Click here to fill out an application form and an assessment
Continuing students: contact your instructor to get the registration link
Portuguese is a language with roots in Portugal and also the official language spoken today in 10 countries: Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Portuguese is arguably among the 9 or 10 most spoken languages in the world, but only 5 percent of its speakers live in its original home Portugal. It is estimated that 270 million people speak Portuguese today, amongst which nearly 254 million are native speakers. It is the second most spoken Romance language, after Spanish. Brazil’s 211 million people is the largest Portuguese-speaking population in the world.
As a colonial language, it suffered many transformations, particular to each locale. It is nowadays also a result of cultural resistance of the indigenous and enslaved people during colonialism. It is spoken in the U.S particularly in the Northeast, in California and in Florida, where native Portuguese speakers, who are immigrants from Africa, South Asia, Europe and Brazil have concentrated historically. In nearby regions, it is more widely spoken in areas of Newark, New Jersey; Astoria, Queens; in the coastal regions of Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
Spanish speakers will have different needs when learning Portuguese than those who do not know Spanish well– on one hand, an easier way to understand the structure of the Portuguese language and move faster; on the other, some special attention will be given to differentiate Portuguese from Spanish, to avoid common confusion that may appear.
This course is designed for native Spanish speakers*, people who grew up around Portuguese, who learned Spanish as their first language, or those who are fluent in Spanish. It is a continuation of the summer course: Português Basico 1 (for Spanish Speakers).
New students are also welcome to apply, and will be accepted upon filling out an application and an assessment form, and qualifying for the starting level of this class.
If you have any questions, you can contact the instructor at: firstname.lastname@example.org
* We are also offering an introductory, Basic Portuguese 1 course again for all students (not only Spanish speakers) on this link: https://peoplesforum.org/event/portugues-basico-1-2/
Background: Since the 16th century Brazilians started to incorporate dialects, words and sounds into Portuguese, particularly from the Tupi and Guarani indigenous linguistic branches that make up the majority of the pre-Columbian indigenous languages of Brazil’s current territory. With enslaved workers brought from Africa, more heavily during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, many different languages and backgrounds were also influential.
Brazilian Portuguese continued to evolve as the common language amongst all living in Brazil, and the one permitted to be spoken by the colonizers. However, new words referring to foods, materials and relationships with no correlations in Europe, started to influence Continental Portuguese, even though the grammar and syntax structures remained the same.
Revolutionary literacy methods created for adults, by the influential educator Paulo Freire in the 1960s, author of the Pedagogy of the Oppressed, finally started to prioritize local people’s needs and generate wider political consciousness about the role of language in political emancipation to the elite oppressors. It is still used to combat illiteracy and poverty, and to help achieve freedom, much beyond Brazil’s borders.
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