Today ,I’d like to talk about my personal experience learning Portuguese.
Well, as a Spanish native speaker I gotta say, I had some advantages when I started to learn Portuguese, because these languages are similar, like brother languages. Actually, I think if you already speak French, Italian, Spanish or Romanian; it’ll be easy for you to learn another romance language, because the common source is the Latin language.
Allow me to tell you that Spanish is more related to Portuguese than French, Romanian or Italian, because of the geographical position both languages share many words.
When I started to learn Portuguese and I didn’t have any knowledge of the language and I understood about 50% when Portuguese speakers were talking, because both languages have a considerable degree of mutual intelligibility, but later, after two months of teaching Portuguese to myself, I understood about 80% of the language when people were talking, and I was also to read an article and understand like 95% of the written information.
Actually, I think a Portuguese speaker understands more Spanish than a Spanish speaker understands Portuguese. Why? Well, the Portuguese language contracts some words.
For example :
En esta Nesta
En la Na
And there are some false cognates like “exquisito” in Spanish is delicious and sounds almost similar to “esquisito” in Portuguese which means weird, another example is “barata” in Spanish means cheap, but in Portuguese means cockroach and cheap too.
I´m trying to learn Portuguese from Brazil because it is the variety most spoken around the world and it’s very popular; I also learned that they have a lot of accents. My favorite is the accent from Rio de Janeiro, it sounds cool and exotic for me because is very different from Spanish.
The Romance languages are easy to learn, if you dedicate 2 or 3 hours every day to your target language, you could be speaking fluently in 4 or 6 months and when you already speak a romance language it is still easier to learn another one.
Good luck with your languages!