"When the sun rises, it rises for all" - Portuguese proverb

For most people, language learning can be for professional, cultural, or personal reasons.

Depending on where you live, certain languages will be favoured over others. There are, however, certain languages that have a global appeal due to their broad use worldwide. Portuguese is an example of this. That's why if you are wondering how to start learning Portuguese, you've come to the right place.

There are a number of different ways to learn Portuguese. But for some learners, the most attractive method is an autodidactic way of learning.

Mainly thanks to the arrival of new technologies, it is quite possible to learn Portuguese online for free!

Learning to Speak Portuguese Online

Learning Portuguese on your own can be a difficult process. You probably don't know where to start, or which textbooks to use. Online courses are a great way to guide you along the path to becoming fluent. Here are some of our favourite options.

Learning Brazilian Portuguese with 'Free Portuguese Classes Online'

Free Portuguese Classes Online is a particularly comprehensive online educational platform. It offers Brazilian Portuguese lessons for internet users wishing to immerse themselves in the Brazilian language and culture.

Are you passionate about Brazil? Increase your proficiency in Brazilian Portuguese with free Portuguese lessons online!

Speaking Portuguese will allow you to access Brazilian culture
Learning Portuguese will help you learn about Brazil

The site does not just teach students to learn Portugal's lexicon. You can find a ton of information about Brazilian culture if you head to the "News" section.

What to expect:

  • Portuguese conjugation courses,
  • Portuguese vocabulary courses,
  • Portuguese adjective classes,
  • Portuguese alphabet classes,
  • Conjugation exercises,
  • Study worksheets,
  • Portuguese proverbs, etc.

By using Word Reference as a framework, the site is aiming to develop its own two way dictionary between Portuguese and English. By building on basic Portuguese translations, the site wants to use the language and context of a conversation in order to offer several possible meanings.

The positive points:

  • The news blog which explains all of the new things happening on the website,
  • Factsheets on Portuguese culture (history of Brazil, popular radios in Brazil, etc...),
  • No need to register on the site to access the lessons,
  • The ability to leave comments to the webmaster via your Facebook account,
  • Tables with vocab which are practical in order to understand the language,
  • Perfect lessons for a beginner...

The negative points:

  • ...but too light for an expert in Portuguese.
  • Having to register in order to access additional features (such as the notebook, etc...),
  • The blog lacks frequent updates,
  • The interface works fine but is very simplistic.

The site also offers a comparison table between English and Portuguese. These tables can be integrated into your study materials.

Babbel: for Beginners and Advanced Students

Learning Portuguese with a tutor is a great way to study, but it is not always suitable for everyone's budget. Babbel is a free online service for learning languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, and many others!

Recently, the platform developed a Portuguese module that you can use. It doesn't matter if you are looking to enter the business world or strengthen your language skills to have a conversational level with basic fluency.

Find a good Portuguese class on Superprof.

Practice Portuguese as much as you can in order to be successful
The best way to improve in Portuguese is to chat with a native. Why not find a Portuguese-speaking penpal.

What to expect:

  • online Portuguese exercises (re conjugation, vocabulary, etc.),
  • Interactive games (crosswords, picture games, etc.),
  • Idiomatic expressions in Portuguese,
  • Prepositions in Portuguese,
  • A Portuguese dictionary,
  • Worksheets,
  • Portuguese exam simulations,
  • Quick help accessing the lesson you are looking for...

The platform provides users with a FAQ section, to support any new learner. You will be able to discover how to write accents such as è, ì, ò, ù, ñ or ç with your keyboard, and how to download the audio files.

The positive points:

  • The forum you can use to discuss certain things with other learners,
  • The site's personalization (the user can choose the color of the interface),
  • Many lessons, which are adapted to all levels,
  • Regular follow-up through exams at the end of each lesson,
  • Audio files to train you to have a good Portuguese accent,
  • The images illustrating the Portuguese lexicon.

The negative points:

  • The numerous advertisements financing the site,
  • The interface is sometimes confusing.

Babbel remains a very efficient site, which allows the student to revise both his or her Portuguese writing and pronunciation. The site also offers classes on the history of Portugal or the deployment of the Portuguese language in the world.

Transparent, For a Complete Tour of the Portuguese Universe!

Transparent is a free educational site allowing Portuguese experts to transmit their knowledge in a fun way.

These free online Portuguese courses allow students to enrich their vocabulary and become familiar with the language.

Search for a Brazilian Portuguese online course here.

Speaking Portuguese opens a lot of doors when you visit the country
With the right linguistic training, you will be able to hold conversations with the local people in Portugal and discover all the little corners of Portuguese cities.

What to expect:

  • An introduction to the language and its use throughout the world,
  • Irregular verbs,
  • Personal pronoun classes,
  • Grammar, conjugation, and vocabulary classes,
  • Phonetics classes,
  • Online exercises re verbs, modes, articles ...,
  • Portuguese civilization courses, etc.

All in all, Transparent offers a very effective site if you are looking to progress and memorize the Portuguese language in just a few months. Thanks to online courses written by natives, learners improve their oral and written skills. This learning module is ideal for someone who just about to undertake an immersion course in a Portuguese speaking country.

The positive points:

  • Courses that come in 5 levels: novice, beginner, intermediate, advanced, and fluent,
  • The possibility to look at the biography of the tutors,
  • The forum that can be used for discussion between learners,
  • The nearly complete lessons,
  • Resources that help with memorization, such as exercises or memory cards,
  • The clear and intelligible interface of the site,
  • Audio recordings made by native Portuguese speakers.

The negative points:

  • The lack of illustrative images,
  • Too few audio files.

The foreign language courses offered by Transparent allow for language knowledge to be shared between users around the world. You will be able to learn Portuguese for free at your own pace in order to be able to fend for yourself during your trip to Portugal!

In short:

Teach Yourself Portuguese on YouTube

Modern technology doesn't just allow for websites offering Portuguese courses. You can also learn Portuguese via an app on your smartphone or tablet. Or alternatively you could watch one of a number of videos on YouTube dedicated to all aspects of the Portuguese learning process.

Buxilala - Learn European Portuguese with a Native Speaker

Of Portuguese origin, Buxilala allows her hundreds of subscribers to learn to speak Portuguese and pronounce Portuguese words correctly. Moreover, her videos regarding pronunciation are extremely popular with English-speaking users who are seeking to master the Portuguese accent while having fun.

What to expect:

  • The origins of the Portuguese language,
  • The differences and similarities between other languages and Portuguese,
  • Some information about Portuguese geography,
  • Courses to study the vocabulary of the country (colors, numbers, pronouns...),
  • Courses on Portuguese verbs ("ser" and "estar", etc.).

The positive points:

  • Illustrated and colorful slideshows,
  • The ability to see the teacher pronounce the terms,
  • A concise and educational explanation of the history of Portugal,
  • Various resources (tables, corrections, highlighting ...),
  • The wise advice of the teacher.

The negative points:

  • The audio is not tip top,
  • Lessons are mostly for beginners.

They won't turn you into a full-fledged bilingual but Buxilala's videos will present you with an introduction to the vocabulary of daily life. If you are looking to pronounce Portuguese like a Latin American - the site is ideal!

The Travel Linguist - To Understand the Basics of the Portuguese Language

With videos exceeding 500,000 views, The Travel Linguist allows users to learn the Portuguese language quickly in a relaxed environment.

Indeed, in less than 15 minutes, the channel introduces you to all the words you should learn before traveling to Brazil or Portugal.

This is a great way to study on the go!

What to expect:

  • More than a hundred Portuguese words,
  • Various vocabulary themes (numbers, politeness, days of the week...),
  • Writing and pronunciation in Portuguese,

The positive points:

  • A clear and concise summary of the essential words to know in Portuguese,
  • The English and Portuguese audio is perfect,
  • The choice between classic Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese,

The negative points:

  • Videos only serve as an intro to the language,
  • The video lessons can be a little bit impersonal.

The Travel Linguist's videos are therefore ideal to learn the Portuguese language when preparing a language trip. Nevertheless, learners of Portuguese must supplement their knowledge with private lessons or online courses if they hope to become bilingual!

In short:

Need a Portuguese teacher?

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As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.