Sitting in class and flipping through grammar notes will only get you so far when you are learning a language. To become truly proficient in any target language, you have to practice. Every. Damn. Day.
I’m often asked by my students: where I find more online resources for learning European Portuguese? Frustratingly, in comparison to what’s available online to help you learn Spanish, German, or even Brazilian Portuguese, there’s precious little that can help you learn Portuguese as spoken in Portugal.
So I’ve scoured the internet for the best videos, blogs, websites, apps and podcasts that will help you hone your skills.
This app uses video clips of native speakers to teach our conversational Portuguese. You’ll start with the essentials (is there wifi…?) and you can practice for a few minutes a day. Unlike Duo Lingo, there is an option for learning European Portuguese as well as beautiful Brazilian Portuguese.
A great app for learning vocabulary, again including the option for European Portuguese. Vocabulary sets are divided into topics and are drip-fed to you each day (geddit!). The basic version is free, but you can pay to upgrade for access to more materials.
Learn Portuguese with locals on the streets of Lisboa! I recently teamed up with Easy Languages to host a European Portuguese channel – in this episode I’m asking which famous Portuguese people the rest of the world should know about. Subtitles are in English and Portuguese. Subscribe to get an update when the next one goes live!
Susana’s YouTube channel converts her podcasts into short videos suitable for all levels (beginner episodes are marked in blue). She’ll help you get to grips with some practical situations, like being at the supermarket, coffee shop and pharmacy. Some of the most useful ones for beginners include:
The Portuguese EuroNews website is perfect for practicing your listening and comprehension. Here you can find short video clips that have a transcript below, so you can listen and read along at the same time. It’s also great for keeping up to date on current affairs!
One of my favourite hacks for language learning is to use the books and songs kids use! If you grew up on a steady dose of Disney, listening to the Portuguese version of the famous songs is a really fun way to learn. You won’t have to work as hard to understand what is being said, if you know the original story. Check out my playlist below!
Mundo Lingo Events
The most important thing you can do to improve your language skills, is chat to real people! A language exchange event like MundoLingo provides a relaxed atmosphere to do this in. You’ll find events all over the world, and you are likely to find me at the weekly event in Lisbon (Anjos70 from 7pm) using my rusty Spanish with a glass of red in my hand.
Talk the Streets
I couldn’t get this far and *not* tell you about my own You Tube channel! I produce short videos to help with vocabulary and practical situations, as well as longer interviews with native Portuguese speakers about local culture. Check out the first video – an interview with Lisbon’s “unofficial” illustrator, Nuno Saraiva. You can choose between subtitles in English (for beginners) or Portuguese (for those who want to challenge themselves!)
I’m a sucker for a soap opera. The international Emmy-winning Ouro Verde is a juicy tale of revenge and hidden identity that spans Portugal and Brazil. Watching a soap opera is a brilliant way to practice listening – even if you can’t follow every word, the exaggerated acting will help you catch the gist. Watch it on TVI Player.
Portugueses no Mundo
This podcast from RTP interviews a Portuguese person living elsewhere in the world about life in their new home, the cultural differences they experience and what they miss about Portugal. Great for conversational vocabulary. Find it on podcast apps or online.
I’m discovering more every day, and I’ll keep updating this post. Is there anything else you think should be included? Let me know in the comments!
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