The Ins and Outs of the Top 7 Portuguese Immersion Software Programs
Are you ready to dive into the deep end of Portuguese learning?
It’s time to submerge yourself in the language and Portuguese practice tools.
With these top seven Portuguese immersion resources, you can take huge strokes toward fluency every single day.
- What Will I Get out of Portuguese Immersion?
- How to Use Immersion Software Alongside Other Study Techniques
- 7 Portuguese Immersion Software Programs That Will Propel Learners to Fluency
What Will I Get out of Portuguese Immersion?
Short answer? Plenty.
After all, this is very much a “practice makes perfect” approach.
For those unfamiliar with immersive language study, the technique gets you using the language with the same consistency and intensity that you would expect while living in Brazil or Portugal.
You’ll be spending a substantial portion of each day reading, speaking, listening to and writing in Portuguese. Ultimately, the idea is to make Portuguese a part of your everyday life.
Getting started is as simple as establishing a manageable routine. As you’ll see later in this post, there are tons of Portuguese immersion resources available to you and you won’t need to travel miles away to get exposure to native accents. Ease yourself into your routine, then start ramping it up as you get more confident.
For example, you can start with 15 minutes of Portuguese practice a day, then gradually increase to 30 minutes, one hour, two hours and so forth.
A good immersion package will help in this regard. As mentioned, technology has made things so much easier for language learners of all levels, providing a trove of opportunities for honing your skills on your own terms.
On that note, let’s take a look at how to get the most out of these immersion resources.
How to Use Immersion Software Alongside Other Study Techniques
Just because you’re choosing a new Portuguese study program doesn’t mean that you have to forego everything else.
Make sure not to neglect the resources that you already have at your disposal. They can help you put your immersive learning into context while also providing you with extra opportunities to practice.
For instance, flashcards and dictionary apps will help you with retention of the new vocabulary you’ll be picking up. Reading Portuguese blogs and magazines, listening to podcasts and watching movies will help you see how your new language skills are used in context. The opportunities are endless!
Be creative, have fun and try to diversify your learning resources whenever possible.
7 Portuguese Immersion Software Programs That Will Propel Learners to Fluency
You’ll find that software varies greatly in pricing as well as strengths and weaknesses. Some are going to be better suited for brushing up on your reading, a few might put emphasis on the listening side of things and others will focus predominantly on speaking skills.
To help you make the right investment, we’re going to give a balanced overview for each of our picks. We also encourage you to spend some time doing a bit of background research and checking out customer reviews yourself.
With that in mind, here are some helpful software immersion resources for boosting your Portuguese:
Rosetta Stone (Brazilian Portuguese)
Price range: $79 to $249 per month for the online subscription; $124 to $199 for the software program.
Free trial? Only an online demo of how everything works.
Best for: memorization, listening and vocabulary building.
Let’s get started with the best-known immersion software package there is. Rosetta Stone comes in two versions: physical box sets that are separated into three different levels and an online subscription program.
Both the online and software programs teach the same content and provide learners with the ability to use their smartphone or tablet apps and web-based community boards. The online platform is cheaper by comparison, but is only available for the duration of your subscription.
The lessons rely heavily on image association—basically, you’ll be asked to look at a graphic and commit it to memory. Speech recognition technology is included in the program as well. There’s also a live tutoring option that’ll put you in conversation with a native speaker, although this is a premium feature that requires an additional purchase.
FluentU (Brazilian Portuguese)
Price range: Check prices on the pricing page.
Free trial? Yes.
Best for: listening, reading and vocabulary building.
While other programs take things one step at a time, introducing vocabulary and grammar gradually, FluentU takes a more immersive approach. On the FluentU program, you learn new vocabulary and grammar by watching native Portuguese speakers use them.
Using authentic content is an effective way to remember what you learn, since the human brain is better equipped to remember things in context than in isolation. But if you’ve ever tried to learn with real Portuguese content, you know this isn’t necessarily easy.
FluentU was designed to help learners gain as much knowledge from native content as possible. The program has a media library of authentic videos like movie clips, news segments and inspirational talks. These are organized by topic, format and difficulty level to help you find the right media for your studies.
Each video comes with additional tools: key word banks, transcripts with hover-over definition lookup, quizzes that teach you new words from the videos or let you translate key moments and more. Videos are also equipped with dual-language subtitles that let you check the contextual definition of any word as the video plays.
You also have the ability to create flashcards from within a video or by searching for a term. Personalized quizzes accompany flashcard decks, reminding you of words at optimized intervals. Flashcards also let you see the word as it’s used in other videos on FluentU, in the same context.
All this context means that you become familiar with real Portuguese spoken at a natural speed, while picking up on exactly when and where to use words in setences.
Pimsleur (Brazilian and European Portuguese)
Price range: $350 for all three Brazilian Portuguese software levels (or $150 each when sold separately); $120 for all European Portuguese level one lessons (or $22 each when sold in five-lesson packs).
Free trial? One free lesson.
Best for: listening, reading and writing, especially at the beginner to intermediate levels.
With online and box set packages catering to both Brazilian and European Portuguese learners, this platform is definitely a key player in the immersion field.
It must be said that the Brazilian version is more complete, comprising three levels from beginner to advanced—the European version, by comparison, only focuses on “level one” learning.
On both programs, each learning level contains 30 lessons, with materials covering approximately 16 hours of study. The Pimsleur method prioritizes audio-based learning and repetition, and provides supplementary reading material to complement their organic approach.
More advanced Brazilian Portuguese learners might find that the software offers a limited scope for practicing complex sentence construction and verb use. If you’ve got your heart set on this study method, though, investing in a good grammar/verb guide will help you fill any gaps in knowledge.
Transparent Language (Brazilian and European Portuguese)
Price range: $16 to $30 for the online package (full year is the cheapest option); $70 for the Byki Deluxe program; $50 for the Brazilian Portuguese audio package.
Free trial? Yes, 14 days. Free learning resources are offered as well.
Best for: interactive learning, especially when it comes to writing, listening and reading.
While Transparent Language favors the Brazilian dialect, they also have some European Portuguese software in their collection.
You can choose between an online subscription service or their Byki Deluxe integrated program. If you’re not familiar with Byki, it’s a language learning program that prioritizes flashcards and memory cues. Transparent Language’s online lessons provide a good bang-for-your-buck, as they cover all the bases: pronunciation, speech, grammar and vocabulary building.
Standout features of the Transparent Language platform include graphs and charts that track progress and performance, as well as typing activities—the latter of which will be instrumental in helping you get used to those Portuguese tildes, cedillas and acute accents.
Rocket Languages (Brazilian Portuguese)
Price range: $20 per month for an online subscription; $100 for a lifetime online subscription; $300 for a 20-CD pack plus online subscription.
Free trial? Yes, seven days plus free online lessons.
Best for: beginner to intermediate speaking, listening, vocabulary and grammar.
Rocket Languages was created by language learners, for language learners. As such, their courses try to offer the best value for your money, as well as a strong balance of free and premium lessons.
A personalized dashboard will guide you along each of the numerous interactive audio and cultural lessons. There’s even a special “Survival Kit” module focusing on essential phrases and words that you’ll need to use when you’re traveling. You can also record your own pronunciation and compare it against the native Brazilian Portuguese accent.
Fluenz Portuguese (Brazilian Portuguese)
Price range: $180 to $370 depending on which software combo you choose.
Free trial? No, but they do offer free shipping and a money-back guarantee.
Best for: vocabulary memorization, grammar and listening.
Fluenz Portuguese is unique in that it divides its courses into five learning levels with guidance from two Brazilian tutors. The platform also stands out for its adaptability; you can access the courses on your desktop, mobile or tablet.
Earlier units focus primarily on the basics of conversational speech and grammar. Then, as you progress through each lesson, Fluenz covers more abstract ideas, specialized vocabulary and difficult verb tenses. The idea is that all lessons build from one another, following a logical structure.
Repetition is embedded within different contextual examples, making new vocabulary much easier to memorize, and the study material makes sure to explain all grammatical conventions as clearly as possible.
Living Language (Brazilian Portuguese)
Price range: $23 for the essential package, $50 for the complete edition.
Free trial? No.
Best for: reading, writing, listening, pronunciation and grammar.
Living Language is quite renowned for their textbooks, but did you know that they produce immersion software as well?
Living Language incorporates multimedia resources into a single program. You can choose between a basic “essentials” package or the more comprehensive “complete” edition. With the complete edition, you’ll have access to 46 different lessons, following a clear cut structure, with plenty of exercises and supplementary material across the board.
Audio tracks, online tutoring and native pronunciation are some of the strong points of this Portuguese software.
As you can see, every single program has its strengths and limitations. Make sure to use those free trials to your advantage, and try to do a bit of digging before settling on a software program. Hopefully this overview will make the decision easier, and we wish you the very best of luck getting immersed in your studies.