Like reading, listening, and speaking Portuguese, writing is its own skill. It’s possible to excel in the other three areas, but be terrible at writing in Portuguese.
Unless you live in a Portuguese-speaking country, and work in a Portuguese-speaking job, you may not actually do a lot of writing in Portuguese.
In Portugal, for example, a lot of communication tends to be face-to-face or over the phone. You can send e-mails to companies, but whether they get answered or not is another question. So, most people end up speaking face-to-face or phoning instead.
Writing tends to get neglected and it isn’t until you have to do it that you quickly realise how bad your are at it (and how bad your spelling is).
Thankfully, if you don’t do a lot of writing in your day-to-day Portuguese life, there are a number of ways you can work on improving your Portuguese writing skills.
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Chat with native speakers by text
Texting is one of the easiest ways to work on your written Portuguese. You don’t need to write big chunks of text like you would in a language class, and what you’re writing is usually of some important to you.
If you won’t have any Portuguese or Brazilian friends yet, use HelloTalk to chat with native speakers who want to learn English. There’s also Interpals and Global Penfriends which are more geared towards finding pen friends.
You write in Portuguese, they write in English, and there’s an option to correct each other’s mistakes. Simple.
Keep a diary
You’ve always said you should start keep a diary. Here’s another reason to do it.
A diary is simple because you don’t really have to think about what to write. It doesn’t have to be profound and it doesn’t have to be complex. It can be as simple as what happened to you that day.
There are lots of diary apps and websites out there, but don’t complicate things to begin with: A Google Doc or Microsoft Word document is fine in the beginning.
Join the conversation
Thanks to social media, you can join Portuguese conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit — anywhere really.
It’s a good stepping stone to conversing with people in real life, especially as it builds confidence when people reply.
More than that, though, it gets you using your Portuguese with native speakers.
You won’t get corrections like you do on HelloTalk, but it’s good just to get you practicing your Portuguese.
Commenting on news stories is a good place to start, but you have find that joining conversations about topics that you’re interested in holds your conversation better.
Interested in football? Find a Portuguese Facebook group and join the discussions. Interested in coding? You get the picture.
Want to comment on news stories in Portugal. R/Portugal on Reddit is a good place to start.
What to read next
- The big, main guide to learning Portuguese
- This guide to courses that cover European Portuguese
- This guide to learning Portuguese completely online