Why learn

Portuguese Russian Dutch

Why learn Portuguese?

The Portuguese language is spoken by over 200 million people, making it the seventh most widely spoken language in the world. It is the official language of seven countries: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Principe (in Africa); Portugal (in Europe); Brazil (in South America). Portuguese is also an unofficial language in numerous linguistic islands in China, India, and North America.

One in three South Americans and one in five people in the Western Hemisphere speak Portuguese.

Portuguese was declared one of the six critical languages by the US National Defense Education Act of 1958. Portuguese became one of the official languages of the European Union in 1986, when Portugal became a member.

A knowledge of Portuguese is a marketable skill, especially in international commerce, banking, travel, the media, government agencies, in the foreign service and teaching, just to name a few.

Portuguese quick facts

  • Portuguese is the 6th language of the world, soon to be the 2nd of the American hemisphere.
  • More people speak Portuguese than French, German, Italian or Japanese.
  • Brazil covers one half of the area of South America; is the 2nd industrial power of the Americas and is the 8th economy of the world.
  • Portugal was the first European empire after Rome.
  • Portuguese is the official language of several new African republics.
  • 1.3 million Americans are native speakers of Portuguese.
  • Portuguese is a sister language to Spanish, French and Italian.
  • Portuguese is relatively easy to learn for English speakers and for students of Spanish and French.

Source: http://www.comunicando.tropical.co.mz/learn.html

Please contact us for information on Portuguese courses or Portuguese lessons offered by European Language Academy.

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Why learn Russian?

The Russian people are known for their hospitality, their long and splendid history, their world-famous literature, and their beautiful, if rather difficult language.

There are many reasons for studying Russian language and culture.


Russia’s vast supply of natural resources and a young, well-educated workforce provide strong reasons for investment in this developing economy. A recent poll of Russians has revealed increasing optimism in Russia’s economic future, and many foreign firms are planning to invest in joint ventures and commercial enterprises throughout Russia. While much of the foreign investment is channeled through Moscow, firms operating in lesser-known regions of Russia are likely to generate the highest returns on investment. Those who can locate and identify areas of Russia and of Russian business with the greatest potential can expect to share in the profits.


In spite of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia continues to be a major political and military power, and the scarcity of Russian linguists remains acute. Demand for Russian linguists/translators is, and will remain, strong. Those seeking a future in business will find Russia full of possibilities for the entrepreneur and language specialist alike.


The study of Russian as a foreign language for personal growth and intellectual satisfaction should also be seriously considered. As a nation-state, Russia has played an important and often decisive role in world affairs. It has a fascinating history stretching from the formation of the Kievskaia-Rus’ to today’s economic reforms. The Russian people are known for their hospitality and contributions to technological innovation and the creative arts. The golden age of Russian literature was a period unsurpassed in excellence. Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Gogol’, Turgenev, etc. embody one of the finest collections of literature in existence. The satisfaction of reading this classic literature in its native Russian language is immeasurable. Picture the opportunity to hear Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Shoshtakovich performed by the descendents of the composers, or the chance to see the Kirov Ballet and experience a Russian performance along with the people that inspired the artists.

A few words on Russian language and culture

The Russian language provides some unique challenges for a scholar of foreign languages. It belongs to the Indo-European language family, though its Cyrillic alphabet and difficult grammar place it far from Germanic and Romance languages (such as English and French). A diligent student of Russian will find that the language by means of its very diversity opens new realms of thought and offers a fresh perspective on life as a whole. The language to some extent represents the Russian psyche, especially when compared to English and the psychology of native-English speakers. For example, “I” is the most prevalent word in the English language, and anglophones are generally known to be independent and individualistic. Russian has a preponderance of indirect constructions, “it is needed by me”, “next to me there is”, and “it is necessary for me”, all of which create a sense of decreased personal responsibility and greater reliance on the group as society’s basic unit. To understand this intriguing culture, one needs a foundation in the language.

Source: http://www.linguamir.com/Why_Learn_Russian.htm

Please contact us for information on Russian courses or Russian lessons offered by European Language Academy.

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Why learn Dutch?

The Dutch language is the means by which one can make contact with a market of 22 million Dutch speakers, their culture and history.

World language?

Dutch is the mother tongue of approximately 16 million Dutch citizens and 6 million Flemings. Furthermore, Dutch is spoken in Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, Surinam and French Flanders. Afrikaans, a daughter language of Dutch, is the mother tongue of 6 million people in South Africa. Dutch is the sixth most widely spoken language in the European Union.

Language history

Dutch is a Germanic language, just like German and English. Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are also related to Dutch. In the 17th century, Afrikaans branched off from the Dutch language in South Africa. Apart from standard Dutch, there are about 28 different dialects whihc may be grouped into Flemish and Dutch. Within these dialects, there are also subdivisions for city and/or regional dialects.

The Dutch often call their language Hollands, while the Flemish call their language Vlaams (Flemish). These two languages are in fact twin-sister languages with a largely identical structure and grammar, showing differences mainly in vocabulary and idiom.

Reasons for learning Dutch

Even though the area Dutch is spoken in is relatively small, there are good reasons for learning Dutch:


If you have a Dutch or Flemish partner, it is important to learn the Dutch language in order to speak to your in-laws, understand uncles and aunts, or generally participate in conversation. The elderly do not always speak English. In Flanders, Flemish and French are spoken almost exclusively.


Most employees of Dutch and Flemish companies do speak English, but for a truly successful cooperation, some understanding of the Dutch language is indispensable.


Should you want to follow an education in Flanders or the Netherlands, knowledge of the Dutch language will obviously be necessary. Apart from some summer courses, all lessons at universities, colleges and polytechnics are given in Dutch. The certificate "Nederlands als Vreemde Taal" may be a prerequisite for enrolling in courses.


If you want to see more of the Netherlands and Belgium than Dam Square in Amsterdam or the Grote Markt in Brussels, you will discover that the Dutch language is the key to getting to know the culture and history of both countries.

Source: http://www.annelogman.com/annelogman/en/why_dutch.php

Please contact us for information on Dutch courses or Dutch lessons offered by European Language Academy.

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