Why learning a language: The case of the Portuguese

[Originally published in 2012]

Contributing to a 2012 series called “why to speak that language”, the Economist magazine correspondent in Brazil, journalist Helen Joyce, wrote defending the Brazilian Portuguese as a good option for a second language. Leaving aside clichés such as “Brazil has a population of 190 m”, “You’re half way through to French or Spanish”, Joyce has a point. It is precisely at the assumption that only “lunatics learn a language for fun”. Language acquiring should, according to her, follow a business-oriented decision, guided by the sense of some sort of return or even profit.

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