Learning Portuguese in the USA is probably easier than you think, and probably no more so than in Miami.
The Magic City may be 4,000 miles and an ocean away from Lisbon, as well as approximately 4,000 miles from Sao Paolo, but the distances are physical, and certainly not cultural.
With one of the highest populations of Brazilians and Brazilian-Americans, Portuguese is a truly accessible language to learn in Miami and all around Florida.
Florida is the third most populous state in the US, and it is a popular destination for Hispanic people from all countries. This includes Brazilians, and therefore if you are looking to learn a second language in Miami, Portuguese will be one of your best bets.
During the mid-1980s, an economic crisis struck Brazil. As a result, between 1986 and 1990 approximately 1.4 million Brazilians emigrated to other parts of the world. It was not until this time that Brazilian emigration reached significant levels. Thus, between 1987 and 1991, an estimated 20,800 Brazilians arrived in the United States.
A significant number of them, 8,133 Brazilians, arrived in 1991. Estimates as to how many Brazilians live in the U.S.A differ dramatically, but the Brazilian Foreign Ministry put the figure as high as 1,300,00 in 2013.
The many lovers of Lusophone civilizations in Miami come from diverse backgrounds, and have the desire to learn the Portuguese language for varied reasons.
So if you want to increase your fluency in order to communicate with the Brazilian population in your local area, or learn some vocabulary and basic grammar before a trip to Lisbon, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s look at how and where you can learn about the language and culture of Portugal and Brazil in Miami!
Anybody who reads classical literature or has seen an old movie might recognize the image of the wealthy family with their countryside home and the children’s private teachers.
The works of Jane Austin and Charlotte Brontë come to mind. . .
But this stereotype is no longer relevant to modern life. Whether you are taking Portuguese lessons in L.A or Miami, the tailor-made educational program is probably the best way to learn a language.
Having one qualified teacher makes it easier for the learner to study because they can rectify any doubts that they have on the spot. This is not always possible in a classroom full of students who all have their individual doubts and misunderstandings.
What’s more, if the teacher is a native speaker, you can learn perfect pronunciation of Portuguese phrases.
With direct flights from Miami to 8 different Brazilian destinations, your language trip could begin earlier than you think
Private language tutoring can help you in you want to learn Portuguese in Boston, Philadelphia, Denver, or any other US city.
In this perspective, the assimilation of a new language – such as Brazilian Portuguese – is much easier with such a mode of teaching, adapted to the bases, abilities and objectives of the learner.
In Miami, classes cost on average $40 per hour, although this depends on a variety of factors, such as the teachers qualifications, meaning you can find some cheaper alternatives.
You can browse through all of the options available on the Superprof website, where you will a vast directory of private teachers, many of them native speakers, always with detailed profiles and verified qualifications.
What’s more, students can rate the quality of their classes, which boosts the reputation of the instructors. It’s word of mouth 2.0.
Overall, it seems that Brazilian Portuguese is the most popular in Miami, probably because it is both “young” and exotic, while appearing easier.
This kind of solution exists in the whole of the United States, it’s practical to take Portuguese classes in New York or Portuguese classes in Boston!
With cheap student flights, and an international airport, Miami is a good starting point to get comfortable during a total immersion (with a host family, if possible) abroad.
Portuguese is spoken by over 220 million native speakers, making it the 7th most spoken language in the world. What you probably didn’t know, is that Portuguese is spoken far beyond Portugal and Brazil. It is also spoken in a number of African countries, including Angola and Mozambique, as well as East Timor and the autonomous Chinese territory of Macau in Asia.
This means that you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing your destination for a language immersion course in order to be able to speak the language of Vasco da Gama and Camões.
In 2004 the United Nations Development Programme ranked Miami first in terms of percentage of residents born outside of the country it is located in (59%).
There is no form of language instruction than living in a Portuguese speaking country. By surrounding yourself with the language, your proficiency will improve quickly as you will be constantly exposed to Portuguese. Even going to the supermarket will improve your listening skills as everything you hear will be in Portuguese.
However, if this seems like an unattainable goal, you can have a similar experience right here in Miami by spending time with the large Brazilian population that lives here. Learning a language requires constant practice so you could go to Brazilian restaurants, or places where the Brazilian community regularly go in order to practice your conversational Portuguese.
Just as is the case with looking for Portuguese classes in Chicago, the Portuguese language is not very popular with schools, and high schools in the Miami region.
Miami has never had an international section focusing on the Portuguese language.
Portuguese and Lusophone studies are available, however, at university level.
One such example is the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Florida. The options to major or minor in Portuguese are two of its flagship programs, and the department actively helps its students look for opportunities to study in a Portuguese speaking country.
What’s more, it also offers courses to help you prepare for a Portuguese proficiency exam.
The courses offered by the Department are:
With the expansion of dynamic minority populations in the U.S. and the prospect of closer and more complex relationships between the U.S. and Portuguese-speaking countries around the world, such courses will increasingly have intellectual and practical value as part of the University of Florida’s curricular opportunities.
The Portuguese Program in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics at Florida State University offers you the chance to investigate the processes of language acquisition, create tools for effective language learning, and put them into practice in their language classrooms.
Students study the dynamics of contemporary social, cultural, and national identity in a variety of countries, and advance the fields of literary and film criticism and theory. They research the writings central to our collective experience as global citizens and the linguistic structures that form the basis of all communication. The teaching and research expertise of their faculty reflects their commitment to FSU’s undergraduate and graduate students and to academic excellence.
If you are reading this from elsewhere in the country, then don’t worry. You can find similar options to learn Portuguese in Chicago, L.A, Denver, or Dallas by searching online.
Portuguese speakers in Miami, whether its their mother tongue or simply a foreign language, are numerous enough to form groups and associations organizing various events and meetings.
Lusitanian culture is not only an idiom: it is also a way of life.
If you can not afford a language immersion stay, you can attend an Anglo-Portuguese friendship evening.
As far as food is concerned, Miami has got you covered.
Are you interested in getting to know fellow Brazilian expats in Miami? Are you looking for advice from other Brazilians, e.g. which bars in Miami will broadcast your favorite team’s upcoming match or where in town to go for feijoada?
You are cordially invited to be part of InterNations Miami. Among the members of their international expat network, there is also a vibrant circle of Brazilian expats, coming from Brasilia, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and all regions of Brazil.
Where will your Portuguese learning take you?
Check out The South Florida Brazilian Group (on Facebook)
South Florida has a great population of different comunities and cultures and one of them is the Brazilian Community. This group was created to foster relations with the Brazilian Culture. This Meetup is actually a great way to make new friends, network about our business, talk about community solutions, learn new ideas, share culture, classes, music, food and exchange recipes… and most of all talk about the passion and love for Brazil!
Also check out student organizations at the University of Florida and Florida State University.
With a multitude of means, traditional as well as digital, you can learn Portuguese according to your individualized needs: group lessons, telephone lessons, individual lessons, immersion, e-learning, Brazilian Portuguese courses etc. All of these options are available to you, beach side!
You will find everything you need to start learning Portuguese in Miami. So what are you waiting for?
Finally, if you’re based in California, discover where to take Portuguese classes in San Francisco …