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If you’re on top of the latest language learning trends, you know Portuguese has been hot for quite some time now. Yet did you have a hard time finding consistent material to learn from? Say no more: this list with the 14 best apps to learn Portuguese will help you make astonishing progress in no time!
Why is using apps to learn Portuguese a good strategy?
Most apps have tons of free content
You might not feel like investing in your learning path for now — and you don’t need to. What’s more: a lot of paid apps offer an ad-supported version, so ditching the dreaded paywall can be really easy when you have this many options.
They’re developed by people who know what they’re doing
The internet can be tricky when it comes to the reliability of information, especially when you’re not even sure what you’re reading or hearing. Yet developing a successful app requires a method that people will want to stick to, which means you can trust the stuff they’ll be teaching you.
You won’t even feel that you’re studying
Much of our daily life these days revolves around switching between devices, which means that opening an app during the little breaks you get throughout the day will feel way smoother than attending classes or reading a textbook. Sooner than you realize, you’ll be having your first breakthroughs… then you’ll be hooked!
Ready to dig into these awesome apps to learn Portuguese? In case you’re still wondering if that’s the next language you should learn, our posts on the 20 Things Brazil is Famous For and on Portugal’s unique traditions will leave you no room for doubt!
The best apps to learn Portuguese
One of the oldest language learning apps, Babbel has five Portuguese courses running from newcomer through intermediate levels, plus five issue-specific paths (“Refresher”, “Grammar”, “Countries and Traditions”, “Specials”, and “Words and Sentences”).
Babbel brings learning Portuguese for beginners up to intermediate learners to a whole new level of interactivity. Make sure to check out their digital magazine for superb articles.
Why you should try Babbel:
- Babbel is one of the most popular and best-rated language learning tools on the web
- It’ll help you hone your Brazilian Portuguese skills
- Lessons are about 15 mins long, which is doable even for the busiest of students
Pricing: $12.95 for a one-month plan, $26.85 every quarter, $44.70 every six months, or $83.40 for a yearly subscription
Start learning Portuguese on Babbel here
Despite rumors to the contrary, Duolingo Portuguese has yet to add European Portuguese to its catalog. This is the OG of language apps, though; if you’re learning Brazilian Portuguese, you should at least give it a try. You’ll need to put in impressive 400 study hours to reach the coveted level 25, so I’d say it’s as complete as it gets when it comes to reaching upper-intermediate. It’s also amazingly interactive and engaging.
Why you should try Duolingo:
- It’s the go-to language learning tool for 300 million+ people: it must be doing something right
- Duolingo Plus is more about a smoother user experience, meaning there’s hardly any difference (content-wise) between the free and paid iterations
- User-submitted corrections make it ever more accurate
Pricing: $12.99 for a monthly subscription, $47.99 for a six-month one, and $79.99 for year-long access
Despite its limited free content, Drops is one of the best-rated language learning apps on the internet. Its method focuses on establishing a connection between simple images and their meaning through fun and engaging games. It’s a first-class option for beginners up to intermediate speakers.
Why you should try Drops:
- Drops has both Brazilian and European Portuguese learning paths
- It boasts a top-notch blog and a visual dictionary
- Language learners approve of it almost unanimously
Pricing: $9.99 for monthly subscriptions, $69.99 for yearly plans, and $159.99 for lifetime access
Do you want to speak Portuguese and need some conversation practice? Or perhaps you’re looking for a Portuguese language tutor? Then italki is what you’re looking for. It’s a platform meant to connect learners and private tutors, and also allows for language exchanges between students. On italki, you can find affordable Portuguese tutors who can help you brush up your conversation skills or offer structured lessons to meet your learning goals.
Read our review of italki here.
Why you should try italki:
- Italki will connect you to a teacher that fits your Portuguese learning needs
- You’ll love interacting with other Portuguese speakers on the platform
- It’s overall cheaper than competitors like Preply
Pricing: Hourly rates start from $4, but you’re more likely to pay between $10 to $30 to work with a more experienced teacher
Find a tutor on italki here
Pimsleur is one of the best apps to learn Portuguese you’ll come by because it uses its own time-tested method. Developed almost 60 years ago, the Pimsleur Method is structured around gradually increasing intervals for vocab learning, stimulating response anticipation, prioritizing a core set of words, and organic learning.
Why you should try Pimsleur:
- Pimsleur is the best app to learn European Portuguese (or close to it) but offers a great Brazilian Portuguese course as well
- It’s the more “serious” cousin of apps like Duolingo and Drops
- It concentrates on speaking, which will help you become an upper-intermediate speaker quite fast
Pricing: $19.95 a month after a seven-day free trial
With 160 lessons over seven units, totaling 46 hours of content, Memrise features an ever-growing community of Portuguese speakers. What I love about it is how well the tons of user-uploaded material mixes with the official program.
Though you can go through all levels without a pro membership, those who opt in to a paid plan will have access to a wide range of videos, statistics regarding their learning, as well as a custom path that adapts to how they learn.
Why you should try Memrise:
- If you’re not willing to invest in learning Portuguese just yet (or ever), Memrise’s free content will have you covered
- It’s meant for both European and Brazilian Portuguese learners
- The extra stuff created by users is the bomb
Pricing: $9 for a month, $59 for a year, and $129.99 forever
Not only does LingoDeer boast the cutest logo on the web (can we all agree on that?), it also offers up to B1-level free Brazilian Portuguese lessons, including a nearly 1,000-word travel phrasebook. Talk about strong points!
But bear in mind this is another Portuguese language app that focuses exclusively on the Brazilian dialect.
Why you should try LingoDeer:
- LingoDeer has a lot more free content than your average language learning app
- Subscriptions give you access to all 11 languages on the platform
- Over 10 million people use it
Pricing: $11.99 for a month, $29.99 for three months, $79.99 for a year, and $119.99 for lifetime access
There are two things I really like about LingQ: the possibility of reaching out to tutors to ask questions; and its devotion to developing students’ listening skills through 1,000+ hours of podcasts and issue-oriented videos with matching transcripts.
Its library links to content on subjects as diverse as pop music, literature, history, and astronomy to pick from, interspersed with comedy sketches for a welcome respite from the more serious stuff.
Why you should try LingQ:
- It’s the best app to learn Portuguese if you’re into learning through listening (but not only, as you can see above)
- You can count on qualified personnel to help you out
- Its mix of grammar, vocab, and culture is hard to match
Pricing: Premium plans varies between $12.99 for a monthly membership and $107.99 for a yearly one; Premium Plus ranges from $39.99 (a month) to $839.76 (two years)
Preply is innovative in that it’s a platform to connect students with individual teachers. You’ll probably learn how to speak Portuguese way faster than more conventional apps would let you, as you’ll be able to look for someone who matches your learning needs, no strings attached.
Why you should try Preply:
- It’s a great option for learners seeking to work on their speaking skills
- You can look specifically for native teachers for an insider’s view of their culture and the street talk
- Teachers are vetted before being admitted onto the platform
Pricing: Entry-level teachers charge $8 for lesson; more experienced ones average $15
Find a Portuguese tutor on Preply here
One of the best things about Busuu is that you can interact with native speakers at the end of each lesson. Those who don’t have English as their mother tongue will also enjoy being allowed to pick between 14 other interface languages for their studies. With its vibrant, 100 million+ community of learners, Busuu is overall one of the best apps to learn Portuguese out there.
Why you should try Busuu:
- Your native language is likely to be available to help you through your (Brazilian) Portuguese studies
- The free version won’t provide you with a tailor-made learning path, but it’s still pretty thorough
- It has received 19 awards since its 2008 launch
Pricing: $12.19 for a month, $85.32 for a year, and $158.40 for two years (Premium); or $13.41, $97.56, and $182.88, over the same time periods, for Premium Plus
11. Rosetta Stone
I’m positive that Rosetta Stone’s three-day free trial will leave wanting more. Live lessons that let you interact with your classmates are one of its best new features. For now, though, Rosetta Stone offers only Brazilian Portuguese courses.
Why you should try Rosetta Stone:
- Rosetta Stone will help you have breakthrough after breakthrough in Brazilian Portuguese
- Its yearly and lifetime plans allow you access to all 22 languages available
- It’s in high demand among schools and companies
Pricing: $35 for a three-month subscription, $119.88 for a yearly one, and $179 for a lifetime membership
With over 25 million users, HelloTalk is by far the largest language exchange community on the planet. Though not suited for absolute beginners, those familiar with the basics of Portuguese will thrive in the app’s relaxed environment, which has a built-in Instagram-Stories-like feature for each language. Besides texting, you’ll be able to call, send voice recordings and even doodles to your conversation partners!
Why you should try HelloTalk:
- Studying Portuguese will never get old
- You’ll get to meet new friends as you learn
- You can share your own stuff with the entire Portuguese-speaking community
Pricing: Ad-free HelloTalk VIP costs $6.99 a month and $45.99 a year
nemo might not be the most comprehensive app on the web, but beginners will find this phrasebook a most helpful tool for learning basic words and expressions. What’s more: it’s 100% free. Make sure to look into it even if you’re already an intermediate speaker, as you might’ve missed a phrase or two.
Why you should try nemo:
- nemo’s phrasebook provides a quick way of learning (or reviewing) the basics of Brazilian Portuguese
- It’s especially useful for travelers
- Phrases are paired with audio tracks, helping you practice reading and listening all at once
Pricing: Zero, for the win!
14. Rocket Languages
Unlike most other apps, Rocket Languages focuses on 30-minute audio lessons, which are perfect for students with little free time besides their commute. Yet it does have an outstanding mix of grammar and culture content, pronunciation exercises, reinforcement activities, and flashcards too, totaling 140 hours of lesson time from beginner through intermediate.
What’s more, you can engage with Rocket’s language exchange community for a full experience.
Why you should try Rocket Languages:
- A great deal of Rocket’s material is made up of podcasts
- You’ll be able to communicate with locals when you travel to Brazil (you’ll nonetheless need another tool to become fluent)
- It has a pretty holistic approach
Pricing: $149.95 for lifetime access to the entire course
Learn Portuguese with Rocket Languages here
Tips for Portuguese learners
Though Portuguese is a fascinating language, learning it properly comes with a full set of challenges. So while the apps to learn Portuguese we’ve discussed here will help you start off on the right foot, I wanted to leave you some extra tips for an even smoother ride through the language of Ronaldo and Neymar.
Take your time to pick your favorite dialect, but stick to it
Portuguese first-timers are usually struck by how vastly different from one another the European, Brazilian, Angolan, and Mozambican dialects of Portuguese sound. Even native speakers from different countries often have trouble communicating (or at least funny misunderstandings), as spelling, vocab, and even grammar somewhat change from one country to the next.
Make sure to choose a consistent path here, then. (Yet do explore the entire Portuguese-speaking culture!)
Speaking of which, make it more about the culture and less about the grammar
Surely, memorizing the gender of nouns and the conjugation of verbs can seem tough, but you shouldn’t be too petty about it: they’ll come naturally with time and dedication. Find motivation instead on that whole world that will gradually open up to you as you gain a better understanding of the language, be it reading Pessoa’s poetry, listening to Bossa Nova, or dancing to kuduro if that’s your thing!
Plan a full-immersion experience
It doesn’t matter if you can’t achieve this in the short term: setting a couple bucks aside every month will get you there eventually… and the reward of realizing that you can communicate with locals is just priceless! Bear in mind that there are Portuguese-speaking areas on every continent (and five countries in Africa alone!), so there’s definitely an option for every taste.
What are you waiting for?