Is Portuguese Useful for Business? Spoiler Alert: It’s Crucial!
If we asked you to make a list of useful languages for making business, you probably wouldn’t immediately think about Portuguese.
However, it would be hard to find a language that is so relevant in the current political and financial context and, at the same time, has such formidable potential for growth.
In this blog, we will tell you why Portuguese-speaking countries are becoming a massive economic powerhouse, and why you should seriously consider taking a few lessons of Portuguese for business.
Saying that Portuguese is important for international business is a serious understatement.
Though it’s easy to reduce the cultural and economic reach of this language to its native Iberian peninsula, it is a major force that has transformed the business world in Latin America and Africa and is currently gaining traction in Asia.
By learning Portuguese for business, you will not only be able to seek opportunities in Portugal and Brazil, where Portuguese is the sole official language, but you will also be able to expand your business to places like Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, and many more.
So, without further ado, let’s cover the global spread of the Portuguese language in detail.
Long gone are the days when Brazil could be described as a developing economy. Today, this wonderful country has a lot more to offer than simply some of the best beaches and vibrant cultures in the world. On a firm trajectory to becoming a worldwide financial superpower, Brazil is the biggest economy in Latin America and one of the most relevant trade centers in the continent.
For starters, Brazil is a key trading partner of both China and the European Union, which has helped the country to overtake the UK, Italy and France in crucial economic measures like gross domestic product. But Brazil is also known for having successfully developed an extremely diverse economic system.
Over recent decades, the country has shown incredible leadership in industrial areas such as automobiles, steel, chemicals, and consumer goods. But that’s not it. The energy, agricultural, mining and tourism sectors in Brazil all make a major, thriving force that you wouldn’t see in many other countries in the world.
A lot of this has to do with the Brazilian personality. Proactive and entrepreneurial, Brazilian people are incredibly hardworking and seem to have a great vision for business. In fact, according to recent statistics, one in four Brazilians start a business every year. So, if you want to travel to an exciting place full of positivity and opportunities, learn Portuguese for business and book your flight to São Paulo, the business capital of Brazil.
When we said Portuguese can take you anywhere in the world, we were not kidding. Though not many people know it, Portuguese is the official language in six African countries: Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and Equatorial Guinea, and can also be heard in most countries of Southern Africa. According to a 2021 report by Statista, there are 258 million Portuguese speakers in the world (both native and non-native). It is estimated that about 15 million of the people who speak Portuguese as their first language are spread across Africa, while the total number of Portuguese users in this continent is over 41.5 million.
So, does this mean that learning Portuguese for business can open doors for you in Africa? Is the business world in Portuguese-speaking territories in this continent worth the effort? Absolutely. Thanks to recent economic reforms like the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, a booming middle class, and geographical diversity, Africa’s Portuguese-speaking territories are becoming a hotspot for entrepreneurs and investors. In addition, new policies, such as the Development Finance Compact for Lusophone Africa, give company owners more confidence to invest in these markets.
Besides being one of the safest and most peaceful countries in Europe, Portugal has one of the highest living standards in the world. It also has one of the most affordable labour forces in the continent which, in terms of investment, means that starting a business in Portugal will not cost you a lot of money. With a thriving economy that is growing at a 1% rate every year, investing in Portugal is one of the wisest decisions you can make right now.
Portugal is also a great example of how it is possible to recover from a recession and come out stronger than before, with finance, telecommunications, services, agriculture and fishing looking better than ever. Today, Portugal is seen as a highly developed and dynamic business hub, one that sits comfortably at the heart of the European Union and strengthens its position every year.
If you’ve already made the decision to learn some Portuguese for business purposes, Portugal must surely be your first choice. With diverse industries that include electronics, automotive, machinery, food and beverage, plastics, oil, and wood, Portugal offers great opportunities for advancement to everyone.
Though Portuguese is by no means one of the most popular languages in Asia, it is also not as marginal as you might think. Portuguese is spoken in Asia by communities of Brazilians in Japan, Afro-Asians and Luso-Asians. It can also be heard in territories that were formerly Portuguese colonies, notably Macau and East Timor, where the language has official status. In Indonesia, Larantuka, and particularly in India, Portuguese has a religious connotation. According to the Damanese Portuguese-Indian association, there are 10–12,000 Portuguese speakers in the territory.
So, what does this mean for Portuguese learners who want to do business in these territories? It simply means that even if you don’t speak the first or official languages of every territory we’ve just mentioned, by learning a few Portuguese phrases for business you might be able not only to get by but also to cause a better impression on locals than if you were to use other European languages.
Far more than simply being a useful language for business, the Portuguese language is your key to overseas business success in South America, Africa, and even parts of Asia. Being the sole official language in two of the most prosperous countries in their respective continents and a second language in virtually every continent, Portuguese is a great asset for every entrepreneur, professional, or worker who aspires to start a business or find a job abroad.
If you don’t want to miss out on one of the most important business languages of the present and the future, get started learning Portuguese for business! The best thing you can do while you look for a great opportunity is taking lessons with a native teacher who can tell you how and when to use specific phrases in different Portuguese-speaking cultures. Our tutors can also prepare you for a job interview in Portuguese, a meeting with business partners, or teach you the phrases you will need to interact with your colleagues! At Language Trainers, we offer both online and in-person language courses for learners of all ages and levels. Reach out to us now and get your first class for free, no strings attached!