You already have plenty of Portuguese textbooks in your saddlebag, but do you have the perfect partner to help you explore new frontiers?
If you haven’t partnered up for language exchange yet, it’s high time you lasso yourself a partner.
Luckily, nowadays you don’t need to venture out into the unknown to find a Portuguese speaker to practice with. Just as there are plenty of websites to learn Portuguese, there are plenty of websites to help you find a conversation partner.
And not only will a language exchange partner give you valuable practice, finding the right one can even increase your motivation to learn Portuguese.
So check out these nine resources to help you ride off into the sunset with your ideal language exchange partner.
How to Get the Most from Portuguese Language Exchange
Language exchange is only as good as you make it. Here are some tips for getting the most form your language-learning conversations:
Figure out your goals.
You’ll never find what you’re looking for if you have no clue what you want. That’s why it’s important to think about your goals before you pursue a language exchange.
For instance, are you seeking to establish a long-term partnership or a short-term exchange? Do you prefer video conversations on Skype, text-based chats, emails or written letters? Do you want to practice formal, business Portuguese or have casual, friendly discourses?
Once you’ve determined your goals and preferences, make sure you share them with any potential language exchange partners so you’ll be on the same page.
Look for someone with shared interests.
Whether you can’t get enough of sports, enjoy nothing more than watching a good TV show or simply can’t resist whipping up some delicious dishes in the kitchen, finding someone who shares your interests gives you something you can instantly bond over.
Plus, if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, you’ll have plenty to keep talking about down the road.
Personally connecting with your Portuguese language exchange partner not only makes practicing more fun, it also helps encourage you to practice more often than you otherwise might.
Find someone from the region that speaks the dialect you’re learning.
There are some key variations in pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary between Brazilian and European Portuguese, as well as many other Portuguese dialects around the world.
If you’re targeting a specific dialect, you’ll want to find someone who speaks it.
Prepare for your exchanges with authentic videos.
If you’re not quite ready for speaking with a real partner, get some practice by watching and shadowing the videos on FluentU. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
A Portuguese FluentU program is currently in development, so keep an eye out for an immersive, authentic way to learn!
There are also plenty of authentic YouTube videos to practice with before you head off to find your perfect partner.
9 Portuguese Language Exchange Sites for Conversation Practice
Whether you’re looking for a language exchange partner or a tutor, italki has your back.
That’s because italki has both options. If you like the give and take of a conversation exchange, you can find a partner here. If you prefer hiring a tutor to help you along, you can do that, too.
With italki, you can connect through the app, online via Skype or use the in-site messaging for easy communication.
Language exchange partner profiles frequently feature an image of the person, a brief bio about them and what languages they speak and how well. Additionally, filtering options allow you to hone in on specific countries and/or cities and only view native speakers.
With dozens of native Portuguese conversation exchange partners from both Portugal and Brazil to choose from, you should have no trouble finding your perfect partner.
Tandem is a convenient app designed to help connect language learners with native speakers for conversation exchange.
Unlike some services, you can also search regionally to find people near you if you’re interested in meeting up for in-person Portuguese exchange.
Language exchange is free, and you can use video or text-based chat through the app. If you choose video-based chat, Tandem even offers games to help you along with your conversation.
As with italki, if you prefer to hire a tutor, you can also do so through the Tandem app.
If you can’t wait another minute to find your new best language learning friend, it’s time to check out Speaky.
Speaky aims to connect language learners to conversation partners with shared interests, giving you so something to talk about.
You can also get in touch with people who are online right now, so there’s no long waiting period to get started practicing your Portuguese.
You can use Speaky through your web browser or through the app. It allows text-based chat, audio calls and/or video calls, giving you plenty of options to interact and practice your skills.
On HelloTalk, you can interact with native Portuguese speakers around the world without spending a cent. With over 10 million members, there are plenty of potential partners to choose from.
You can communicate however you’re comfortable, whether it’s through text, voice or video chat.
Still a little nervous about actually using your Portuguese skills in a real conversation? When you use HelloTalk, you don’t have to let your fears hold you back. The program has some helpful tools for translation, pronunciation and more, so you can start chatting ASAP even if your Portuguese skills aren’t ideal yet.
Want another way to connect with native speakers Portuguese speakers for free while building your vocabulary? WeSpeke is a great option.
With WeSpeke, you can search through native speakers and find partners who share your interests. From there, the program offers an array of chat options. Online, you can chat via text, audio and/or video. With the apps, you can share audio, text and images.
One unique feature of WeSpeke is that online, you can add words and phrases to your WeSpeke Notebook, making them easy to access in a live chat or to study further down the road.
This resource’s free, straightforward, web-based format makes it easy to find Portuguese speakers for conversation exchange.
You can search by a potential partner’s language, the language they’re learning and the country they live in. However, you can also search by two particularly unique features: the partner’s town and the type of exchange they prefer.
Being able to choose your partner’s town can help you learn more about regional dialects of Portuguese. Plus, since you can select what type of exchange your partner prefers, you can easily find someone who prefers to communicate in the way you like to, whether that’s through a pen pal relationship, face-to-face conversations or using chat software.
With over 1,000 members who speak Portuguese and are learning English, Portuguese students needn’t work hard to find a partner.
You don’t have to spend hours searching through profiles to find a Portuguese conversation partner. Language Exchange is a free Facebook group that can help you connect with a Portuguese exchange partner.
The group is private, so to join, you’ll need to answer a few simple questions about where you’re from and what languages you’re learning. You’ll also need to agree to a few simple rules.
Once accepted, though, you should have no problem finding a conversation partner. After all, there are over 70,000 members and dozens of new posts each day. So in addition to giving you plenty of partner options, it’s a great community to be a part of.
Indecisive? Have a hard time picking a conversation partner? Brazilian Gringo can help!
Brazilian Gringo isn’t like other conversation exchange programs. Instead of you choosing your own partner, Brazilian Gringo is like a matchmaking service, offering to set you up with a Brazilian for conversation exchange.
To get started, all you have to do is fill out a form describing your abilities, availability, time zone and contact info. From there, Brazilian Gringo takes the lead in finding you a partner, matching you up with someone compatible.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could meet a Portuguese speaker near you for some in-person conversation exchange? Well, if you live in New York, New Jersey or Washington, D.C., Lexody can help you get together in real life.
Lexody suggests meeting places it deems safe. From there, the format is simple: You meet with your partner for one hour. For half an hour, you speak Portuguese and for half an hour, you speak English. Lexody will even provide you with games and topics to help your meeting go smoothly.
What are you waiting for? The best partner for you is out there, on one of these sites!
So giddy up and find your Portuguese conversation partner today.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Portuguese with real-world videos.