"Love is a friendship set on fire." - Portuguese Proverb.

Today, in the world, more than 222 million people are native Portuguese speakers, making it the 7th most spoken native language worldwide. For this reason it takes on a certain importance globally, and as such learning Portuguese in the U.S.A is on the rise.

Portugal has a population of just over 10 million people, but there are almost 1.4 million people of Portuguese ancestry in America alone.

Portuguese is not only spoken in Portugal, however. It is an official language in a total of 9 countries around the world, as well as the autonomous Chinese territory of Macau. Therefore, as a foreign language, it holds extra appeal as you will be able to communicate with people on 4 different continents by learning it.

So do you want to live in Brazil and learn Brazilian Portuguese? Are you fascinated by the Portuguese language? Maybe you are preparing for a trip to a Portuguese-speaking country?

There are many ways of learning Portuguese in San Francisco. There are language courses for beginners, as well as conversational options for those who want to improve their proficiency.

For people whose bodies are in San Francisco, but whose souls are in Portugal, Superprof will strive to show you where to take Portuguese classes in the Golden Gate city.

The Portuguese-Speaking Community in San Francisco

Learn Portuguese in San Francisco
Fun Fact: As historical beginnings go, the United Nations Charter was drafted and ratified in San Francisco in 1945.

The Brazilian diaspora population in the United States is comprised of approximately 447,000 individuals who were either born in Brazil, or reported Brazilian ancestry, according to tabulations from the U.S. Census Bureau pooled 2010-14 ACS. Global remittance flows to Brazil have fluctuated greatly in recent decades, but the ability to learn Portuguese in Boston, for example, remains just as easy as in San Francisco.

For 25 years or so up until the mid-1980s, between 1,500 and 2,300 Brazilians arrived in the U.S.A each year. However, as inflation reached critical point in the early 1980s, and domestic debt almost surpassed foreign debt, it became clear that Brazil needed large scale fiscal overhaul to control inflation and increase but also to give the public sector back its capacity to invest.

This economic crisis meant that, between 1986 and 1990, approximately 1.4 million Brazilians emigrated to other parts of the world. It was not until this time that Brazilian emigration reached significant levels.

Thus, between 1987 and 1991, an estimated 20,800 Brazilians arrived in the United States. A significant number of them, 8,133 Brazilians, arrived in 1991. The 1990 U.S. Census Bureau recorded that there were about 60,000 Brazilians living in the United States. A lot of these people subsequently stayed and built lives for themselves, thus increasing the size of the Brazilian community in major American cities.

In regards to the Portuguese population living in the U.S.A, most Portuguese people didn't settle in the US for educational, political and religious freedom. Instead many arrived seeking a higher standard of living. Portuguese immigration to the United States peaked in the early 1900's.

During the first decade of the twentieth century, 69,149 Portuguese immigrants arrived in the US.

And as a coastal city, San Francisco maintains very close relations with Portuguese-speaking countries.

It must be said that America is Portugal's biggest trading partner outside of the European Union.

Just like learning this second language in San Francisco, if you want to learn Portuguese in Miami, or any other major city, you will find options available to help you do this.

Take Portuguese Courses at University

Whether you are interested in Portuguese language and culture, fascinated by history, letters and Lusitanian civilization, or are even wanting to work in Brazilian culture, there is one sure-fire way to learn Portuguese language and culture in San Francisco: at university.

Start learning Portuguese today
There are many ways to learn Portuguese across San Francisco

The University of San Francisco

Language courses at USF include the option to take classes in Portuguese language and culture studies in San Francisco:

  • First Semester Portuguese

The first of a two-semester long program for students with no previous experience in learning Portuguese. Students complete three semesters worth of study in the space of two, and this course emphasizes the development of communication skills and acquisition of basic vocabulary.

Classroom activities, daily homework, compositions, and weekly quizzes reinforce grammatical structures. The conversation component promotes student comprehension of native speakers of Brazilian Portuguese and develops student fluency.

This course includes a mandatory one-hour weekly group conversation class with a tutor for nine weeks of the semester outside of the scheduled classes.

  • Second Semester Portuguese

The second semester of a two-semester long program in Intensive Portuguese, this course places increased emphasis on reading skills and writing competence.

Using media sources, Brazilian music and films, short stories, and cultural readings, the course presents increasingly specialized vocabulary in context. Exams, compositions, and daily homework enhance student engagement with what is studied in the language classes.

The conversation and audio components promote student comprehension of native speakers of Brazilian Portuguese and help students build fluency and confidence.

This course includes a mandatory one-hour weekly group conversation class with a tutor for nine weeks of the semester outside of the scheduled classes.

  • Third Semester Portuguese

Students continue to develop reading, speaking and writing skills, and expand their active vocabulary. The class is conducted in Portuguese, with activities designed to practice and consolidate all language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Cultural readings are assigned to expand vocabulary, stimulate discussion, and broaden students' understanding of the Hispanic world.

  • Brazilian Literature in Translation

This course surveys works of Brazilian literature between the 16th and 20th centuries. The texts, representing different genres, are viewed in their historical, cultural, social, and aesthetic contexts.

Themes include colonialism and empire, race, negritude, and slavery.

  • Dir. Reading and Research

When studying a major, you will be required to complete a significant reading and research project under the direct supervision of faculty.

Portuguese is spoken in Brazil
Why not learn Portuguese in in San Francisco in order to visit Brazil?

The University of California at Berkley also has a great Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

They offer an abundance of opportunities to learn and achieve mastery of the languages and cultures, which include Catalan, Nahuatl, Portuguese, Romance Studies and Spanish.

Their programs are specially designed for highly motivated students who have a desire to learn about the literature and culture of other languages. In doing so, students will transcend different disciplines and borders, both geographically and linguistically.

What to do if you already have a BA? Many master's programs and doctorate programs can consolidate your language training.

UC Berkley's Graduate Program

The Faculty in the Spanish & Portuguese department are always keen to bring the research that they do, into the classroom so that students can benefit from their teachers' expertise in language learning.

The faculty also encourages its students to take classes from other fields, as well as interact with faculty members in other departments in order to broaden the scope of their studies.

Many students choose to participate in self-generated working groups which are often financed by the Townsend Center. Portuguese teachers are always on hand to provide feedback and facilitate personal growth.

The university option is very comprehensive as you can see ... And to receive this type of education elsewhere in the United States, do not hesitate to discover where to take Portuguese classes in New York.

Take Portuguese Classes at a Language School

It doesn't matter if you are studying Portuguese in Los Angeles or San Francisco, to learn Brazilian Portuguese before a trip to Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, or to improve your European Portuguese before a stay in Lisbon, a language school is a great way to do it!

You should learn Portuguese before visiting Portugal
Mastering the Portuguese language allows you to decide to live under the hot sun of Portugal! Doesn't that sound like a dream come true?

Here are some Portuguese language schools in San Francisco:

  • Portuguese Brazil School and Translation Services
  • IDESLI International Institute of Linguistics
  • ABC Languages

Learn Portuguese with an Association

If you don't have the money to pay for a Portuguese course at a language school, then San Francisco and the Bay Area have many linguistic and cultural associations that are dedicated to Portuguese courses.

And in addition, they will certainly be cheaper than language institutes without teachers being less competent.

There are a number of proficiency tests to take in Portuguese
Can you take the Portuguese SAT Subject Test after learning Portuguese?

The Sausalito Portuguese Cultural Center

The IDESST Sausalito Portuguese Cultural Center (formerly Sausalito Portuguese Hall) was established in Sausalito, California in 1888 as a focal point for Portuguese culture and traditions in Marin County.

First and foremost is the Azorean tradition of the "Festa do Espírito Santo" (Festival of the Holy Ghost), which was brought to California by early immigrants from the Azores.

Marin County has a long history of Portuguese immigration, and the Sausalito Portuguese Cultural Center remains a gathering place for descendants of those immigrants seeking to explore and re-connect with their rich Portuguese history, culture and roots.

The Sausalito Portuguese Cultural Center continues to serve its members, their families and future generations by preserving and promoting Portuguese heritage into the 21st century.


Housed in Casa de Cultura, BrasArte presents several annual activities thru its arts and culture program. These include:
Yemanja Arts Festival (February), Carnaval Ball (February/March), Sao Joao Festival (June), Camp Erê (JuneJuly), Lavagem (September).

 These activities seek to introduce and inform attendees about Brazilian culture. Each event coincides (as closely as possible) with the actual date of the festivities in Brazil.

Participants create and/or observe artistic elements that represent the history of the activity. BrasArte also offers dance/music workshops, dance/music performances and performance opportunities in parades and at festivals.

'Portuguese Language Classes Near Me': Taking Private Portuguese Lessons

While the above language learning opportunities are plentiful, we still think that learning in a group does not really compare to language training on an individual basis.

Learning Portuguese will open many doors for you
The sky's the limit when it comes to the opportunities available to Portuguese speakers

It is true that individual lessons in language school can be expensive, and the group lessons do not detect all of the gaps that you have in your knowledge, especially for shy learners reluctant to overly request the progression of the course from the teacher ...

An alternative to this is a private course of Portuguese!

What is the advantage of having a private teacher compared to the collective course of the Portuguese language?

Firstly, it is possible to really ensure a regular follow-up and to support the pupil's progression through addressing issues as and when they arise, so that the student is never left with any doubts.

Among the providers giving private lessons in San Francisco in the Portuguese-speaking idiom, Superprof proudly offers 35 teachers of general Portuguese, Brazilian and Portuguese written expression,

This is not just an option available on the West Coast. If you are looking for Portuguese classes in Chicago, you can find this option available to you as well.

Need a Portuguese teacher?

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