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Best Courses Portuguese

You’ve gone through the best ways to learn Portuguese and now you’d like to find the perfect course for you to get started. Well, you’re in the right place.

Whatever your purpose is for learning Portuguese is, be it a trip to Portugal or Brazil, or just an interest in the language, we’re here to help you find the best option for you.

We have researched and tried out various Portuguese courses to help you narrow down your options and find the perfect course to get you started.

We’ve come up this list of 22 Portuguese courses, loosely grouped into several different categories based on quality, focus and affordability.

Hopefully, you can spend less time stressing and trying to figure out which course to choose, and more time actually studying.

Table of Best Courses to Learn Portuguese

Links below will send you to the course websites, and the course details are down below.


OVERALL BEST

Best for Improving Oral Communication Skills: Pimsleur

Best Non-Linear Through Learning: Ouino

Best for Learning Authentic Brazilian Portuguese: Semantica Portuguese

Best for Picking Your Own Class: Verbling


BEGINNER’S COURSES

Best Beginner Course with Engaging Stories: StoryLearning Portuguese Uncovered

Good As an Affordable Resource for Beginners: Babbel

Best for Those Wanting an Introduction to Portuguese: Lingodeer

Decent Instruction for Beginners: Mango Languages


READING AND LISTENING

Best for Improving Listening Comprehension: PortuguesePod101

Extensive Reading Made Easy: LingQ


SPEAKING AND WRITING

Best for Improving Oral Communication Skills: Pimsleur

Good for Intermediate Students Wanting to Practice Speaking: Glossika and Speechling


VOCABULARY ACQUISITION

Best As a Supplementary Tool for Reviewing Vocabulary: Memrise

Phrase-Based Learning With Lots of Grammar Practice: Assimil


TUTORS AND LANGUAGE EXCHANGES

Accessible Tutors for Every Ability: italki

Great Way to Find Tutors and Classes: Verbling

Best Way to Find Language Exchange Partners While Taking Its Audio Lessons: HelloTalk


Overall Best Portuguese Learning Courses

These are our favorite choices for learning Portuguese. They touch on many aspects of Portuguese so you will be getting a little bit of everything. Whatever your reason for learning Portuguese is, these courses are sure to give you the most bang for your buck.

Best for Improving Oral Communication Skills

Rating 4.0

$15- $19.95 per month

BEST FOR IMPROVING ORAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Brazilian and European Portuguese 

Pimsleur is not only one of the biggest names in language learning, but they also have some of the best courses.

Their lessons are well structured and build upon each other quite well so previous material is always being reinforced. The focus on conversational lessons also prompts students to actively produce the language and start speaking Portuguese from the get-go. There’s no doubt that, with hard work and consistent application, students will eventually become competent speakers.

Since the emphasis is on the oral language, there is less focus on the written language and grammar, so we’d recommend supplementing your studies with other resources.

Pros

  • Great course for beginners
  • Each lesson builds upon what came before
  • Will get you speaking Portuguese quicker than other courses
  • Subscription is affordably priced
  • The app is designed well, including interesting cultural notes

Cons

  • Lessons tend to be a bit dry
  • Less focus on the written language and grammar
  • The practice activities included aren’t particularly great

See our Super-Detailed Pimsleur Review

Best Non-Linear Through Learning

Rating 4.4

3-month/$38.58

QUALITY CONTENT AND IN DEPTH TOPICS

Ouino is a software program and mobile app with more than 500 lessons and 1,000 exercises in Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese. It’s curriculum-based with an academic approach (as opposed to relying on gameplay like some other language apps). It covers the basics such as vocab and pronunciation, but can also help you improve your conversation skills and master verb tenses.

Ouino would be great for you if you want to pick a language back up after not using it for a while, if you love structure, or if you want lots of practice. It could also be a good resource for language students who want to keep their skills sharp in between semesters.

Pros

  • Accommodates both auditory and visual learning styles
  • You can access all the lessons at any time
  • It’s very affordable, especially if you’re willing to commit to a six-month plan

Cons

  • The pronunciation section doesn’t grade you
  • The structure of the exercises is the same for every lesson in the section

Limited time offer. Lifetime Access is only $95.76!! You can get an additional language for 50% off, OR you could get all 5 languages for life for $191.52. You should know that Ouino enjoys one of the lowest product return rates in the industry. 🙂

See our Super-Detailed Ouino Review

Best for Learning Authentic Brazilian Portuguese

Rating 4.2

$ 19-399

BEST FOR LEARNING AUTHENTIC BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE

Brazilian Portuguese 

Semantica is a fantastic resource for learning Brazilian Portuguese as it teaches students in a way that keeps them truly engaged. Using videos about authentic real-life situations, Semantica immerses students in a Brazilian environment to help them learn to speak and understand the language.

As such, the majority of the content is primarily in Portuguese. Students using Semantica will definitely learn a lot and come away with a better understanding of Brazilian culture. It manages to be both entertaining and effective.

Although there is a wealth of material to explore, there are limited opportunities for students to practice writing or speaking. The grammar analysis could also have been more in-depth. Despite this, Semantica is one of the best resources for improving comprehension skills, increasing your level of Portuguese, and enhancing your understanding of Brazilian culture. A win on all fronts!

Pros

  • Video lessons immerse students in Brazilian life
  • Encourages students to start using Portuguese immediately
  • Semantica staff are very helpful

Cons

  • Grammar could be better explained
  • Limited opportunity to practice writing and speaking

See our Super-Detailed Semantica Portuguese Review

Best for Picking Your Own Class

Rating 4.6

$ 18.00

EASY TO USE PLATFORM

Verbling is an online language-class marketplace where you can take lessons with teachers of your choice. It has some student-friendly extra features, including a built-in online classroom, flashcards, homework calendar, and a filing system for lesson materials. There are also useful but disorganized forums where you can discuss languages, share writing for critique, and do free language drills and exercises.

The lessons are generally high quality and well structured, plus the filters make it easy to find teachers who specialize in everything from accent reduction to interview preparation. 

Pros

  • You can find great teachers very quickly
  • The platform’s extra features, such as teacher-made, personalized flashcards, help you review the material learned in each lesson
  • It seems focused on long-term progression as well as immediate student satisfaction
  • You don’t have to give out your contact details, thanks to the classroom technology

Cons

  • Some teachers don’t use the platform’s flashcards and materials system
  • There are fewer languages available than on italki
  • You can only pay in US dollars, plus there’s a hidden fee
  • The forums need more moderation

See our Super-Detailed Verbling Review

Best Portuguese Beginner’s Courses

As a beginner, learning the very basics of Portuguese is a must. We recommend the courses below to get you started.

Best Beginner Course with Engaging Stories

Rating 4.0

$ 297.00

LEARN PORTUGUESE THROUGH STORIES

StoryLeaning Portuguese Uncovered comes from Olly Richards, the creator of the super popular polyglot blog. It’s quite a bit different than most courses as it revolves around a story. It can be a bit more challenging than other courses, as you begin reading somewhat long texts right off the bat. Overall, I found it to be a more fun way to approach language learning that will be great for some but not ideal for others.

Pros

  • Immersive narrative structure
  • Professional tutors
  • Access to online student community

Cons

  • No option for European Portuguese content
  • No direct speaking software

See our Super-Detailed StoryLearning Portuguese Uncovered Review

Good As an Affordable Resource for Beginners

Rating 4.2

Starting from $7/month

GOOD AS AN AFFORDABLE RESOURCE FOR BEGINNERS

Brazilian Portuguese 

Babbel is an online language-learning platform with over 1 million active users. The Babbel Portuguese app aims to get learners to a conversational level as quickly as possible through the use of a variety of exercises and spaced repetition for review. The courses are well put together and relatively inexpensive.

Pros

  • The content is practical for real-life use
  • It’s easy to use
  • The lessons are fairly short

Cons

  • The exercises can get repetitive
  • The review exercises don’t include grammar concepts
  • Speech recognition isn’t the best way to learn pronunciation

Spring Sale! Get 60% off Babbel subscriptions. See details on the website. Offer ends on 4/28/24.

See our Super-Detailed Babbel Portuguese Review

Best for Those Wanting an Introduction to Portuguese

Rating 4.3

$ 14.99

BEST FOR THOSE WANTING AN INTRODUCTION TO PORTUGUESE

Brazilian Portuguese 

Lingodeer isn’t as well-known as some other language learning apps, but it’s effective at teaching various languages, such as Portuguese. It’s a great way to get an introduction to Brazilian Portuguese as it’s super easy for anyone to learn the basics.

It includes plenty of opportunities for students to review what they’ve studied. Even better? It uses a variety of exercises to ensure students have a well-rounded education and are less likely to get bored with the content.

While Lingodeer is a great starting point, those wanting to become fluent may have to look elsewhere as it lacks the conversational aspect and more advanced lessons that other courses have.

Pros

  • A variety of exercises helps keeps things interesting
  • Well designed and easy to use app
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • Insufficient for developing conversational skills
  • Unlikely to take you past the intermediate level

See our Super-Detailed Lingodeer Review

Decent Instruction for Beginners

Rating 3.5

$ 14.99-179.99

OK FOR BEGINNERS

Brazilian Portuguese

Mango Languages offers a variety of lessons that are designed to help beginners learn a ton of languages, one of which is Brazilian Portuguese. Plus, a subscription grants you access to all of the languages they offer. The course offers lots of drilling exercises to prepare students to speak in a natural environment.

While it’s not a bad course, there are other better and cheaper resources out there. So, unless you can get free access from your library or elsewhere, we wouldn’t recommend using Mango Languages as your first choice.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Cultural and grammar notes help you better understand the language
  • A subscription gives you access to over 70 languages

Cons

  • Not enough grammar practice
  • Not suitable for advanced learners

See our Super-Detailed Mango Languages Review

Courses to Learn Portuguese Reading and Listening

These courses will be help you familiarize yourself with how the Portuguese language sounds and how it is structured. With these courses, you will be able to understand information presented in Portuguese.

Best for Improving Listening Comprehension

Rating 4.0

$ 8.00

BEST FOR IMPROVING LISTENING COMPREHENSION

Brazilian and European Portuguese 

PortuguesePod101 offers lessons for students from the beginner to advanced level, though there’s much more content at lower levels. They have a huge catalog of audio and video lessons that cover an incredible range of topics and scenarios that you’re likely to encounter on a trip abroad.

The progression from beginner to advanced levels was clear, as the beginner lessons were mainly in English and then progressed entirely to Portuguese. A necessary challenge for those wanting to become fluent!

While PortuguesePod101 offers a ton of in-depth information on vocabulary, cultural context and grammar, the course doesn’t offer much in terms of speaking practice. With that being said, it’s still definitely one of the better platforms for beginners and intermediates who are interested in learning Portuguese.

Pros

  • Less English is used as you move up levels
  • In-depth explanations of grammar points and cultural information
  • Huge range of topics and real-life scenarios

Cons

  • The platform can be confusing to navigate
  • Lessons are often stand-alone and don’t always build on each other

See our Super-Detailed PortuguesePod101 Review

Extensive Reading Made Easy

Rating 4.0

$ 12.99

ENJOY READING PORTUGUESE CONTENT

LingQ is a language-learning platform that focuses on extensive reading for over 30 different languages. You can import your own content or choose from the community library of books, articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, and more.

The app highlights unknown words across every lesson and makes them reviewable via different types of SRS flashcards. The more you read, the more accurately you will be able to identify content that is suitable for your level.

Although I did not find it beneficial for languages I had never studied before, I think LingQ can be helpful for upper-beginner to advanced language learners who enjoy reading. It is especially helpful if you struggle to find graded readers in your target language.

Pros

  • Easily import almost any material you want to study
  • Use SRS flashcards to quiz new words from a specific page
  • Each lesson in the library displays the percentage of known and unknown words based on reading history
  • There are many dictionaries to choose from for definitions

Cons

  • Reviewing words is chaotic
  • The extra features are overpriced and can be found other places for cheaper
  • Very little of the content is original. Much of it was uploaded by users from other places
  • The free version is extremely limited

See our Super-Detailed LingQ Review

Courses With Portuguese Speaking and Writing Emphasis

Learn how to pronounce words in Portuguese and how to write with the courses below. These courses provide practice exercises to help you improve on these skills.

Best for Improving Oral Communication Skills

Rating 4.0

$15- $19.95 per month

BEST FOR IMPROVING ORAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Brazilian and European Portuguese 

Pimsleur is not only one of the biggest names in language learning, but they also have some of the best courses.

Their lessons are well structured and build upon each other quite well so previous material is always being reinforced. The focus on conversational lessons also prompts students to actively produce the language and start speaking Portuguese from the get-go. There’s no doubt that, with hard work and consistent application, students will eventually become competent speakers.

Since the emphasis is on the oral language, there is less focus on the written language and grammar, so we’d recommend supplementing your studies with other resources.

Pros

  • Great course for beginners
  • Each lesson builds upon what came before
  • Will get you speaking Portuguese quicker than other courses
  • Subscription is affordably priced
  • The app is designed well, including interesting cultural notes

Cons

  • Lessons tend to be a bit dry
  • Less focus on the written language and grammar
  • The practice activities included aren’t particularly great

See our Super-Detailed Pimsleur Review

Good for Intermediate Students Wanting to Practice Speaking

Rating 3.6

$16.99-$30.99

GOOD FOR INTERMEDIATE STUDENTS WANTING TO PRACTICE SPEAKING

Brazilian and European Portuguese 

Glossika uses an intuitive approach to help students improve their Portuguese by making them listen to native speakers and repeat what they’ve said. It’s intended to have students pick up the grammar points, pronunciation, vocabulary, and language structure, naturally.

It’s not suitable for beginners as some of the vocabulary and sentence structures will be too advanced for those new to the language. Instead, intermediate students would benefit most from Glossika as it can help them practice the language structures found in Portuguese.

While there is value in this type of learning, Glossika’s functions are still limited. The lack of explanations on grammar and lack of cultural context means that Glossika is only best used as a supplementary resource for those wanting to go further with their studies.

Pros

  • Improves speaking and listening skills through repetition
  • Available in lots of languages
  • Encourages students to actively use Portuguese

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Expensive for what is offered
  • The sentences are the same for every language

See our Super-Detailed Glossika Review

Rating 4.3

$ 0.00-$19.99

IMPROVE YOUR SPEAKING RHYTHM AND PRONUNCIATION

Speechling is a website and app that makes it easy to improve your speaking skills in several languages. The free version is an incredbily valuable resource that makes it easy to practice mimicking native speakers. The Unlimited Plan provides unlimited corrections of your recordings by a teacher.

Pros

  • An excellent method to improve your speaking abilities and get feedback from a real teacher
  • Answer the Question, Describe the Image, and Freestyle mode are great for higher levels
  • You can switch languages at any time
  • Truly unlimited recordings with quick feedback

Cons

  • Absolute Beginners should learn the basics elsewhere first
  • You’ll need to learn how to make the sounds of your target language on your own
  • The amount of time given to record sentences can be too short

See our Super-Detailed Speechling Review

Learn Portuguese Vocabulary and Grammar

You cannot escape vocabulary and grammar when learning a new language. You need words and an understanding of how words are structured in order to communicate coherently in Portuguese. The courses below give you ample vocabulary and grammar practice.

Best As a Supplementary Tool for Reviewing Vocabulary

Rating 4.0

$9-$120

BEST AS A SUPPLEMENTARY TOOL FOR REVIEWING VOCABULARY

Brazilian and European Portuguese 

Memrise is a language learning tool that does exactly what its name suggests. It helps students memorize Portuguese vocabulary! By utilizing mnemonics, students are more likely to retain the words they’ve learned and establish a solid foundation for Portuguese.

However, it’s important to recognize that memorizing is only a small part of language learning. Those wanting more comprehensive lessons on speaking, reading, and writing, will definitely need to look to other platforms. Although Memrise also offers courses on food, grammar, and slang, most of them are user-created and vary in quality and substance.

Pros

  • Great for beginners
  • Helps with memory retention
  • An incredible tool for learning vocab

Cons

  • Not sufficient on its own to become fluent
  • Quality of the user-created courses may vary

See our Super-Detailed Memrise Review

Phrase-Based Learning With Lots of Grammar Practice

Rating 4.0

$0.00

HIGH QUALITY AUDIO

Assimil is a French company that has been selling language-learning resources since 1929. Assimil materials are available as books, CDs, and downloadable e-courses; there are a variety of available course types, and instruction is based on interacting with phrases in the target language. The popular Sans Peine or, With Ease, courses are for absolute or false beginners that would like to reach the B2 level, but we think you’ll need to incorporate some other study materials to make this happen.

Pros

  • The audio quality is great
  • The culture notes add a lot of value
  • There are plenty of grammar explanations, but they aren’t a focus

Cons

  • The mobile app isn’t super intuitive
  • The pronunciation feedback method could be better
  • The exercises aren’t especially engaging

See our Super-Detailed Assimil Review

Tutors and Portuguese Language Exchange

Language exchange is very important when learning Portuguese. This involves finding a tutor or a language exchange partner who is a native Portuguese speaker. Interacting with a Portuguese speaker regularly will increase your fluency because you’re able to practice all the language skills.

Accessible Tutors for Every Ability

Rating 4.5

$ 5.00

RECEIVE FEEDBACK ON YOUR PROGRESS

italki is the most flexible and affordable place to find a tutor for the language you’re learning. They have a huge number of teachers offering classes to students of over 100 different languages. As a learner, you’ll be able to find a tutor that best fits your learning style, schedule, and personality. Teachers are able to set their own prices and make their own schedule.

Pros

  • There are large numbers of teachers available even for less common languages
  • You can find skilled teachers even at low prices
  • The flexibility to schedule lessons whenever convenient
  • The extra features in the italki Community make it easy to ask questions, get your writing checked, and find a free language exchange partner

Cons

  • Community features are only available through the app
  • You may need to try several tutors before finding one that fits your learning and personality style
  • It’s easy to not take classes as often as you should

See our Super-Detailed italki Review

Great Way to Find Tutors and Classes

Rating 4.6

$ 18.00

EASY TO USE PLATFORM

Verbling is an online language-class marketplace where you can take lessons with teachers of your choice. It has some student-friendly extra features, including a built-in online classroom, flashcards, homework calendar, and a filing system for lesson materials. There are also useful but disorganized forums where you can discuss languages, share writing for critique, and do free language drills and exercises.

The lessons are generally high quality and well structured, plus the filters make it easy to find teachers who specialize in everything from accent reduction to interview preparation. 

Pros

  • You can find great teachers quickly
  • The platform’s extra features, such as teacher-made, personalized flashcards, help you review the material learned in each lesson
  • It seems focused on long-term progression as well as immediate student satisfaction
  • You don’t have to give out your contact details, thanks to the classroom technology

Cons

  • Some teachers don’t use the platform’s flashcards and materials system
  • There are fewer languages available than on italki
  • You can only pay in US dollars, plus there’s a hidden fee
  • The forums need more moderation

See our Super-Detailed Verbling Review

Best Way to Find Language Exchange Partners While Taking Its Audio Lessons

Rating 4.5

$ 6.99

FIND A LANGUAGE EXCHANGE PARTNER FOR FREE

HelloTalk is a mobile app for language learners interested in language exchange. It facilitates communication between native speakers and those learning their language with the use of built-in language tools. It also offers audio lessons in 10 languages as part of a separate subscription.

Pros

  • It’s exciting to practice communicating with real people
  • The built-in language tools are helpful
  • It’s easy to pick up and put down whenever you like

Cons

  • It’s too easy to rely on google translate
  • It can be hard to find good partners
  • The paid audio lessons probably aren’t worth it

See our Super-Detailed HelloTalk Review

Maybe Try These Portuguese Learning Courses

These courses may not have made it into our favorites list, but they do have something to offer. We wouldn’t fault you for choosing one of these either.

Portuguese Lab Academy

Portuguese Lab Academy is one of the few courses on this list which we haven’t yet had the chance to try. It looks very promising but there isn’t much (or any) impartial information about it online.
The website is easy to navigate and designed very well. It also comes with a ton of extra material and the courses are taught in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Each course appears to build on each other according to this framework, so there should be a natural progression from beginner to intermediate. Since it’s taught by a Portuguese teacher, the course also allows you to ask questions and receive feedback.

Practice Portuguese

Like Portuguese Lab Academy, Practice Portuguese only teaches European Portuguese. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet had the chance to test out their course ourselves and there is no real information about it online from users. But, it looks to be a solid course at an affordable price.
It initially began as a podcast and now offers over 400 lessons for students to immerse themselves in Portuguese expressions and vocabulary. Their lessons consist of grammar explanations, audio and video material with everyday conversations, and speaking practice.

Udemy

Udemy contains user-created courses on a variety of skills, including languages. There are over 40 different courses available for Portuguese that aims to teach students basic vocabulary, Brazilian culture, and even music. With so many choices available, students may have some luck finding a teaching style and content they’re looking for. Past students also like to leave reviews so you can see whether the course is worth investing in.
However, the content and quality can vary significantly between each one. The prices for courses are all different, however, Udemy has tons of sales. If you add a course to your cart and wait a day or two, you’ll almost certainly be given a coupon code lowering the price to around $10.

Busuu

Busuu is another popular language learning app with over 10 million downloads on the Google Play store. They offer a familiar learning platform, not much different than Babbel, Duolingo, or Lingodeer – just without as much value.
However, they also provide students with the opportunity to have their speech and writing corrected by a native speaker. As this function of the app is free, it’s worth checking out but avoid paying for their course.

See our Super-Detailed Busuu Review

Instituto Camões Portuguese For Foreigners

Created by the Portuguese government, this website is entirely in Portuguese (although some sections can be translated into English). It offers various courses that are conducted in three different modalities, including self-learning, basic, and premium.
Each mode allows for the development of oral and written comprehension skills, however, the basic and premium courses include interaction with a tutor and assessment exercises.
The courses appear to follow a curriculum and thus offers a natural progression. It even offers a wide range of materials to help students learn the language, including storybooks, mini-biographies, and a reference guide for everyday situations.

Mondly

Mondly’s language courses are below average and unsuitable for those wanting to properly learn Portuguese. Although it does include features such as voice recognition technology and a chatbot to help students practice conversations, it’s unlikely to teach students anything beyond simple conversational skills.

Spring Sale! Get 96% off Lifetime Access to Mondly Premium, plus bonus access to Mondly AR & Mondly Kids! See details on the website. Offer ends on 4/30/24.

See our Super-Detailed Mondly Review

Rocket Portuguese

Rocket Portuguese is an online Portuguese course made up of audio and reading lessons. The course currently covers one difficulty level, which claims to bring beginning learners of Brazilian Portuguese up to an intermediate level. Interactive audio lessons and repetitive exercises provide learners with lots of practice in a variety of skills, but some may find it difficult to justify the price with how monotonous the course is. The course would work best for learners at a low level that enjoy both audio and visual content, lots of explanations, and frequent practice activities. It probably isn’t the right resource, though, for those looking for an especially engaging way to learn or those on a budget.

See our Super-Detailed Rocket Portuguese Review

Rosetta Stone Portuguese

Rosetta Stone Portuguese is one of the most well-known resources for learning Portuguese languages. It takes an immersive approach to teaching and is widely used by corporations and individuals alike. High levels of repetition and an absence of translations or explanations are hallmarks of the course. Rosetta Stone course could be most suitable for learners who don’t mind repetitive exercises and prefer to learn from pictures and context rather than translations and explanations.

ALR Readers Exclusive Holiday Deal!! Get the Lifetime Subscription for 25 languages for $179 (everywhere else it’s $199 right now!). See details on the website.

See our Super-Detailed Rosetta Stone Portuguese Review

Best Free(mium) Courses for Learning Portuguese

We pride ourselves on recommending the best, and some of them may be a little pricey. However, we do have some budget friendly options below that you can check out.

Good for Those Wanting a Comprehensive Free Course

Rating 4.3

Free

GOOD FOR THOSE WANTING A COMPREHENSIVE FREE COURSE

Brazilian Portuguese 

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) offers a variety of language courses that are free and comprehensive. Lessons consist of audio files and their corresponding textbook. Although there is a lot of content, the material isn’t very engaging as it’s primarily text-based.

Less self-motivated students may find it hard to consistently stick with the lessons. The course is also quite old, in fact, it was written with a typewriter, but the content is still solid. Overall, the FSI courses best suit students who want a free resource and don’t mind the dated and dense feel.

Pros

  • Free
  • Comprehensive and well-structured
  • Covers a lot of material via audio clips and the attached PDF

Cons

  • Can be difficult to get through by yourself
  • Very dense and outdated

Good for Keeping Students Motivated

Rating 4.0

$ 0.00

GOOD FOR KEEPING STUDENTS MOTIVATED

Brazilian Portuguese 

Duolingo may be the most well-known language learning platform in the world. Their courses use gamification to make learning fun. By providing rewards, students are encouraged to keep coming back for more to extend their study streaks. Duolingo is, therefore, a fantastic resource for students who need that extra push.

However, the structure of Duolingo’s Portuguese course is all over the place and doesn’t provide a useful build-up of essential phrases and vocabulary. The content is also lacking as it is poorly explained and isn’t as effective as other courses. It can be fine to use as a supplementary tool, but we wouldn’t recommend studying Portuguese with Duolingo alone.

Pros

  • The gamification helps keep students motivated and coming back each day
  • Good for learning Portuguese vocabulary
  • Free

Cons

  • Lacks emphasis on grammar
  • You’ll likely struggle to understand how the language works

See our Super-Detailed Duolingo Review

Dated but Thorough Courses

Rating 4.3

Free

DATED BUT THOROUGH COURSES

The Foreign Services Institute (FSI) won’t be winning any awards for exciting material or fun-to-use content, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive course for free. The courses were originally created to help diplomats quickly reach professional working proficiency in foreign languages. They’re now available for free on a number of different websites.

There are several different Spanish courses created by FSI, some with material specific to Spain and some with a Latin American focus. They’re all very thorough and include audio recordings and activities to complete. You’ll get plenty of practice with listening comprehension and will have opportunities to practice speaking by responding to audio prompts.

Pros

  • It’s completely free.
  • Everything is downloadable—you could even print the PDF text if you wanted.
  • Accessible for beginners.

Cons

  • The materials are severely outdated.
  • There’s not much advanced content—more targeted to beginners.

See our Super-Detailed FSI Courses Review

Most Useful Free Flashcard Vocab Builder

Rating 4.1

Free

THE GO-TO SRS FLASHCARD APP

It is the go-to app for free (except on iOS) Spaced Repetition System (SRS) flashcards. It has a simple user interface with various features that more hard-core users can dive into if they choose. Your flashcards will appear according to your natural forgetting curve; the app will test you in increasingly spaced out intervals, with more difficult cards appearing more than once in a session, while easier cards spacing out over weeks — or even months and years.

An SRS system is the most effective way to drive information into your long-term memory. The cards can sync between the web, desktop app, and mobile versions to keep your flashcards updated and with you at all times. You can add images and audio clips to your cards and change the text formatting (if you use it on your computer).

One feature unique to Anki, as opposed to other SRS flashcard apps, is the “Cloze deletion” function, which allows you to block out parts of your card and create a “fill-in-the-blanks” type card format. If you want a resource for how to make effective flashcards, check out the book, FluentForever. The author leaves a whole section dedicated to understanding how to use your Anki deck to advance your skills quickly.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of features
  • Allows synching across multiple devices

Cons

  • Anki’s interface may be a bit intimidating for beginners
  • The aesthetic isn’t very appealing

See our Super-Detailed Anki Review

Convenient, Gamified Practice for Beginners

Rating 4.0

$ 0.00

GOOD FOR KEEPING STUDENTS MOTIVATED

Brazilian Portuguese 

Duolingo may be the most well-known language learning platform in the world. Their courses use gamification to make learning fun. By providing rewards, students are encouraged to keep coming back for more to extend their study streaks. Duolingo is, therefore, a fantastic resource for students who need that extra push.

However, the structure of Duolingo’s Portuguese course is all over the place and doesn’t provide a useful build-up of essential phrases and vocabulary. The content is also lacking as it is poorly explained and isn’t as effective as other courses. It can be fine to use as a supplementary tool, but we wouldn’t recommend studying Portuguese with Duolingo alone.

Pros

  • The gamification helps keep students motivated and coming back each day
  • Good for learning Portuguese vocabulary
  • Free

Cons

  • Lacks emphasis on grammar
  • You’ll likely struggle to understand how the language works

See our Super-Detailed Duolingo Review

Comprehensive Learning for All Levels

Rating 4.3

$ 0.00

COMPREHENSIVE LEARNING FOR ALL COURSES

Similarly to FSI, courses developed by the Defense Language Institute (DLI) are extremely thorough but not exceptionally engaging. They also place more of an emphasis on military terminology at higher levels.

Pros

  • Courses are well structured and comprehensive
  • The courses are free

Cons

  • The courses are dated and not very exciting courses

See our Super-Detailed DLI Courses Review

So, What are the Best Portuguese Courses for YOU to Learn the Language?

We’d love to hear about any Portuguese courses that you’ve tried and how you liked them. Do let us know in the comments section.

If you’d like to check out more Portuguese resources, here are our posts about Portuguese podcasts and Portuguese apps.

1 thought on “Best Online Portuguese Courses: We Have Tried Dozens”

  1. I spent nearly 3 weeks using duolingo for Portuguese. Fortunately I am fluent in Spanish and Portuguese is similar. Two things that annoyed me were the lack of explanation of why my answer was deemed wrong, it made it seem arbitrary. After all I´m learning and need to know if what I wrote is wrong or is just another way of saying it. I did not feel I was progressing as a lot of the levels were very similar, so there was lots of repetition. It is OK as an introduction since it is fee, and because we are quarantined I had lots of time. But I found it neither exciting nor well organised. Hence I started looking at other reviews, as the ones on your site.

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