Você Fala Português? Well maybe you should! With the World Cup coming up next year in Brazil it wouldn’t be a bad idea! You’ll need the usual ingredients; discipline, routine, focus, a willingness to make mistakes and some well researched tips for learning Portuguese!
1) Tip Número Um – Portuguese Media Time!
Media needs to become a huge part of your life if you want to learn a language. That means replacing everything with its Portuguese equivalent; a full environmental overhaul…
Do everything you can to turn your environment into a Portuguese speaking environment. If you watch TV, make sure it’s Portuguese speaking TV. If you listen to music make sure it’s Portuguese music… podcasts, radio become Portuguese podcasts and radio… you get the idea. So let’s start…
Learning Portuguese with TV:
- Internet TV – Probably the best TV solution for any language including Portuguese. There’s about 6 live channels to stream.
- You can find More Portuguese Online TV here!
- And another list of Portuguese TV Stations here!
- In case those links don’t work there’s more Stations listed here!
Portuguese/Brazilian Radio Stations:
- List of Brazilian Radio Stations.
- List of Portuguese Radio Stations.
- Another list of Portuguese Radio Stations.
- And of course you can stream radio on your smart phone with the GrooveShark and Spotify apps!
Learning Portuguese with Podcasts:
There’s tons of podcasts available and an equal amount of them in your favourite subject areas. There’s also lots of good podcasts for learning Portuguese like Learn Portuguese – BrazilianPodClass.
2) Tip Número Dois – Reading Time!
Learning Portuguese with Newspapers:
Like the above, if you read newspapers and blogs online it’s time to demote them from your toolbar to make room for their Portuguese equivalents. Besides brushing up on your Brazilian Portuguese slang and phrases with sites like Dicionário InFormal you can also go prim and proper with the following dailies:
- Brazilian-Portuguese Media – Newspapers in Brazil
- Correio Do Povo – Porto Alegre, Brazil
- Folha de São Paulo – One of the biggest papers in Brazil
- Jornal Da Cidade – Jundiai, Brazil
- O Globo – Rio de Janeiro Brazil
- Others: ClicRBS, Diário da Manhã, Gazeta Online
- Diário de Notícias – Daily news from Portugal
- Expresso – Biggest newspaper in Portugal
- Jornal de Noticias – General news
- Florida Review – Portuguese newspaper from Florida
- Others: Diário de Pernambuco, Público
Lastly, I highly recommend getting the Anki flashcard application to build up your vocabulary along with newspaper reading!
Learning Portuguese by Reading Aloud:
I harp on about reading aloud a lot but only because it’s so effective… at least for me. I wouldn’t peddle some method just for the sake of it unless it works in some way. And I can’t stress reading aloud enough. It’s like killing three birds with one stone. You practice grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary in one fell swoop.
Learning Portuguese with a Kindle:
And while we’re raving about things. Another technique that I can’t speak highly enough about is using a Kindle for learning languages.
All you need to do is buy a Português-English dictionary in the Kindle store and set it as your default primary dictionary. Buy your favorite book in Portuguese and start reading aloud with your auto-dictionary!
I downloaded two books one called “A Cabeça de Steve Jobs” by Leander Kahney and the other “O Descobrimento do Brasil” by Manuel Ferreira Garcia Redondo (free) in Portuguese on my Kindle. And ended up reading half of them aloud on a boat to Brazil back in 2011. Two-pronged attack.
If you haven’t got your hands on a Kindle or the Kindle reading app you can check out some free audio books here!
3) Tip Número Três – Speaking Portuguese!
Agh speaking… the bread and butter of any language. It’s funny sometimes the ultimate goal of any language speaking, gets lost in the endless grammar books and listening tapes etc. Okay so here’s some useful speaking tools for learning Portuguese:
Learning Portuguese with Verbling
If you’ve read my blog before you’ve probably seen a few shout outs for Verbling. Only because I really like it, I wrote a whole post on why it’s so good but I’ll give a quick one sentence overview in the meantime: Easy to sign up, free, instant one-to-one language exchanges with more and more free classes on the way…
Okay I’m not even sure that was a sentence but hey check it out for yourselves! And from a Portuguese learner’s point of view, the site has many Brazilian users on it so it isn’t hard to find a language partner!
Of course there’s other speaking tools online like iTalki, which I haven’t used yet but I’ve heard it’s very good for finding high quality teachers for one-on-one tutorials.
I’m sure I’ll get around to testing it out someday but I think I’ve been enjoying Verbling enough these days. Especially since they’ve added classes, which are only available for Spanish and English speakers at the moment.
Other Resources for Learning Portuguese:
While we’re on it, there’s also a few other resources out there that offer opportunities to speak and more:
- Livemocha – a comprehensive language resource that has since merged with Rosetta Stone.
- Lingq – a popular resource and forum for building vocabulary and more!
- Meetup.com – a portal for finding offline language exchanges and more!
- Couchsurfing.org – going to a Portuguese speaking country? Live with Portuguese speaking people!
4) Tip Número Quatro – Grammar Time!
Grammar, that dreaded word! Actually I don’t think Portuguese grammar is all that daunting, with fewer prepositions than in English it’s not too bad!
So digging through my old tabs, I’ve picked out a few sites that stood out for grammar but before I do that, let me emphasize Sonia Portuguese, as it’s the best resource for grammar in my humble language learning opinion!
- Sonia Portuguese – Your one stop shop for grammar and more!
- Easy Portuguese – Another good resource for grammar and more!
- Portuguese all verbs – Well I guess it says it all!
- Portuguese Conjugation Tables – Like the above!
- BBC Portuguese – BBC is a great resource for languages in general.
- Brazilian Portuguese – A gateway for grammar and more!
- Learning Portuguese – A great site by a dedicated Portuguese learner!
- Hacking Portuguese – Popular blog for learning Portuguese.
There’s no escaping grammar but I think it helps to learn it contextually whenever you can, that’s going out and interacting with the Portuguese speaking world! Either online or offline.
5) Tip Número Cinco – A New Role for Learning Portuguese!
Well this is a general tip but with Portuguese and any other language for that matter you have to prepare to be an actor. I’ve struggled with language learning in the past mainly because I haven’t taken the time to adopt a new mentality. I think this is paramount.
It effects your attitude, it effects your pronunciation and ultimately your motivation. So it’s time to adopt a new persona. Language learning is mimicry… after all how do you think we learnt to speak?
So enjoy learning Portuguese, and as you’ve probably noticed I have a slight bias to Brazilian Portuguese, so with that said I’ll leave you with a few documentaries in Brazilian Portuguese to get the ball rolling!
- Bus 174  – I have it hosted here!
- Senna  – I also have it hosted here!
- Waste Land  – It’s not here yet but you can check out the trailer!