Language Lover's Guide to Learning Portuguese

The Language Lover’s Guide to Learning Portuguese


This book is a study companion written in plain English, which explains the things that you need to know to be successful in learning Portuguese. No prior grammatical knowledge is assumed, and technical terms are explained clearly and progressively. Exercises are provided to help you consolidate what you have learned and build your Portuguese vocabulary. Although the main focus is on European Portuguese, Brazilian alternatives are also given. Among the many things covered in this book: How do…

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Do many of you guys speak english? I noticed that almost all of this subreddit in portugese.(r/portugal)

Some people just like to be negative. Indeed Portugal is quite progressive. A quick run through of some relevant points,

  • Abortions allowed up to the 10th week (longer under specific circumstances) and mostly free.

  • Plan B and contraceptives over the counter (no need for needing a prescription)

  • Free contraceptives at public health centres.

  • Gay marriage and adoption.

  • Decriminalised drugs (not legal though) and emphasis in on healthcare and prevention (e.g. people can exchange needles for new ones at the pharmacy).

  • Regulated surrogacy (for medical conditions).

Of course, no country is perfect, but indeed there has been an immense cultural shift in the last say, 40 years or so. Older people will be more conservative, but even the culture is one of tolerance, so there is not a lot of resistance to such shifts.

Regarding language.

Most people under 40s will be able to hold a conversation in English, easily. As for older people, it depends on their education and profession.

That said, if you’re planning on moving, learning Portuguese is a good idea. In terms of integration it is a big plus. In case it interests you, below are some (European) Portuguese learning resources I gathered for the crowd at /r/Portuguese.

Audio Courses

Michel Thomas uses European Portuguese.

The focus is spoken language, and I really like their teaching methods. Note the very first lesson uses a beep to remind you to pause and answer questions yourself. It is annoying in my opinion, but they stop doing it after the first lesson.

Written Courses

(Note the books below are in Portuguese! If you’re a beginner then this is only good if you have a tutor. If you’re intermediate level books then it should work too. There is a book in English further down below)

The orthography of Portuguese changed recently (the so called AO90 orthographic agreement). So you should make sure written material complies with the new system.

This is the section of Portuguese for Foreigners in Wook, a really nice online bookstore in Portugal.…

This one makes it explicit that it follows the new orthographic agreement so it’s a very safe bet.

These also follow the orthographic agreement. Learning book plus exercises. Looks quite nice.

The FNAC bookstore in Portugal also has quite a few. This collection seems pretty good. They comply with the new orthography. Made at the university of Lisbon.……

Those are the level 1 learning and exercise books. You can find the reminder on the website. Look for the ones with similar covers:…

Here is a European Portuguese manual in English:…


The Portuguese Government just released a brand new Portuguese learning platform. May still be a bit green but give it a go. More content will be added soon.

In the thread about this app some people didn’t like that it asked for phone number, but apparently you can just fill it with zeros.


‘Memrise’ has European Portuguese flashcards. Note Memrise is also available as a mobile app.…….

‘Learn Portuguese – 6000 words’ has flashcards and more.….

Online courses

The ‘Practise Portuguese’ site teaches European Portuguese.


Online one-on-one lessons

The ‘Portuguese with Carla’ online lessons site seems quite professional.

Landing page

There is also of course italki.

Group Practice

There is a skype group for practise, see the sticky on /r/Portuguese

Skype Group for Portuguese from Portuguese

Language Exchange

Hellotalk has a good reputation.…

Reading Material

The op-ed by Lucy Pepper in the online news site Observador, always each piece in both Portuguese and English (she’s originally British, living in Portugal for 25 years).

The Portuguese version always comes first. Scroll down for the English text.

Portuguese TV and radio

There is RTP Play. It includes all the RTP (public television) TV channels and radio. Both live and on demand.

There are apps available.

Using the app, some of the content has subtitles in Portuguese. One such example would be the series “Bem-vindos a beirais”. Go to search (pesquiar), look up “beirais”, choose a recent episode, and activate CC on the player.

Documentaries on YouTube

Here is a Portuguese Documentary about punk rock with subtitles in English

Here is a channel quite a few Portuguese documentaries, many with subtitles


One way to immerse yourself in the language is listening to music. Even if you don’t understand it, you get used to the sounds and pick a word here and there.

You can also read the lyrics and once you know the lyrics every time you listen to the song you’re reinforcing those words. (Keeping in mind music lyrics are often poetic and don’t follow the usual rules of grammar)

For Portuguese bands check out


There’s also the music discovery sub for music all Portuguese speaking countries


Also see these threads with lyric music videos in /r/Portuguese.

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(Part 2)…

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Russell Walker

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Aberto Publishing

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The Language Lover’s Guide to Learning Portuguese

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Do many of you guys speak english? I noticed that almost all of this subreddit in portugese.

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