Assuming you’re past your teenage years, I trust you are still able to remember what it felt like: a never-ending intermediary phase where you can, but are not allowed to; you know, but aren’t taken any credit for it; you want, but you’re not quite sure what.

Taking the first steps in learning Portuguese feels pretty much the same. As an adult your ego must be fully developed and relies on your personal achievements to survive. You can probably have a conversation on politics, religion and even philosophy. But if you change the setting and move to Portugal, can you order a coffee in Portuguese, start a spontaneous conversation with your neighbour at a cafe, or even get a proper haircut without your loving husband making the worst of his male-female translation skills?

Different approaches can be taken here:

• for the introverts: find a safe environment to get more comfortable with the transition native-language you – Portuguese speaking new you.

• for the extroverts: laugh at every mistake; it’s always a sign of action and an extra opportunity for making connections.

• for the type A: track every change, progress, mistake experienced. You’ll be amazed at how transformed your Portuguese will be. More on that next week!

Whatever you do, watch your mindset! It will influence the adult Portuguese version of you.

If you have enjoyed this quick lesson and would like to learn more Portuguese outside of the box, then please contact Catarina from The Language Unschool -