WHY CHOOSE PORTUGUESE OR ITALIAN AS YOUR 3RD LANGUAGE?
There are numerous reasons, first, it is financially more rewarding. For instance, if you are a translator, this would give you another language combination. And consider this — if you know two languages, you can work on two combinations, like Spanish <==> English and vice versa, but it you add one more language, you can work on four combinations, and every new language doubles your language combination.
There is a good demand in industry for both these languages. Moreover, it takes about the same time to learn these languages as it does to learn Spanish and French, so you really won’t have to spend a lot of time which you otherwise would in learning a language like Japanese. Moreover, there are good resources available for these languages.
BUT, WAIT A MINUTE, WHAT IF YOU WANT TO LEARN BOTH?
Well, it is possible to learn two languages at the same time. And, I encourage you to take up both. But then, for various reasons, you might in be interested in picking the one. Well, in such cases, pick up the language that is more similar to the one that you have already learned.
For instance, if you have learned Spanish as your second language, then go for Portuguese as your third language. Similarly, go for Italian if you chose French as your second language.
In my case, I decided to pick up both at the same time — and it is fun to learn it this way. There are various good resources available on both of these, but I highly recommend Michel Thomas’s method for beginners and switch to other language learning resources. As with any language, it is important to read extensively so that you become familiar with the language.
SOME TIPS BEFORE YOU START
Learning languages is fun, but overdoing it can be distressing. Often it is good to learn a language, give yourself a break, and then switch to something else. But it is important to use that break to think about your language goals. It is quite easy to overlook planning, which is essential to learn anything. For instance, if speak Spanish, then going for Italian will probably take twice as much effort as it would master Portuguese. So before you start, look up the conjugations, and word patterns. If you don’t perform this check, then learning your third language can get difficult and intimidating.