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Are you hyped to learn Portuguese online, but have no clue which resources best suit your needs? Well, look no further. We’ve put together a true catalog of the best Portuguese learning tools on the web. Our post will give you a heck of a head start on this beautiful language, spoken by celebrated soccer players, pop stars, writers, and 250+ million people.
You might already be familiar with some of the major Portuguese learning tools we’ll be showing here, as they’re available in multiple other languages.
Babbel, for instance, is the OG of language learning apps, with a clear course pathway up to advanced level. Italki, in turn, will connect you to a native-speaking tutor with a bespoke approach. Pimsleur boasts its own teaching method, which has almost six decades of proven effectiveness. And the content-packed audio lessons of Rocket Languages are second to none in terms of convenience.
Apart from those, though, there are dozen of books, YouTube channels, websites, and other kinds of resources worth mentioning. Let’s dig into them?
Best apps to learn Portuguese
The most amazing thing about apps is that they let you study at your own pace and wherever you please. Some of the most famous apps concentrate on Brazilian Portuguese. Yet in case you’d like to learn European Portuguese, don’t worry. We went out of our way to add a couple of options meant specifically for you. Make sure to check out the complete list of apps here.
Babbel (iOS and Android) has five Brazilian Portuguese courses running from newcomer through intermediate levels. It brings the learning experience to a whole new level of interactivity with its issue-specific paths (“Refresher”, “Grammar”, “Countries and Traditions”, “Specials”, and “Words and Sentences”).
Busuu (iOS and Android) will teach you Portuguese through lessons that involve speaking, listening, and writing. On top of that, you get personalized feedback on your exercises from native speakers at the end of each lesson. With a community of 100 million+ language learners on Busuu, you can’t go wrong with it!
Drops (iOS and Android — European | iOS and Android — Brazilian) is one of the best-rated language learning apps on the web. Its premise is about establishing a connection between simple images and their meaning through fun games. Yet it has relatively limited free content.
LingQ (iOS and Android): Improving students’ listening skills through 1,000+ hours of podcasts and issue-oriented videos with matching transcripts is LingQ’s top priority. What’s more, you can reach out to tutors to ask questions. And as if all that weren’t enough, it hosts a library with endless extra material.
Best Portuguese language programs & online courses
Portuguese online courses offer a reliable learning path all the way to fluency. Several of them have even developed their own methods. Take a look at some highlights:
Pimsleur‘s audio courses are structured around gradually increasing intervals for vocab learning, stimulating response anticipation, prioritizing a core set of words, and organic learning. It has stood the test of time like no other language course out there.
Rocket Languages focuses on 30-minute audio lessons, which come in handy for people who want to make the most of their commutes. Plus, it has an outstanding content mix, totaling 140 hours of lesson time from beginner through intermediate.
Udemy has been providing e-education services for ten years now — and has been very successful in it. It currently offers 15+ Portuguese for foreigners courses (both Brazilian and European), ranging from 0-2 hours, 3-6 hours, and even 7-16 hours.
Best books to learn Portuguese
We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best books to learn Portuguese before. We couldn’t leave out a small selection of books, though, if we are to provide you with a complete multimedia resource inventory for learning Portuguese.
Essential Portuguese Grammar: This one does have a misleading cover, since it doesn’t really focus on European Portuguese. In fact, it’s a broad-reaching grammar book like few others. A must-have!
Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language: This book offers European and Brazilian Portuguese courses packed into one volume. Despite being pricier than most other textbooks, it’s 650+ pages’ worth of content, so you won’t regret the investment.
Portuguese-English Bilingual Visual Dictionary: In case you need to brush up your European Portuguese vocabulary, this book will make an awesome purchase. The accompanying audio tracks should seal the deal.
Portuguese Short Stories for Beginners: Portuguese for beginners meets Brazilian culture in an entertaining and engaging fashion: that’s how I define this amazing bilingual storybook!
Best podcasts to learn Portuguese
Here, we’re talking about online Portuguese classes in the form of podcasts. You can listen to all of them for free, yet the membership plans will give you access to tons of extra content. For absolutely no-cost, issue-oriented podcasts, skip to the “Free Resources” section.
BrazilianPodClass has an impressive 550+ audio lessons running between 15 and 30 minutes each. Developed by Marina Gomes, who’s been teaching Portuguese as a second language for more than 40 years, it also includes plenty of supplementary written material.
PortuguesePod101: With 150,000+ subscribers, PortuguesePod101’s YouTube channel is the largest one specializing in the language. Yet opting in to one of four paid plans will give you access to dozens of other tools and to their precious audio lessons.
Practice Portuguese will let you listen to their European Portuguese audio lessons for free. But they do charge €15 (about $18) a month for access to the transcripts. Not too shabby!
Todo Mundo Pod has 90+ 10-minute episodes focusing on interesting facts about Brazilian culture and fun expressions in Portuguese. And the best thing is the transcripts are free, for the win!
Best websites to find Portuguese tutors
Ever since tools aimed at connecting language students with native-speaking teachers became a thing, finding trustworthy Portuguese tutors online has become a walk in the park. While overall more costly than off-the-shelf courses, the tailored take this method allows for is 100% worth the investment.
Italki combines 1-on-1 tutoring with a thriving language exchange community: it’s home to over 3 million users from 100 nations! It’s hands-down one of the most exciting and affordable language learning platforms on the web.
Fluent City lets you choose between private lessons (starting from $32/hour) and $399 group lessons. Fluent City has big corporate clients; it must be doing something right!
MyPortugueseTeacher is headquartered in São Paulo and works with both in-person and internet-based lessons given by Brazilian tutors. What I enjoy about it is its offer of special courses, e.g. Portuguese for Business, Portuguese for Travel, and a prep program for CELPE-BRAS (the country’s official language certification).
Preply: Being able to search for a tutor who matches your learning demands (no strings attached), as Preply lets you, is literally priceless. That’s why, after less than ten years in business, it’s teeming with 47,000 professionals and 100k students.
VerbalPlanet relies on a team of 15 teachers from Portugal charging between $17.60 and $35.65 per lesson. It’s a great option for a bespoke Portuguese learning experience!
Best websites to learn Portuguese
We felt it was important to include a section focusing not so much on tools that teach you Portuguese. Rather, they’re ideal for a welcome break from grammar, whether through music, news, or even language games.
Ba Ba Dum: In case you have to take your mind off the hard stuff, Ba Ba Dum is just what you were after. You’ll love the four simple games and the adorable layout. It’s directed toward students of European Portuguese… and 19 other languages!
Diário de Notícias: The DN is my no. 1 source to all things Portugal. Reading the paper’s articles is a superb way of taking in new words in context and keeping up with the news at the same time.
El País Brasil: In 2013, respected Spanish newspaper El País launched an edition in Portuguese devoted to the South American country. Unlike other serious Brazilian news outlets, this one doesn’t hide behind a paywall!
Letras: I’m positive you’ll be jamming to a lot of music in Portuguese as you make progress in your studies. So this song lyrics database will make an essential addition to your learning resource library.
Best YouTube channels to Learn Portuguese
While only Gen Z treat YouTube as their own Google, the platform’s seemingly endless choice of videos is a blessing for folks of all ages. You can easily learn to speak Portuguese through engaging and well-structured YouTube channels specializing in the language. Here are some of the best of them:
Portuguese Lab features almost 150 short video lessons. It’s an unrivaled option for students in search of an engaging and to-the-point course.
Portuguese with Leo: Leo debuted his channel last July and already has more than 17k subscribers. He’s been posting lessons religiously every week on fun and interesting aspects related to his native Portugal.
Speaking Brazilian Language School: Teacher Virginia Langhammer mixes grammar-oriented material with insights on the culture, history, and geography of Brazil, and often hosts Q&A sessions.
Yes Portuguese: Adrieli and Ludmila are two Brazilian teachers who make up for their channel’s modest size with immense charisma and weekly live sessions. Their very comprehensive lessons usually run for about an hour.
Best FREE resources to learn Portuguese
For those of you looking to learn Portuguese free of charge, we have you covered as well. If the best things in life are free, so are some of the finest resources available to Portuguese students!
Free apps to learn Portuguese
Duolingo‘s main strength is that its paid version is more about an ad-free user experience than extra stuff (download it on iOS or Android). LingoDeer (iOS here and Android here), on the other hand, will only get you to B1 level for free — but it’s packed with content up to that point. Both are well known for seamlessly mixing learning and fun through language games with sleek layouts.
Learn Portuguese by FunEasyLearn (get it for iOS or Android) is another cool, gamified app focusing on vocabulary. The one downside to these three apps is that they concentrate exclusively on Brazilian Portuguese (for now).
What I love about Reddit is its freewheeling style, to which the thread r/Portuguese is no exception. Using the forum to ask random questions or to speak your mind off about your learning journey is top-tier redditing.
Tandem and HelloTalk have similar purposes: connecting folks interested in learning each other’s mother tongue. The best thing is that you can make new friends in the process! HelloTalk does come with an additional feature, though. It lets you share your own stuff through a Stories-like interface with the entire community of Portuguese students!
Free Portuguese podcasts
Caixa de Histórias advertises itself as a sound experience with literature, and I venture to say that’s quite accurate. Most episodes run for over an hour, during which host Paulo Carvalho recites excerpts and does a deep dive on the book in the spotlight.
If you’re a movie buff (who isn’t?), then you’ll adore Cinem(ação). Hosts will discuss trending flicks, classic Brazilian films, legendary filmmakers, and other cinema-related topics in a pretty laid-back way. This one’s a personal favorite of mine!
Janela Aberta, in turn, is a thought-provoking podcast that is just huge in Portugal. Insightful Miguel Luz talks about whatever comes to his mind, be it health habits, existential questions, addiction to social media, or mundane incidents.
Free Portuguese classes
Instituto Camões, named after Portugal’s national poet, is the country’s official agency for the promotion of the Portuguese language overseas. While some of the material has been uploaded many years ago and is no longer available, there’s still a legion of tales, audio lessons, games, to lose yourself in. Its sole limitation is that It’s not bilingual, by which we mean it’s not recommended for absolute beginners.
Memrise‘s greatest asset is that it has tons of user-generated content for European and Brazilian Portuguese learners. Finally, Polly Lingual offers not only video lessons by native-speaking teachers, but also a complete and interactive Portuguese course from beginner through advanced levels.
Free Portuguese books
Do you live in a large city? Then chances are your local library will have at least a Portuguese textbook or two. Luckily for those who don’t, the U.S. Foreign Service Institute hosts an online repository of 72 free language courses. The Portuguese ones are Brazilian Portuguese: Familiarization & Short-Term Training and Portuguese Programmatic Course. Whereas some lessons are a bit dated, the bulk of the grammar material is still top-notch.
Português para Principiantes is another marvelous tool that the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Spanish & Portuguese published through Pressbooks. If you’re seeking to learn basic Portuguese and not spend a penny, this is the way to go.
Best Netflix shows & movies in Portuguese
Though watching your favorite show dubbed or subtitled in Portuguese will be quite helpful too, we wanted to suggest some Brazilian titles available on Netflix. That way, you’ll get to take in a lot of content in context as you put your feet up. Oh, and we have good news for European Portuguese students: Glória, Portugal’s first Netflix original, began production last September.
Emmy-winning Nobody’s Looking (2019) is a wonderful, light-hearted comedy. It tells the story of an angel who assumes five distinct personas to learn by themself what good and evil are really all about.
Brotherhood (2019) is a crime drama show set in 1990s São Paulo and starring prominent musician-turned-actor Seu Jorge. It gives us a timely retelling of a bygone era.
For those of you with a penchant for environmental and social issues, Old Lord Savanna (2018) will be a perfect match. The doc denounces the massive deforestation of the Cerrado. Brazil’s once widespread savanna has been consistently cleared to make way for pastures.
All the Reasons to Forget (2018) is a cute rom-com about Antônio’s hard time moving on after breaking up with Sofia. You’ll be an expert in dating vocab in Portuguese upon watching it.
Best way to learn Portuguese
Having the best resources at your disposal is pointless if you don’t know what to do with them. So here go some tips to help make your Portuguese learning journey at once more enjoyable and efficient.
Remember the four pillars. You should do your best to balance reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in order to get the coveted badge of fluency in Portuguese.
Stick to your favorite dialect. Both European and Brazilian Portuguese are pleasing to the ear. But a sea of pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar differences divides them. What does that mean? Well, unless you want to end up with a vague accent and struggle to make yourself clear in either country, take some time to let one variant grow on you more than the other.
Be sure to have fun. Learning a foreign language is more about entering a microcosm that, step by step, you get to feel more knowledgeable about than memorizing countless sets of rules. If Brazilian music, Portuguese poetry, Angola’s history, or any other topic fascinate you, dive into it and make it an inspiration to your studies!
Don’t fret over silly mistakes. Bear in mind that your main goal is being able to communicate with native speakers. They’ll be excited enough about your effort to speak their mother tongue to notice you’re not on top of your past tense game. So go easy and don’t be too hard on yourself!
Well, after such a thorough guide to Portuguese learning, hopefully at least a dozen of the resources we’ve run over will be exactly what you needed for your studies to take off. Let us know in the comments below if you have more to add!