As a traveler, you may be wondering, “Do people speak English in Portugal?” It’s great to know before booking your trip!
So, let’s find the answer to your question below!
Do People Speak English In Portugal?
So the answer to the question is; yes, they can! But the percentage is not as much as in European countries. At the same time, it’s still higher than in some other countries.
The official language of Portugal is Portuguese. Only 25-40% of people speak English as a second language with any degree of fluency.
Portuguese people can converse in English, but not all are fluent. And some Portuguese people have no idea how to speak it at all!
This means that many more Portuguese can speak English at an intermediate level or above. But not fluently!
Portuguese is a Romance language. Therefore borrows many words from other languages, such as Spanish and Italian.
These days these words are sometimes replaced with their English counterparts (like “dinner” instead of almoço).
You can converse in English with the Portuguese. Most people will understand you and try to help you if they can.
In fact, the younger generation is more likely to speak English than the older generation. It’s common for young Portuguese people to speak English at home and school.
It is especially if they live in an urban area or if their parents are fluent speakers of the language.
This can help them get ahead at work or school. It makes them feel comfortable communicating with others from different countries across Europe.
The Portuguese are very helpful when asking for directions or offering help. They’ll always try their best to get your point across in as few words as possible!
Yet, many older generations still use these old words when discussing food or drinks. For example, café com leite (coffee with milk) or vinho do Porto (port wine).
Do People Speak English In Portugal In Tourist Areas?
The tourist areas of Portugal are full of English-speaking people. There are also many places where you can get food or buy souvenirs that are in English.
However, some rural areas do not have much tourism yet. So these places may not have any English speakers at all!
Do People Speak English In Portugal Outside Of Tourist Areas?
In general, the Portuguese love to talk, whether you speak English or not. There are many places where you can easily find someone who speaks English outside of tourist areas.
But it’s not as common in cities like Lisbon and Porto (the two largest cities in Portugal).
Some may be able to speak English fluently. Others may have limited skills when it comes to communicating with non-Portuguese speakers.
You must learn some basic phrases before visiting these regions. This will help you communicate effectively while visiting them!
Is English Taught In Schools In Portugal?
English is also taught at the school level as an optional subject. Students who want more than just basic grammar lessons can opt for it.
In general, Portuguese schools teach English. The most popular language to study in Portugal is English.
Most students begin learning English in elementary school at age 8. They may continue it through high school. But they do not continue beyond that point unless they go to college or university.
So if your child is learning another language at school, he or she may receive lessons in this language as well.
However, not all Portuguese schools offer English as their primary subject. Some students may only have the opportunity to learn French or Spanish instead.
Students who do not wish to learn English must take the Portuguese language test. They have to qualify for a Portuguese-language baccalaureate degree program or student visa.
This is required by law and is part of the curriculum at all public schools throughout Portugal.
Do Portuguese Feel Comfortable While Speaking English?
Most Portuguese are not comfortable speaking English aloud. They may not carry on extended conversations in it.
If you meet a Portuguese person, you may hear some of their native languages when speaking with them.
However, you’d be lucky enough to speak Spanish or Italian (or both). Then the conversation will be much more fluent than if you were talking only Portuguese!
Most Portuguese consider themselves to be intermediate to advanced speakers at most. But they may not be confident enough to converse readily with native speakers.
In fact, there are many Portuguese who speak English better than their own language. However, some older generations still prefer speaking in Castilian Spanish or Catalan French.
They use these languages while communicating with foreigners. This is because they believe it makes them appear more “cultured.”
Impact Of The Area
In the larger cities, like Lisbon and Porto, you will find more people who can communicate in English. In smaller towns or villages, the number is low.
This is because there are more international companies that hire Portuguese employees. As a result of this trend, it’s becoming more common for people to speak English on a daily basis.
The number of native speakers has also increased over the years due to an influx of immigrants. People have moved to Portugal and want their children to learn the language as well.
Areas Where It’s Widely Spoken
In Portugal, there are a number of cities where people speak English in the majority. These include Porto and Lisbon. These are the second and third largest cities in Portugal, respectively.
The capital of Portugal, Lisbon, is a great place to learn English. This is because of its large population of English speakers.
Lisbon is located inland from both Porto and Braga (a town just north of Coimbra). So it’s not as touristy as other parts. But still has plenty going on if you want something exciting!
It’s also an excellent place for those who want to study Portuguese. It has many universities and colleges that offer degrees in that language.
Portugal’s second-largest city is Porto (the “mouth of the river”). This is another popular destination for English students.
Porto is located on the Atlantic coast and has over one million inhabitants (as of 2017). It’s known for its unique architecture and cosmopolitan atmosphere.
There are many international schools around the city center. Students can choose from institutions such as Cambridge International School (CIS).
Other institutes include:
– Our Lady Queen Of Peace Catholic School
– St Andrew’s International School.
The Algarve region contains several famous resorts. There, you’ll find plenty of tourists who speak English fluently.
So this area would be ideal if you’re looking for somewhere fun while learning something new!
You could even combine your two interests by hopping between beaches each day. You’ll never run out of things to do!
4. Madeira Island:
Madeira Island was once known as one “where we were born.” But now it has become extremely popular among visitors.
This is owing to its beautiful nature and friendly locals – not bad at all! If anything these days stands out, it surely must be Madeira’s dining scene.
There are so many trendy restaurants here. They cater specifically to foreign clientele. They provide diners with unique experiences each time they visit.
The Number Of English-Speaking People In Portugal – On The Rise
Portugal is a member of the European Union. So it’s not surprising that English is more widely spoken here than in other languages.
But how many Portuguese people speak English? It’s hard to say for sure because there isn’t any official data on this topic.
But the percentage shows that there are now almost 3-4 million native speakers!
Do You Need To Learn Portuguese To Travel To Portugal?
There is no doubt that many people are learning English in Portugal. You should still know some basic Portuguese phrases before traveling there.
It makes you more likely to find local people willing to help you if you know some basic Portuguese phrases.
It will also help communicate with other travelers who speak the language.
Portugal is such an amazing place to visit that it’s hard not to fall in love with it.
The number of people who speak English as a foreign language in Portugal is enough to have a visit. The Portuguese are open to learning new languages. They have a high interest in learning English.
Portugal has been on the radar of many tourists since it opened its borders to foreign travelers in 1974.
The country’s coastal areas and beaches have made visitors an especially attractive destination.
Most of the visitors are fluent in English or use other languages such as French or Spanish at home.
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