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uk expat communities.

Old Jan 31st 2024, 12:56 pm
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Default uk expat communities.

Hi all,
Thinking of retiring to Portugal but got little language knowledge. We are keen to learn the Lingo but moving to a new country we would appreciate someone to be able to communicate with and show us the ropes. If anyone could shed some light on where the British expats reside would be appreciated.
many Thanks

Mozza61
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Old Jan 31st 2024, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: uk expat communities.

Hi, and a warm welcome to BE from me

I've queried one of the official statistics websites' database for you and come up with a list by region and municipality of the numbers of legally registered UK citizens resident in 2022. Have a browse through that and see if it answers your question.

Without doing a detailed analysis of my own, I'm pretty sure the highest concentrations will be in and around Lisbon and in Algarve, with the latter being more likely to consist of higher numbers of people with time on their hands.


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pordata_uk_residents_2022.pdf (1.18 MB, 62 views)
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Old Jan 31st 2024, 2:16 pm
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Default Re: uk expat communities.

Hi Red Eric,
Many thanks for that buddy. I will have a good read through. Cheers
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Old Jan 31st 2024, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: uk expat communities.

You'll find expats all over Portugal - though obviously the Algarve and Lisbon are likely to be favourite. Of course, not all expats are British, but all expats are learning the tricks of living in a new country - and most non-British expats speak English, so that helps. The younger Portuguese also tend to speak English ( the official second language used to be French but that has changed). Obviously, much of their knowledge comes from music and TV..... and speaking a language isn't the same as writing it or thinking in it.

When I moved to out little part of the inland Alentejo, I fully expected to be immersed in full Portuguese. The first day I went to the local supermarket, I heard English being used everywhere (sometimes as a lingua-franca). I found there were British, Irish, Dutch and German expats living in the community (plus others, i'm sure).

The Portuguese think their language is very difficult to speak - so usually they are very forgiving and try to help. Of course, there are always those who don't!

I believe the Silver Coast is another area favoured by UK expats....
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Old Jan 31st 2024, 3:05 pm
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Default Re: uk expat communities.

Thanks for the info Buddy, really appreciate it. Perhaps it will be easier than I first thought.
Thanks again.
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Old Jan 31st 2024, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: uk expat communities.

Originally Posted by Mozza61
Thanks for the info Buddy, really appreciate it. Perhaps it will be easier than I first thought.
Thanks again.
I think the thing is to get your head into the space that you are moving to a new place where everything is different. That way, you may get surprised by the similarities, rather than complain about the differences - and be more open to experiencing and enjoying the things that you never even considered.

Having contact with other expats is useful, but confining yourself to them is a roadmap to disappointment. The first thing you need is to actually want to live in Portugal, not just to be away from the UK, not because it's easier, not because it's cheaper, etc., etc. I'm married to a Portuguese who chose to move to the UK, so that brings positives (and negatives!).

Don't confine yourself to the "perfect" areas.... Portugal is a small country - we are less than an hour from the Algarve beaches and the same from the Litoral (Atlantic coast) but in a quiet area, which we like. If you want to be on the bech every day, then it's different. If you want City life, it's different. Other places I would like to be are around Setubal and close to the Spanish frontier in the Alto Alentejo (this last is a L O N G way from anything!!) Parts of the Algarve are great too..... but keeping away from the crowds is the difficulty.

Bom proveito e boa sorte.
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Old Feb 1st 2024, 6:59 am
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We live not too far from Macliam now, but for 10 years, we lived in the East Algarve. Loved it, though we were the first English in the village and had to pick up more of the language pretty quick. Our linguaphone course wasn't good enough for the locals twang.

Here in the Alentejo, I understand it better and in our local bar, there are many nationalities, most speak English, very few of the Portuguese do though, so we've learnt even more.

You could find some-one to help with all the legal stuff - be prepared to pay - but where ever you end up, I'm sure you'll enjoy your life here. We love where we are.

Boa sorte.
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Old Feb 1st 2024, 8:47 am
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I fully agree with macliam-you are moving to a different country so you will literally be starting again.You will need to make new friends and there will be an absence of the things that anchored you in the UK eg job hobbies community etc.My advice based on 20 years of being an immigrant in two EU countries (albeit not Portugal) is to choose the area that fits in with what you want to do in your retirement -eg self sufficiency/water sports/mountain life/city life and culture/golf etc.Do not choose your area based on the fact that there are numerous expats there but what suits you.If that is what you want then fair enough but I would advise that before your move you really make an effort to learn Portugese as you will get so much more out of your retirement and locals will be pleased and will be more willing to help and advise
Two important points-even the most well meaning expat will give you wrong advice based on either ignorance or because they have spent their time ducking/diving, so check stuff out on here and secondly are you the holder of an EU passport.If not then as a Brit you will need a Visa so check out if you qualify for one
HTH
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Old Feb 1st 2024, 11:47 am
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Also, have a look at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-portugal for useful information.
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Old Feb 1st 2024, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: uk expat communities.

Originally Posted by Mozza61
Hi all,
Thinking of retiring to Portugal but got little language knowledge. We are keen to learn the Lingo but moving to a new country we would appreciate someone to be able to communicate with and show us the ropes. If anyone could shed some light on where the British expats reside would be appreciated.
many Thanks

Mozza61
Why bother to learn Portuguese?
English is pretty universal to some extent, Portuguese cannot be expected tp know all languages of the EU, so English is the most widely spoken.
Sure learn a few phrases to get you buy and to be able to be polite, but why would you want to watch a news programme on PT TV and able to understand what they are talking about.
Be different if you were 25 and needed a job, or intend to take a citizen test in future.
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Old Feb 1st 2024, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by wellinever
Why bother to learn Portuguese?
English is pretty universal to some extent, Portuguese cannot be expected tp know all languages of the EU, so English is the most widely spoken.
Sure learn a few phrases to get you buy and to be able to be polite, but why would you want to watch a news programme on PT TV and able to understand what they are talking about.
Be different if you were 25 and needed a job, or intend to take a citizen test in future.
I hope this is written in jest, it's hard to tell with written comments.

The reason for learning the language of a country in which you reside is because much of the culture of that country derives from its language and sense of identity. If you wish to ignore that, then you will remain a tourist however long you stay - and the worst kind of tourist at that. Being resident in a country suggests that you actually form part of the community, not that you sit in some ivory tower expecting the natives to kowtow to your wishes and defer to your sense of superiority.

Portugal is not Bognor with sun.
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Old Feb 1st 2024, 4:35 pm
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Absolutely agree,it's quite arrogant to expect a foreigner to understand your language. It's the least you can do to make an effort even if its totally rubbish.What would you feel if a portuguese expected you to understand his language and refused to speak english(I know some do,but not all speak the language).
Anyway, not all of us live in the Algarve where that's possible. Can't remember the last time I heard an English voice(except when last in UK /talking with OH/watching TV so you just have to try your best. It's pretty lazy not to at least try.
I always turn on to the PT news channels first.
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Old Feb 1st 2024, 8:23 pm
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The in-betweenies might have a different outlook on matters than the full-time residents, especially if they live in areas which mainly subsist on tourism

Certainly where I live, very little English is spoken or proffered. There are some returners from English-speaking lands - primarily Canada and the US - who'll happily introduce themselves in confident English but the dominant 2nd language is French. And I'm frequently also tried out in Spanish when someone inevitably suspects my foreign-ness (not because my Portuguese isn't good enough for casual conversation - just that they like to be accommodating).

Anyway - why learn Portuguese? It's nice to be able to have a chat with people in their language, it's better for making you feel more at ease in situations like the dentist's, the hairdresser's or going to have your annual prostate exam etc, all of which you might want to be a little less uncomfortable than is unavoidable by your own ability to converse (or not) at will. I have heard (on here, I think) of people being made to feel very uneasy in a medical facility because their doctor or specialist essentially refused to speak to them in English, which upset them a great deal. Plus, you can feel more confident and you can derive even more pleasure from living here (also without the need for a whopping great satellite dish or a hooky internet solution for obtaining entertainment material in a language you understand. The cinemas, theatres and music venues become viable, not to mention the news-stands and bookshops).

None of my immediate neighbours speaks any language other than Portuguese and they're all so friendly that it would be distressing to only be able to communicate in the most basic of ways and never knowing whether we'd got it right.

And speaking another language wards off Alzheimer's.
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Old Feb 1st 2024, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: uk expat communities.

Originally Posted by Red Eric
The in-betweenies might have a different outlook on matters than the full-time residents, especially if they live in areas which mainly subsist on tourism

Certainly where I live, very little English is spoken or proffered. There are some returners from English-speaking lands - primarily Canada and the US - who'll happily introduce themselves in confident English but the dominant 2nd language is French. And I'm frequently also tried out in Spanish when someone inevitably suspects my foreign-ness (not because my Portuguese isn't good enough for casual conversation - just that they like to be accommodating).

Anyway - why learn Portuguese? It's nice to be able to have a chat with people in their language, it's better for making you feel more at ease in situations like the dentist's, the hairdresser's or going to have your annual prostate exam etc, all of which you might want to be a little less uncomfortable than is unavoidable by your own ability to converse (or not) at will. I have heard (on here, I think) of people being made to feel very uneasy in a medical facility because their doctor or specialist essentially refused to speak to them in English, which upset them a great deal. Plus, you can feel more confident and you can derive even more pleasure from living here (also without the need for a whopping great satellite dish or a hooky internet solution for obtaining entertainment material in a language you understand. The cinemas, theatres and music venues become viable, not to mention the news-stands and bookshops).

None of my immediate neighbours speaks any language other than Portuguese and they're all so friendly that it would be distressing to only be able to communicate in the most basic of ways and never knowing whether we'd got it right.

And speaking another language wards off Alzheimer's.
All seems fair to me. Of course, the idea that you'll get to a level where nobody suspects you're foreign is the root of madness...... I saw a brilliant clip of one of these online "learn to speak Portuguese" tutors speaking to an old guy on the beach. He smiled, nodded, answered - and then said "you really speak Portuguese quite well". There are always tells that will give you away as a non-native speaker. I am nowhere near that level. I make basic grammatical errors, I choose the wrong word options, I forget the simple word I need (but can remember it in another 2 languages!) - however, I can go into any bar and have a conversation with someone who has never even been to Lisbon, let alone abroad. It's only taken me 30-odd years!! People are forgiving with language, the main thing is being prepared to try....

PS, I bought my house from someone who pronounced Portuguese so badly that even I couldn't understand some of the words..... but the neighbours didn't care. Anything was better than those who just pointed or averted their eyes and made no attempt to speak at all.
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Old Feb 4th 2024, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: uk expat communities.

If anyone could shed some light on where the British expats reside would be appreciated.
The data from Red Eric is interesting and shows that there are a lot of Brits here in Portugal but you shouldn't assume any of them will prioritize on rushing to be your buddy as many are busy integrating and forming friendships within shared interest groups that are local to them and not necessarily centered on English language.

Have a think about how you would feel if you were in the position of someone arriving in the UK from any other 'non-English speaking' country and not being able to speak any English - how easily would they be able to integrate and enjoy what the UK had to offer?
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