Oh, Portugal! Its renowned 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 practiced by more than 240 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 American schools, the latter preferring 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 Portuguese with a Private Tutor
To become bilingual in the Portuguese language, the most effective method is Portuguese private lessons with a qualified 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.
The learner must first determine his or her own language level before choosing his tutor:
- Novice level: the basics of phonetics,
- Beginner level: some Portuguese vocabulary, personal pronouns, and numbers,
- Intermediate level: knowledge of Portuguese grammar, Portuguese conjugation and adjectives,
- Advanced level: verb conjugation, the participle and the gerund,
- Expert level: fluency in classical Portuguese (oral expression and written expression).
Students are advised to hire a native tutor instead of an American tutor teaching Portuguese: the native speaker will be able to transmit not only his knowledge of the language but also of Brazilian or Portuguese culture.
Don't forget that learning a new language is an adventure that requires commitment and patience. Take a page out of the book of some of TED's most reputable translators:
- Get real. Decide on a simple, attainable goal to start with so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. German translator Judith Matz suggests: “Pick up 50 words of a language and start using them on people — and then slowly start picking up grammar.”
- Make language-learning a lifestyle change. Elisabeth Buffard, who in her 27 years of teaching English has always seen consistency as what separates the most successful students from the rest. Find a language habit that you can follow even when you’re tired, sick or madly in love.
- Play house with the language. The more you invite a foreign language into your daily life, the more your brain will consider it something useful and worth caring about. “Use every opportunity to get exposed to the new language,” says Russian translator Olga Dmitrochenkova. Label every object in your house in this language, read kids’ books written in it, watch subtitled TED and TEDx talks, or live-narrate parts of your day to an imaginary foreign friend.
On Superprof, you can find qualified teachers like José, a teacher in a foreign language school in NYC, who offers to train his students either via webcam or in-person!
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 the other side of the States.
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...
Learn Portuguese Thanks to Mobile Applications
According to a survey conducted by SurveyMonkey in 2015, more than 86% of Americans under 24 use their smartphone or tablet to download digital applications!
Why not download a free or paid Portuguese application to better learn the language then?
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.
To learn how to speak in Portuguese, here are some of our highly recommended applications:
- Learn Portuguese 6k words,
- Portuguese for free children,
- Play & Learn Portuguese,
- 100% Portuguese,
- Learn Brazilian easy,
- 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 a native Brazilian Portuguese and find out everything you need to know about the vocabulary of Portuguese-speaking daily life, why not download a free application?
Learning Portuguese Online
Instead of learning the Portuguese language through a language school or homeschooling, some students prefer to go through digital teaching tools that offer more freedom.
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,
- 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 idioms and words.
Portuguese online courses are perfect for preparing a trip to Brazil or Portugal as to experience Portuguese immersion. 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!
Learn Portuguese For Free
To become a polyglot without having to pay a single penny would be a dream come true...
In view of the sometimes exorbitant prices of certain language schools (count on averages between 70 and 90 dollar registration fees + about twenty dollars per hour per course), some American students make the choice to study the Portuguese language via a free Portuguese course.
Our advice: vary educational tools in order to be able to master the Portuguese language and culture as a whole.
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 Turkish, German, or Spanish 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 (between 20 and 90 USD).
This is your best bet if you are looking to become an expert in the language of Camoes.
Learn Portuguese On Your Own
Taking classes in school is not compulsory if you are looking to succeed, especially in the field of foreign languages.
Self-training 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!
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. "
To really become an expert in the Camoes language, it is therefore advisable to:
- Travel to Portugal and/or travel to Brazil,
- Talk with a Portuguese stranger,
- Work in Portugal,
- Do an internship in Portugal,
- Take part in a Portuguese language exchange program,
- Study in Portugal, in an English school for example,
- Talk with French people of Portuguese origin, 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!