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Portuguese B2 in 9 months

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leroc
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2391 days ago

114 posts - 167 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German

 
 Message 1 of 7
2015 November 28 at 11:13pm | IP Logged 
I've started learning Portuguese a few weeks ago, after returning from a German course at the Goethe Institut.
If I follow my study plan as listed below, would a B2 be a realistic goal?

Assimil Brasilianisch ohne mühe (active and passive wave)
Portuguese Pimsleur I-III
Study 50 new words a week
Upon Assimil completion, work through basic audiobooks+text 30 minutes a day

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Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2132 days ago

456 posts - 1067 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 2 of 7
2015 November 29 at 6:07am | IP Logged 
Hello leroc,

Goal of B2 in Nine Months
In my view, achieving a B2 level in any foreign language without direct, and rather intensive, contact with native speakers is possible, but not very easy. However, it is not clear to me how many hours per day you can devote to your study of Portuguese. If you can afford only 30 minutes per day over a nine-month period, perhaps you will achieve a level of somewhere around A2, although your level might be a little higher. To put things into perspective, the FSI estimated that, in order to achieve a "general level of proficiency" in speaking Portuguese, the average adult, native-English-speaking student would require upwards of 600 hours of "classroom" study time. The FSI courses were delivered under the direction of an instructor to about six students per class, six hours per day, five days per week. The preceding figure does not include the estimated additional three hours of homework that was deemed necessary to keep pace with the classroom instruction. So then, the FSI students, who were aiming for a B1-B2 level, worked about nine hours per day, in a controlled environment, for a period of six months. How much time would be required to generate an equivalent exposure to the language spread over a period of nine months ... without an instructor? Yes, B2 is "possible" in nine months, but it's not very likely.

Materials 1
The materials you have identified are, generally speaking, highly regarded; however, unless they are studied sequentially, they present something of a mismatch. Progress via Pimsleur is rather slow and, unless you can complete and truly absorb more than one-lesson-per-day, you will be devoting three months to this one programme alone which, despite its strengths, is rather limited in scope. From my experience, the material covered in Pimsleur I-II-III is covered in roughly the first quarter of Assimil, which should take just a few weeks to complete. Similarly, if you were to study Assimil and Pimsleur concurrently, your progress with the former would rapidly outstrip your progress with the latter. That is, given your goal, and assuming that you were to make good progress with Assimil, any additional time devoted to Pimsleur would be simply wasted. I think that you would be better off dropping Pimsleur and going head-long into Assimil, supported by a simple Grammar. One final comment on "introductory materials for serious students" would be that you might wish to consider using the FSI Portuguese Programmatic course. It is possible that you will find the first few Units a tedious; however, once you reach the tenth Unit, the course starts to pick up. Assuming that you were to complete both volumes and were to study Assimil afterwards, you would find that your progress in the latter would be greatly enhanced.

Materials 2
As you are probably aware, very few publishers are willing to invest in "intermediate level" self-study language materials; that is, materials that would truly take you into the B1-B2 range. So then, while I cannot offer much hope in this area, I can suggest that you take a look at the Linguaphone Portuguese Complete course as "additional practice material". The "refurbished" course is presently offered at 180 $US. You could also have a look at the DLI Portuguese Basic for additional practice. Addendum: After posting these comments, the idea came to me that you could also use Portugiesich ohne mühe as additional practice material. As the authors of the two Assimil texts are different, I assume that the dialogues would be as well. This would also expose you to the minor differences in usage and vocabulary between the two dialects and give you an opportunity to appreciate the differences in pronunciation, the latter being analogous to American versus British English or Iberian versus Central American Spanish.

Materials 3 (Addendum)
I apologize for the rambling nature of my post; however, upon reviewing the suggestions for materials, you might consider working with ASSIMIL only, using both the Iberian and Brazilian variants, alternately.

Links, Discussion Threads, Etc.
At a time when my interest in studying Portuguese was at higher level than it is today, I saved the following LINKS that you might find interesting:

Hacking Portuguese

After Pimsleur Brazlian Portuguese

Specific FSI Courses for Brazilian Portuguese

DLI vs FSI Portuguese

Brazilian Portuguese Learning Videos


Good luck with your studies!


Edited by Speakeasy on 2015 November 29 at 5:03pm

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leroc
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2391 days ago

114 posts - 167 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German

 
 Message 3 of 7
2015 November 29 at 10:29pm | IP Logged 
Speakeasy wrote:

Good luck with your studies!


Muito obrigado!

I appreciate the links and course advice so much. I'll look into buying the Portugiesisch ohne mühe once I've
reached the active phase in the Brasilianisch. Doing both courses at the same time sounds like an interesting
approach, and the differences between the two would really help keep things fresh.



Edited by leroc on 2015 November 29 at 10:31pm

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Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4677 days ago

9753 posts - 15775 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 4 of 7
2015 November 30 at 1:33am | IP Logged 
Do you have any experience with a Romance language? Ari recently learned Portuguese in a short time, but he spoke Spanish already.
If you don't actually need to pass a B2 exam, reaching a decent level is totally doable though. The main difficulties will probably be listening and grammatical accuracy. You need native materials in order to learn to understand, and to develop a feel for the language (Sprachgefühl).
Two of my favourite resources are lyricstraining and GLOSS.

Edited by Serpent on 2015 November 30 at 1:33am

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leroc
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2391 days ago

114 posts - 167 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German

 
 Message 5 of 7
2015 November 30 at 1:54am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
Do you have any experience with a Romance language?


I learned Spanish for something like 3 years, and I have a lot of passive vocabulary, which seems to be helping
with Portuguese word retention.
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Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2132 days ago

456 posts - 1067 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 6 of 7
2015 November 30 at 6:48am | IP Logged 
leroc wrote:
I learned Spanish for something like 3 years ...

To speed up the transition to Portuguese pronunciation, you should consider trying the FSI From Spanish to Portuguese mini-course.

Edited by Speakeasy on 2015 November 30 at 6:49am

2 persons have voted this message useful



Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2132 days ago

456 posts - 1067 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 7 of 7
2015 December 02 at 3:09am | IP Logged 
Bonjour leroc,

In the hopes that you are still following this discussion thread, I am appending a LINK to the website of Necco Translations Into Portuguese posted a couple of years ago by member camundonquinho here on the HTLA . Although the website is set at at the FAQ "Why should I hire a professional translator?", the text itself is quite informative. Toggling through the full list of FAQs and other links makes for very interesting reading, indeed!








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