Brazilian Portuguese learners, have I got a pocket-sized treat for you!
You can explore the language, culture and even cuisine of Brazil all from your phone.
Whether you’re hoping to boost your language skills, prepare for a trip to São Paulo or just familiarize yourself with local life in Brazil, here are some fun and handy apps that’ll add a whole new dimension to your learning experience.
- How to Use Brazilian Apps to Their Full Potential
- Apps for Authentic Language Learning
- Apps for Living and Learning Like a Brazilian
How to Use Brazilian Apps to Their Full Potential
Technology has come a long way in a short period of time and the vast number of resources that arrived with this evolution never ceases to amaze.
Pair a few Brazilian apps with your favorite learning tools, and you’ve got a winning formula for language fluency. But in order for this to work, you need to make sure you’re downloading apps you’ll actually use. There’s no point in grabbing magazines off the rack if you’re not going to read them, nor is there any use in downloading podcasts that you’ll never listen to. Same goes for apps.
In short, like everything else in your studies, it’s important to be strategic about what tools you incorporate into your learning plan and diligent about using them.
Depending on your learning level, style and goals, you might effectively use Brazilian apps one of two ways:
- You can incorporate them into a structured learning plan, setting aside a specific amount of time every day to run language drills or explore Brazilian content in your apps.
- You can commit to using them whenever you get a free moment—on the bus, between meetings, while you’re waiting for your morning coffee to brew, etc.
It all depends what works best for you personally. Try both methods and see which one is easier for you to stick to. Ultimately, the goal is to make Portuguese practice a natural, consistent part of your lifestyle—that’s the beauty of having apps right on your phone!
Although we’ll be highlighting primarily Brazilian-focused and Brazilian-made apps in this post, remember that even your English-language apps can come in handy with a few tweaks.
If you’re an avid social media user, for example, changing your language settings on Facebook, Twitter and other networks to Brazilian Portuguese is an easy way to get some reading practice in your downtime—and it’ll help you stay up to date with the latest lingo, too.
If you really want to up the ante, try changing the language settings on your phone or tablet (but only do this if you’re confident that you’ll be able to understand the new functions). There’s plenty of room to experiment here, so feel free to test a few different options.
Apps for Authentic Language Learning
Tandem (iOS, Android)
Tandem is a language exchange app that connects learners and native speakers from across the world, Brazil included. This is a great option for practicing your skills in real-life conversation with native speakers from Brazil.
The process is as simple as downloading the app, making an account, choosing your desired language and finding people to connect with. It’s a convenient and low-pressure environment to improve your Portuguese conversation abilities.
The platform also has a built-in language correction tool that makes it easy for your new native speaker friends to help you perfect your skills in a friendly way. If you want to take your learning up a notch, Tandem can also connect with you certified language tutors.
Chatting with Brazilians is an immersive, authentic and incredibly effective way to build your language skills. And you never know, you might even make some lifelong friends from these virtual conversations!
FluentU (iOS, Android)
This app brings authentic Portuguese to your phone in the form of Brazilian videos. Each video comes with expert-vetted interactive captions aimed to help you to learn new words while you watch with contextual, in-video definitions.
After you finish watching a video, you’ll find a tailored quiz ready to test you on the vocab you’ve learned. If you want to focus on learning a specific word or phrase, you can save it to your flashcard decks for later reviewing through personalized exercises.
Dicionário inFormal (Android)
The Dicionário inFormal app and website feature a collection of user-generated Brazilian Portuguese colloquialisms, rhymes, synonyms and antonyms. It’s a fantastic way to learn the most up-to-date vocabulary, including plenty you wouldn’t find in a textbook.
Its popularity among language learners has led the masterminds behind Dicionário inFormal to include an English interface option, too. That way, beginner learners can navigate the app and start getting exposure to real-world Portuguese vocabulary.
Letter Zap (iOS, Android)
Also known as Letroca, Letter Zap is a Brazilian-made word-finding game that’ll help you practice and expand your Portuguese vocabulary.
A series of scrambled up letters are provided, and you’ll be tasked with forming as many words as you can before the time runs out. There are around 400 levels to beat, so don’t plan to exhaust this app anytime soon!
Bravolol Portuguese-English Dictionary and Translator (iOS, Android)
Bravolol is a Portuguese-English dictionary and translator app. It’s probably one of the most comprehensive in the market, too; standout features include a whopping 200,000 words and phrases, example sentences, audio pronunciations and spelling suggestions.
All of this for free. How’s that for handy!
Portuguese Verbs (Android) and Portuguese Verb Conjugator (iOS)
Memorizing conjugation rules may not be as fun as watching Brazilian movies or texting with real Brazilians, but it’s crucial if you want to speak like a native. Here are two options for Android or iOS devices:
- Portuguese Verbs by Appicenter is a Brazilian Portuguese-focused conjugator tool. The app has comprehensive verb lists, translations, grammar guides and offline functionality. Android users can tap into free and paid options. The pro version includes more verbs.
- If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, the Portuguese Verb Conjugator is a nice option to try out. It offers conjugations and translations for hundreds of verbs, as well as interactive drills to help you commit everything to memory.
Apps for Living and Learning Like a Brazilian
VEJA São Paulo (iOS, Android)
VEJA is one of Brazil’s most popular magazines. Their São Paulo edition, and the free app for it, is your go-to guide for the city’s best dining venues and local gigs.
Movie listings, restaurant reviews and an overview of upcoming events are some of the tips you’ll find among its digital pages. It’s a perfect fit for anyone wanting to practice their Portuguese reading skills while getting a glimpse of the urban Brazilian lifestyle. And if you’re traveling to or living in São Paulo, this is an awesome tool for helping you get fully immersed in the city’s art and culture.
Placar UOL (iOS, Android)
Brazil’s favorite sport and pastime (i.e. soccer) is well represented in this app. With a name that literally translates to “scoreboard,” Placar UOL will keep you informed about the latest news and sports results to come out of Brazil.
With this app, you’ll get exposure to a wide range of Brazilian Portuguese language styles. There’s everything from soccer news articles and opinion pieces to expert commentary to input from social media users. There’s even an interactive element as you can pick your favorite teams, follow their rankings and receive information specific to them.
TecMundo Notícias (iOS, Android)
Now here’s something for the tech geeks. TecMundo is a website geared toward all things technology-related, and its flagship app enables users to stay up to date on the latest news and gadgets from Brazil and around the world.
Tecmundo’s main objective is to present the most recent technological developments to mass audiences in a way that’s easy enough for them to understand, making the language of each article accessible to Portuguese learners, too.
Curso de Bolso (iOS, Android)
Here’s a really awesome resource from the Brazilian development team Verisoft that’ll help you diversify your Portuguese studies.
Curso de Bolso literally translates to “Pocket Course,” which is pretty self-explanatory. The app contains an array of online lessons, completely free to download and 100 percent in Portuguese. Topics range from memorization techniques to personal finance to basic cooking courses.
By following a Curso de Boslo course, you can see how Portuguese is used in a range of different contexts that you might not be exposed to with a traditional language course. This type of learning tool can also help boost your motivation to study, as you can use topics that are inherently interesting to you as a vehicle to read, write and think in Portuguese.
CyberCook Receitas (iOS, Android)
You can’t separate any culture from its cuisine, and there’s oodles of Portuguese-learning potential to be found in Brazilian recipes. Think about it: no matter what language a recipe is written in, you can expect that it’ll provide key nouns and verbs in a digestible and accessible format.
That’s why CyberCook’s app is a treat for Portuguese learners who love getting creative in the kitchen. You’ll have your pick of more than 115,000 recipes across various categories, many of which are accompanied by videos.
So many apps, so little time! We hope this list will inspire you to keep discovering new mobile resources that’ll truly ramp up your Brazilian Portuguese study.