7 Best Resources to Learn Portuguese Online

Portuguese is the fifth most spoken language in the world. It is the official language of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tomé and Príncipe, but has non-official status in many others. It’s becoming quite popular nowadays among non-native speakers thanks to the famous TV shows telenovelas and their specific music.

map of the world showing portuguese speaking territories

Some people want to learn Portuguese because they appreciate and respect the culture behind it. Others, because they are planning a trip in one of the aforementioned countries, or because it would bring an exotic touch to their resume. Be as it may, learning to speak Portuguese can be an easy task if you have a PC or laptop and an internet connection.

Ways to Learn Portuguese Online

Learning a new language just enough to get around in another country shouldn’t take long if you have the right resources and motivation. A few tips and tricks before we dive into the most commonly used tools for learning Portuguese, be it European or Brazilian:

  1. Be honest with yourself. It’s easy to cheat a quiz or test when you’re using and online course for learning Portuguese and Google is one click away. However, keep in mind that ultimately, you are only cheating yourself and there’s no reason to do so.
  2. Do your best to listen to Portuguese podcasts while in the car, showering or doing chores. For bonus points, watch one of their famous telenovelas. Sure, you won’t understand much at first, but once you get adjusted you will be surprised with how much you will learn from them.
  3. Start off with nouns and verbs. You won’t reach a conversational level from your first days or weeks, but you will have a solid knowledge which will make everything easier later on.
  4. Practice is key. Don’t expect it to be easy from your first try, or you will soon be very disappointed. After all, it is a foreign language that you need to accommodate to, and that takes time.

Now, let’s see which are the best websites and apps to learn Portuguese from:

1. Duolingo

Duolingo is one of the best apps for learning foreign languages because it makes everything seem fun and easy. Its lessons are usually short, which makes it a great choice for those who want to speak Portuguese just for fun or for those who want to get the basics and then move on to another course in order to deepen the knowledge.

Why we like it:

  • Personalized lessons that adapt to your knowledge needs and learning customs
  • Fun, interactive exercises that let you know which areas you need to work more on
  • Effective, game-like rewarding system: learn & earn
  • Very user-friendly, great for kids
  • The best part, it’s free!

2. Easyportuguese.com

A very well-structured and logical course, praised both by people who wanted to learn Brazilian Portuguese and by those who were after learning European Portuguese. While it’s not as playful as Duolingo, it does a great job with organizing its content.

Why we like it:

  • Well-regulated website with lots of useful content
  • Although the differences between the two are subtle, you can learn both Brazilian and European Portuguese by using it
  • You can hear the pronounciation of words, idioms and phrases. For this audio part, we recommend using some headphones in order to catch the subtle nuances
  • Mostly free. There are a few books you can buy, but you can reach a conversational level without them

3. Fluent in 3 months: Portuguese courses by Benny Lewis

Benny Lewis or, as he calls himself, Benny the Irish Polyglot claims he discovered a new system that makes learning a new language in just months a piece of cake. This might seem almost impossible to achieve to some of us, but Benny and the people that completed his course are living a breathing examples of the contrary.

Why we like it:

  • Easy to learn Portuguese even if you’re not that tech savvy, by e-mail
  • Offers personalized sessions and answers any questions you might have
  • Friendly and very prompt
  • Free

Keyboard with forged key on top

4. PortuguesePod101

Another digital approach to language learning, PortuguesePod101 offers lessons that are both easy to follow and interesting. It can be accessed from mobile devices via a Portuguese learning app or from your laptop or desktop via website or software. It’s great especially for those with auditory memory,especially once you get used to the basics of the language.

Why we like it:

  • Permanently updated content
  • Very effective thanks to the many podcasts available
  • Interesting, since their lessons focus on cultural aspects too
  • Free

5. The Travel Linguist’s Portuguese 101

Great choice for those with visual and auditory memory, since it focuses on pronounciation. It can be accessed via website or via YouTube, for those who want to avoid downloading its video content.

Why we like it:

  • Easy to follow
  • Easily accessed, even if computers aren’t really your thing
  • Free

6. BBC’s Portuguese course

The famous London-based news station now offers free Portuguese courses as well, and I have to say they’re pretty efficient. They combine multiple learning techniques to create some simple and effective lessons. It’s a great course for those with analytical thinking, because it groups up words and phrases into certain topics.

Why we like it:

  • Logical structure
  • Answers everyday questions and gives you the basics of conversation in Portuguese
  • Easy to follow and efficient: You have a video with transcript that you can follow in order to observe the spelling
  • Free

7. Rosetta Stone’s Learn Portuguese

Rosetta Stone definitely has one of the best Portuguese courses online, and all thanks to an impeccable structure and a lot of work. This course is definitely tailored for those who want to exceed the conversational level. It’s also one of the few courses that cost money and we actually recommend. It works great because it has a layered structure:

Level 1: the foundation of a new language like greetings, introduction, ordering or shopping.

Level 2: the connection between English Portuguese represented by telling time, asking and giving directions, making a schedule or a phone call.

Level 3: the exploration of the Portuguese language by expressing your ideas and opinions, etc.

Why we like it:

  • Maybe the most efficient Portuguese learning platform on the web
  • User-friendly, with a great design
  • Dynamic, interesting, eeps users engaged
  • Offers live sessions with a native speaker (definitely worth the money)

Girl with laptop typing

Of course, there are other ways to get to speak Portuguese fluently by using online resources. If you’re feeling brave, you could download a course or book via torrent. However, you should try to make this your last option since it’s a bit risky.

Also, don’t forget that you have the internet at your disposal, so make good use of it. Try visiting a worldwide-known forum and making friends over there. The best way to learn a new language is to practice, so a native speaker would be the best teacher. Another great option is switching your favorite game’s language to Portuguese. You would be surprised at how much you can learn when learning isn’t your priority.

Please, feel free to suggest any other great services that you found useful in learning Portuguese and share a bit more about your experience with them, if possible.

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