I’ve been at my Portuguese project for a week now, and I’ve made a fair amount of progress. I want to stress that I’m not starting from scratch on this, as I have had some exposure to Brazilian Portuguese in the past, and am fluent in Spanish, so this video doesn’t represent where you should be after only a week of a new language. (On the other hand, if you are already much more proficient than I am at your language a mere week after starting from scratch, more power to you!)
For those not able to watch the video, I mention that, because Spanish and Portuguese are so similar in terms of vocabulary and grammar, I’m able to use Spanish as something of a crutch at this point. Any words I don’t know yet in Portuguese, I’m able to “fake” by pronouncing the Spanish with a bit of a Portuguese accent.
One thing many people notice when learning a language very similar to one they already speak is interference from their dominant language on their new, weaker one. I’ve noticed a little of that so far, for example, in the video at one point I use the Spanish va instead of the Portuguese vai.
Still, it’s a small price to pay in exchange for the head start that the Spanish gives me at this point in the game. It will be interesting to see what other interference shows up, especially as my Portuguese starts to develop to the point of standing on its own.
For anyone else for speaks Spanish and is interested in learning Portuguese, or vice versa, here are a few helpful articles on the subject, one from Wikipedia, and another from Fluent in 3 Months.