The Ultimate Guide to Learning Portuguese with News
Whether you’re into magazines, short stories or you’ve got a nose for the latest happenings from around the world, you know that the written word is essential on your path to fluency.
Online Portuguese news sites add a whole new element to your learning experience. They often take a multimedia stance, meaning you can get plenty of reading and listening practice too.
For now, let’s zoom in on how to make those daily Portuguese headlines work with your current skills and learning goals.
- Learning Portuguese with News: A Quick Starter Guide
- Online Articles to Add to Your News Feed
- Radio Broadcasts to Put on Your Auditory Radar
- TV Newscasts for a Little Visual and Aural Stimulation
Learning Portuguese with News: A Quick Starter Guide
It’s always good to have a solid strategy when you’re adding new study resources into the mix.
When learning with news, there’s one key word that you need to think about: commitment.
You need to be able to naturally fit your headline scanning, news reading and bulletin-watching into your schedule. That’s the best way to make the experience resonate with your learning needs.
How can you do this, you ask? It’s actually quite simple.
Reinforce current knowledge
For starters, think about your current strengths and your existing knowledge about the Lusophone world. Do you know much about Brazilian or Portuguese politics and current events?
If not, it might be better to focus on Portuguese coverage of international news to begin with. That way, you’ll have something familiar to tide you over, which in itself can be a good way to check up on whether or not you’ve understood the content you’re reading.
Find topics that interest you
If international news is not quite your thing, you could try focusing your attention on the latest sports updates—both Brazil and Portugal will give soccer fans plenty of content to play with—or other alternatives like entertainment and movie news.
Make it a habit
Now, let’s get back to that commitment thing we talked about. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to commit to more than you can handle. At the early stages, I’d recommend that you make a habit of reading one full article a day—this is a manageable goal to stick to and it will give you more time to analyze the content you’ve been presented with.
Then, as you get more confident, start ramping up your readership by increasing your article intake to two a day, three and so forth. Further along, you can start adding more localized articles into your reading list.
Finally, if you’re looking for a more immersive experience, make sure to keep an eye on your chosen media outlets’ social media channels. You could, for instance, like their Facebook pages or follow them on Twitter. And if you’re not an avid social media user, you could always check if these news sites have an app you can download or a RSS feed you could subscribe to.
With all that said and done, here are some resources to get you started on your newsy studies.
Online Articles to Add to Your News Feed
Online news articles tend to be written with a general audience in mind, making them ideal for learners across all levels.
You can expect the language to be quite clear-cut and concise as well as mostly formal in tone, though some colloquialism might be used on occasion.
If you’re learning Brazilian Portuguese, try these popular choices:
Folha de São Paulo
One of Brazil’s major daily newspapers. The publication focuses on social and political issues from São Paulo and beyond—both the site and print edition have a nation-wide readership.
This one is part of Grupo Globo, Brazil’s largest media conglomerate and the largest broadcaster in Latin America. O Globo’s coverage is centered around Rio de Janeiro, though it also focuses on domestic and international politics at large.
Those on the European Portuguese spectrum should check out these websites:
Portugal’s biggest newspaper. Its scope is quite wide-reaching and includes international news, domestic politics as well as a series of thematic podcasts that advanced learners should definitely tune into.
Diário de Notícias
Primarily focuses on daily news from Portugal, with topics ranging from politics and current affairs to sports and literature.
Radio Broadcasts to Put on Your Auditory Radar
Budding news junkies wanting to practice their Portuguese listening skills should definitely tune into some online radio bulletins.
The language isn’t too different from newspapers, though it might be more conversational by nature. As such, the pace might sound a little fast to the untrained ear—meaning this might be a better option for an intermediate to advanced learner.
Those wanting to practice their Brazilian Portuguese should tune into the following stations:
Central Brasileira de Notícias (CBN)
A radio station that covers everything from sport to politics. Either click the Ao Vivo button to start listening, or look at the menu to find different programs, news bulletins and podcasts across various categories.
Jovem Pan News
Jovem Pan is a major radio broadcaster in Brazil that has several news, music and sports stations across the country. Select from any of the various city stations listed on its website to listen to its live journalism transmissions. If you’re into newsy podcasts, Jovem Pan does that too.
As for those yearning for an European angle, here’s what resounding in the European Portuguese airwaves:
One of Portugal’s leading news broadcasters. Browse through the website for a bit of news reading or click the Antenna1 icon on the right-hand side of the homepage to listen to the station’s live streams.
TSF Rádio Notícias
Another major newscaster from our Lusophone friends. Again, either spend some time scanning the headlines and articles or simply click Ouvir Emissão to listen to the live bulletins.
TV Newscasts for a Little Visual and Aural Stimulation
If radio proves a bit much, TV will likely provide a healthy middle ground.
The only thing to keep in mind is that language in this kind of media is likely to veer towards the colloquial side—especially if a news story is interviewing an everyday person. But for the most part, anyone from beginner to advanced can tap into this kind of content.
How can you be sure you’re choosing a clip appropriate for your level? For the most part, you can’t. You’ll just have to watch and see how many words you understand—if more than five words in a few minutes are new to you, then you may want to watch an easier video.
You can also use an immersion program that’s organized by level. On FluentU, for example, you can find authentic Brazilian Portuguese videos like news segments, and organize them by difficulty. Interactive subtitles linked to a contextual dictionary also help, so even when there’s colloquial language in use, you can see an accurate definition.
Here are some TV news sites that will offer some local snippets for news-loving Brazilian Portuguese learners:
A government-owned TV channel that features the latest news commentary, sports updates and economic insights from Brazil and the world. Click on any article to watch its respective video.
A news site that allows you to view news clips from the latest bulletins that aired on Rede Globo, Brazil’s largest TV network. The website interface is quite intuitive and allows users to click and view videos without leaving the homepage.
For news content centered around the European Portuguese way of life, try these alternatives:
Jornal de Notícias
This news website is owned by the same company as TSF Rádio. Live newscasts start playing automatically as you enter the page. Alternatively, just go into JN Direto to find an updated selection of news and sports videos.
Another major Portuguese broadcaster. Again, the home page has an automatic live video stream embedded into it, or you can look through a series of clearly labeled video and online articles to select a topic of interest.
Thanks for tuning into this special broadcast! We hope our recommendations will help you learn a bit more about the Portuguese world, immerse you in the latest news headlines and lead you into fluency.