Olá, bem-vindos a Portugal! Como estão? Imagine you just arrived in our beautiful country, you’re all set to start your new life here and ready to enjoy the Portuguese weather, food, culture and all the other amazing things that attracted you here. The next step on your journey is to learn Portuguese, or at least to get by.
Savvy Tip: European-Portuguese is very different from Brazilian-Portuguese. While they have many similarities and sound almost identical, they actually differ a lot in speech and writing, from grammar to vocabulary. Although we LOVE when people make an effort to speak and understand our language, Portuguese people tend to feel uncomfortable when foreigners think they are the same language.
Keep in mind when planning your Portuguese language course, odds are that you will find a lot more learning resources and tools in Brazilian-Portuguese, so keep an eye for that if you are looking specifically for European-Portuguese courses.
Is learning Portuguese essential for me?
How good are Portuguese people with English?
The reason I say that you should learn a bit at least to get by is because it is a BIG BIG plus to know and understand basic Portuguese. From small polite talk like greeting someone or to order food at a restaurant, to something more serious like going to the doctor. While luckily, a lot of Portuguese people are quite good English speakers and most likely will understand basic conversational topics, depending on where you are in the country that might be the complete opposite.
So all in all, being fluent in Portuguese is not at all a requirement for you to “survive” here. Considering that Portugal also has incredible expat communities all over the country, so it is perfectly doable to live here without speaking the language.
Online schools & resources
Whether you are beginner, intermediate or a fluent Portuguese speaker, there are plenty and great resources online to help you start or to practice.
Let’s get to know some, shall we?
LearningPortuguese.co.uk: A simple but easy website to navigate that offers a lot of free exercises for both the beginner and advanced learners. It was created by Russell Walker, a non-portuguese native who started learning Portuguese back in 2001, this can be quite beneficial for learners because it can help you overcome common portuguese learning difficulties more easily.
Mia Esmeriz Academy: Mia has a Master degree in teaching Portuguese as a Second Language and created Mia Esmeriz Academy with “one-on-one” paid classes to help you go from an absolute beginner to an advanced level. Mia also has a YouTube channel.
Preply: If having online classes is your thing, then Preply might be a great option for you. Get a native Portuguese tutor and immerse yourself in the language with fun and easy to understand classes.
Free beginners courses from the Portuguese Government.
Instituto de Camões: A paid self-study beginners course with lots of great resources.
Portuguese Lab Academy: A paid online platform with lots of great multimedia lessons with video, audio, interactive exercises, and resources to improve your reading, listening, speaking and writing skills.
Portuguesepedia: Offers both paid courses and many many free resources to learn and improve your Portuguese. Pedro also has many interesting and insightful blog posts. Check out Portuguesepedia’s Youtube channel.
Easy Portuguese: A very simple straight to the point website with lots of vocabulary and grammar resources.
Duolingo (Brazilian-Portuguese): One of the biggest language learning platforms. The exercises almost look like fun little games which makes the learning process so much easier (and fun!)
Audio courses & Podcasts
Pimsleur Portuguese: A wonderful audio course that will help you speak Portuguese. Perfect for those who wish to learn throughout the day anywhere you are in your headphones.
Michel Thomas Total Portuguese: Another great audio paid course that can help you go from absolute beginner to intermediate level in no time.
Portuguese Lab: An incredible podcast with short episodes that will boost your conversational skills. Exercises and transcripts of the episodes are also available. Portuguese Lab also has a Youtube channel.
Portuguese with Carla: A fun podcast presented by the lovely and fun Carla who will help you with everyday life Portuguese dialog. Exercises and transcripts are also available. Carla also has a wonderful Youtube channel.
Royal School of Languages: Offers Portuguese language, business communication in Portuguese, Intensive and Teaching courses. Also offers translation services and literature courses for advanced learners.
CEL: Offers Portuguese as a foreign language courses, exam preparation, Business & Professional Portuguese courses and other specialized courses.
International House: Whether you are looking for a beginners course or a more advanced one, IH Porto offers both group and individual classes.
Alliance Française: The classes offered by Alliance Française are focused on business communication in Portuguese. They offer both individual and group classes.
Cambridge School: Intensive Portuguese as a foreign language courses, available both online and in person. Private lessons or small group classes.
CIAL: One of the most valuable Portuguese courses for foreigners in Lisbon. Very flexible private and group classes offered.
CESA: Language school with over 40 years of experience with many languages available to learn. Offers many Portuguese courses, from beginners to advanced.
LUSA Language School: Located in Lisbon, LUSA offers part-time or full-time Portuguese courses that can be online, in group or in private.
Portuguese Connection: Great variety of Portuguese classes, not just about the language. Offers many types of classes from individual, group or combined to summer and extensive courses.
University Language courses
ICLP - University of Lisbon: Portuguese as a Foreign Language Yearly and Summer Course.
Universidade Nova de Lisboa: Offers online summer courses for foreigner students.
Universidade do Porto: Portuguese as a Foreign Language Yearly and Summer Course.
Universidade de Coimbra: Offers Yearly and Summer courses, as well as a February and September Intensive course
Other lexical tools
Infopedia: Portuguese-Portuguese online dictionary listing several usage examples of any word that you might want to look up.
50 Languages Phrasebook: A very useful online audio-phrasebook with many Portuguese expressions.
Google translate: We know Google Translate has been everyone’s friendly tool that can help us translate words and sentences very quickly. Keep in mind though that normally it translates word by word and very frequently disregards the context of the sentence as well as structure, correct word choice, which can be an issue. Also, the translation is by default to Brazilian-Portuguese, so don’t forget to go to settings and change it to European-Portuguese if that’s the one you’re learning.
There are some online tools that can help you with context of the sentence for small sentences, for example:
Reverso: relevant translations in context with real-life examples for millions of words and expressions. Also has Portuguese verb conjugation, synonyms, grammar check and many more useful tools.
Linguee: Like Reverso, it’s suitable to translate small phrases or single words at a time.
Glosbe: Similar to Linguee and Reverso.
There are many many more online resources and language schools available, impossible to list them all. But we leave you with something to get you started!
Hope this article was helpful, any questions you might have feel free to contact us! We are always available at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any assistance ;)