large percentage of the total romance language speakers across Europe and other regions in the world. The current dynamics in technology around the world has enhanced globalization. The vast use of the internet, social media interactions, and traveling for adventure and business purposes have fuelled the need to learn new languages. People are now taking comprehensive lessons to learn new languages.

With this regard, a lot of people have been wondering; can I learn Portuguese and Spanish at the same time. You might be of the opinion that learning these two languages can complement each other or maybe you might think that it is time-saving or even enhance your attractiveness among friends and relatives. Research has established that learning these two languages at the same time is an absolutely terrible idea. This article will seek to educate you on a few reasons why learning these languages concurrently is a big mistake. In addition to this, we will also look at a few tips on how to learn Portuguese and Spanish at the same time.

Scroll right down and get a glimpse on some of the reasons why learning these two languages at the same time is atrocious.

Spanish and Portuguese are Indo-European languages.

Indo-European languages are categorized into Slavic, romance, and Germanic sub-languages. Bearing this in mind, Spanish and Portuguese are romance languages. It means that they are closely related. Latin languages have the same grammatical structure. However, they are not identical. If you are a beginner in both languages it is highly possible that you will get confused. The content of text may be similar but with very different meanings. Latin languages have the same grammatical structure. For example, in the Portuguese language, the word escritório means office while in Spanish escritorio means desk. It is evident that these words are related [a desk and an office]. Nonetheless, they are entirely different.


Pronunciation of words tends to be different in these two romance languages

Typically, Spanish is relatively phonetic. For this particular language we have a few known rules, e.g., a double /I/ is pronounced as /y/, /j/is pronounced as /h/. The /h/ is usually a silent one. On the other hand, the Portuguese language has nasal sounds. A double /r/ in the middle and a single /r/ at the beginning of a word are pronounced as a /h/ with a nasal sound. The nasal sound makes the difference. For example mas in Portuguese means but, in Spanish however, más means more.

Another example is the word carro. Spanish speakers pronounce it as /carro/, but in Portuguese it becomes /Cajo/.


Learning a new language requires a vast amount of time and exposure

It is not all about learning time but also practicing time. Having to learn two languages at the same time will undoubtedly mean that there will always be less time for each. It is also possible that the mind will get confused. Even though the languages are almost similar that does not compensate for the amount of needed to learn the languages. In fact, it requires much time for the mind to master related content with different meanings.

It is for these reasons that learning the two languages at the same time can be termed as a suicide mission. However, do not few bad! Here is ‘how to learn Portuguese and Spanish at the same time’ tip that may be workable for you.

It recommended that you advance your Portuguese a little bit before enrolling to learn Spanish. After understanding the Portuguese skills, you could later learn Spanish concurrently with Spanish. You could also focus on one aspect of language at a time for example (reading or writing) assuming you are a pro in the other language. That is an additional tip on how to learn Spanish and Portuguese at the same time.


It is important to note that this case does not apply to all

Some people have come up with incredible ways on how to learn Spanish and Portuguese at the same time. It requires much discipline, commitment and intense and regular learning schedule for both languages.

Learning two languages concurrently is not easy. However, it is more comfortable when you are learning two completely different languages. Let’s say Spanish and Chinese or Japanese. These two languages have a different grammatical structure and are not similar at all. Even though, you may need a lot of time to understand and practice, the possibility of getting mixed up is very low. This is in comparison with learning similar languages like Spanish and Portuguese at the same time.

Doing Spanish and Portuguese simultaneously especially when you are not a native of either is even more difficult. It highly recommended that you work on one first. When you reach an advanced level, you can now begin to learn the other. For example, you can pick Portuguese first and do Spanish sometimes later. Due to their similarity, it is much easier to learn the newly adopted language. This theory is likened to a practical example in playing instruments.

Under normal circumstances training to play a violin and guitar is very much possible and workable for a majority of people as long as you are interested. However, playing the violin and a viola at the same time as a trainee is very much tricky. The bottom line lies in the fact that the two instruments are very much related. Your prowess in each of the instruments will highly depend on your ability to learn the precise finger spacing of each instrument. Do not forget that they are similar but are slightly different. Equally, a professional violin player will find it easy to play the viola. It will even take less time to master the concepts of playing the viola. It should be noted that this masterly cannot compromise the initial violin playing skills. It can only happen in instances where the skills background was not strong.

In a nutshell, it is straightforward that learning Spanish and Portuguese or any two or more similar languages is difficult and almost impossible. It is recommended that you do it one at a time. You now have the ultimate solution to your ‘can I learn Portuguese and Spanish at the same time’ question.


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