Why Study Portuguese?

The University of Arizona hosts  the fourth largest Portuguese Language Program in the nation (Modern Languages Society, 2013) and provides the students with a body of knowledge and the analytical skills necessary to undertake linguistic, cultural, and literary investigation in Portuguese. Spoken by 210 million people, Portuguese is the 6th most spoken native language in the world.

Why Study Portuguese?

  • Portuguese is the official language of eight countries: Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, East Timor, San Tomé and Principe, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissau.
  • It functions as one of the communication languages of twelve international organizations (United Nations, Organization of American States, and Latin-American Free Trade Association, for example), as a mandatory language in countries part of Mercosul and as one of the official languages of the South-African Development Community.
  • Portuguese is considered a preferred language by the National Security Education Program (NSEP) and is currently taught at US Army and US Air Force military academies.
  • Within the U.S., there is a growing demand for programs for the community of Portuguese heritage speakers, as approximately 85,000 school-age children speak Portuguese at home (2000 US Census).
  • In post-secondary education, the 2006 MLA report pointed out that the offering of Portuguese increased by 22.4% between 2002 and 2006 (20). It now ranks 13th on the list of the most taught languages, and is currently offered in 226 post-secondary institutions. 
  • After English, Portuguese is the most common language in the world used on websites and online blogging.

Portuguese Courses

Students who want to begin learning Portuguese with no prior experience will enroll in Portuguese 101, which is followed by Port 102. For Spanish speakers, the first semester of Portuguese instruction is Port 305: Portuguese for Spanish Speakers.

All students proceed with Port 325: Intermediated Portuguese with an emphasis on oral skills, and Port 325: Intermediated Portuguese with an emphasis on oral skills, and Port 350 Introduction to Literary Texts, which is a core course. Students are then required to take more advanced classes in culture (Port 430, 463), language (Port 425), linguistics (Port 440, 452), and literature (Port 401).

Credit by Examination: Students who come to the University of Arizona with prior knowledge of Portuguese may obtain 8 units of credit equivalent to Portuguese 101 and 102 by passing an exam issued by the department of Spanish & Portuguese.

View Course Descriptions

Portuguese Degree Programs

The Spanish Major with Portuguese Concentration completes course work in language, literature, linguistics and culture in both languages.  Students begin at whatever level is deemed appropriate based on a placement exam. The major consists of 36 credits, 18 in Portuguese and 18 in Spanish. The required courses are PORT 350, SPAN 350, and two 400 level courses in each language.

The Portuguese Minor consists of no less than 18 units, starting at 300-level courses with at least 9 units of 400-level courses.

To count towards the Major or Minor, courses must be taught in Portuguese. 

Student Testimonials

"Made it very easy to go from Spanish speaker to a Portuguese speaker. Class progression follows a flow that is challenging without being overwhelming. We are provided with a lot of resources (grammar, vocabulary, cultural examples) that help the transition."

"My progress [in Portuguese] has been very significant. Right now I can attend any film in Portuguese and I am sure that I can understand almost everything."

"Went from zero knowledge of the language to advanced proficiency in two years (with Spanish as my native language). Overall, I would consider my experience successful."

 Check the Portuguese Student Produced Blog: https://uaportuguese.wordpress.com


For more information, please contact:

Director of the Portuguese Language Program

Professor Ana M. Carvalho


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Portuguese Activities for Spanish Speakers http://portspan.cercll.arizona.edu/

Portuguese Tutor on the UA Campus
Henrique Galvao
Phone: 520-312-4669
Henrique is a student from Brazil. He is patient and loves to teach.

Other online resources
New spelling rules: http://educacao.uol.com.br/portugues/reforma-ortografica/2009/02/02/ult7238u32.jhtm
Portuguese Pronunciation:  http://pt.forvo.com/
Portuguese Phonetics  http://www.fonologia.org/fonetica_consoantes.php
Portuguese Phonology:  http://portugues-fcr.blogspot.com/2012/01/processos-fonologicos.html

Teletandem Brasil matches up Brazilian university students who wish to learn a foreign language, with students in other countries who are learning Portuguese. This is done through Windows Live Messenger or Skype. The University of Arizona is enrolled in this program, which is available for all students.

Portuguese Dictionaries