Learn Portuguese for Free: 18 Online Resources You Need to Bookmark
You opened this page to read how to learn Portuguese for free.
At this moment, you could be touring Rio de Janeiro in a virtual helicopter or learning Portugal’s history through an animated short documentary.
But you’re here. And I’m glad you are!
By the end of this post, you’ll find 18 free Portuguese learning resources to make it worth your while.
- Beginner Portuguese Learning Resources
- Intermediate Portuguese Learning Resources
- Advanced Portuguese Learning Resources
- Advantages of Learning Portuguese Online
- More Free Resource Ideas for Learning Portuguese
Beginner Portuguese Learning Resources
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 don’t have to worry about remembering to review 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 takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized Portuguese lessons.Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Portuguese language and culture over time. You’ll learn Portuguese as it’s actually spoken by real people.
FluentU has a wide variety of videos, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.
Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.
Starting from the very basics, you’ll be able to progress and keep unlocking content on Duolingo as you get better.
One of the last lessons even teaches you how to talk about politics in Portuguese!
If you know a little Portuguese, you don’t have to start from zero. 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. The algorithm brings 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.
The IE Languages 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.
Mondly is an interactive Portuguese online course that starts from zero and covers several topics divided by categories.
You can choose to learn European or Brazilian Portuguese.
The first six lessons are free and 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.
There’s also a chatbot that will help you have even more realistic conversations.
The bot will ask or say something and give you possible answers. Usually, all the possible answers are correct, so take as many notes as possible.
The LingoHut Portuguese course consists of 122 lessons, so you can be sure all the basic and not-so-basic topics are covered.
With an emphasis on vocabulary, each of the 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 aloud.
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!
Clozemaster helps you learn Portuguese in context by teaching you new words in sentences.
You start by selecting a deck of vocabulary you want to learn. There are tons available—the most popular (and in my opinion, the most useful) ones are the most commonly used words decks.
For example, you can choose to learn the most common 100, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, or even 50,000 Portuguese words.
You’ll get practice using these words in multiple sentences. For example, the most common 1,000 words deck contains 3,982 sentences.
Clozemaster makes you want to keep coming back for more with gamified features like your score, level, streak, leaderboard position and more. Not to mention, the retro video game-style design theme.
Intermediate Portuguese Learning Resources
You may be surprised to see Reddit in this list, but it’s actually an excellent tool for learning languages!
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 62,000 subscribers and counting.
In this subreddit, people ask 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 learning materials.
Something amazing about this subreddit is 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 in 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 “New 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
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 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.
If you are serious about learning Portuguese, you need to check out this website.
They offer three types of Portuguese courses:
- Self-learning courses. This option gives you 12-week access to all course features and self-correction tools that help you improve your oral and written Portuguese skills.
- Basic courses. The basic course also lasts 12 weeks, and you get access to all of the course features and auto-correction tools like in the self-learning option. However, you also get six 30-minute Skype tutoring sessions with a maximum of three students per class.
- Premium courses. The Premium course includes all of the features of the self-learning and basic options but comes with twelve 30-minute one-on-one tutoring sessions (once per week), and your tutor assesses twelve pieces of your written work in Portuguese.
There are also business Portuguese courses: Business Portuguese, Legal Portuguese, Portuguese for Journalism and Portuguese for Tourism and Hospitality.
And lastly, there are three advanced courses: Culture and History, Translation and Co-operation and Development.
Easy Portuguese is a YouTube channel that creates videos completely in Portuguese.
Each video is around 8-13 minutes long and is hosted by a native speaker. There’s a main topic that the host interviews other native speakers about on the streets of Brazil and Portugal.
The themes include conversationally-driven questions like “What do you want to do before you die?”, “What would you do if you won the lottery?” and “How is it like to date in Brazil?”.
The channel also has more teaching-based content, like videos that explain 40 must-know Portuguese verbs, how to show possession, the future tense and more.
There are plenty of videos available in European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese.
HelloTalk is a language exchange app.
Instead of teaching you Portuguese, it connects you with native speakers based on the filtering options you select so you can practice speaking.
You can search for language partners near you or keep it completely online. You can also specify where you want your partner to be from—Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, etc.
HelloTalk’s built-in learning tools—like the translation feature—help you extract meaningful vocabulary, grammar points, colloquialisms and phrases from your conversations.
You can also send images, start video chats or audio calls, send audio messages, correct your partner’s texts and more.
Advanced Portuguese Learning 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, etc. 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. Plus, it shows you how they compare to other cultures and people around the world.
The best part? Everything is in Portuguese.
And with 150 episodes so far, this podcast will allow you to listen to 60 different native Portuguese speakers, so your listening comprehension will get an intense workout you could not easily get anywhere else.
I am adding “Zig Zag” in the advanced section because everything, from the webpage to the cartoons themselves, is in Portuguese.
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.
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 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.
Speak Like A Brazilian
Speak Like A Brazilian is a dictionary of Brazilian expressions and slang that includes all those things that 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 Brazil? 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.
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 to 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 don’t have to move to learn Portuguese. 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 too fast or 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.
More Free Resource Ideas for Learning Portuguese
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 Portuguese from day one.
The number of different resources you can use to learn Portuguese online is huge.
Here’s 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
As you have seen, learning Portuguese online is not only easy but also cheap (or free!).
There are millions of resources available for every type of learner, so it doesn’t matter if you prefer learning with videos, podcasts or books—you will find something just perfect for you.
Use the 18 resources in this list as a starting point, and add your own resources if you decide to explore more!