How to Learn Portuguese: 6 Helpful Ways to Learn Portuguese Fast

Kelsey Wetherbee Last updated on January 18, 2023

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Learning Portuguese can be a fun and rewarding experience. Finding the best way for you to learn will make it even easier. With the right language tools, you can learn Portuguese effectively and enjoy doing it. This article compiles some of the best resources out there for any learning style that will help you falar português quickly.

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Best Portuguese tutors

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Portuguese is the official language of both Portugal and Brazil. Did you know it’s also an official language of 7 other countries: Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Angola, and São Tomé and Príncipe. There are more than 257 million speakers, and it’s one of the most spoken languages in the world. The majority of Portuguese speakers live in Brazil (211 million speakers), but it’s also one of the most spoken languages in Europe with 10 million speakers in Portugal.

Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese are quite different. Some of the biggest differences are the pronunciation of words and the use of você or tu to talk about “you” in an informal setting. It’s a good idea to focus on one version or the other. Have no fear though – this guide to the best ways to learn Portuguese includes both!

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How to Learn Portuguese: Follow These Steps to Become Fluent Fast!

The best way to learn Portuguese fast and effectively is to use a variety of tools. One resource can’t cover every topic necessary to learn a language so using more will help to fill in any gaps. For example, you could use a book to study grammar and sentence structure, but taking a class with an online tutor will boost your speaking to the next level. So without further ado, let’s look at 6 of the best ways that you can learn Portuguese.

Use the Best Portuguese Apps

Language apps are an easy and convenient way to learn Portuguese. You can study wherever you can use your phone. They’re interactive and make learning addictive. The apps on this list, Rocket Portuguese, Mondly, and Babbel, are some of the best apps for learning Portuguese. They have quality lessons and content and are effective in teaching the language. Best of all, they each have a free trial, so you can try them risk-free.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low-Medium
Convenience: High

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Rocket Portuguese

Rocket Portuguese has a comprehensive course that gets you conversational quickly. You’ll be speaking from the very first lesson. It doesn’t waste time with complex grammar topics and instead focuses on what you need to know to have a conversation. The lessons are audio-based and include useful practice exercises. You can try Rocket Portuguese with a 7-day free trial, or read more about it in this Rocket Portuguese review.

Mondly

Mondly is a great choice for beginners because it focuses on teaching the most important vocabulary and grammar topics through interactive lessons. It offers flexibility because you can choose which lessons you want to take, and in what order. They also use cool technology to track your progress and even have AR (augmented reality) lessons to make learning an entertaining experience. You can read more about Mondly in this review or try it for free for 7 days.

Babbel

Babbel is another app that offers a comprehensive course in Portuguese, but instead of long audio lessons, you learn through a series of interactive activities and repetition. Each lesson involves learning new vocabulary and grammar, and you practice it in different ways until it’s locked into your memory. Each lesson is short so you can easily complete a few during each study session. Babbel offers one free lesson so you can see if you like it, or you can read more about it in this Babbel review.

Take an Online Portuguese Course

Online Portuguese courses are a perfect option if you like to learn in a structured way. They follow an organized layout, and don’t waste your time because the lessons build on what you’ve previously learned. They are often accompanied by independent study material so you are getting the best of both worlds: guided instruction and independent practice. Brazilian PodClass, Lusa Language School, and Speaking Brazilian are excellent options. They have logical courses that will help you understand Portuguese.

Commitment: High
Price: Medium-High
Convenience: Medium

Brazilian PodClass

Brazilian PodClass has over 550 podcast-style lessons. Lessons consist of a 15-30 minute audio that includes a dialogue between Portuguese speakers. They also teach important grammar and vocabulary topics. Each lesson comes with extensive notes that include a transcript of what is said in the audio, along with additional practice exercises. You can preview a few of the lessons for free to see if you like the style.

Lusa Language School

Lusa Language School is an in-person and online language school that teaches European Portuguese. There are various options to take classes online. You can sign up for an intensive course or a part-time course, and you’ll be placed in a small group class. There’s also the option to sign up for private lessons. All the teachers are experienced in teaching Portuguese to foreigners and are from Portugal. You can check out their website to see if it’s a good option for you.

Speaking Brazilian

Speaking Brazilian is an online school that teaches Brazilian Portuguese. There are options for different courses based on your level, as well as the option to take 1-on-1 classes. The group classes have 6-10 students, and you take lessons once a week via Skype. Classes are taught by Virginia and her team of native Portuguese speakers. Take the free placement test to see what your level is and what courses you can join.

Find an Online Portuguese Tutor

Taking classes with a Portuguese teacher is one of the best ways to learn. You get individualized lessons and immediate feedback. But finding a teacher that lives near you might be hard. Now, there are many online platforms available that can connect you to a Portuguese teacher in Brazil, Portugal, or anywhere in the world. It’s important to find a reputable platform that will connect you with a qualified tutor and protect your payments. Italki, Preply, and Verbling are safe and secure and have hundreds of tutors available to teach classes.

Commitment: Medium
Price: Medium-High
Convenience: Medium

italki

Italki is a massive online platform that can connect you with a native Portuguese teacher. There are currently over 570 Portuguese teachers to choose from. The majority are from Brazil, but there are also teachers from Portugal. You can filter teachers by what country they are from, price, availability, and more. Almost all teachers offer a discounted trial lesson so you can see if they are a good fit for you. You can also read more about it in this italki review.

Preply

Preply is a similar platform that can connect you with a teacher that gives online lessons. There are over 700 Portuguese teachers from all over the world available for classes. You can search their profiles to see their availability and read past student reviews. The teachers customize their curriculum to focus on what you want to learn, such as conversation, test prep, or Portuguese for business. You can take as many free trial lessons as you want until you find a teacher you like. You can also read more about the Preply platform in this in-depth Preply review.

Verbling

Verbling is another platform with tons of qualified teachers. In order to be hired by Verbling, Portuguese teachers must have previous experience teaching their target language. You can find a tutor that’s right for you by using filters or searching their profiles. Every teacher profile has a video, past student reviews, and availability. You can try a free trial lesson to see if you like the Verbling platform, or you can read more about Verbling in this review.

Study with High-Quality Portuguese Books

Books are a classic way to study and learn a language. If you’ve taken a language class before, chances are you’ve used a book. But they are helpful for self-study, as well. Most have detailed grammar explanations and practice questions. Ponto de Encontro, Complete Brazilian Portuguese, and The Everything Brazilian Portuguese Book are three excellent choices that have many positive reviews on Amazon.

Commitment: Low
Price: Medium
Convenience: Medium

Ponto de Encontro

Ponto de Encontro is an interesting book because it teaches Portuguese as a world language. It has notes on how to learn both Brazilian and European Portuguese in the same book. This extensive volume teaches all important aspects of language, such as grammar and vocabulary. There are practice exercises to see if you are mastering the material. Reviewers liked the comprehensiveness of the book and that it was easy to use. Check out other user reviews here.

Complete Brazilian Portuguese

Complete Brazilian Portuguese focuses on the 4 skills necessary to learn a language: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It’s designed to be a self-study option for learners to move from beginner to intermediate, although it’s not recommended for absolute beginners. There are cultural notes about Brazilian life, practice tests, and audio of Brazilian conversations so you can hear correct pronunciation. Reviewers liked the thoroughness of the book, but recommend adding in additional audio practice from outside sources. Read more about what they had to say here.

The Everything Brazilian Portuguese Book

The Everything Brazilian Portuguese Book is an excellent introduction to the language. It starts with the alphabet and there are explanations in English so it’s a good choice for absolute beginners. The book includes vocabulary lists, practice tests, and English-Portuguese/ Portuguese-English dictionaries. The included audio CD helps you practice listening and pronunciation. One reviewer liked the detailed grammar explanations and felt that she understood Portuguese much better after using the book. You can see what other reviewers had to say here.

Watch Portuguese YouTube Videos

YouTube videos are an entertaining way to practice Portuguese, especially listening and comprehension skills. Some channels imitate a classroom setting and teach typical grammar and vocabulary topics, while others create content in Portuguese so you’re learning about language and culture at the same time. The YouTube channels on this list are some of the most popular options amongst Portuguese learners.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low
Convenience: High

Street Smart Brazil

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Street Smart Brazil has entertaining videos that focus mostly on vocabulary and common slang used in Brazilian Portuguese. Most videos are short, less than 10 minutes, and cover important expressions that you should know if you want to talk to someone from Brazil. There are quite a few videos that teach idiomatic expressions which will take your Portuguese to the next level and make you sound more like a native speaker.

Portuguese with Carla

Carla teaches European Portuguese (she’s from Portugal) through her videos that focus on necessary vocabulary and phrases. She explains the concepts in English and then you practice the correct Portuguese pronunciation. She has also posted quite a few podcast lessons on YouTube. Although they don’t contain video, they’re quite extensive in length and detail and are an informative resource. You can check out her videos and podcasts on the Portuguese with Carla channel.

Portuguese Dips

The Portuguese Dips channel has videos that explain important language topics entirely in Portuguese. The host speaks slowly and clearly, and there are subtitles available so you can understand the videos even if you have a lower level. He also has quite a few videos on idiomatic expressions, or common phrases, that show you how Portuguese is really spoken. He already has over 160 videos on his YouTube channel.

Listen to Portuguese Podcasts

Podcasts are a perfect way for people on the go to sneak in some Portuguese practice. They are hands-free, so you can improve your listening and understanding while on your way to work, cooking dinner, or relaxing on the couch. And there is such a wide range of topics, you’re sure to find something you enjoy listening to. PortuguesePod101, Café Brazil, and Todo Mundo Pod are three options with tons of episodes already available.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low
Convenience: High

PortuguesePod101

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PortuguesePod101 is both an app and an online platform with many study tools to help you learn Portuguese. But the best feature is the podcast lessons. There are thousands to choose from that take you from beginner to advanced. Each lesson has a transcript and lesson notes. Additionally, there are quizzes, vocabulary lists, and more included in a subscription. You can try PortuguesePod101 for free or sign up for a lifetime free account to receive a new lesson every week. You can read more about the parent company, Innovative Language, in this review.

Café Brasil

Cafe Brasil is a unique podcast. It’s not made for Portuguese learners, but for native Portuguese speakers. It’s similar to Ted Talks in that they cover interesting, intellectual topics entirely in Portuguese. There are 4 different types of podcasts, ranging from a few minutes to over an hour for each episode. It will be best enjoyed by intermediate and advanced learners that want to improve their listening and understanding. There are episodes are available for free and to access all the content you can get a premium subscription for a nominal fee.

Todo Mundo Pod

Todo Mundo Pod was made for Portuguese language learners. All episodes are entirely in Portuguese, spoken like a native speaker would talk, but at a slower speed so it’s more understandable. Each episode covers an interesting cultural topic about Brazil. All the audios are available for free, but you can get a premium membership if you want to download the transcripts and other additional material available for each episode.

How to Learn Portuguese: Final Thoughts

Hopefully this list has helped to guide you to the Portuguese language resource that’s right for you. No matter what your learning style is, or why you’re learning the language, you’re sure to find a high-quality option that’s right for you. Be sure to take advantage of any free trials available so you can see if it’s the right choice for you before you pay. If you stick with it, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll be able to converse with Brasileiros or Portugueses in no time!

Want to learn more? Check out our Portuguese resource page.

How to Learn Portuguese: FAQ

How long does it take to learn Portuguese?

According to the US Department of State, it takes 600 class hours to learn Portuguese to a proficient level. But this number depends on various factors, such as your ability to acquire language and if you already speak a language that is similar, such as Spanish, French, or Italian.

To see how long it will take you to learn Portuguese, check out this Fluency Calculator.

How can I learn Portuguese quickly?

The best way to learn Portuguese quickly is to study a lot and dedicate the time necessary to learn. But there are some ways to make this process easier. Finding a language learning resource that you enjoy using will help you learn faster and make the process painless. It’s also a good idea to use a variety of resources, such as language apps, books, and podcasts, among others.

How do I learn Portuguese at home on my own?

There are many ways to learn Portuguese at home on your own. One of the most popular methods is to use a language app. There are lots of choices out there, but some of the best are Babbel, Mondly, and Rocket Portuguese. If you prefer a more structured way to learn, you can try an online course or a comprehensive book.

How hard is it to learn Portuguese?

For English speakers, Portuguese is considered an easy language to learn. This is because the two languages share linguistic similarities. Additionally, if you know another Romance language such as Spanish, French, or Italian, this will make it even easier to learn Portuguese since these languages are closely related.

How do I learn Portuguese fluently?

There are many ways to learn Portuguese, but if you truly want to be fluent, you need to talk with native speakers. Now, there are tons of online platforms such as italki and Preply that can connect you with an online Portuguese tutor. If that doesn’t fit your budget, you can try an app like Tandem or HelloTalk that lets you chat with Portuguese speakers for free.

How do I learn Portuguese for free?

One of the most popular options to learn Portuguese for free is to use the language app Duolingo. Duolingo offers its entire Portuguese course without charge, although you are frequently interrupted by ads. Other apps, such as Drops and PortuguesePod101 offer limited content for free. There are also many YouTube videos and podcasts in Portuguese that are completely free.

Kelsey Wetherbee

Kelsey is a language lover that wants to help others on their linguistic journeys. As a former ESL teacher and foreign language learner herself, she hopes her experiences can benefit others and help them learn more effectively. She loves to travel and enjoys meeting people from all over the world. Connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn.

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