In this day and age, there are a plethora of different learning resources available to us online and in recent years podcasts have proliferated with their quality and content getting better all the time.
Depending on how you like to learn a language, a Portuguese podcast could really help you to achieve your learning goals and, while there are maybe not as many podcasts in Portuguese as in other languages; there are still some fantastic resources out there which are worth checking out.
Before we have a look at some of the best podcasts out there, why is it a good idea to give them a go and how can you best make use of them to learn Portuguese?
To give you an idea of what is out there, below you will find both Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese podcasts for you to explore.
Why listen to podcasts?
While we’re not suggesting that you solely listen to podcasts to learn Portuguese, there are definitely some real positives to using them alongside other language learning resources.
One of the most important aspects of being able to hold a conversation in another language is being able to understand the person who you are talking to!
With a podcast, you can explore numerous accents and listen to a wide variety of different voices. This is sometimes missing from courses online which have only one or two presenters from one or two particular places.
If you manage to find a couple of Portuguese podcasts that you like then you’ll soon be listening to speakers from Rio, Sao Paulo and Natal in Brazil as well as presenters from Lisbon, Porto, and Braga in Portugal.
As well as getting authentic Portuguese as spoken by locals, podcasts can be very fun, entertaining and educational to listen to.
If you’re enjoying what you listen to then you are more likely to continue with the material, work to follow what is going on and take pleasure in your learning.
Some texts and learning materials can be quite dry so if you find the right podcast for you, you may soon find yourself listening to a lot more Portuguese than you used to. As they literally cover every topic under the sun; there is sure to be at least one you like!
By listening to Portuguese podcasts you can intuitively pick up more grammar and vocabulary while also learning how to pronounce new words too.
By hearing full sentences, paragraphs and indeed whole podcasts, you hear everything in context and that means that words which you may have only learnt until now in isolation suddenly make a lot more sense.
By seeing how everything is connected, you will end up speaking Portuguese in a more natural manner.
In addition to the benefits listed above, you can listen to podcasts almost anywhere which makes them a useful resource with which to fill ‘dead time’ where you have nothing going on.
Okay, so as you can see there are lots of positives to listening to Portuguese podcasts. How though can you make the most of your time listening to them?
How to make the most of the podcasts
While it seems a relatively simple thing to do, there are a few things to think about when starting out on your podcast journey.
Although it may be tempting to let the podcasts play in the background regardless of what you are doing, you will obviously benefit more if you actively listen and engage with the material. For example, you could write notes or pause it every now and again to reflect on whether you have understood everything.
Playing the podcast at a slightly slower speed than normal can also be a useful way to make sure that you understand more of what is going on.
Depending on your level, you will also probably find it useful to start off with podcasts that cater to beginner or intermediate learners before progressing on to podcasts intended for native speakers.
Don’t be afraid to listen to the same episode a couple of times if necessary before moving on to the next one.
Give a couple of podcasts a try before deciding whether this type of learning suits you because just like with online courses; not all of them will appeal to every learner.
Let’s now have a look at some of the best Portuguese podcasts that are out there!
For Brazilian Portuguese Language Learners
Encompassing different materials that are available on the website, BrazilPod was set up by the University of Texas to help people learn Brazilian Portuguese.
While it has ceased to be updated, there are still some useful resources here with the Lingua da gente podcast the most useful of them all. Suitable for beginners and intermediates, the conversations between the presenters are at a good pace and the transcripts are available which is useful.
Once having explained the scenario, they go through it in Portuguese before breaking it down and looking at it in English. Looking at vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation through the episodes’ main subject, it’s quite useful without setting the world alight although the material is presented in a nice and friendly way.
The episodes are usually around ten minutes in length.
Although it no longer seems to be running, there are still 573 episodes for you to check out and the presenter speaks in a very calming manner which is relaxing and pleasant to listen to. Aimed at Portuguese learners, intermediates will find lots of material on absolutely everything Brazil-related or not.
Whether it is test-tube babies, Ronaldinho or looking at who the President of Brazil is; there is something for everyone!
The presenter reads out the text in Portuguese and then slowly goes through the text line for line translating each into English. Sometimes the presenter will also look at grammar, proverbs and useful phrases. This is a really good one to check out.
With a huge number of lessons in their catalog, PortuguesePod101 is a great podcast for beginner and intermediate users to check out.
The two presenters converse in a fun and friendly way and look at Brazilian culture and explore Portuguese grammar and vocabulary. They are constantly adding new material and is a great option for people looking to improve their Portuguese.
Although it is not free, the 8$ per month basic subscription is a worthwhile investment for all that you’ll get. The early lessons have quite a lot of English in them but the later advanced ones are entirely in Portuguese. Read our full review of PortuguesePod101.
Aimed at Portuguese language learners, this is an active podcast which would be good for intermediate learners. Each episode is around ten minutes long and the content looks at life in Rio de Janeiro, the culture of Brazil and everyday situations which come up.
It isn’t too complicated to listen to and Alexia, the Brazilian presenter speaks in a very clear manner which is easy to follow. The American presenter, Foster, is generally quite good but sometimes I found him very hard to understand although this was quite infrequent.
While it is free you can pay to receive worksheets which have the transcripts for each episode. The podcasts take the form of conversations between the two presenters.
Aimed at Portuguese learners, the podcast is ongoing and is run by Really Learn Portuguese.
While there are only 65 episodes to date, they cover a wide range of topics with some looking at what happened to the ex-President Lula with others focussing on the current World Cup, Brazilian cinema, plants, and hobbies.
As the name indicates, the podcasts take the form of conversations and while the presenters speak clearly, sometimes the recordings aren’t the best. While they are free, you have to pay for the transcripts. They seem to take breaks every now and again and then release new material.
The presenter speaks clearly and at a good pace which makes this podcast easy to understand and suitable for beginner and intermediate learners.
Looking at grammar, slang, expressions and more, Todo Mundo has been going on for a few years now and there is quite a lot of material to explore.
While the presenter is not the most riveting to listen to, he clearly explains grammar points in English and there is a good amount of Brazilian Portuguese for students to learn. The episodes are free but you need to pay for the transcripts and they are usually around ten minutes in length.
While it’s not a podcast, Semantica is an awesome resource for learning Brazilian Portuguese from video lessons that feel closer to a tv series than a language course. Read our full review of Semantica now.
For native speakers and Brazilian Portuguese advanced learners
This interesting podcast presents Brazilians who are living in different countries around the world and their experiences in adapting to the diverse cultures in which they find themselves. Some Brazilians, for instance, are working in Israel with refugees while others are living in Kazan making music for a living.
The short features are usually around five minutes in length and although aimed at native speakers, they are easy and clear enough for intermediates to understand while the transcripts of what is said can be found on the website.
A very active podcast, Cafe Brasil is hosted by Luciano Pires and to date, there are 620 episodes for you to listen to!
While it is definitely aimed at native speakers, it covers a lot of interesting subjects, mainly focussing on politics, Brazilian society, and philosophical topics. Each episode is around half an hour in length if not longer and the presenter and any guests who contribute their views speak clearly and are easy to understand.
The website conveniently has the text of each episode available which really helps you to follow what is being said. Every now and again, music is played to break up what Luciano is saying and generally speaking, it’s nice to listen to!
Excellently and atmospherically presented, Escriba Cafe’s presenter makes this podcast captivating and educational to listen to. Looking at different parts of history, the website is great to visit and the transcript for each episode is freely available.
While there are just nineteen episodes, they do infrequently get added to and the great production makes them well worth checking out. The presenter doesn’t speak too fast and while it is intended for native speakers, intermediates should be happy enough listening to it.
The main media outlet in Brazil, Globo has loads of podcasts for you to check out which, while they are aimed at native speakers, they are quite accessible to Portuguese language learners. Presenters and commentators alike speak clearly, pronounce everything perfectly and the duration of the podcasts means that they won’t be too intimidating to intermediate learners.
With so many podcasts on offer, it’s worth looking through for a topic that interests you as some comment on the latest book releases while others look at sustainable cities and economics.
An active and well-presented podcast with 154 episodes to date, Mamilos, meaning ‘nipple’ looks at sexuality, feminism, contemporary issues, Brazilian society and more. The presenter and the contributors speak very clearly though it is at quite a quick pace and there is a friendly feel about how the conversations go.
They are usually over an hour in length and you’ll really get to listen to lots of different accents and speaking styles.
A dynamic presenter, full of energy and life, Marcio Ballas is appropriately a clown and this podcast is all about his experiences traveling around the world performing in front of people. While he sometimes speaks quite fast, his clear pronunciation and fun way of speaking make it interesting to follow and the episodes are not too long at around ten to fifteen minutes per episode.
With over seventy episodes on offer and new ones being added, it’s a fun listen and the accompanying transcripts make it a lot easier to follow.
Very popular in Brazil, NerdCast has been broadcasting for over ten years and they have pretty much covered every topic imaginable although they say that they cater primarily to ‘nerd’ topics! Looking through their catalog you’ll inevitably find topics that interest you.
Advanced learners may enjoy this podcast though the speed at which it is delivered probably means that it is beyond most intermediates. There is a jokey feel about it and the presenters crack lots of jokes and various commentators and presenters contribute their views on the topic that each episode focuses on.
The episodes are usually around an hour in length if not longer.
Focussing on the politics of Brazil and further afield, this podcast is intended for native speakers but its clear pronunciation and the short duration of many episodes (around five to ten minutes each time) makes it suitable for intermediates. While some episodes are around an hour long and take the form of discussions around a particular topic like whether how Brazil does at the World Cup impacts the election results, others are just short monologues.
With new episodes regularly appearing, this is a great podcast if you want to learn about contemporary Brazilian politics.
Quite a random podcast, the presenters divert from the topic when they feel like it and the content and presentation style is a bit chaotic with people talking over each other. Definitely lively and fun to listen to, Nao Ouvo’s informal style makes it harder to understand and is aimed at native learners.
Looking at everything from memes and YouTubers to celebrity lifestyles and politics, its 146 episodes are a rollercoaster ride of different topics with some episodes easier to understand than others.
If football is your thing, then Pelada na Net is the podcast for you. Delivered at breakneck speed and a bit messy at times with people speaking over each other and unclear pronunciation, it is, however, fun to listen to although its quite hard to work out some of what is being said.
With discussions about football, impassioned fans and lots of laughs, Pelada na Net is regularly updated and has over 300 episodes for you to check out.
With 261 episodes currently available to listeners, SciCast explores different subjects related to science with some focussing on famous figures while others look at vaccines, Napoleon in Russia and recent technological advancements.
Numerous presenters pop up through the episodes which often go on for over an hour. There is a fun and friendly feel to the podcast and every now and again they play music which cuts up the long stretches of dialogue.
For European Portuguese Learners
Aimed at European Portuguese learners, this podcast series is still getting updated though not as regularly as before. They come in a variety of formats with some of them being dialogues, others are an article in the news that is read out and some are simple conversations between the presenters.
They speak very clearly and also explain some phrases that come up. Suitable for intermediates and possibly for motivated beginners, the episodes are free but you need to pay if you want to access the transcripts.
With a new podcast appearing around once a week, Portuguese Lab is a good resource as the website is easy to use and will certainly help you make the most of each episode. The presenter reads out the text in a very clear way and at a good pace and there some episodes have a full transcript as well as short translations of any difficult vocabulary that arises.
Episodes catering to beginners clearly explain grammar points in English while advanced lessons are entirely in Portuguese. While the episodes are free, you can pay to access all of the additional resources. The episodes vary in length but are usually around the ten-minute mark.
With over fifty free lessons available to you, this podcast covers a range of topics and Carla and her husband often go through a dialogue before breaking down the conversation and going through the phrases and vocabulary that come up.
Sometimes the sound quality isn’t the best and the commentary is a bit meandering but it is a good resource for intermediates to use. New episodes appear from time to time.
Aimed at foreign language students looking to learn Portuguese, this podcast explains proverbs, idioms and colloquial expressions that may arise. With all of the transcripts included alongside the free audios, new episodes are regularly being added and they usually run to around five minutes in length. Two presenters usually go through a dialogue that is appropriate for intermediate learners.
European Portuguese Podcasts for native speakers and advanced learners
Focussing on Portuguese politics, this programme is very popular and delivers great analysis which can be both dry and hilarious. With new episodes constantly being added, they usually run to just under an hour and the contributors and presenters speak quite clearly.
Focussing on the Portuguese speaking world in Africa, this podcast looks at what is going on in those countries whether that be political, technological or about sport and music. Taking place once a week, each episode is around twenty minutes in length and is quite easy to follow as the contributors speak at a good pace for language learners.
With almost two hundreds episodes available and new ones being added all the time, Um Dia No Mundo is a daily podcast on the world news. Short and to the point, they usually last around four minutes and deal with whatever is in the news that day.