Popular ways to learn Portuguese

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Are you interested in learning Portuguese? Do you already think about the best way for you to do it? We have some information for you!

Popular ways to learn Portuguese


First steps

In order to start to learn, you must choose which variant do you prefer to learn. Usually you can choose between European and Brazilian Portuguese.

However, be careful, because sometimes they both are just called “Portuguese”. For a non-native person it’s not so easy to see which one we’re learning.

Then, you just have to decide how do you want to learn. Most of our students, even before they start having classes with us, have already learned a little bit. That’s because there are some popular ways to learn they already tried for a while.

First contact

To begin with, you can start for get some knowledge about the Portuguese world. Not just our language, but customs, culture and/or history too.

  • First, you can listen to music. It’s important for you to try to read the lyrics while you listen. That’s how you can meet new words.
  • Likewise, you can look for movies or TV shows to watch with subtitles in your native language. That will help you with the hearing part.
  • On YouTube you can find some channels and videos where people share them knowledge. It will be especially convenient if you are an absolute beginner.
  • Plus, you can change the language of your phone during a while. This can be good because we have everything memorized about how to manage our phones, so you can assume the correct steps and learn a few words at the same time.
  • You can look for other students who can share them knowledge or give you some advices by sharing them experiences. In addition, you can meet native speakers.
  • Finally, you can use a few apps to learn. There are some very popular apps among students that you probably have heard of, like Duolingo, Busuu or Memrise, for example.

Advantages and disadvantages

All these ways to learn are totally free, but they don’t guarantee your success. That’s because all of them give you some vocabulary, of but none of them teach you to use the language as we use.

No one is able to understand and have a conversation just knowing the vocabulary and some memorized quotes. It’s necessary to understand the language and how to use it.

Music, TV shows and movies may help you knowing our pronunciation.

About the apps and YouTube videos, despite the disadvantages, they can be a great help to know the basics. Let’s talk about them:



It’s the free learning program most used among our students, with no doubt. It works on practically every device with internet connection. It allows people to learn many languages.

Among them, you can choose Portuguese, but you only have the Brazilian variant.

In the beginning, you can choose your level and trough many levels and conquers you can take your first steps of your learning process.

The app has many exercises and lessons that work through memorization, to help you practice written and oral comprehension, which is really good for a basic level, but not so good to use forward that.


Busuu is very similar to Duolingo. Works the same way and have the same disadvantages. It’s actually good to learn vocabulary, but also works through memorizing words, sentences and even dialogues.

You have also complete levels to unlock the next ones and so forth and as happen in Duolingo, you can start to talk early, but that doesn’t mean you understand the language and know how to use it in different contexts that the application doesn’t show you.

A language is always more than a list of words and contexts that an app has for you.


Like the previous apps, Memrise works essentially by repetition, for you to work out your memorization. Nevertheless this app has some good things that the others do not have.

First, you can find, for the first time, European Portuguese and not Brazilian. Also, in the audio exercises, you can see the person who talks and the voice seems more natural and local than the “robotic” voices we are used to. Finally, the levels are very well selected, according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).


In YouTube you can watch people with different nationalities speaking about their own learning experience.

You can look for classes but be careful. Probably, you will find most part of the videos in Portuguese from Brazil. The problem with the classes is that they aren’t so professional as normal classes. It is not the same thing but you can catch some useful information.

You can also search for some people that are learning and leave their opinion on the internet about the things they like and hate about it or even the easier our difficult things for them to learn. Probably you will find a few curiosities as well.

The good thing about YouTube is that you can find people talking in your language or some other that you can understand and learn a little in a very informal and funny way.


All these ways have advantages and disadvantages: they have limitations, but they can increase your contact with the language.

Finally, if you want to learn in the best way, do not hesitate to get in touch. You can find Caravela School in Caldas da Rainha, Matosinhos and Leiria.

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