The Most Challenging Aspects of Learning Portuguese


I’m quite new to the Portuguese language. The question I wanted to ask is, what are some of the most challenging factors people have faced when learning Portuguese? For me, it seems that many words change completely simply by changing the English word by one letter.

For example:

Boy = garoto
Boys = rapazes

I must admit, I feel intimidated trying to learn this language. It’s probably too early for me to feel this way?

By the way, I love this site. The audio controls on the short conversations section are incredible.

Bem vindo, @m7870! :slightly_smiling_face: To me, the most challenging aspect is being aware of all the endings of words that need to change, based on gender and number, as you point out. But stick with it, it will become easier with time.
By the way, are you studying Brazilian Portuguese? “Garoto” is the word for “boy” in Brazilian Portuguese. In European Portuguese it would be “menino” and “meninos.”
Good luck!


"By the way, are you studying Brazilian Portuguese? “Garoto” is the word for “boy” in Brazilian Portuguese. "

Oh, I didn’t know that. I’m studying European Portuguese. I took that translation form a simple Google translator, I guess I need to stop doing that.

Thank you for the help!

Olá, @m7870, and welcome! Thanks for posting and for your feedback.

Plurals in Portuguese can be tricky, because there are several different patterns to consider. But they’re usually not that radically different :slight_smile: You just happened to pick two different synonyms. You could just as well say “garoto”/“garotos” or “rapaz”/“rapazes”. “Garoto” is more common in Brazil than in Portugal (but we also know and sometimes use the word here), but “rapaz” and “menino” (the latter for younger children) are both used all the time.

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The most challenging aspect without question is actually understanding what people are saying when they speak to you. No matter how well you master the grammar, how perfectly you get to understand what you read, or how proficient you may be in speaking, what on earth people are saying when they answer you is a whole different ball game :neutral_face::thinking::upside_down_face:


The most challenging thing is when people go off script from what im used to learning on here :rofl::sweat_smile: like going to the store with the intent of just paying for groceries and someone will say …Do you have a card for our store?, You can Scan the code for our digital menu, and some form of asking for the Fiscal number etc.

Also there aren’t any subtitles in Português on children’s television =( I kinda want to learn the songs :sweat_smile::rofl: Dont judge me !!


I only found out today that homem becomes homens when plural. I’ve seen that many times but it never registered that the spelling had changed. It has never been explained before now on this programme.

Hearing the pronunciation is the trickiest thing for me. (I’ve also realised from this programme that I don’t always pronounce it the best either!) I can understand when I read far more that the speaking and listening part.


The audiovisual clips in the units are often so completely incomprehensible I wonder whether the speakers are deliberately aiming to sound unintelligible or do the Portuguese really communicate like this?? If so, how on earth can they understand one another?? :thinking::upside_down_face::upside_down_face:

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I find it hard to understand the audios spoken by various people sometimes too. That said, I can only imagine what Portuguese speaking people must think about listening to people who speak English. :slightly_smiling_face:

It could be varied and intentional, so that one listens more closely, to catch the mashing of words together that seems to be quite common. I listen to all three versions several times. When I re-listen to the version that’s the hardest to understand, it is then that I pick up more words or the slightest bit of them that I missed the first time time around. :wink::blush: