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My Next Working Language

"Caro Antoni,

O resultado do teste coloca-o no nível C1."

Last month, I took a 90-minute college test to determine my level of Portuguese. As you may know, I relocated to Portugal over two months ago.

That means that I am learning a new language. And even though I started studying Portuguese more than two years ago, the truth is that I already became familiar with it earlier in life because:

  • I grew up in Spain, where Portuguese is often present on many product labels and instruction guides.

  • One of the places where I lived was Galicia, where the native language is a direct descendant of Old Portuguese.

Based on the message above, if I wanted to study Portuguese as a foreign language in college, the C1 level would be my starting point.

Becoming familiar with the language of Galicia

While I am not originally from Galicia, I attended and completed high school there. That granted me the Celga 4 level, which is equivalent to a C1 level in Galician.

It feels like I may have a leg up here, but things are never as simple as they look:

Although Galician and Portuguese are mutually intelligible and share more than 90% of their lexicon, there are some remarkable phonetic, orthographic, and syntactic differences between these two languages.

Since I never made Galician mine, I decided it was best to start learning Portuguese from zero.

Next steps to improve my Portuguese

Regarding my reading and writing skills, I believe the C1 result is likely accurate — but not so much when it comes to listening and speaking.

That means I have to focus more on some areas than others, but how do you do that when you are more inclined to read and write?

My next goal is to take the C1 Self-study Portuguese for Foreigners course from the Instituto Camões. Once completed, I will receive an official certificate.


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