Toronto is one of the cities in Canada where Portuguese is most widely spread, as there are more than 59,000 residents that speak the language. In fact, according to the 2016 census, Portuguese is the sixth-most commonly used non-official language, which is not rare if you take into consideration that the Portuguese community is one of the largest immigrant groups in the city. If you’re interested in learning this wonderful language, you should consider visiting Little Portugal, located in the downtown west end of Toronto. Here you’ll find many stores, restaurants and institutions that celebrate the Portuguese culture, as well as have the opportunity to meet many natives who live or work in the area. However, although the Portuguese are one of the most visible Lusophone communities, they are not the only ones, as you can also find many other Portuguese-speaking residents from countries like Brazil, Mozambique, Angola and East Timor in many suburbs around the city. This means that if you decide to become a fluent Portuguese speaker, you’ll be able to get closer to these various communities and experience Toronto in a totally different way.
Why Study Portuguese in Toronto?
Learn Portuguese for Work and Travel
Being multilingual is the best way to stand out in any job interview in the city. This is especially true if you choose to study a popular language like Portuguese, as local employers are really interested in applicants who can help them attract a larger clientele within the foreign-born community. On top of this, if you speak Portuguese you’ll be able to access some of the positions in Toronto that are exclusive for bilinguals, such as Portuguese-speaking Accountant for Lank Football Group, Bilingual Portuguese Customer Service for BlueSky and Portuguese-speaking Field Solutions Engineer for Cloudflare.
Learning Portuguese will also change the world you travel, as you’ll be able to visit amazing locations in Brazil, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, and Angola and not feel like a tourist. In addition to being able to connect more deeply with the locals, you’ll have the possibility to find one-of-a-kind opportunities in these countries that can turn your life around forever.
Learn Portuguese for Social
Toronto is home to the biggest Brazilian festival in Canada, the BrazilFest. Held every year in June at Earlscourt Park, located between St. Clair Ave W and Lansdowne Ave, this celebration of Brazilian culture offers locals the chance to immerse themselves in Brazilian music and enjoy twelve hours of pure entertainment that includes live bands and amazing performances. What’s more, there will be many food stalls with traditional Brazilian food and try some of the freshly made drinks like caipirinha, and other activities that include Samba dancing, Capoeira and dances for kids.
Learn Portuguese for Culture
In a multicultural city like Toronto, you have many opportunities to practise Portuguese. If you’re looking for a great language exchange where you can check how good your skills are, you should attend the events organized by TorontoBabel. Here you’ll find native speakers from all over the world that will help you work on your Portuguese in exchange for your English skills. These events take place at Grace O’Malley’s, located at 14 Duncan Street, and the way they work is when you get to the event, you introduce yourself to the organizer, Eduardo, and he’ll place you in a group with Portuguese native speakers who want to practise English. After you find your new language partners, you can socialize freely in both languages for the rest of the evening.
Another great group you should check out is GUCanada Capoeira, which holds regular meetings at High Park in Toronto where you can practise Capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts that encompasses music, dance, acrobatics and the Portuguese language. Attending this event is a great chance to meet many Brazilian native speakers in the area as well as other locals interested in the Brazilian culture, so if you fancy socializing while learning about this unique martial art, you shouldn’t miss it.
Where to learn Portuguese in and around Toronto?
If you’re new to Portuguese and want to get exposed to the language, you should check out some of the films available at the Toronto Public Library, located at 789 Yonge Street. You can start by watching Xingu, a great Brazilian film directed by Cao Hamburger based on the true story of three brothers who enlisted on an expedition to tame Central Brazil and ended up going on an amazing adventure that changed their lives. If you prefer dramas, The Moving Creatures, directed by Caetano Gotardo, is a fascinating story about three families in three different situations that have to deal with a sudden loss. Finally, if you are interested in watching films from Portugal, you can’t miss Horse Money, a 2014 piercing piece of modern cinema directed by Pedro Costa that explores the life of a Cape Verdean immigrant called Ventura that lives in Lisbon. In short, watching films in Portuguese is a great way to hear different accents and start getting used to the rhythm of the language.
However, if you truly want to sound like a native and understand people from different Lusophone countries, starting a language course at Listen & Learn is the best choice. We have qualified native tutors that will help you become fluent as fast as possible. All you have to do is send us a quick inquiry and one of our team members will pair you up with a teacher that will create a flexible Portuguese course that meets all of your requirements. The best thing is that you can choose to have the lesson at your home or office in Toronto or have it online from wherever you are. Get started now and you’ll be speaking Portuguese in no time!