Troubleshooting Your Progress With Brazilian Portuguese
At this point it is probable that you have some preconceived notions about
what it takes to learn a language. Maybe you have tried before and didn’t
see the success you were hoping for, or maybe you have always wanted to
but never felt like you would be able to. Well, regardless of whatever it is
you may have felt up until this point, I want to dispel those mental blocks
and get you thinking about this the right way.
A lot of people say things like…
• Learning another language is too hard. I should have learned while I
was a toddler, it is too late now.
• You have to be super smart to be able to learn another language. I’m
not smart enough for that.
• What is the point of learning another language? I’ll never use it
• Etc. etc. etc.
The truth is that there are a million reasons to talk yourself out of learning.
But you only need one reason to keep going. So, search inside of yourself
and ask what that one reason is for you. I guarantee that anyone can learn
Portuguese no matter how old you are, where you’re from, how you did in
school, what your job is, or whatever.
None of that matters.
There is only one thing that will decide whether or not you learn, and that
one thing is your desire to do so.
The wonderful thing about being human is that we can decide to learn
anything. It doesn’t matter how hard it is or how far out there it may seem. If
we take the foundational steps and tackle anything piece by piece, we will
inevitably get better at it. Something I want you to put in your mind right
now is a phrase I say all the time:
“Nobody ever got worse at something by practicing it.”
Regardless of anything you have been told (or that you have told yourself,)
learning Portuguese is completely doable. You just have to want it and put
in the time that it takes to get it. And you are here now, so I assume that
you do want it.
I have talked a lot about what it means to learn Portuguese and how I
believe that you can do it no matter what your situation. But there will
inevitably come times in your studies where you hit roadblocks, or some
concepts just don’t click or make sense.
I certainly had my fair share of these hurdles when first I started out, and
I often found myself saying, “never mind, this is impossible.” I would give
up for days or sometimes weeks at a time.
Looking back, it is easy to see that what I was really struggling with was
just information overload. I was trying to learn the whole language at once.
I was trying to understand every concept, every word tense, ever variation
of verb, past, present, future and so on.
I had a really hard time moving on from mistakes that I would make, and I
couldn’t stand knowing that I wasn’t “getting it.”
It just felt like I wasn’t making progress.
Eventually I learned to let all of this go and began to look for ways on how
I could use my struggles to my advantage. And I want to give you these tips now.
The number 1 best thing to do whenever you feel like a concept is not
clicking is to simply write out what you are not understanding, and be
specific about it.
Write it down. Either on a piece of paper or in a word document or wherever you
like, and then move on from it. Check back on it now and again, sure, but stop
focusing on it. I know it sounds a little silly, but the best thing to do for our brains
sometimes is to just give them time to process information.
As you continue along in your studies, you will eventually find that you have
circled back to the very thing you were not understanding and, more often
than not, it will make more sense to you the second time around. I cannot
tell you how many times I found myself re-learning something later that I
had originally wasted so much time on trying to figure out.
Language is like that because it is all connected.
You will always find yourself re-learning words and concepts because each
one leads to another one, and back and forth, and so on. So, to stay stuck
obsessing on one little thing is not a good use of your time because you will
always see it again later, and it will almost always make more sense as you
The 2nd thing I will say is that one of the best ways get past any roadblocks
you have hit and continue learning effectively, is to accept, right now as you
are reading this, that you will ALWAYS make mistakes.
And I mean that, always.
You will open your mouth to say one thing, but you will say something else.
You will pronounce words wrong, your accent will be off, your tongue will
move in a way you did not intend, and so on. You get the idea.
If you spend all of your time trying to sound perfect and pronounce every
word perfectly, you will hinder your learning progress. It is simply too time
consuming and will take valuable time away from growing your vocabulary
and perfecting your grammatical abilities.
The accents, the tricks of the tongue and such, will come naturally as you
go along. I will teach you how to speak like a native Brazilian, but your
focus should be on just that; “how to do it.” Not necessarily doing it.
Because as you go along speaking and practicing, let me tell you, it will
happen naturally. So do not obsess over it.
The last thing I will say on this topic is that measuring your progress is a
tough thing to do. Most people are quite critical of themselves and judge
themselves very harshly. I will suggest here that you try your very best to
not be like most people.
The very fact that you are attempting to learn another language automatically
sets you apart from the crowd and there is no reason that you should feel
any additional pressure from anyone. The best thing to do is to go into this
journey with the understanding that you will learn. No matter what.
If you study, you will learn.
There is no way not to. If you are studying, you are making progress,
period. Let that be enough to encourage you to continue. When you think
that you are not doing a good job, or that people may be judging you or
what have you, just keep going.
Because again, “Nobody ever got worse at something by practicing it.”
This concludes the Day 1 module for this course. This module has really
just been a general overview about learning Portuguese and has not
striven to actually teach the language just yet, but rather, to get you ready
to start learning. Take these things that I have said and really think about
And please remember that what I am saying here is not just a bunch of
hypothetical clichés. It is literally my experience firsthand from actually
being in Brazil and learning Portuguese all on my own and struggling
immensely in the process. So, yes, I totally know what you are going
through. It is hard, and even a bit scary sometimes, but… it is doable.
If you are looking for the best place to start with learning Brazilian Portuguese, then I have no higher recommendation than to head on over to Rocket Languages Portuguese to get started.
They have all the tools you need to fast track your learning journey and get you speaking like a native in record time!
Good luck my friend, e até a próxima!