In this tab, you are reading a post about how to learn Portuguese for free.
In another tab you might be touring Rio de Janeiro in a virtual helicopter.
In yet another window, maybe you are learning about the history of Portugal… through an animated short documentary.
Maybe you already realize this, but you are literally holding a machine that can take you anywhere and teach you anything.
And now, you can harness it to learn Portuguese… for free!
If you are ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime without spending a single cent, then you have come to the right place. Hi, my name is Franko, and I am here to help.
Learning online has become more and more common in the past few years.
Many people around the globe have access to a smartphone or an internet connection, and we use that window to the world for literally everything.
Learning a new language online is normally just one click away, so it should not come as a surprise that millions of people choose this way of learning these days, even if they have access to a classroom.
If you are one of the people who has decided to take the leap of faith and start learning Portuguese online for free, you will be very happy to hear that there are plenty of advantages to learning online—and many resources that can make it happen.
Advantages of Learning Portuguese Online
Learning online is not only trendy but also comfortable and effective!
There are many reasons why choosing this method of learning a language is a good idea, the main ones being:
- You have millions of resources to choose from. Literally! As more and more learners decide to switch into online learning, the resources available are mushrooming all over the place, and their quality is rising with no end in sight. It is highly likely that you will find a language course that suits you perfectly.
- The price starts at zero. Granted, you can pay for some excellent resources and get your money’s worth, but you can also get some very high-quality learning programs for free or at a very affordable price.
- You do not have to move in order to learn. Learning online gives you the chance to stay in your house and still get the knowledge you want. You just need your phone or your computer. The rest is just you in your PJs, with a cup of tea in your hand.
- You set the pace. Have you ever been in one of those classrooms with 30 students where each of them had their own learning curve? Have you ever felt a course was to fast or too slow for you? Problem solved! When you learn online, you are your own boss. You decide what and when you want to learn, you set your goals and go back to review the material when you want. You are the creator of your own personalized course and that, my friend, is priceless.
As you can see, learning languages online (or any other thing, for that matter) has plenty of advantages, but if you still need that final push in order to convince you, think about all the different kinds of resources you can find online. You will never get bored!
More Free Resource Ideas for Learning Portuguese
Let’s make one last stop before you get to know the 15 amazing resources I have prepared for you.
Each of us has a different way of learning. Some of us prefer learning grammar rules while others just want to jump into the immersion pool and try to communicate in a foreign language from day one.
The number of different resources you can use to learn a language online is huge. Here is a list (by no means comprehensive) of different methods you can try if you feel adventurous:
- Online courses and MOOCs.
- Phone apps.
- Online grammar books and grammar resources.
- Podcasts and videocasts.
- Online learning programs and platforms.
- One-on-one classes with a tutor.
- Flashcards and vocabulary lists.
Not bad, right?
Out of all the available resources out there, I have chosen 15 really worth praising. You do not have to use all of them if you do not feel like it—just know that I have personally tested all of them and they are simply amazing.
Let the language learning adventure begin!
Want to Learn Portuguese for Free? Get Started with 15 Outstanding Online Resources
Learning a new language should not be boring! There are many ways to get a bite of the fluency cake. All you need is an internet connection and the time to invest in your studies.
Read on to see 15 of the best ways to learn Portuguese, no matter what level you are!
Resources for Absolute Beginners
If you are just starting your language learning journey, these resources will definitely come in handy.
Memrise (Portugal) and Memrise (Brazil)
Memrise is a great platform that allows you to learn Portuguese for free both on your laptop and mobile device.
There are dozens of Portuguese courses ready for you to start learning, and all you need to get started is five minutes per day.
Memrise uses spaced repetition optimization, which means you do not have to worry about remembering to revise old material. The program will tell you what to review and when, so you can always know what you have already mastered and what needs to be repeated.
The courses range from basic (starting from scratch) to colloquial Portuguese. There are also shorter courses covering food, numbers, colors, verbs, countries and tenses. You will love them all!
FluentU is a great way to learn languages online, and very soon it will be available to study Portuguese, as well! There is a free trial available to try—and after you try it, you can decide if investing in the program is worth your cash.
Chances are, you will be hooked. That’s because instead of using repetitive drills, FluentU teaches with something you are probably already consuming in your free time: short, fun videos. FluentU takes real-world videos like the latest music videos, cartoons, news, movie trailers and inspiring talks and turns them into personalized language learning experiences.
Each video comes equipped with interactive subtitles in Portuguese and English: Hover your mouse over a word to pause the video and see its definition, a memorable image, sample sentences and quick clips where you can hear how the word is used in other videos. You can also save words to study later with flashcards that also use reading, audio, video and images to help you remember everything you learn, no matter what kind of learner you are.
The only voices you will hear are those of native speakers talking about real-life situations that you would actually experience if you were living in Portugal or Brazil. This kind of language immersion means you are not learning a language in isolation—so when you want to remember a word, you can easily recall it as part of that one song you had stuck in your head for weeks (for example).
FluentU’s learning program also uses the spaced repetition method, which takes into account the words you know and the words you do not, and reintroduces them to you at intervals to make sure you do not forget anything.
We might have the program in the “beginner section” but you can actually filter by difficulty level and topic to find appropriate learning material for learners at any stage in their journey.
Duolingo is another great option for people who have very little time on their hands and will appreciate the colorful, user-friendly interface.
Starting from the very basics of the language (with words such as boy, man and woman), you will be able to progress and keep unlocking content as you get better, until your reach the last lesson, politics!
However, if you already know a little bit of Portuguese, you do not have to start from zero. Instead, you can take the placement test and see where the system allocates you.
Duolingo also uses spaced repetition with interactive exercises as a way of teaching. This technique has been proven to be successful in teaching languages online because it helps you actually remember what you have already learned. The algorithms have you covered, bringing old stuff back when you need to review it.
Two awesome features make Duolingo stand out:
- For starters, you can get the translation of any Portuguese word you see by just hovering your mouse over it. This will come in handy in the first steps of your new journey.
- The second feature is the “Stories” section, where you can practice your reading and listening comprehension skills with short stories that are given to you step by step. The more you read, the more stories you unlock. Have fun!
Don’t let the simplicity of this web course fool you. IE Languages is an excellent way to learn a lot of Brazilian Portuguese!
The course is divided into two levels, Portuguese I and Portuguese II, each including 20 lessons.
Many topics are covered, including the alphabet, question words, numbers, reflexive verbs, the preterite and commands—so if you want to have a decent overview of the language in a short period of time, this is your course.
Each lesson includes an audio file with all the vocabulary of the unit read by a native speaker. Bear in mind native volunteers have done the whole audio work, so even though some tracks may contain a little bit of noise, you can be sure the pronunciation is perfect.
My two favorite features of the course are the fact that everything is translated into English and that there are short explanations at the end of the lessons. These short explanations can be grammar tips, cultural information about Brazil and even sample sentences with translation.
Give IE Languages a try if you are in a hurry. You will not regret it.
Mondly is an interactive Portuguese online course that starts from zero and covers several topics divided by categories.
When you create your account, the system will ask which language you want to learn and what level you have. An amazing feature present in Mondly is that it allows you to choose if you want to learn Portuguese from Portugal or the Brazilian variety. Once you have chosen your language and your level, you are ready to start.
The first six lessons are free and can be found in the “Hello” section. These first six lessons will give you words and expressions you can learn and practice in the “Conversation” and the “Vocabulary” tabs, both also available for free.
The “Conversation” tab imitates a chat conversation. The program will tell you something and you need to record yourself repeating it. Send your audio for the convo to continue. This feature will teach you how to say hello and goodbye, how to ask for someone’s name, where they are from and what their favorite color is, among other things.
There is also a chatbot that will help you to have even more realistic conversations. The bot will ask or say something and give you possible answers. Normally, all the possible answers are correct, so take as many notes as possible so that you learn as much as possible.
The greatest feature in Mondly is the fact that everything is translated into English right under the Portuguese version. This is the perfect option for people who want to learn the basics of the language before going on holiday!
LingoHut is another great resource for beginners who do not have a lot of time to devote to studying Portuguese.
The course consists of 109 lessons, so you can be sure all the different basic and not-so-basic topics are covered.
With an emphasis on vocabulary, each of the 109 lessons includes six features:
First, you have a vocabulary lesson. This is a video that introduces you to the words, phrases and expressions included in the unit. Each term is repeated several times, and you are prompted to repeat them out loud as well.
Then, you have the flashcards, which will help you to memorize the vocabulary of the unit.
Once you get familiar with the new words, you can try the four games included in each lesson: a matching game, tic-tac-toe, a concentration game and a listening game.
By the end of the process, you will have memorized all the new words for sure!
Since the lessons are rather short, you only need about 20 to 30 minutes to complete each of them. This makes LingoHut perfect for learners in a hurry!
Resources to Help Bridge the Intermediate Plateau
Have you arrived at the middle of your journey? Intermediate land, whatever the language, tends to be the most neglected. Here are some resources that will help you to reach the advanced level in the blink of an eye.
You may be surprised to see Reddit in this list, but it is actually is a great tool for learning languages!
If you are not familiar with Reddit, the website calls itself “the front page of the internet,” which is by no means an exaggeration. Reddit is a massive collection of forums on every topic you could ever imagine. You have forums for everything. Literally everything.
When it comes to language learning, there are thousands and thousands of forums (subreddits, as they are called) dedicated to different languages and activities related to them.
The Portuguese subreddit has over 18.8 thousand subscribers and counting. In this subreddit, people ask their questions related to the Portuguese language, answer questions other Redditors may have, and share things such as free courses (Redditors love free stuff), videos, games and all kinds of interesting learning materials.
Something amazing about this subreddit is the fact that you can use filters, allowing you to see all the posts at once or just the ones related to the variety of Portuguese (Brazilian, European or other) you are interested in.
Do you want to learn Portuguese while you sing? I’ve got you covered!
With LyricsTraining, you will have access to hundreds of Portuguese songs that will help you work on your listening skills while you sing like nobody’s watching.
Portuguese songs include a flag on the upper-right corner indicating if the song is sung by a European or a Brazilian singer, so you can decide on the dialect that you want to focus on each time.
Choose a genre or search for lyrics or singers until you find the song you want. Or just have a look at the “Top Lyrics” and “Now Playing” sections if you feel like discovering new artists.
Once you have chosen a song, a game will open. Choose the level you want (beginner, intermediate, advanced or expert) and play the song. Your task is to fill in the gaps and complete the lyrics while you karaoke your life away. Have fun!
PortuguesePod101 and PortuguesePod101 on YouTube
Using YouTube to learn Portuguese? Yes, indeed!
PortuguesePod101 offers hundreds of free videos that will meet your every need whether you are just starting to learn or you are an advanced learner.
Apart from a TV channel that is on 24/7, you can find playlists for listening practice, beginner Portuguese, intermediate reading practice, pronunciation and more—most focusing on Brazilian Portuguese.
With PortuguesePod101 you have hundreds of hours of language practice with native teachers who actually know how and what to teach. You set the pace, though!
Plus, if you enjoy using the YouTube videos to learn, you can find tons of supplementary material by joining the PortuguesePod101 website, like additional lessons, transcripts and grammar notes.
Learn Portuguese with Rafa
Are you looking for a place where you can find practically anything that’s related to the Portuguese language? Learn Portuguese with Rafa is your answer!
When you visit the site, you immediately notice something: The amount of information it contains is overwhelming if you are as greedy as me and want to check everything at once.
The site has different tabs on the left that help you navigate through the massive amount of information you have available here.
You can choose the variety of Portuguese you want to learn and read about it, get to know more about Brazilian and Portuguese culture and traditions, learn grammar and vocabulary (divided into topics for your convenience), learn how to cook delicious recipes, study with videos on the YouTube channel or have a look at the list of Portuguese resources, among other things.
If you are looking for something Portuguese related, you will probably find it on Learn Portuguese with Rafa.
Camões is one of those sites that does not seem too interesting at first but, once you get to know it, it gets more and more amazing by the minute.
If you are serious about learning Portuguese, you need to check this website. It is divided into four big sections, and each of them is full of free goodies for you to explore. The sections are:
- A falar (Let’s talk). This section includes everything you need to start building or improve your speaking skills. It includes three subsections, one covering European Portuguese pronunciation, another one with episodes of an RTP program that deals with the Portuguese language, errors and questions learners may have and a third one which is an interactive conversation guide divided by topic and translated both into English and French.
- A ouvir (Let’s listen). A section obviously focused on listening comprehension, it includes three subsections: one for beginners who want to practice recognizing words and numbers, one for intermediate learners who have to listen to different dialogues and decide whether the statements given are true or false and one for advanced learners who will have to listen to short stories and do exercises related to them.
- A ler (Let’s read). This one includes five subsections and is divided into levels just as the two previous sections. From short stories to longer, interactive ones where you will have to answer questions about a chapter in order to have access to the next one, this section is possibly going to steal more time from you that you will be willing to admit.
- A brincar (Let’s play). For those who like to learn while having fun or want to take a break from more serious stuff, the five games included in this subsection, divided by level, will make you wonder why people say learning languages is boring.
Advanced Resources for When Fluency Is Within Reach
Fluency is around the corner. You can smell it, almost touch it. Add the final strokes to your masterpiece with these advanced resources.
Portugueses no Mundo (Portuguese People in the World)
If you love traveling and getting to know new countries and cities while learning a new language, Portugueses no Mundo is for you.
The name of this podcast is quite self-explanatory. Each episode covers the life of a Portuguese person living somewhere in the world. They show where they live, what they do for a living, how they have fun… They open a window to a different city for the rest of the world to see (or rather, listen to).
Portugueses no Mundo will give you an in-depth glimpse of European Portuguese culture and people how and show you how they compare to other cultures and people around the world.
The best part? Everything is in Portuguese. And with 60 episodes so far, this podcast will allow you to listen to 60 different native Portuguese speakers, so your listening comprehension will get a super workout you could not easily get anywhere else.
Wait, cartoons for advanced learners? Yup!
I am adding “Zig Zag” in the advanced section because everything, from the webpage to the cartoons themselves, is in Portuguese.
Learning a language with cartoons is not as crazy as it may seem. There are plenty of students who choose this method as a way of improving their listening comprehension skills, and let me tell you, it works!
Designed for kids, these cartoons will not teach you about the meaning of life or how politicians work, but their educational and pedagogical emphasis will definitely allow you to easily understand what is going on and add vocabulary to your word bank while letting you feel like a kid again.
The website includes a live radio, a collection of activities and games, among other things. If you really want to feel like a kid while learning Portuguese, this is where you get the party started.
They have some episodes of “Era uma vez… a vida” (Once upon a time… Life), which is one of my favorite childhood shows. Have a look at them, they are amazing.
Conta-me Tudo (Tell Me Everything)
Simply put, Conta-me Tudo is a storytelling podcast presented by David Cristina.
With 133 episodes plus some extras, tune in every week to hear David tell a story in Portuguese. He normally talks about real people who are or were important or special to him or the world.
It would be impossible to categorize this podcast in a specific thematic box. All the stories can be listened to independently from the rest, and they tackle topics as diverse as comedy, goats, WCs, maternal love or journalism. They have one thing in common, though: They all present an individual who is the main character of the story.
If you are in the advanced stages of your learning and fancy learning about random stuff and listening to unexpected stories while perfecting your Portuguese, this podcast will give you just that. Enjoy!
Speak Like A Brazilian
Speak Like A Brazilian is a dictionary of Brazilian expressions and slang that includes all those things probably no one will teach you at language school but you have always wanted to know.
How do you say that things are going to get ugly in Brazilian? Or that someone talks too much? This dictionary will tell you! (Hint: have a look at the letter O for the first expression and the letter F for the second one).
Imagine an Urban Dictionary for Brazilian Portuguese and less… explicit.
If you are planning on moving to Brazil or you are an advanced student and want to take those final steps in your path to fluency, Speak Like A Brazilian will be your best friend from now on.
Each entry includes an explanation in English and one or more sample sentences so you can get to know how the word or expression is used in real contexts. You are going to love this.
And that’s all for today, my dear friends.
As you have seen, learning Portuguese online is not only easy and available practically everywhere, but also cheap (or free!) and practical.
You do not need to leave your house in order to learn a language any more. There are millions of resources available for every type of learner, so it does not matter if you prefer learning with videos, podcasts or books—you will find something just perfect for you.
Use the 15 resources in this list as a starting point and add your own resources if you decide to explore for more.
Stay curious my friends and as always, happy learning!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn a language with real-world videos.