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A Guide to Learning Portuguese

By Jon, published on 05/03/2018 We Love Prof > Languages > Portuguese > How to Learn Portuguese

Oh, Portugal! Its renowned for its cooking, beautiful landscapes, and musical language!

Sometimes confused with Spanish, the Portuguese language remains one of the key languages of the European Union, and is currently spoken by more than 230 million speakers in countries such as Brazil, Mozambique, and Equatorial Guinea.

Despite its melodious consonances, the language of Camoes struggles to find its place in a lot of schools as a second language, in preference of more traditional languages such as French or Spanish.

Whether you want your child to learn Portuguese or discover the Latin language yourself, it is quite possible to become an expert in the Portuguese language without necessarily going through a language school.

Here are our tips for easy learning of Portuguese!

Learning to Speak Portuguese with a Private Tutor

To become bilingual in the Portuguese language, the most effective method is Portuguese lessons with a tutor.

From Portuguese pronunciation to Portuguese grammar and phonetics, a native Portuguese tutor will be able to teach you all the linguistic skills necessary for learning the Portuguese language.

Listening to Portuguese music is a great way to study You could finally understand the lyrics of Portuguese songs without having to use Google Translate…

The learner must first determine their own language level before choosing their tutor:

  • Novice level: the basics of phonetics,
  • Beginner level: some Portuguese vocabulary, personal pronouns, and numbers, few words and phrases
  • Intermediate level: knowledge of Portuguese grammar, Portuguese conjugation and adjectives, wider range of expressions and phrases,
  • Advanced level: verb conjugation, the participle and the gerund, not quite fluent but close,
  • Expert level: fluency in classical Portuguese (oral expression and written expression).

Students are advised to hire a native speaker as a tutor as they will be able to transmit not only their knowledge of the language but also of Brazilian or Portuguese culture. Remember that European Portuguese is different to the Brazilian Portuguese language.

Don’t forget that learning a new language is an adventure that requires commitment and patience.

You will need to:

  • set yourself realistic goals, for example learning a certain number of words a day, or aiming to have at least one conversation in Portuguese a week, depending on your level,
  • integrate the language learning process into your every day life in order to have a consistently immersive process,
  • take all opportunities to practise available to you; the more exposure to Portuguese that you have, the better your learning experience will be.

On Superprof, you can find qualified teachers who can give you classes in person, or via webcam. You can see all of their qualifications, as well as how much they charge so there will be no nasty surprises at the end of the class!

To find the ideal tutor, Portuguese students can decide to take Portuguese courses remotely. Indeed, our teachers offer lessons via webcam (with the Skype software) in order to review Portuguese from elsewhere in the world.

To check if a tutor accepts online lessons, look for the small “webcam” icon on his or her Superprof profile.

Whether you are planning a language study trip to Sao Paulo or Lisbon, or want to become familiar with a new Latin language, private lessons will be your education’s best ally…

The Best Portuguese for Beginners Apps

As we all know, smartphones and tablets are a part of every aspect of our lives.

So why not learn Portuguese by using an app on your smartphone or tablet?

Fun interactive software is available to all age groups, from children and beginners to the expert adults. Learning via an application allows you to both enrich your vocabulary while also discovering the Portuguese irregular verbs. You can also practice speaking the Portuguese language as to later be able to hold a conversation with a native.

Learn Portuguese in order to travel to Brazil Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil…You’ll be close to Latin America and able to visit all the cities!

To learn how to speak in Portuguese, here are some of our highly recommended applications:

  • Babbel
  • Worldly,
  • Learn Portuguese 6k words,
  • Portuguese for free children,
  • Play & Learn Portuguese,
  • 100% Portuguese,
  • Learn Brazilian easy,
  • Busuu,
  • ITalk Portuguese…

An application allows you to review both your Portuguese writing and your Portuguese speaking. Indeed, some applications offer voice recognition services, which allow the student to control his or her pronunciation thanks to correction provided by native speakers.

This is a good way to know if you have a Portuguese accent or a Brazilian accent!

The applications are perfect for revising between two courses in a language school or between classes with a private tutor: in public transportation, at work, or at a university, all kinds of students can improve at a regular or intensive pace with these great learning tools!

To learn Brazilian Portuguese and find out everything you need to know about the vocabulary of Portuguese-speaking daily life, why not download a free application?

Learn Portuguese Online

Studying Portuguese online instead of at a language school or via homeschooling allows students to have more freedom and flexibility in their studies.

To immerse yourself in the official language of Portugal, some web resources allow you to learn Portuguese for free and easily thanks to weekly lessons that are great to memorize for maximum learning!

Educational games, tests, quizzes, exam simulations…There are many resources available to you!

Portuguese online exercises are particularly useful to accompany a student with his or her educational process: the images, sounds, and videos work on the child’s visual memory, auditory memory, and general memory.

Here are some useful sites to learn Brazilian Portuguese or Classic Portuguese:

  • Easy Portuguese,
  • Loecsen,
  • Goethe-Verlag,
  • iLanguages,
  • Portugal mania,
  • World of languages,
  • My Lisbon,
  • Rio welcome…

Good to know: some Camoes language learning websites offer English-Portuguese and Portuguese-English dictionaries that allow you to work on your accent, but also to understand all the subtleties of Portuguese words and idioms.

Portuguese online courses are perfect for preparing an immersion trip to Brazil or Portugal. Don’t forget that you can learn to speak Portuguese directly on your laptop!

Students with a visual memory may prefer online video libraries, such as on Youtube or Dailymotion. Video hosts will offer to teach you the basics of the Portuguese language through free and fun language classes.

Trust experienced surfers to progress quickly in speaking or spelling Portuguese!

How to Learn Portuguese for Free

To become a polyglot without having to pay a single penny would be a dream come true…

In the face of the sometimes exorbitant prices of certain language schools with their registration fees and prices per hour, students are always looking for cheap resources to learn Portuguese.

Our advice: vary educational tools in order to be able to master the Portuguese language and culture as a whole.

Portuguese cuisine is popular in many parts of the world Learn how to cook a traditional Portuguese dish named Bacalhau!

To improve your memory and learn a foreign language for free, here are some useful resources:

  • Portuguese TV shows and films in their original versions with English subtitles at first, then in original Portuguese with Portuguese subtitles,
  • Portuguese exercises online,
  • Portuguese courses online,
  • Educational video libraries,
  • Apps for smartphone and tablet,
  • A correspondence with a native Brazilian or Portuguese,
  • Portuguese courses via associations,
  • Portuguese learning manuals, available for free in the library.

Want to learn Portuguese with a professional?

No problem: students from all over the world can learn Arabic, Turkish, German, Spanish, or Portuguese via MOOC courses!

These lessons, 100% free, are popular because they allow learners of all ages to boost their professional careers by taking reputed courses prepared by associate professors in some of the best universities worldwide. Students can find lessons available on the Fun-Mooc catalog.

The Portuguese student can take these professional lessons for free and even validate his or her learning with an official language certification, although this has an additional cost.

This is your best bet if you are looking to become an expert in the Portuguese language.

How to Teach Yourself Portuguese

Taking classes in school is not compulsory if you are looking to succeed, especially in the field of foreign languages.

Learning Portuguese on your own has many advantages, the most important being the learner’s independence. Indeed, the learner does not have to comply with the schedule he or she has determined with his or her teacher: he or she can therefore scatter his lessons as he or she pleases, regardless of the tutor’s availability.

This freedom also translates to his time with Portuguese exercises. The student has carte blanche when it comes to choosing his educational resources in order to learn Portuguese on his or her own. Here, no textbook is imposed: the student chooses Brazilian Portuguese courses that interest him or her!

However, do not confuse learning on your own with loneliness. In Bill Gherry’s article on self-study on January 5, 2017, he explains:

“A selfmade man (or woman) learns from others before learning on his or her own, contrary to what the word self-taught means. Experience is obviously important, if not essential, but the potential for growth and learning must be expressed. “

There are plenty of ways to learn Portuguese on your own In a park, on the subway, or at home – here are some of the places where you can learn the language of Camoes for free.

To really become an expert in the Camoes language, it is therefore advisable to:

  • Travel to Portugal or Brazil,
  • Talk with a Portuguese stranger,
  • Work in Portugal, in an English school for example,
  • Do an internship in Portugal,
  • Take part in a Portuguese language exchange program,
  • Study in Portugal,
  • Talk with people of Portuguese origin in your own country, in associations for example,
  • Immerse yourself in Portuguese culture (Portuguese cuisine, Portuguese literature…).

By combining digital resources, textbooks, and meetings, a Portuguese student can very easily obtain a bilingual Anglo-Portuguese level if he or she is serious and shows a lot of perseverance.

You now have all the cards in hand to start learning the language of Camoes!

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