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It is great to have a native speaker to practice Portuguese with you from the first day. If you don’t have someone already, you can find one – a tutor, teacher, or a language exchange partner – on Italki. Chatting with a conversation exchange partner won’t cost you money. Lessons from professional teachers will, but you’ll spend significantly less than you thought you would, often less than $10/hr. You can search for the people from either Brazil or Portugal, depending on your preferences. Also, if you are a native speaker of a language other than English, you can find someone who speaks your language too. Read our full review of italki.
A Q&A app created by the Lang-8 team. You can ask questions to native speakers of Portuguese, and answer those made by the learners of your language. Available on iOS and Android. Read our full review of HiNative.
In your opinion, what is the best medium for learning a language, text, audio or video? The creators of Semantica say it’s video. They have prepared a number of addictive mini-series in Brazilian Portuguese. Each episode is broken down into sections, grammar is explained visually, and the process of learning is very much painless. Being dragged into a real-life situation that engages you emotionally, and learning on the way, can result in more profound knowledge of a language than memorizing phrases. We’re a huge fan of Semantica and highly recommend it – find out why in this review.
Grammar Hero is a product from Olly Richards, the creator of I Will Teach You A Language. It follows the story-based method of teaching languages, but this time with a focus on the most difficult grammar points. You start out by reading a story and the grammar point is underlined, later you learn the rules, then you re-read the story with explanations, and finally you’ll practice using the grammar point to express your thoughts and opinions. It’s a comprehensive method that’s meant to help you internalize the grammar. Review.
The creators of LingQ promise you’ll never need a boring textbook again. The natural process of learning through context is more pleasant and surprisingly more effective than memorizing grammar rules. You can pick the content you find most interesting – and the choice is large – and read and listen to the subjects that interest you. While LingQ isn’t perfect, and it feels like they may try to do too much, it’s a resource worth trying out. Read the full LingQ review.
A comprehensive Portuguese (Brazilian) language-learning pack, which includes everything a beginner (or intermediate-level learner) needs: audio and video lessons, flashcards, and downloadable PDF lessons. While they use more English than would be ideal, and the pathways could be improved, it’s still one of the best resources for learning Portuguese. Read the full review of PortuguesePod101.
Rocket Languages only have the Level 1 course for Brazilian Portuguese available. The emphasis is on the use of the language in practice. The package contains audio content, and there is the option to record yourself and compare your speech to the one of a native speaker. The dialogues cover the most common occasions you may find yourself in; the grammar is explained throughout, and the Survival Kit is designed to help you have a successful start. Unfortunately, Rocket Portuguese isn’t very good and not worth the money. Read the full review.
Audible is Amazon’s audiobook service and also an excellent resource for learning Portuguese. There are several resources from popular language learning resources such as Pimsleur, PortuguesePod101, several books of short stories, and many more. This is in addition to the thousands of regular books narrated in Portuguese. Best of all, you can get a 30-day free trial which includes two free audiobooks!
Glossika is another course that promises to teach you Portuguese (Brazil) without memorizing the rules. The keyword here is internalization – you internalize grammar rules and adopt the patterns of speech, by repeating the most commonly used sentences in the Portuguese language. However, not everyone would be thrilled with the study material – it consists of isolated sentences, without any context or story – but many say it works for them. Read the full review of Glossika.
Babbel is an interactive app that offers lessons of many languages, including Portuguese, aiming to be a decent substitution for real-life classroom lessons. It isn’t free, but you can take a free trial. The essentials – a way to introduce yourself and say where you’re from – are presented first, and you’ll probably be surprised by your progress after this first lesson. Each subsequent lesson is designed to enhance your ability to communicate in a practical situation. There are three modules available – the basic courses, the grammar courses, and additional ones, like Portuguese for holidays. You can start as a beginner and advance to an intermediate level by using Babbel. Read the full review of Babbel.
Various materials (mainly audio) for the learners of European Portuguese. The free audio podcast is available for both beginners and intermediate learners. Premium podcast includes a “speak” feature for pronunciation practice and is followed by synchronized transcription, which you can download as PDF. The third part – the Learning Studio – contains a number of interactive quizzes with the focus on vocabulary and grammar.
Lingodeer isn’t as well-known as some other language learning apps, but it’s one of my favorites. It teaches Portuguese in a manner that’s somewhat similar to Duolingo, having the user complete lots of exercises. Lingodeer makes up for some of Duolingo’s weaknesses with thorough grammar explanations and clear audio recordings. Read our full review of Lingodeer.
Another language exchange platform – a mobile app that allows you to connect with native speakers of the Portuguese language, chat with them, and help them acquire a command of your native language in return. It supports text, voice, and video; contains tools for pronunciation, translation, and corrections; is free and easy to use.
At the moment, there are about 30 different Udemy courses of the Portuguese language available. The quality varies, the price not that much – most of these courses are offered at the discount price of $11,99. It is hard to tell whether all of them are worth paying, but there is something for everyone. All levels are covered in both variants of the language, and some courses have quizzes included.
One of the most popular free language sources, Duolingo offers fun, bite-sized lessons of Portuguese. 5 minutes a day is supposed to be enough to develop solid reading, writing, and speaking skills. It is easy to use and it feels like you’re playing a game. Unlocking new levels and earning virtual coins keeps you motivated and, if we are to believe to the authors, 34 hours of Duolingo are equally valuable as one semester in the university. While fun and free, serious students would benefit from looking elsewhere. Read our full review of Duolingo Portuguese.
Preply is a global platform that allows you to find a Portuguese tutor from the country of your liking. You can find a number of qualified teachers and pick one according to your needs (business/conversational/intensive Portuguese, lessons for beginners or children) and budget. They use Skype, which allows you to speak, write and share materials with your tutor, just like you would do in a classroom.
Langliter is an exciting app for intermediate or higher level learners looking to take their Portuguese to fluency. This app makes it easier to read native materials with their smart reader and flashcards. Better still, you can continue using it while offline.
A certified and experienced teacher of Brazilian Portuguese. The materials she offers contain an interactive Portuguese language course, a self-study grammar book, and two thematic e-books, which can be bought from her website. There is also some free stuff on her blog and other sections of the website. For example, in the “Songs” section you can find dozens of YouTube videos – songs in Portuguese, accompanied by lyrics in both Portuguese and English.
The Michel Thomas Method
This highly acclaimed (and just as expensive) method comes through courses in 3 levels in Portuguese (it isn’t specified which Portuguese exactly, probably Brazilian), called “Start,” “Total,” and “Perfect.” The “Start” course introduces the Portuguese language through 50 most common words and their use; “Total” is their standard course, which contains interactive exercises, and “Perfect” is supposed to help you achieve a flawless fluency. The course is advertised as an ultimate tool for effortless learning that enables you to speak confidently within a couple of hours. Unfortunately, we were very disappointed with it. Review.
Memrise courses are usually fun. Most of them are generated by users, and the quality varies, but when you pick one, learning the lessons is like playing a game. The concept of the app will make you memorize words, phrases, spelling, pronunciation, syntax, just name it. And you can choose from hundreds of Portuguese courses, both Brazilian and European. Any 5 minutes of your spare is a good time to learn Portuguese, on any device. Best of all, these courses are entirely free. Read the full review of Memrise.
Practice Makes Perfect Beginning Portuguese
This book covers the essentials – basic grammar and vocabulary – with examples and exercises. The lessons are concise, and most of them do not require more than 20 minutes to complete. Two accompanying audio CDs enable you to practice speaking and listening.
Tandem is a language exchange app created to connect learners from around the world. You can teach someone the language you speak and they’ll help you learn the language you’d like to learn. It comes with lots of useful features to make connecting with other users easy and facilitate language practice. Read our full review of Tandem.
With this app, you can set your own learning goals and pace. Mosalingua uses timed repetition to make sure that learning is being internalized without making it tedious. It focuses on the most important, “the 20% that you’ll use 80% of the time,” and relies on advanced learning, association, and memorization techniques. It can also be used offline.
Learn Portuguese with Rafa
The website of a teacher specialized in the field of Language Acquisition and Development. In plenty of free lessons, he explains the grammar rules in simple, everyday English. Both Brazilian and European Portuguese are covered. You’ll also find a bunch of interesting links, from TV programs to the recipes from the traditional cuisine, as well as some commercial content.
The Mimic Method
The Mimic Method is a unique type of course because it’s focus is 100% on pronunciation. There are actually two separate courses, one for Brazilian Portuguese and one for European Portuguese, though they’re probably very similar. The Brazilian course is called the 55 Elemental Sounds of Portuguese may be the best resource around for mastering Portuguese pronunciation. Read the full review of The Mimic Method.
Corpus do Português
The largest existing linguistic corpus of the texts written in Portuguese. It contains nearly 50 million words from dozens of thousands of texts written between the 13th and 21st centuries. You can search for particular words or phrases; research associations of words; compare the frequency of words, expressions, and grammatical structures as well as their distribution. In other words, you can examine the differences between informal, journalistic, fictional, and academic language; between European and Brazilian Portuguese; and between texts written in different centuries. You can skip this entry if you’re a beginner aiming to learn basic Portuguese, but it is invaluable for advanced level students and academic linguists. Last but not least, it is free and available to all.
A popular program that enables you to learn many things using flashcards and spaced repetition, and is especially convenient for language learning. You can use an existing deck, created by some of the users – and there are around 100 shared decks for Portuguese – or create your own. Anki is an open-source app that works on most of the operating systems and enables you to sync your decks across devices.
A language learning social network that enables you to talk to or have your writing corrected by a native Portuguese (both variants) speaker for free on their website or the mobile app. There are also Premium Membership features like grammar lessons, vocabulary trainer, offline mode, and certification (from beginner level A1 up to upper intermediate level B2). I found Busuu to be great for getting feedback from a native speaker, but not worth paying for a subscription. Read the full review of Busuu.
Língua da Gente
Another useful and entirely free podcast from the Brazilpod community of the University of Texas. It contains LOTS of free lessons and dialogues, which you can download. Just have a look at the titles (Sweetie, I’m Pregnant, The Grandchildren Are Afraid Of Clowns, I’m Going To Throw Up, Do I Look Fat In This Dress?, Time To Catch Some Pokemon, Just Hit Control-C), and you’ll see how many cool and useful things you can learn to say (and understand) in Portuguese.
Lingbe is a language exchange platform that’s a bit different than the others. With Lingbe, you don’t need to find someone to talk with, you simply click the call button and they will connect you with a native speaker of the language you’re learning. That can help get rid of some people’s anxieties and time wasted finding someone to talk with. After the conversation, if both people click the like button, you’ll be added to each other’s friend list and you can chat with them anytime.
Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar: A Practical Guide (Routledge Modern Grammars)
A comprehensive, innovative, and practical reference guide for intermediate and advanced learners of Brazilian Portuguese. It covers both traditional grammatical categories and practical language functions including all those situations that are vital for communication. There is an accompanying workbook available too as a separate item on Amazon.
Live Lingua is an online language school. The tutors are native speakers from Portugal and Brazil who are required to speak a second language and hold university degrees. The lessons start at $29/hour (the price depends on the certificate you’re after and the number of lessons you purchase at once), but the first one is free. You can also use what they claim to be the internet’s largest collection of free public domain language learning materials. Read the full review of Live Lingua.
Portuguese Communication Exercises (University of Texas at Austin)
A comprehensive collection of video material (transcripts included) for learners at all levels of proficiency featuring native speakers of Portuguese from Brazil and Portugal, including those with specific regional dialects. Thanks to Orlando R. Kelm from University of Texas at Austin, you can listen and learn anything from how to introduce yourself, tell where you are from, or order a meal, to the ways to communicate your feelings or challenge stereotypes.
Verbling is a good platform for finding tutors online and you can book lessons directly from the teacher. You can see how many lessons each teacher has given, their rating on the site, and a short video introduction of their experience. However, prices are higher and the number of teachers lower compared to italki. Read the full review here.
501 Portuguese Verbs
Portuguese has one of the most complex verb systems in the world, with a lot of irregular verbs. This book contains the 501 most commonly used verbs (and 1000 additional ones, which are conjugated similarly as the 501 in the title) presented in tables. One page contains a single verb in all its forms in Portuguese, which helps you notice the patterns behind grammatical structures, and the English translation.
Linguaphone offers two courses of European Portuguese. The quick course is aimed at beginners, and it consists of 4 hours of audio material and a small course book. The complete course has materials for all three levels – Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. The importance of speaking is highlighted, and the practice involves both imitating the way native speakers talk and taking part in conversations. The course creators say that the content is not just useful, but also enjoyable, and helps build confidence while you speak Portuguese.
Speaky is a social language-learning app for those looking to engage with others while learning their target language. The app contains a large database of users with which you can chat, share photos, leave voice messages and even have voice calls. There is a paid version that allows you more than five automatic translations when chatting with someone, but for the most part the app is free. There definitely are other resources out there that do more or less the same thing, so if you’ve used other social language apps then you probably have a good idea as to what to expect with Speaky. If you aren’t a total beginner and want some practice with real-life individuals then Speaky may be something to look into. Read the full review.
This app has an exceptionally smooth interface and is very visually appealing. It’s a useful tool to learn vocabulary, but not much more than that. Free users are limited to just five minutes per day.
Assimil does it a bit differently and reminds you of the difference between US and European models of education. You might find the course too intensive (even the one for beginners). Instead of chunking everything down, it makes you feel like you’re in the middle of a real-time conversation that requires your full attention – and you still can’t follow it completely, and it’s okay; you’ll repeat that lesson anyway. There are two entirely different Portuguese courses. The French-speaking folks can learn European Portuguese, and there is an equal amount of material for English-speaking learners interested in Brazilian Portuguese. Read our full review of Assimil.
The goal of Rype App is to be the go-to app for busy individuals who don’t have a lot of time to learn a language. It supposed to do this through one-on-one Skype lessons available 24 hours a day. For Portuguese however, the number of available teachers is quite low compared to other resources like Italki. Probably the biggest issue surrounding Rype App is that it just doesn’t offer anything unique that you couldn’t find better elsewhere and for less. One good thing about it is that it offers 30-minute long lessons which does help with the flexibility aspect, but isn’t by any means exclusive to Rype App. Read the full review of Rype App.
Podcast, videos, and e-courses for all levels of Portuguese (Portugal). The free material also includes transcripts and translations of the podcast, as well as some grammar charts. There is also a Youtube channel with about 40 videos uploaded.
Mindsnacks is an app that uses games to reinforce learning. After presenting new grammar or vocabulary in short, simple lessons, learning is “tested” through a series of games. The app tracks progress and shows you how much more you need to learn before reaching proficiency in a skill.
Dictionarist – Popup Dictionary
This browser extension for Chrome makes it much easier to look up the meaning of words in Portuguese (and other languages) while reading online. A tool like this can make reading challenging content much more manageable.
Portuguese: A Reference Manual
A comprehensive guide for advanced learners (but useful for novices too) of Portuguese (Brazil), which further explains the rules introduced in basic textbooks. It includes the Orthographic Accord, extensive verb charts, as well as comparisons of the Portuguese language with English and Spanish.
A useful site for both students and teachers of Portuguese (among other languages) that offers a large number of activities for vocabulary and grammar practice. The activities, as well as associated worksheets and games, are free. Other features of the website, such as student-recorded grades and teacher-created activities, are limited unless you purchase the access to the premium version of the site.
Todo Mundo Pod
Two podcasts (Todo Mundo Pod in Portuguese and Portuguese Basic Tips in English) on Brazilian Portuguese, grammar, informal expressions, etc., which are free to listen. But if you’d like to read the transcripts and translations and compare them with the audio, you’d need to purchase the premium membership for $12 a month.
Two apps (Learn Brazilian Portuguese and Learn Portuguese FREE) that enable you to learn Portuguese from any of the 33 languages that they support. The learning starts with listening to a conversation, memorizing core words, and using them to generate other phrases and sentences. At the end of a lesson, you are supposed to be able to reconstruct the conversation. The apps contain the most common 5000 words and phrases. We weren’t very impressed though. Read our full review.
Portuguese with Carla
Carla Sabala is a European Portuguese teacher who offers one-on-one lessons which you can book from her website, but you’ll also find some free material – blog, quite a few podcast episodes (including transcripts), and video lessons – on her website. You can learn, for example, the difference between formal and informal Portuguese and how to order some snails while you’re residing in Portugal.
Book2 (50 Languages / Goethe Verlag)
100 free lessons for beginners and intermediate learners of both European and Brazilian Portuguese. The course includes text (free on the website, but if you’d prefer a physical book, you can buy it on Amazon), and audio files spoken by native speakers. The free mobile app contains 30 lessons, tests and games. The paid version contains the same volume of content, but it is add-free. The goal of the course is to learn the basics quickly, and use them in typical situations. You don’t need to know English(as long as you speak one of the 50 world’s most popular languages); it is possible to learn Portuguese using your native language.
The blog of Lauren Steely, an American who spent several years learning Brazilian Portuguese. The blog is full of great advice, mini-lessons, tips on using available resources, and insightful reviews. The most recent posts are from 2014, but the blog has a considerable archive that any learner of the Portuguese language would benefit from reading.
Tá Falado contains a series of podcasts aimed at Spanish speaking learners of Brazilian Portuguese. The materials are created by a team of competent and enthusiastic individuals from around the world, gathered around the University of Texas at Austin. They prepared 24 pronunciation podcasts, 20 grammar podcasts and two additional lessons – and it is all completely free.
The Oxford New Portuguese Dictionary
This concise (but not too small) bilingual dictionary contains over 40000 words and phrases, chosen to help all groups of the Portuguese (both variants) language learners, including students, business people, and occasional travelers. It is enhanced by 60,000 translations, pronunciation of all entries, and Portuguese verb tables.
EasyPortuguese contains a number of simplified grammar and vocabulary lessons, along with cheat-sheets that help the users learn the most common phrases. You can, for example, learn to ask directions, order a beer, or ask someone to marry you. Each word and phrase is followed by an audio recording, which can save you in a life-or-death circumstance. But no matter how convenient those shortcuts are, this site cannot be your exclusive source if you really want to learn Portuguese.
Another convenient compilation of essentials in European Portuguese. Helpful if you’re visiting Portugal, but insufficient for those who wish to gain comprehensive knowledge of the Portuguese language and grammar. Popular phrases are accompanied with variations, as there is always more than one way to say something. This site can help you practice pronunciation, but it is not interactive and requires you to go back and forth until you lose your patience and go to another site.
You can learn both variants of Portuguese with the Living Language Method. Their basic Portuguese (Portugal) is fairly comprehensive for a basic course and contains 40 lessons, 4 audio CD, grammar reference, dictionary, and supplemental sections. There is a lot more material available for Brazilian Portuguese: the complete edition with three Books (beginners, intermediate, and advanced level), nine CDs, and free online learning resources: games, flashcards, and interactive quizzes.
The Freelang dictionary is a free online dictionary and a platform which enables you to have some (short, non-commercial) content translated for free by a volunteer, or to find a professional to translate whatever material you may have. It only supports Brazilian Portuguese at the moment.
Jump Start Brazilian Portuguese / Professor Jason
Over thirty free lessons (mostly for beginners, but there are some intermediate and advanced level lessons too) that explain pronunciation and grammar in an accessible way. This YouTube course, Jump Start Brazilian Portuguese, introduces the basic vocabulary, most common phrases, and grammar. According to the author, the content of this course is consistent with a first-semester university course.
A free dictionary and, more importantly, a community forum where you can find and interact with people like you, doing the same as you do – studying Portuguese and pondering over the ways to express themselves using that language.
Lingvopedia is an encyclopedia of languages. You’ll find a wide range of interesting facts about the Portuguese language, history, and more, including basic grammar and vocabulary. This is not a basic course or just another boring encyclopedia entry – it contains curiosities like the longest words in Portuguese, unusual words and sentences (A aranha arranha a rã./The spider grabs the frog.), funny idiomatic expressions in Portuguese, and jokes such as Drogas fazem a gente perder a memória e uma outra coisa que não lembro…/Drugs make you lose your memory and something else I can’t remember…
Another platform that enables you to speak Portuguese with native speakers on Skype. There are teachers from both Brazil and Portugal available, but it looks like those from Portugal make the majority. Moreover, the teachers on the site use a standardized framework of references to describe your progress – the European one. As for the learning process, you choose a tutor according to their profile, feedback from other learners, price, location, and availability; book a lesson (a part of the fee should be paid in advance) and there you go.
A free resource for beginners in both European and Brazilian Portuguese, which allows you to practice basic vocabulary, spelling, and grammar through online (flash) games.
A collection of free interactive quizzes online, focused on basic vocabulary of Brazilian Portuguese, including numbers, colors, body parts, food, home, school, and more. Lots of ads though.
17 Minute Languages
More than half of the reviews on Trustpilot rate 17 Minute Languages as ‘Bad’ and unfortunately we don’t disagree. The courses are full of bad translations which makes it difficult to trust other aspects of the courses. There are also no explanations to anything and the exercises themselves aren’t at all engaging. One good thing about the courses however are that they use audio from native-speakers which isn’t that impressive for a language like Portuguese, but can be for less-common languages. As far as learning Portuguese is concerned we definitely recommend taking a look at other resources as there isn’t really any reason to use this one. Review.
Lingro’s tagline “The coolest dictionary known to hombre” is well deserved. It makes reading in Portuguese (among other languages) way more accessible. Just enter the URL of the page in Portuguese, and Lingro will make each word on it clickable. It’s like there’s a built-in dictionary on every page you’d like to read. Furthermore, all the words that you look up while reading are saved for your future reference.
Bab.la is a dictionary – and a lot more than a dictionary. It translates words within the context rather than isolated. Bab.la is a powerful tool which you can use to, for example, write an impressive cover letter in the language of your liking (in this case, Portuguese) and prepare for the interview by finding the right sentences in your native language and defining the language pair (e.g., English-Portuguese). It is free to use, and you can download thematic mini-phrasebooks from any page.
The basic vocabulary of the Portuguese language in images and sound. When you touch an object, word, or phrase, it is pronounced aloud. It contains the entries on numbers, body parts, clothing, food, animals, and family.
OptiLingo uses a process called Guided Immersion to teach the most common words and phrases in the language you’re learning and place them in the context of everyday activities. It also incorporates Spaced Repetition Systems so that you can retain information more efficiently. They focus a lot on listening and speaking to help you develop an ear for the language.
Street Smart Brazil
An online language school that specializes in Brazilian Portuguese, funded by a teacher who has been teaching the language at universities such as Berkeley and the University of San Francisco for over a decade. There are three modules – Portuguese for Fluency, for Business, and for Travel. The Skype lessons are customized to match your proficiency, and the first one is free. In addition to the lessons, this school also offers some business solutions, translation services, and intercultural coaching. Finally, a small series of lessons for beginners called the Portuguese Starter Kit is free on their website.
A free collection of videos and transcripts covering everyday situations and conversations in Portuguese as it is spoken in Brazil and Angola. The material is developed by the staff of the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages (FCCSWL) with the help of student native speakers from the Five College Consortium. You can download the transcripts in .doc format, or purchase a book via Lulu print-on-demand service.
Another useful podcast from the Brazilpod community. 35 (at the moment) brief video clips covering diverse topics, such as hobbies, shopping, relationships, soccer, and more. The dialogs are not scripted, and the conversation is natural. The material is great for intermediate and advanced students of Portuguese (Brazil) who want to hear how genuine people communicate in Portuguese, and learn from example how to take turns when talking, how to rephrase sentences, or how to let the other person know that they need clarification, etc. The dialogs are followed with analyses, which you can download as PDF or purchase as a textbook via Lulu.
Short Portuguese Lessons
A brief overview of Portuguese Grammar for beginners, including the Spanish-Portuguese conversion rules, and links to several useful websites in Portuguese.
Initially created as a classroom tool for intermediate to advanced learners of Portuguese (Brazil) language and culture at University of Texas at Austin, the lessons on this website integrate listening, reading comprehension, writing, vocabulary, grammar, communication, and cultural activities. 157 video clips show a number of Brazilians talking about their lives as well as their country and culture.
FSI language courses were developed by Foreign Service Institute – U. S. Department of State using the FAST methodology (Familiarization & Short-Term Training). It covers the Brazilian Portuguese essentials comprehensively, and includes textbooks and audio recordings. These materials are old and a bit old-fashioned, without any interactive solutions or flashcards – you might even need a teacher to guide through – but they are very thorough and entirely free.
Cudoo is not a course that we recommend. The quality is very low and the price is quite high. The material is not very engaging, contains no language explanations other than translations, and doesn’t give you a lot of opportunities to practice. One of the only good things about Cudoo, other than the fact it contains native speaker audio, is that it offers a wide variety of languages including rare languages that can be difficult to find other resources for. Fortunately, a language like Portuguese has many options available so there’s no reason for you to need to use Cudoo. We wouldn’t even recommend it if it were free. Read the full review of Cudoo.
Complete Portuguese (Teach Yourself Language)
This comprehensive self-learning resource consists of an extensive book and audio material that covers all the aspects of the language, but according to those who tried it, it is not as good as other books in this series. It teaches a “neutral” Portuguese rather than Brazilian or European; the audio material shifts between the two dialects and may confuse the listeners.
Radio Station World (Brazil)
The list of Brazilian radio stations in a directory – nearly 100 radio stations to pick from, including governmental broadcasting agencies and additional resources.
A free online community-created grammar book and course (beginners to intermediate). For the most part, it looks like someone’s rough notes. Some sections are actually useful, but the “course” is incomplete and contains no audio files whatsoever.
A picture dictionary of Portuguese for children. A website from the nineties with rainbow-colored alphabet with links. When you click on a letter, the words that start with that letter appear in both Portuguese and English, followed by illustrations. Click again, and it’ll take you to a page (a coloring page for kids, not an article) related to that word.
Project Gutenberg (Portuguese)
An extensive collection of public domain books in Portuguese, both fiction and non-fiction, including the works of Fernando Pessoa and the translations of a couple of classics originally written in other languages.
BRIC Language Systems
BRIC Language Systems offer both one-on-one and group lessons (in both private and open groups) of Brazilian Portuguese. The teachers are located in Brazil and use the language in and outside the virtual classroom. The lessons are divided into four ‘blocs’. The first bloc covers pronunciation, making appointments, and everything in between. The next one is designed to make you feel comfortable talking about your family, getting groceries and visiting a physician in Brazil. The third bloc is supposed to empower you to debate and offer advice, and the last one, according to the course authors, makes you competent to give speeches in business and academic settings and function effortlessly with sophisticated communication skills. A 48 classes pack in any ‘bloc’ costs $400. The trial one is free.
My Language Exchange
This is an older platform that hosts language exchange practice. You can find exchange partners and practice online in voice chat rooms, using tools such as an online dictionary, pre-made lesson plans, and a notepad. Voice chat rooms are designed and work best for intermediate and advanced level learners, while the beginners can engage in text chat (using a tool called Chat Companion) or find a pen pal.
A vulgar phrasebook of Brazilian Portuguese, more fun than useful, that will present you the common slang of Brazil, from casual street-talk, funny ways to ask someone to go to bed with you, to serious insults. Use it with caution, especially because it seems that this book contains phrases and idioms that are not in use anymore and/or were never used Brazil-wide.
If you aren’t sure how to pronounce a certain word or phrase in Portuguese – from greetings, apologies and flirting (You’re really cute/És encantador) to whichever expression you may find in the book you’re reading – you can type it down in Forvo, and hear it pronounced by a native speaker.
If you’re a language student struggling with verb conjugation, this little tool can save your precious time. You just need to enter a verb in the infinitive, and you’ll get the complete inflection of that verb. Verbix works on Windows and online, and is entirely free.
Probably the most concise, yet surprisingly comprehensive reference you’ll ever find regarding Portuguese Vocabulary and Grammar. Sold as two separate items, the two three-panel (six pages) charts – one for vocabulary, other for grammar – contain everything you’d put into a cheat-sheet and more.
Online Platform for Portuguese / Alto Comissariado para as Migrações
If you’re residing in Portugal, or you’re planning to, you may enroll in the PPT Program (Portuguese for All) which means that you can have a complete course of the Portuguese language – with many modules, available exercises, nationally acknowledged exams, and tutors to help you along the way – for free. The courses are promoted by the institutions of the government of Portugal and the European Social Fund.
Talking Brazilian: A Brazilian Portuguese Pronunciation Workbook
A workbook (and audio) for learners at any level of language proficiency who have a hard time practicing pronunciation or who aspire to speak flawless Brazilian Portuguese. All sounds of Portuguese are explained in a way which is accessible for English-speaking students. The package contains a book and two audio CDs. There are several types of exercises with isolated words and sentences. On the downside, this is certainly one expensive book.
Larousse Concise Portuguese-English/English-Portuguese Dictionary
A fairly comprehensive bilingual Portuguese (Brazil)-English and English-Portuguese dictionary from a famous publisher in an affordable paperback edition.
Portuguese For Dummies
If you’ve read some of the books from “For Dummies” series, you already know what to expect – an easy-to-follow guide through the basics and some interesting phrases and idioms that will help you have a small talk and won’t leave you helpless on the street. There is also the popular top-tens section, which includes ten quick ways to pick up Portuguese (Brazil) swiftly, ten popular slang expressions, and ten expressions that can make you sound fluent.
A gigantic collection of e-books in Portuguese, including the works of Paulo Coelho and contemporary best-sellers translated into Portuguese, such as Harry Potter novels, a book on Elon Musk, the 5 Love Languages, and just about anything else you could think of, including a lot of free books, You can also download dictionaries to translate text as you read, making the Kindle an ideal resource for the advanced learners who aspire to excel in reading comprehension.
The “learning area” at the website of Instituto Camões in Portugal offers free resources, including games, that will help you practice listening, speaking, reading and writing in Portuguese. There are three levels of difficulty. The beginners can practice speaking using the Conversation Guide accompanied by English and French translation, listen to an appropriate section, and practice writing of small texts. Intermediate Level students can use the RTP program “Beware the Language!”, listen to situation-appropriate dialogues, and read tales. The advanced learners can master European Portuguese pronunciation, practice their skills using the sections called “Rebuild and Sequence,” and read “Virtual Stories.” The interface of the website is in Portuguese, but if you translate the page with Google, you’ll find it very useful and user-friendly.
Imperfect as it is, Google Translate is a powerful and immensely useful tool – as long as we use it properly and don’t expect to get 100% correct and complete translations from it. The outcome is always a work in progress. A considerable portion of actual work is finished instantly, but you still need to do your part. You can use it to translate words, documents, and entire websites. The translation is editable with a lot of ready-made alternatives for any word or phrase. The extension for Google Chrome enables you to translate and navigate through the interface of sites that are entirely in Portuguese, which has been used more than once during the creation of this list.
Spotify is more than just a music-streaming service. It offers over 200 hours of free language lessons, including 8 hours of Portuguese (Brazil). In addition to these audio lessons, there is other content available, such as language-learning playlists created by users, podcasts, audio books, Disney movies, and more.
The news site in Portuguese (Portugal). Not just for the advanced learners; the intermediate ones can also take advantage of it because all video materials are followed by transcripts.
TED Talks Portuguese
TED talks include hundreds of informative, inspiring, sometimes beautiful and often humorous stories that you can listen in Portuguese, both European and Brazilian. Some of them have transcripts, which you can use for reference while mastering your listening skills.
A super-dictionary that combines several different Portuguese and bilingual dictionaries and other comprehensive linguistic information. Even though most of the material is free to use, there are several types of subscription available for individual and pro users. Navigation is in Portuguese, which is not very convenient for beginners.
The blog of an American living in Brazil, mostly about the culture and lifestyle of the Brazilians. Contains quite a few entries on language learning, a list of resources, reviews and a bunch of videos on Youtube. The videos are bite-sized and offer practical tips on correct pronunciation (how to not sound like a gringo), ways to get someone’s attention in Brazil, how to avoid offending Brazilians, and more.
Portuguese in 10 Minutes a Day
A small and useful workbook for beginners. It teaches you the basics of Brazilian Portuguese – an essential vocabulary of most frequently used words: colors, numbers, seasons, time, weather, foods, etc. – and includes pre-made flashcards, sticky labels, and computer activities you can download upon purchasing the book.
Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language
A book for Portuguese teachers from around the world. It helps you to teach the contemporary Portuguese language in an effective way, from grammar and culture to the ways to personalize your lessons. Two student activities manuals (Brazilian and European Portuguese) are sold separately and are just as expensive, but these materials are used in the most prestigious universities and represent a sort of a cannon in teaching Portuguese.
Get Started in Portuguese
The Teach Yourself Language edition contains several books on Portuguese, including the Absolute Beginner Courses of both European and Brazilian Portuguese. The pack contains 10 units in book and MP3 CD, which cover the basic grammar and vocabulary and help develop listening, reading, writing, speaking and pronunciation skills.
The Everything Learning Brazilian Portuguese Book
A book and CD that teach you basic Portuguese (Brazil) vocabulary, grammar, and correct pronunciation. The audio material consists of pronunciation guides, vocabulary lists, dialogue examples, exercises, self-tests, and a dictionary. The book serves as a step-by-step guide and is supposed to enable you to communicate confidently in no time.
Just like Urban Dictionary in English, Dicionário Informal is a platform that enables its users to define slang, common expressions, idioms, and possible implicit meanings of words and phrases. You can find out what your Brazilian friends really meant to say, find synonyms and antonyms, learn how to use those expressions through exemplary sentences, and have fun. The site is entirely in Portuguese (Brazil), but it is possible to navigate even if you don’t understand everything.
A fancy language learning software and app used by large corporations and institutions such as the US State Department and NASA. Also known as one of the most overpriced apps that offers considerably less than many free ones. You can start with a trial version and actually learn several nice phrases in Portuguese (Brazilian), but the lessons that follow – which you’d have to pay for – won’t help you move much forward. However, if you’re struggling with concentration issues and love to learn in tiny steps with lots of (often unnecessary) repetition, you may wish to try it. Read our review.
Despite its unimpressive appearance on Amazon (even the name of the author is wrong), this is the third edition of a widely used course of Portuguese (Brazil) for foreigners. The pack contains the textbook and CDs that take you from the beginner to a fluent intermediate speaker of the language. It teaches everyday Portuguese in its natural, but also grammatically correct form. However, the entire material is in Portuguese and is probably more convenient for learners who aren’t fluent in English and have been struggling to find a solid Portuguese textbook in their native languages.
A Frequency Dictionary of Portuguese (Routledge)
The 5000 most frequently used words in Portuguese, core vocabulary, with detailed explanations, translations, and sample sentences. There are two main listings – the frequency list and the alphabetical one – but you can also find the word you need using thematically organized lists. This dictionary is equally useful for learners of both European and Brazilian Portuguese; the two dialects are covered with an approximately the same number of entries.
BBC offers some excellent material for learning Brazilian Portuguese through the video course and BBC Brazil (News for Brazil in Portuguese). The news is great for advanced level learners, but the courses are ideal for beginners. The language and culture of Brazil are introduced through 11 short videos, accompanied by transcripts. Audio clips and pronunciation guides help you speak confidently,and you can also download printable materials, worksheets and activities from the website.
RTP Zigzag is the section of Portugal’s public broadcasting network dedicated to educational videos for children. They cover history, geography, and miscellaneous fun facts. Simple sentences and basic vocabulary may support a painless (and free) start of learning European Portuguese.
Essential Portuguese Grammar (Dover Language Guides Essential Grammar)
A handy reference book for those who’d like to comprehend the logic behind the rules they have noticed while learning Portuguese (Portugal) using flashcards or any other method for instant learning, but have no time and patience to read some long, detailed grammar books. This book aims to clarify the vital points of Portuguese grammar and enable simple, everyday communication.
An excellent free resource for listening practice. A few hundreds of short lessons – around 15 minutes each – on high-school subjects, including math, history, and biology. The lessons are entirely in Portuguese (Brazil) and the speech is normal speed, but the content is straightforward and easy to follow for an intermediate or advanced learner of Portuguese, but the beginners would benefit from listening too.
An online dictionary of synonyms (Portuguese-Portuguese) for intermediate and advanced speakers of Brazilian Portuguese. It includes a detailed, systematic overview of the basic Portuguese grammar.
Lonely Planet Portuguese Phrasebook & Dictionary
Essential phrasebooks from a renowned publisher that will help you learn the basics – the expressions you need for survival in Brazil or Portugal, and some 3500 words – quickly. However, you probably shouldn’t be using them as a pronunciation guide, as that’s the weakest point of those books.
A community-driven Q&A site for teachers and learners of many languages, including Portuguese (both variants). Anybody can join and discuss the delicacies of the language and individual expressions. You can ask questions, offer the solutions for someone else’s dilemmas, and vote for the responses that you find the best. The most helpful entries are voted up and appear close to the top of the thread. It is free, but it is not for beginners; you’ll need some command of Portuguese to participate in the conversation.
The Portuguese alphabet and pronunciation explained with examples in both variants of Portuguese. Free but it only contains one lesson, sample videos from Youtube, plus several links and ads. Other sections of the website provide a number of phrases, both useful and useless, and idioms in many languages, including Portuguese.
All those phrases that link your thoughts together and are vital for communication – such as “to begin with,” “as a matter of fact,” “as far as I can tell,” “instead of,” and similar – in Portuguese (Brazil) and English, with a number of examples.