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The Best Portuguese Lessons

Where Can You Find the Best Portuguese Lessons?

Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language in the world, with over 260 million speakers spread across several continents. And with today's technology, there are a number of online resources and platforms available for learning Portuguese. These range from interactive apps to comprehensive language courses tailored to different proficiency levels, from beginner to advanced.

For those who seek a more immersive learning experience, tutoring sessions with native speakers can be arranged through live video calls. These give you the opportunity to practice speaking and listening skills in real-life situations. Learning Portuguese online gives you the ability to learn the language in all of these ways.

Friday, May 24th

2024 Portuguese Lesson Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Babbel Review 5 Star Rating

Babbel

5 Star Rating
  • Starts at $17.95/month
  • Offers over 225 hours of Portuguese lessons
  • Covers levels A1 to B1
  • Includes literal and figurative translations in lessons
  • Uses spaced repetition for vocabulary retention
  • Offers fun games for learning Portuguese
  • Uses the Toucan browser extension for vocabulary building
  • Offers a 20-day money-back guarantee
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

If you listen to the radio or podcasts, you've almost certainly heard an ad for Babbel. This language platform offers you an extensive range of Portuguese lessons, totaling over 225 hours, and has made its mark with over 10 million subscriptions sold. Their methodology, validated by researchers at Yale University, has been proven to assist 75% of Babbel users in reaching their language learning objectives.

Study at your own pace

There are two primary ways to take language lessons on Babbel. First, you can opt for self-study, taking lessons at your own pace. This track is complete with exercises curated by over 150 language experts, real-life language tools, podcasts, videos, games, and progress tracking tools.

Live lessons are great, but not available for Portuguese (yet?)

Alternatively, Babbel Live offers online classes facilitated by real instructors, along with access to all self-study materials. What sets Babbel Live apart is the opportunity to engage in speaking practice with highly rated teachers in small groups, with classes conveniently available throughout the day, allowing last-minute bookings without any hidden fees. Unlike some language learning apps that may not adequately test your speaking skills, Babbel Live gives you real-world experience with your target language. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, even in the years since our last evaluation of Babbel's Portuguese lessons, they still haven't made Live available for anything other than Spanish, German, French, and Italian. *cue sad trumpets*

Lessons cover beginner to upper intermediate fluency

Babbel's self-paced curriculum spans from A1 to B1 proficiency levels, providing structured courses categorized by level or topic. You can embark on your learning journey from A1 (Beginner) and progress to Upper Intermediate (B1), with up to 13 lessons in each course and different numbers of courses in each CEFR level. So, for example, the Newcomer A1 has 4 courses, each with 11-13 lessons. These range in topics like counting to 100, talking about the weather, and vacations. Jump to the A2 to access 7 more courses, and so on. While the final B1 level comprises only two courses with 11 lessons each, it signifies reaching a stage where learners are typically ready to explore additional resources, such as books or engaging in real conversations with Portuguese speakers. Topics at this highest level on Babbel include real estate, rumors, sustainable tourism, and much more.

Best Portuguese Lessons

You choose what to learn and when

Alternatively, you can explore lessons organized by topic, covering Grammar, Listening and Speaking, Culture and Traditions, Idioms, and Everyday Phrases. With Babbel, you're not confined to a rigid lesson progression, allowing you to follow your interests freely.

Start for free and take the quiz to determine your level

Not sure where to start? Take the quiz. As you set up your Babbel profile (for free, at least at first), you'll be asked why you want to study Portuguese (we chose "I like learning new languages" , but you might say it's for business or travel purposes), how much you currently know of the language, and how many minutes you'd like to spend learning each day. You'll be taken to a pricing page (more on that later), but you can always opt to go to the dashboard to try a free lesson. On that same dashboard intro page, you'll see a quiz to help you find the right level. We entered "I know the basics" , to see where our previous studies of Portuguese had landed us, and answered a few questions about our comfort level with some basics like colors, date and time, and ordering food in a restaurant. To our mild chagrin (after spending over 1,000 days on the Bird App), Babbel recommended that we start as a Newcomer.

Uses lots of different native speakers/accents

So, we walked through the first lesson (still for free, of course), which was a little too basic for our taste: obrigado vs. obrigada, oi and tudo bem, and so forth. But, we liked the mix of accents even in the first lesson, though frankly we could have lived without one of the speaker dialogues including an exchange student (whose accent was very obviously non-native and thus not as helpful for our trying to speak like a Brazilian).

Well-rounded lessons with literal and figurative explanations

More broadly speaking, in a typical Babbel lesson, you'll encounter various interactive activities aimed at reinforcing learning. From guessing words based on pictures to completing sentences and practicing spelling, each exercise is designed to enhance comprehension. Notably, Babbel provides both figurative and literal translations, ensuring a thorough understanding of nuances within the language. (As an example, "oi, tudo bem?" would figuratively be "Hello, how are you?" but literally it's "Hey, all well?" ) Moreover, Babbel offers diverse review methods, allowing you to choose from flashcards, listening, speaking, or writing, with their spaced repetition technique effective at promoting vocabulary retention.

Best Portuguese Lessons

Plenty of extras to enhance learning

Additionally, Babbel offers supplementary resources like podcasts, games such as "Phrase Maze" and "Word Trax," and a magazine filled with language and cultural articles, fostering an immersive learning experience. You'll find all of that and more under the Explore tab at the top of the site.

Use the extension to take learning into the real world

Babbel's recent acquisition of the Toucan browser extension further enriches your learning journey, enabling you to build and retain new Portuguese vocabulary while browsing the web. This integration helps you to encounter new words in context, enhancing your understanding and retention.

Many pricing options

Babbel's pricing starts at $17.95 per month. If you are willing to pay for several months upfront, you can drop your monthly cost as low as $8.95 (on an annual plan), or make a one-time payment of $349 for lifetime access. Your Babbel subscription gives you immediate access to all languages, making it a smart choice for striving polyglots. You're also protected by a 20-day money-back guarantee, and if you check your email after you've signed up for that free preview, you may get a good deal: we were offered a year-long subscription for the price of 6 months.

Customer service may be a little tricky

The only complaint we can find for Babbel is the difficulty in reaching customer service. A lot of the low-star reviews for this language platform are from those who had their accounts set to auto renew on billing and who had a hard time getting it canceled.

Best Portuguese Lessons

Most learners give it 5 stars

On the other hand, there are tens of thousands of five-star reviews for this language platform. Compared with the Bird App, users say that Babbel helps them learn Portuguese that's actually useful, and without so many hints that they essentially "cheat" and wind up not practicing. They especially like the Review section, where they can choose to use flashcards, write words in Portuguese (rather than just choosing from a wordbank), practice listening, or try their accent while speaking.

#1 option for Portuguese lessons

While there's no one Portuguese lesson platform that can do it all, Babbel comes pretty close. You get easy access to a free trial, lessons spanning a wide range of topics (and fluency levels), a 20-day refund policy and affordable pricing (especially when you wait for one of those offers in your email). We'll keep hoping that Babbel starts offering live lessons for Portuguese, but in the meanwhile we encourage you to put its self-study materials to the test. Babbel continues to be our top pick among Portuguese lessons.

Memrise Review 4.5 Star Rating

Memrise

4.5 Star Rating
  • Price: Starts free, with plans from $8.74/month
  • Can choose to learn Portuguese from Brazil or Portugal (separate courses)
  • Can learn from a starting language other than English
  • Can move around freely among levels of difficulty
  • Desktop and app access
  • Offers AI chatbot for practice
  • User-friendly and engaging interface
  • Teaches useful phrases for real-life situations
  • Tons of video clips for authentic learning, from short (staged) videos to real-world content like BBC in Portuguese
  • Missed words added to "Difficult Words" for review

Crafted by a group of friends who bonded over their shared passion for neuroscience at Oxford, Memrise employs memory techniques, neuroscience principles, and innovative language acquisition methods to make learning not just effective, but enjoyable too. It's also one of the only options you'll have for learning either Portuguese as spoken in either Brazil or Portugal (or both, but they're presented separately on the platform).

Get started for free

It's easy to sign up for a free account with Memrise, to get a feel for how you'll learn Portuguese here. For reference, we set ours to Brazilian Portuguese and did our primary learning through the app (though it's also available via desktop), so that will be the basis of the rest of our review. There are three primary modes of learning here: Words, Videos, and Conversations. You can skip around freely, not just among those three ways of practicing Portuguese, but also among different themes and difficulty levels. You'll see those under the Scenarios tab, clearly labeled as "Basics" , "Education" , "Relationships" , and other topics you may want to prioritize.

Uses lots of native speaker video clips and accents

So, let's say you pick something intro-level, like Useful Expressions. You'll be shown words and phrases in Portuguese, sometimes as a video clip with a native speaker in a real-world setting (like in a grocery store or at the beach) and sometimes just as an audio clip. You'll be shown both the figurative and literal translations (when applicable) in whatever language you've decided to use as your "home base" : of course, we chose English (US), but feel free to set yours to any language you'd like the Portuguese to be mapped onto for translation.

Straightforward learning and practice of vocabulary

Memrise doesn't want you to waste time on what you already know, so each new word and phrase has the option to say, "I already know this" . It won't be added to the exercises that follow, so you can focus your precious practice time on what's new to you. The ones that get kept for practice will then have you match the audio file with 4 possible matches to choose from in English, and then you'll type out what you hear, so that you're not just making lucky guesses as you learn. Memrise keeps track of how well you know each piece of vocabulary, and then prompts you to keep them current in the Review tab under Scenarios. There's Classic practice to "strengthen fading memories" at your own pace, and Speed Review if you like a little time pressure to see if you can recall how to say things a little more quickly. This vocab practice at Memrise isn't really anything exceptional. You'll find tools like it on most of the Portuguese lessons in our review.

Best Portuguese Lessons

Authentic videos are amazing

However, we're huge fans of the Videos and Conversations here. Let's start with Videos, down at the bottom of the app. At the top of the list are the ones that Memrise says you haven't seen, and you can see at a glance how many words in the video it thinks you already know. You can watch the clip and see for yourself how many target words you actually do know, or click to learn the words in the video that Memrise thinks might be new to you. The level of this content is really impressive, from short 15-second clips of native speakers having a simple exchange (complete with captions), all the way up to 8-minute segments in Portuguese on the BBC News YouTube channel that discuss why Brazilians living in the US aren't always considered "Latino" or "Hispanic" . In short, there's no lack of ways for you to be exposed to authentic Portuguese and to work on your receptive language ability.

No longer offers community-created content

That's a good thing to point out to anyone who may have used Memrise in the past, because those videos are part of how the platform is trying to make up for a well-loved feature that was removed in early 2024: community-created content. That included hundreds if not thousands of additional ways for practicing Portuguese, from flashcards for common Bird App vocab to movie clubs for learning the language through blockbusters and lesser-known films. You'll still have a lot to choose from, but the way it's presented and accessed has changed since the time you may have been on this platform in the past.

AI-powered conversations are a huge perk

The other big addition to Memrise is the AI chatbot under the Conversations tab, and we're all about it. Powered by GPT, MemBot has Chats and Missions (that honestly feel like the same thing) to help you try and have a text conversation in a real-world scenario. Maybe you're going to order your favorite beverage at a restaurant, or you're meeting the future in-laws for the first time and want to make a good impression. You'll have the chance to try out your skills and see how much you know. But don't worry: you can get hints along the way if it feels a little out of reach. MemBot will translate what you've typed, show you corrections on any mistakes you made, and read out what the other "person" in the conversation is saying to you. NGL, our AI-powered chats left us feeling like rockstars in Portuguese, where our 1,000-day streak on the Bird App had us questioning what we'd been doing with our life for nearly three years.

Speaking practice isn't automatically included

However, those conversations highlight one big modality that's missing in the new version of Memrise: actual speaking practice. In our first three hours on the app, we thought we just hadn't reached the level or the exercises where we'd see how our accent compared to native speaker prompts. Reaching out to a friend that had been using Memrise for years across multiple languages, we asked where those might be found, and unfortunately, it looks like that's not something you'll get with the Portuguese lessons here. Sure, you can read along with anything you're working on, imitate the native speakers in the videos, use the microphone to speak your part of the conversation in the AI chat instead of typing (which is probably fairly comparable to the practice on other apps), and so on, but it doesn't necessarily use tech to see how close you come to being accurate. With all of the drawbacks inherent in most voice-matching features on rival Portuguese lessons, like telling you it's a great match when it's not (or vice-versa), this isn't the biggest loss in the world. But, it did have us feeling a little lopsided in our learning until we started making more use of the microphone during the AI chats vs. typing them out.

Best Portuguese Lessons

Lots for free, but worth the cost of subscription

So, what does it all cost? Even if you're on a tight budget, Memrise offers plenty of value even for free. It's convenient that they allow you to filter out paid content right from your dashboard. However, if you're interested in removing ads and accessing all the Scenarios, Videos, and Conversations, you can opt for the Pro plan, which offers various payment options:

  • Monthly Plan: $22.99 per month
  • Yearly Plan: $104.79 per year (originally $130.99, equivalent to $8.74 per month, a 20% discount on Pro)
  • Lifetime Plan: A one-time payment of $124.99 (previously priced at $249.99, a 50% discount on Pro)

If you don't see the 50% discount available when you visit Memrise, don't worry; they frequently offer this deal. It's worth checking back, especially around holidays, if you miss out on it initially.

One of our favorite resources for Portuguese lessons

As you can tell after all that (!), we're big fans of Memrise. If you're wondering if the paid plan is worth it, we'd give an enthusiastic "sim!" and recommend that you bite the bullet on the lifetime plan if you can snag it at the 50% discount. This is one of the most entertaining ways to make genuine progress with your Portuguese, and you can always test out your fluency with AI chats and real-world video snippets. There aren't a ton of Portuguese lessons that give you access to content ranging from the most basic vocabulary of "eu gosto de" to having a chat conversation about whether or not parents in China should be communicating more with their children when they go far away for work (yes, that was one of our recent chats when we scrolled to a random topic beyond the basics!). We love Memrise and encourage you to give it a try for yourself.

italki Review 4.5 Star Rating

italki

4.5 Star Rating
  • Offers trial lessons starting at $6.50
  • Connects you to over 400 Portuguese-speaking tutors for one-on-one video calls
  • Provides both Professional Teachers and Community Tutors
  • Allows for filtering tutors based on region, including Portugal and Brazil
  • Offers an option to find tutors who speak your native language
  • Can work with tutors who specialize in CELPE-Bras test prep
  • Enables you to keep track of your preferred tutors with a favoriting system
  • Periodically provides a Language Challenge for quick language skill boost
  • Provides Group Classes for 2-6 students online, focusing on special topics like business or pop culture
  • Offers a lesson time filter to accommodate your schedule

italki offers a distinctive approach compared to its counterparts. While many language learning services lean towards gamified solo navigation, italki sets itself apart by linking you directly with proficient Portuguese-speaking tutors through personalized one-on-one video calls. But, your lessons can go beyond your face-to-face sessions: many tutors extend their support beyond live instruction by providing you with tailored study plans to bolster your learning between tutoring times.

Choose between community tutors and professional teachers

There are two main types of italki instructors: Professional Teachers, who have teaching certificates and give organized lessons, and Community Tutors, who may not have certificates but are still really skilled at teaching. They speak Portuguese fluently and tend to offer more relaxed tutoring and chatting.

Filters make it easy to find the right fit

Navigating through italki's extensive array of tutors is a breeze, thanks to its robust filtering system. With over 400 tutors available, you're spoiled for choice. Specify your preferences, whether it's honing conversational skills, mastering grammar intricacies, or diving into specialized topics such as business etiquette or CELPE-Bras exam preparation.

Options for learning from a different first language

Don't worry if English isn't your first language. italki lets you find tutors who speak your language too. You can even pick tutors based on where they're from, like Portugal or Brazil. This way, if you're aiming to work or study in Lisbon, for example, you can learn from someone who knows the unique aspects of the language there, including how it's spoken and what's important culturally.

Best Portuguese Lessons

Plenty of information provided by each tutor

While it would be nice if italki had filters for ratings or how many lessons a tutor has done, you can still find this info on each tutor's profile. You can save your favorite tutors by clicking a heart icon on their profile. Each tutor's profile has helpful info like ratings, teaching style, and feedback from other students. Some tutors even introduce themselves with short videos.

Scheduling is easy-breezy

Got a busy schedule? italki lets you filter tutors by their availability so you can find a time that works for you. You can even schedule instant lessons or ones within the next 72 hours. And when it's time to book a lesson, you can choose how long you want it to be, from 30 to 90 minutes, and pick a date and time that suits you. Just pay attention to time zones: the site automatically detects where you are, but you could see differing availability for tutors in, say, Recife compared with Lisbon.

Very affordable

Looking to save money? italki is a great option, especially if you want to focus on speaking. You can try out lessons with different tutors at low prices to see which one you like best. The prices for trial lessons usually range from $5 to $18. After that, the cost depends on the tutor and what you want to learn.

Some tutors have completed thousands of tutoring sessions

So, let's jump in and take a look at a few examples of Portuguese tutors offering lessons via italki. One of the most popular Community Tutors is Diego, with over 3250 completed sessions and a perfect 5-star average. Based in Rio de Janeiro, Diego uses many different teaching materials to help you learn, like current news articles and music videos, while also offering support via WhatsApp at students' request. His classes are very focused on conversation, and when you purchase 5 sessions as a package, you'll save 5%. Even when you pay for a lesson at a time, he only charges $7 for a 60-minute session. If you're not already fluent in Portuguese, you may not appreciate how glowing his reviews are: learners who have been with Diego for 70-100+ lessons say he's interesting and easy to practice with, and that thanks to him they're speaking fluent Portuguese (as demonstrated by their reviews, written in excellent Portuguese).

Best Portuguese Lessons

Professional teachers offer more

If you would prefer a professional teacher, they're not quite as prevalent among Portuguese tutors on italki, but they're still on the list. Check out the teacher who calls herself "Camila FAST fluency" with over 8,400 lessons and also a perfect 5-star average. As you might expect from a certified instructor, her italki lessons range from introductory conversation to courses designed for diplomats and takers of the CELPE-Bras exam. Camila takes her tutoring to the next level with Google slides, written and recorded feedback, a "movie club" , and much more. Of her 500+ students, some of them have been studying with her for years because they say she has them "talking like a native" . You'll pay more for her expertise (as we would hope), with lessons starting at $28, but her reviews show that it's more than worth it for the progress you'll make with understanding Portuguese.

Look for language challenges

Aside from tutoring, every so often italki has a Language Challenge to help you improve your skills fast. You sign up, set a goal for how many hours you want to study, and start taking lessons. Depending on how many hours you hit, you can get cool rewards like badges, certificates, and discounts on lessons.

Group classes and courses

Want to learn with others? italki offers Group Classes with 2-6 students, focusing on fun topics like Portuguese through Memes or Working in Brazil. These are great for practicing with others from around the world. If you're looking for something more structured, Group Courses meet weekly and cover specific topics or general language skills. Just make sure the course fits your schedule, and you're ready with Zoom for online classes.

Best Portuguese Lessons

Not the right fit for 100% of students

While italki thrives on personalization, it may not suit everyone's learning preferences. If you're shy or you don't consistently have a private place to sit while taking your video lessons, italki might not be your ideal option for studying Portuguese. However, if you like making face-to-face connections and crave authentic interactions with native speakers, italki offers an enriching platform to nurture your language skills.

One of our favorite ways to practice speaking Portuguese

Overall, italki is an effective and affordable way to learn Portuguese. It might not be for everyone, especially if you're shy or don't have a good internet connection. But if you're eager to learn and make new friends, italki could be just what you need to improve your Portuguese skills and connect with native speakers.

Ouino Review 4.5 Star Rating

Ouino

4.5 Star Rating
  • Costs $95.76 for lifetime access
  • Can also subscribe for 3, 6, or 12 months ($38.97 to $83.88)
  • Free trial of all features, no email required
  • Encourages immersion in external sources
  • Covers all main language skills
  • Self-graded pronunciation practice
  • Highly customizable lessons
  • Excellent customer service by Ouino's creators
  • Positive user reviews
  • Offers a 60-day satisfaction guarantee for lifetime access
  • Compatible with multiple devices
  • Provides over 450 lessons and 1,300 exercises across many fluency levels (beginner to more advanced)

Established in 2021, Ouino's name possibly draws inspiration from the French and Spanish words for "yes" and "no," while also cleverly echoing the phrase "we know" in English. Although the company hasn't disclosed much about its background, it offers a thorough 13-page explanation of Ouino's functionality and design philosophy, which you can check out on the website if you'd like to pull back the curtain a little.

You'll need core structure + offline, real-world resources

But, we'll give you a bit of that methodology here. Ouino advocates for immersing yourself in diverse learning sources. According to their approach, mastering a language requires two key elements: a core method and external resources. The core method is what you use as your primary learning tool, covering fundamental aspects like pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. However, true language acquisition extends beyond the basics, requiring immersion through activities such as watching movies, reading articles or books, and interacting with native speakers. Ouino's Portuguese lessons give you that core method, while still encouraging you to take what you learn on the platform and apply it elsewhere (like watching "Love is Blind: Brazil" on Netflix with or without subtitles!). To help you keep this as a top priority, your Ouino dashboard encourages you to track your progress by marking the days you use your Portuguese off platform on your Ouino calendar.

Very well-rounded lessons

So, let's jump into how Ouino can teach you Portuguese. Covering all essential language skills, Ouino provides a comprehensive suite of resources. It offers extensive grammar lessons, a rich vocabulary, and the ability to conjugate hundreds of verbs across various tenses - aspects often overlooked by other Portuguese courses. Additionally, Ouino focuses on enhancing your conversational skills and refining pronunciation through reading, listening, writing, and speaking exercises. You have the flexibility to tackle lessons in any order that suits you or follow the recommended learning path, which prioritizes commonly used Portuguese words.

Lots of practice for your accent

For pronunciation practice, Ouino employs a self-grading system. Unlike platforms relying on voice recognition technology (which tends to be famously less-than-accurate), Ouino encourages learners to record themselves speaking and compare their pronunciation to that of a native speaker. This approach facilitates self-correction and repeated practice until achieving your desired level of proficiency. Also, Ouino provides English hints to aid in correct pronunciation and allows customization of sentence length and difficulty. With thousands of phrases available in the "Extra Language Practice" section, you'll have ample opportunities for getting your Portuguese pronunciation just right.

Best Portuguese Lessons

Customize your settings

Ouino gets really granular with its settings, making it possible to fine-tune how you use the platform to learn Portuguese. Through the settings menu, you can adjust factors such as pronunciation speed, word repetition frequency, inter-word intervals, and subtitles. As your proficiency increases, you can accelerate the pace of lessons, with the option to modify settings at any time (both on the module level and for the platform as a whole). Some exercises use timers to challenge you and improve your response speed, although the option to disable timers is out there if you think that's a little too stressful (like we do...).

Try every learning tool for free, no signup necessary

One of the biggest reasons that Ouino's Portuguese lessons share our highest possible rating with our #1 service is its full transparency. You can preview literally every learning tool that Ouino offers with a free trial, hosted right on the Ouino website: no email address, credit card, or account creation required. You're not going to find that with any other Portuguese lessons in our review. All you have to do is click on "Free Demo" (at the bottom of the Portuguese page) and you're off. But, Ouino doesn't stop there: if you purchase access to the service, you're protected by a generous 60-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked.

Lifetime access for less than $100

So, what does it cost? Ouino offers three subscription options for Portuguese language learning, including 3-month ($38.97), 6-month ($59.94), and 12-month plans ($83.88). Each plan provides ad-free, offline access to over 450 lessons and 1,300 exercises, multi-platform compatibility, personal language mentoring if you ever feel stuck in your learning, cloud synchronization, and lifetime upgrades. However, the best value is with a lifetime membership at $95.76 (or $191.52 if you'd like lifetime access to all Ouino languages, you overachiever).

Best Portuguese Lessons

Enthusiastic reviews from learners

Recent testimonials highlight users' satisfaction with Ouino's structured approach, responsive customer service, regular updates, extensive learning materials, progress tracking features, and emphasis on mastering Portuguese verbs. Additionally, language learners have appreciated the option to download the course for convenient on-the-go learning.

Unparalleled customer support

Part of the overwhelming success of Ouino comes from the attentive nature of the customer service. Should you require assistance with the Portuguese language learning program, you'll have direct access to the platform's creators, described as a family of language enthusiasts dedicated to helping learners achieve their goals. Whether you're facing language challenges or seeking guidance on the path to fluency, your Ouino team is committed to providing personalized support, including phone consultations. If Ouino doesn't wind up meeting your needs, the creators will even offer alternative recommendations.

Great rating for these Portuguese lessons

Despite not yet being widely recognized as a language learning platform, Ouino stands out as a valuable asset in the realm of language learning. With its creators' evident dedication and affordable lifetime access, Ouino presents a well-rounded, fully-transparent way to pursue your Portuguese language goals. Embark on your language learning journey with Ouino, and you'll be on your way to fluency in no time. We give Ouino's Portuguese lessons an excellent rating.

Portuguese Pod 101 Review 4 Star Rating

Portuguese Pod 101

4 Star Rating
  • Plenty of free content
  • Lots of membership options, priced from $4 to $23/month
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Personalized lesson plans, instruction and feedback with Premium+ subscription
  • Content ranges from Absolute Beginner to Advanced (CEFR C1)
  • Great for audiovisual learners
  • Content refreshed every week

Innovative Language Learning has something for everyone, with lessons covering 40 different languages and all fluency levels from total beginner to advanced. All of their lessons are structured as "Pod 101" or "Class 101" , and that includes their Portuguese Pod 101 platform. They call it "pod" because much of the way they teach you Portuguese is through short podcast-like audio lessons, so that you can start training your ear to the language as it's actually spoken, not just an isolated sentence or audio clip here and there. (We're looking at you there, Bird App.)

You'll get a lot for free

We'll be honest: jumping into Portuguese Pod 101 can feel a little overwhelming at first. You won't be able to preview much about these lessons in advance, so expect to create your "Free Lifetime Account" pretty early on if you want to see for yourself. Helpfully, they've added a little video right at the top of the dashboard to show you how to get the most out of your no-cost access. There's quite a bit to use for free, from 3-5 new lessons a week, the first 3 lessons in every learning "pathway" (more on that later), Portuguese Word of the Day, access to the Language Learning app, and vocabulary/phrase lists for common topics, holidays, and other themes.

Broadest range of proficiency levels on the market

Portuguese Pod 101 is one of the only lesson options we've found that gives you the full fluency spectrum, from 100% newbie to advanced (C1 on the CEFR scale, for those who are interested). You can set that level on your own to get a recommended learning pathway: a series of lessons designed to move you smoothly from one topic and skill to the next. For example, the Absolute Beginner starts you with Level 1 Portuguese, with 75 lessons and 57 assessments (which you can toggle off if taking little quizzes makes you queasy). You'll learn about greeting people, hospitality, and much more, many with cute lesson titles like "A Meaty Situation in Brazil" and "Little House, Big Brazilian Plans" . Most of the lessons are audio-based, but Portuguese Pod 101 also includes opportunities for watching videos, writing, and speaking exercises, though many of those are only available to paid subscribers.

You might be overwhelmed by all the choices

Where Portuguese Pod 101 both shines and maybe struggles a little is in the other available pathways for learning. There's almost too much to choose from. If you veer off the recommended learning course, you'll find things like Survival Phrases (60 lessons in Season 1 alone), Lessons for Your Flight to Brazil, Talk About Your Hobbies, and so on. It's all really useful, and you could learn on Portuguese Pod 101 for, well, forever. But it has the potential to leave you feeling a bit stressed, like there's just too much to tackle (even if you don't choose to use most of it).

Best Portuguese Lessons

3 paid tiers of features

With your free membership, you'll be able to try out the first lessons of most learning pathways, and remember that you can switch your level (or work on multiple levels at once) at any time. But, you'll frequently be encouraged to sign up for a paid membership here, to get access to many more tools and all of the lessons in each pathway. Let's take a look at the various membership tiers on offer for Portuguese Pod 101:

  • Basic: This lets you access all of the lessons in their library, including the in-depth lesson notes. You'll also be able to use their Portuguese Core 100 Words & Phrases study tool. Subscribing lets you use Portuguese Pod 101 on Android, iPhone, or iPad as well.
  • Premium: This tier adds to the Basic package with line-by-line audio dialogue, HD video, plus many more study tools: 2,000 core words and phrases, daily dose of Portuguese lessons, seasonal vocabulary, interactive lesson quizzes, voice recording tools, vocabulary slideshows, word and grammar banks, spaced repetition flashcards, and a Portuguese audio dictionary.
  • Premium+: This tier is where you'll find one-on-one learning. You get assigned a teacher who develops your personalized learning program, gives you regular assignments and assessments, and who will analyze your Portuguese from spoken accent to written fluency. This membership includes all of the features from the first two packages. If you want an assessment to determine your current fluency level, this is the only option on Portuguese Pod 101 that provides it.

Lowest prices come with a 24-month plan... paid upfront

Sounds great, right? You'll definitely not be lacking for options if you look to Portuguese Pod 101 for lessons. But, we hear you thinking, what does it cost? You might see advertising on the site for $4/month for Basic, $10/month for Premium, and $23/month for Premium+ - and that's true... if you want to pay for two years of access upfront. Yikes. True, you've got a 60-day satisfaction guarantee for some peace of mind, so if you bite the bullet and pay for 24 months, you can get a refund within that window. And, you're not required to pay for any long-term service: Basic's month-to-month plan is $8, or you can subscribe for 3 months at $21, 6 months at $36, you get the idea. The same goes for the two higher tiers of Portuguese lessons as well, with options for saving money by subscribing for longer timeframes or going month-to-month.

Watch for promotional savings

Another way you can save money is by waiting for a promo. At the time of this review, Portuguese Pod 101 was offering a 40% savings on both Premium tiers when subscribing for that 2-year plan: $144 for Premium and $329.40 for Premium+. That last package is an incredible deal: where else will you get access to two years of help from a Portuguese tutor/teacher for that dollar amount?!

Best Portuguese Lessons

Thousands of 5-star reviews for the company overall

How about feedback from students? You won't find much of that on the Portuguese Pod 101 platform itself, but taking a peek at the Innovative Language Learning app's reviews is exciting: a 4.5-star average across more than 40,000 ratings on Google Play and 4.7 spanning 32,000+ ratings on the Apple App Store. You could safely say that, overall, people have a good experience with this company's approach to language learning. But, we'd really like to hear more from those who specifically use it to study Portuguese, because user reviews also highlight problems with specific languages. For example, one person found content issues with Afrikaans, while others said that this was the most effective way they'd found to learn Korean (even compared with several well-known language learning options on our list).

Recommended for learning Portuguese at any level

There's a lot to love about Portuguese Pod 101. It's one of the only options out there with truly advanced-level lessons, available 1:1 help from an assigned teacher, and content that refreshes on a regular basis. You could theoretically use this service forever (or until you reach your desired level of fluency). If you can get past the overwhelm of having so many pathways to choose from, and you pay attention to the numerous billing options (so that you're not caught off guard by a two-year upfront payment to get the lowest price), there's no reason you won't have a fantastic experience using Portuguese Pod 101 to learn.

Rocket Languages Review 3.5 Star Rating

Rocket Languages

3.5 Star Rating
  • Free guest account, no signup required
  • $149.95 one-time payment or $27/month for 6 months
  • Promo pricing may offer discounts
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Free guest access
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Lifetime access with your one-time payment
  • Beginner to intermediate level
  • 140 hours of lesson time

Rocket Languages has been around for a long time, often trusted by large corporations to deliver real-world conversational fluency to their employees. For over 20 years, Rocket's lessons in Spanish, Russian, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and more have been a solid way to work on beginner to intermediate levels of language ability.

Try it for free, no account necessary

We love that Rocket Languages lets prospective students try the lessons out for free (like most of the services on our list do), but without requiring any kind of sign-up. When you click to access the platform with a guest account, you'll be invited to enter your name, email address, and desired password; this lets you save any progress you make as you try it out, get exclusive discounts, access extra free lessons, and use your account on Rocket's mobile apps. But, you're also welcome to click "Maybe Later" and enter the Portuguese lessons without revealing your identity (how mysterious!).

74 lessons across Audio, Language, and Culture

That will take you to the Intro Module, which lets you explore the different lesson types offered in Rocket Languages. There are 74 lessons in total, typically divided into Audio Lessons and Language & Culture Lessons. Look at the little circles underneath each lesson title to see how you've progressed through the components that make up your study for that topic: flash cards, listening, writing, speaking, and a quiz to test your mastery.

Best Portuguese Lessons

Topics include Numbers and Survival Kit

Topics include basics like introductions and numbers, grammatical explanations of prepositional pronouns and irregular verbs, and situational lessons about going shopping and booking a hotel. There's also a series of lessons called Survival Kit, to help you talk about your body (if you're traveling and want to know how to get help if you're sick), food (so that you can eat all of the delicious things you spot while you're out and about), and so forth.

You'll need to be able to listen carefully and record yourself

As you get started with Rocket Languages, it's important that you choose a relatively quiet learning environment. Why? There's a strong audio component to the lessons here, which usually start with a 15- to 40-minute conversation in Portuguese between Paulo and Tereza. Not only will you need to be able to hear what's being said, but the platform's Rocket Record will give you the opportunity to match your spoken Portuguese with a native accent. (We've had mixed results with using Rocket Record; sometimes it's accurate, and other times, not so much. Your mileage may vary.) We do love that Rocket Languages accesses all modalities to help you start to learn the language, and that it's not inundated with "hints" (*cough* Bird App *cough*) that could effectively negate all of your practice by giving away the answers as you write, listen, read, or speak.

Some features aren't used very often

Just don't come to the Rocket platform expecting a lot of bells and whistles. Yes, there is a leaderboard to comparing your progress against other Portuguese students, and a forum where you can ask questions. But, given how many forum topics had a "most recent" comment dating back more than a decade, we think it's safe to say that people aren't really using that feature very often. And, on the leaderboard, it was rare to find anyone with a streak of more than a few days; that looks like a bunch of people trying it out, not necessarily committing to long-term use of Rocket Languages.

Best Portuguese Lessons

One-time cost is a plus, but don't expect content updates

Another slight drawback, related to those we just mentioned, is that this is a very static option for learning Portuguese. You won't find anything about current events, modern slang and idioms, or anything other than the basics of the language and culture over the long run. The upside is that you're only making a one-time payment here (regularly priced at $149.95, but almost always with a "limited time promo" price of $99.95), and you can use Rocket Languages as long as you like. And, even that comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Great option as low-stress Portuguese lessons for beginners

In general, the word we would use to describe Rocket Languages is "comfortable" . You'll have no worries about auto-recurring subscriptions that you forget to turn off, no pressure to study every single day, and no deadline to "make the most out of your learning" . Once you've paid for Rocket's lessons, they're yours forever. If you're just looking for a well-rounded introduction to Brazilian Portuguese, Rocket is a fantastic choice. But, if you're looking for regularly-updated content, the ability to move to more advanced levels of fluency, or super-gamified apps that motivate you to do just one more lesson, Rocket Languages won't be your best match. These lessons earn a respectable score from us.

Busuu Review 3.5 Star Rating

Busuu

3.5 Star Rating
  • Free for Basic membership
  • Premium membership: $13.90/month
  • Discounts available when billed annually (as low as $6.95/month)
  • 7-day free trial of Premium
  • 14-day money-back guarantee on Premium membership
  • Beginner to Upper Intermediate Brazilian Portuguese (Levels A1-B2)
  • Placement test available for non-beginners
  • Certification testing available

Busuu got its start in 2008 and was acquired by education industry giant Chegg in 2022. This Portuguese lesson platform makes heavy use of real-world situations to walk you through fluency levels ranging from beginner to upper intermediate (CEFR A1-B2). It's also one of the only language services we know of that invites you to have your work checked by native speakers, while reciprocating by correcting others' English submissions.

Lessons for multiple proficiency levels

When you create a free account on Busuu, you'll get access to a ton of introductory-level Portuguese lessons, as well as the initial lessons on higher fluency levels. There are 10 chapters for students at the Beginner A1 level, 3 chapters at Elementary A2, 7 chapters for Intermediate B1, and 2 chapters for Upper Intermediate B2. Although each chapter has several components, that overview alone should show you pretty clearly that Busuu is strongest for beginning learners, and the lessons dwindle the more you progress in fluency. There's also a Level A1-A2 course on Portuguese for Travel that you can access independently of your work within the main lessons.

Direct approach to grammar

Learning Portuguese through Busuu is pretty straightforward. You'll start with basics like introducing yourself and asking how someone is doing. The free version comes with lots of ads as you work your way through, but that's pretty common among Portuguese lessons. We appreciate that Busuu takes an overt approach to teaching grammar: where many platforms expect you to figure it out intuitively over time, here you'll be explained exactly when to use "ser" or "estar" , what definite articles are and when to use them, and so on. That's really helpful for most adult language learners.

Community-based learning features

Busuu incorporates many of the motivational features you'll find with other Portuguese lessons. Those include study plans (to help you commit to consistent learning), streaks, and leagues to compete with other Busuu users. If you started your Portuguese studies with the Bird App, this would feel very familiar. But, Busuu takes it to the next level within the Busuu community. As you progress through your learning, you'll have the opportunity to present written and spoken work to native Portuguese speakers on the platform, and get their corrections and feedback. And, on the flipside, you can contribute to the Busuu "family" by offering your input on others' submitted English work.

Best Portuguese Lessons

More advanced content requires a subscription

What does it cost to use Busuu? If you're a beginner, you'll be able to access plenty of content for free. But, moving beyond the basics to more advanced levels of fluency will require a subscription, if you want anything past the first lesson or two offered as a sample. Pricing is tricky here: you only get a 7-day free trial of the Premium subscription if you set your account to bill at 6- or 12-month intervals, paid upfront. At the time of our review, that worked out to $50.70 for 6 months of access, or $83.40 for a full year. Otherwise, you can pay month-to-month at $13.90.

What does a Premium subscription get you?

What do you get with a Premium subscription? Those features include:

  • Specialized courses
  • Spaced repetition
  • Grammar review
  • Priority feedback from native speakers
  • Use lessons in any order, from any level of fluency
  • No ads
  • End-of-level completion certificates

Not 100% sure the subscription is worth it

Is it worth it to subscribe? We're on the fence. You'll definitely need it if you wind up loving the way Busuu approaches Portuguese and want to take advantage of every lesson at every proficiency level. And, there are plenty of 5-star reviews (to the tune of more than 70,000 on the Apple App Store alone) to show that Busuu has some fans out there. We did find one reviewer's criticism thought-provoking, though: "the app seems almost exclusively geared to upper middle class business people in what it talks about. It feels a little silly to be learning how to talk about meetings in the boardroom when I can't say "door' or "hallway'." That tracks with what we saw as well, even (especially?) at the B1 level where we landed after taking our placement test: conversations about flights and business environments, and so on.

Better than average, but find out for yourself if it's a good fit

At the end of the day, our impression of Busuu is that it's good but not great. We appreciate that it legitimately offers higher levels of content, even if the vocabulary isn't what we might use in our own day-to-day life, and that it's easy to see how the platform works to provide Portuguese lessons with free access to a ton of beginner-level content. We would recommend that you create a free account and see how Busuu compares with other Portuguese options on our list: only you can determine if you like the way it fits with how you learn best. For us, however, we had better results with our higher-ranked providers, and we probably wouldn't use Busuu long-term.

Rosetta Stone Review 3 Star Rating

Rosetta Stone

3 Star Rating
  • $47.97 for 3 months, $167.88 for 1 year, $399 for lifetime access to all 25 Rosetta Stone languages
  • Uses a combination of images and sounds for teaching
  • Units, On-Demand Videos, and Stories
  • Includes Phrasebooks to help navigate situations in Brazil
  • Teaches basic words and phrases, gradually introducing more complex grammar
  • 30-day money-back guarantee in place of free trial

When considering Rosetta Stone for learning Brazilian Portuguese, you might recall those iconic yellow boxes with CDs, once a staple before the digital age. Rosetta Stone, known for its promise of teaching languages "the natural way" through immersion, attempts to mimic how you learned your first language as a child, linking words with images and sounds instead of relying on translation or grammar rules.

Lots of guesswork

Rosetta Stone employs a slideshow-like lesson structure, starting with basic vocabulary like "girl," "boy," "woman," and "man," and gradually introducing more complex words and grammar. While the program encourages guessing meanings akin to how children learn, this method may not be efficient for adults already fluent in English. Most of us tend to want to map our Portuguese learning onto the language we already speak: English works well for us, so why ignore it when trying to pick up another one?

Frustration with unclear concepts

The "Explore All Content" feature offers units covering various topics, including stories like "A pequena fazenda" (The Small Farm). However, some vocabulary lacks image associations, leaving you to either guess or seek outside help. This can hinder comprehension and impede your learning progress, especially with more abstract concepts. For example, Phrasebooks aim to assist in real-life scenarios, but ambiguous imagery, like a woman looking at a menu for the phrase "Entende?" (Do you understand?), can lead to confusion and slow your progress.

Lack of true immersion

While we're at it, let's debunk the idea of Rosetta Stone's "immersion" . True language immersion involves complete immersion in the language, such as spending a semester in Rio de Janeiro (and NOT spending all of your time with English-speaking friends there!). Merely spending an hour a day with a computer program like Rosetta Stone falls far short of genuine immersion, which you would only really experience by living and working in a Portuguese-speaking country.

Best Portuguese Lessons

High cost for lessons

Rosetta Stone's pricing includes options like a three-month subscription for $47.97, a twelve-month subscription for $167.88, or lifetime access to all Rosetta Stone languages (priced roughly between $200 to $400, depending on if you're lucky enough to buy during a promo period). However, that makes this program one of the most expensive you'll find in our review.

No free trial for you

We're also aggravated that Rosetta Stone no longer seems to offer a free trial. We couldn't find the free lesson link on the main page anymore, so we turned to Google to find it for us. But, on that linked page, no matter how many different email addresses we entered (some authentic, some fake), every time it gave us this message: "There's already an account associated with that email address, and our free trial is for new users." Nice try, Rosetta Stone, but we know for a fact that our 75-year-old grandma has never created an account with you! Even the free trial link we finally found in the FAQ... took us back to the main "Choose Your Plan" page. You'll be relying on their 30-day money-back guarantee if you don't like it after you buy it.

Left us disappointed

Considering these factors, Rosetta Stone is not our optimal choice for a Portuguese learning journey. Despite claims of mimicking childhood language acquisition and providing genuine immersion, the program's reliance on guessing, lack of true immersion, and high cost make it less appealing. With numerous alternatives available, many of them with easy-to-access free trials and sample lessons, we encourage you to look at other higher-rated programs before settling on Rosetta Stone for learning Portuguese.

Duolingo Review 3 Star Rating

Duolingo

3 Star Rating
  • Free to use most content
  • Super Duolingo subscription removes ads, gives you unlimited practice regardless of errors, unlocks extra practice of mistakes
  • Single-user subscription is priced at $12.99/month or $83.99/year
  • Family Plan (2-6 users) is priced at $119.99/year
  • 14-day free trial on all paid plans
  • Heavy emphasis on gamified learning: streaks, leaderboards, levels, and so on
  • Good for vocabulary review

Almost anyone trying to learn a language these days is using (or at least has heard of) Duolingo. You know, the little green bird who oh-so-nicely (and sometimes not so nicely!) reminds you to get your daily practice in? Millions use Duolingo to study everything from Greek to Gaelic, making proud posts to their social media feeds when they hit a new milestone in their streak. But how does it measure up with respect to Portuguese lessons? Full disclosure: our review is coming from the perspective of more than 1,000 straight days using it to learn Portuguese, so stick with us and see for yourself.

Do you already speak a similar language?

It stands to reason that the vast majority of people learning Portuguese have some previous exposure to a Romance language. Perhaps you learned French in high school and now you want to spend some time in Brazil, or you grew up bilingual with Spanish and are ready to make the easy hop-skip-jump over to Portuguese. That will absolutely impact how you experience learning Portuguese via Duolingo: many words are cognates, pronunciation is often quite similar, and you'll be able to rely on your "other language" to give you plenty of clues as you work through various lessons here. That's not a bad thing, but it gives a different overall perspective on Duolingo than, say, trying to learn Korean for the first time and having to learn not only a whole new-to-you alphabet but also pronunciation.

Learning is impacted by what other language(s) you speak

In our experience, coming at Duolingo's Portuguese lessons from a fluent background in both Spanish and English, that familiarity can both help and hinder your progress. On the one hand, you'll feel like a rockstar as you fly through the lessons on Duolingo: you can lean on what you already know and level up almost as quickly as you want. You'll also make fewer mistakes: Duolingo starts you out with 5 hearts, and each mistake will cost you one. Use up all of your hearts, and you'll be waiting a full 24 hours before you can keep practicing Portuguese. So, with some fluency in another Romance language, you may get to keep studying for even longer.

Hints get in the way of genuine learning

Downside? Duolingo has a wordbank on most exercises you'll use for practice. That means that instead of having to type in a word from memory, you'll choose from a selected set of words to create a phrase or sentence. Plus, most of the time you can click on a word you don't know to get a hint (Duolingo will tell you exactly what it is and how to say it), so it's rare that you have to pull something up from the depths of your memory. Across all of the languages Duolingo offers, students often complain about that: too many hints and too many wordbank exercises equals not much genuine progress towards fluency.

Best Portuguese Lessons

Doesn't offer a lot of practical skills

If we're being really honest with you (and with ourselves), nearly 3 years of daily use of Duolingo has barely moved the needle on our ability to speak Portuguese. Given that we're fluent in Spanish and have been acing the Portuguese lessons for 1,000+ days, it shouldn't leave us staring blankly when someone we encounter asks us a basic question... but it does. We can absolutely tell you that o macaco gosta do abacaxi (the monkey likes the pineapple), but if you ask us for directions to the nearest bus station, you're going to have a very painful wait as we try to string the words together (and then we'll probably default to Spanish, hoping you'll understand us anyway).

Gamification will keep you around

So, why have we spent (or, you might even say if you were feeling salty, wasted) so much time on the Bird App? We'll say what most people do: the gamified features of this language platform are addictive, and it makes you like you're really learning a language (even if your functional fluency remains at almost nil). It's the sunk cost fallacy: why would you stop after you finally hit that 100-day (or 1,000-day) streak, even if you're not getting a ton out of the Portuguese lessons? Plus, Duolingo is constantly showing you how you measure up against other language learners: every week is an opportunity to rank on the leaderboard and move up (or down) to a new group (Ruby, Emerald, and so on, all the way up to the top tier of Diamond). You can friend people on the platform and complete challenges together, earning cute monthly badges and encouraging each other to keep up that streak. They don't even have to be studying the same language as you.

Subscribing has some benefits

And did we mention that Duolingo won't cost you anything? While you can use Duolingo for free as long as you like (unlike many Portuguese lessons that only give you a few lessons before you have to upgrade to a paid account), you do have the option to subscribe to Super Duolingo. (And, believe us when we say that you will have many, many invitations to do so, because almost every third ad you'll get on your free account will be for the paid plan here...) What benefits does that get you? First, it takes away the ads. Next, you'll get unlimited mistakes: on the free account, remember that you start out with 5 hearts, and every mistake takes one of those away until you run out, and then you're locked out of practicing until they "refill" over the rest of the day. And, speaking of mistakes, Super Duolingo gives you access to targeted practice of the errors you've made over time.

Best Portuguese Lessons

Options for monthly/annual billing, single user or group account

So, how much does it cost to subscribe? The easiest way to check the current pricing is through the Shop section of Duolingo (which we found most easily on the desktop version, not so much via the app). We want to point out that while you're always quoted a monthly cost, the lowest-priced subscriptions are based on annual billing. At the time of this review, single-user access to a Duolingo membership was $12.99 per month or $83.99/per year (but shown as a monthly price of $6.99). Duolingo has also rolled out a Family Plan, and they're quick to tell you that the 2-6 people on the account don't even have to be a part of your household or your family tree: it's literally anyone you'd like to include, and it's priced at $119.99/year.

You can use it for free

Duolingo doesn't have to cost you a thing. We haven't spent a penny (or a Brazilian real) since we started the journey down the Bird path, and yes, we have picked up on some vocabulary and even a bit of grammar over those 1,000+ days. There's speaking, reading, listening, and some limited writing practice, an array of male/female and old/young voices to challenge the ear a bit, and of course, all of the streak-chasing and friend-encouraging features we mentioned to keep us moving, even if it's just a few minutes a day.

Fun way to fill some time

As a zero-dollar option for studying Portuguese (or many other languages), it's not the worst thing out there. But, for the love of language learning, please don't try to convince yourself that just a few lessons a day on Duolingo will make you fluent. This app is best used as a fun way to fill some free time, or to supplement more in-depth studies using another service (like some of the higher-ranked Portuguese lessons on our list). Duolingo deserves our "just average" rating, given all of the pros and cons.

Mondly Review 2.5 Star Rating

Mondly

2.5 Star Rating
  • Can learn Portuguese from Brazil or Portugal
  • Price: $9.99 for one month, $47.99 for a year (often on sale)
  • App supports 41 different languages
  • Compete with other learners and track your progress
  • Free account option available with basic features
  • Dashboard with a variety of lesson topics
  • Premium account unlocks VR feature and AI chat
  • Premium account includes over 250 lessons on various topics
  • Premium users gain access to daily lessons, quizzes, and challenges

Mondly offers an engaging language learning experience, boasting a gamified approach that aims to make learning Portuguese enjoyable. With features like progress tracking and friendly competition with other learners, the app supports 41 languages and has a user base of 125 million worldwide.

Recent changes raise concerns

And, unlike some of the lessons in our evaluation, Mondly lets you choose between Portugal and Brazil as the "home base" for the way the language is presented. Each of these avenues give you varying accents and regional phrases. However, recent changes, including Pearson's acquisition of Mondly, may raise some concerns about the platform's future.

Basic (free) lessons are limited

Starting off on Mondly's Basic plan, you'll create a free account and indicate your Portuguese proficiency level: beginner, intermediate, or expert. Initial activities like basic greetings, a one-off chat with the AI bot, and daily lessons offer a taste of Mondly's methodology. However, without a premium account, your options remain limited, with only the free daily lesson available, which typically takes about 5 minutes. Completing seven of these unlocks a Weekly Quiz, and mastering all weekly quizzes leads to the Monthly Challenge. Navigating Mondly's dashboard, resembling a map, allows you to select Portuguese lesson topics like weather or travel or you can follow Mondly's suggested daily lessons based on your progress.

Best Portuguese Lessons

You'll need to subscribe to access all the features

For those seeking a more comprehensive experience, Mondly's Premium plan unlocks the platform's most in-depth features. Subscribers gain full access to immersive tools like chat features for conversational practice in Portuguese and augmented reality for interactive learning experiences. With over 250 lessons spanning various topics, vocabulary builders, and grammar assistance, Premium users enjoy a more well-rounded learning environment.

It's not expensive to subscribe

Pricing for Mondly's Premium plan varies, with options including monthly ($9.99) and yearly ($47.99) subscriptions. There's an all-access plan for using 33 of the 41 Mondly languages on the platform, but a) it's regularly-priced at $479.99 and b) there's no explanation why there are 8 languages not included. We recommend that you also keep an eye out for discounts, as Mondly often offers promotions, though this platform is missing the "lifetime subscription" that many of its rivals offer.

Can be frustrating and repetitive

Looking deeper into Mondly's language program reveals its limitations. While suitable for beginners, Mondly lacks in-depth grammar lessons and fails to challenge advanced learners. Portuguese lessons across all levels feel somewhat repetitive, with advanced levels still covering only basic concepts. Although Mondly offers opportunities to review lessons and explore verb conjugations, it relies heavily on intuitive learning rather than explicit grammar instruction. Additionally, some free-response tools may frustrate users, as correct answers not matching the expected Mondly format may not register correctly.

Best Portuguese Lessons

Pearson acquisition is not a positive

Also, with Mondly's recent acquisition by Pearson, concerns about the platform's future maintenance arise. Pearson's reputation for software upkeep, particularly among college students reviewing other online learning tools (like MathLab, frequently referred to as "MethLab" because of its unstable nature and lack of support), makes us worried about whether or not there will be any ongoing development and customer support for Mondly's language courses. The increased emphasis recently on using Mondly for teaching English (with no mention of the platform's use for any other languages) further suggests potential shifts in priorities. And that could leave your Portuguese lessons here in the dust, sadly.

Rival lesson platforms do it better

Ultimately, while Mondly offers an accessible entry point into Portuguese, it may not be the best choice for serious learners. Its basic approach and limited free features pale in comparison to other options offering more comprehensive grammar instruction and user support. While Mondly isn't the worst option out there for studying Portuguese, it just doesn't measure up to the higher-ranking lessons on our list.

Fluenz Review 2 Star Rating

Fluenz

2 Star Rating
  • One-time fee for lifetime access
  • Pricing ranges from $187 to $398
  • 100% money-back guarantee in first 30 days
  • Up to 5 levels of Brazilian Portuguese available
  • Accessible on mobile apps and desktop
  • Can be used by up to 3 people per household

Fluenz was co-founded by Sonia Gil, an entrepreneur and travel vlogger. Gil herself went to China to develop a Mandarin Chinese program, originally created as a way to help English learners of Mandarin to become fluent more easily - mapping the language they were studying onto the one they already knew for quicker acquisition. Fluenz Portuguese works the same way.

Similar to a classroom setting

With Fluenz, your learning journey begins with an introductory video, setting the stage for each lesson. From there, you'll engage in exercises, or "workouts," interspersed with instructional videos to deepen your understanding. While some might find the formal tone of the videos a bit off-putting, Fluenz distinguishes itself by simulating a traditional classroom experience. This format, akin to personalized tutoring sessions, aims to keep you engaged, especially if you prefer more structured learning environments. Unlike many other platforms, Fluenz provides clear explanations in English, making it accessible even if you're new to language learning. Just bear in mind that all videos are pre-recorded; there's no live tutoring involved.

Leans on English to teach you Portuguese

What sets Fluenz apart is its tailored approach to teaching Portuguese, designed specifically for English speakers. Unlike programs that adopt a one-size-fits-all immersion method, Fluenz prioritizes the nuances of Portuguese, ensuring a targeted learning experience. By leveraging your fluency in English, Fluenz seamlessly bridges the gap between the two languages, eliminating guesswork and fostering a deeper understanding. This focus on direct explanation can be a game-changer, particularly if you've felt frustrated with immersion-based approaches offered by other language programs.

Best Portuguese Lessons

One-time purchase for the levels you select

When you opt for Fluenz, you're not just subscribing; you're making a one-time purchase that grants you lifetime access to your chosen program. Prices vary depending on the level you choose. For instance, Level 1 or 2 alone will set you back $187 each, but purchasing them together costs $258. There are also bundled packages available for Levels 1 through 3 or 3 through 5, catering to different proficiency levels. Investing in all five levels of Fluenz Portuguese amounts to $398. Plus, keep an eye out for discounts; signing up might score you a coupon, like the $40 off we received via email. Interestingly, Fluenz hasn't updated its pricing in the last three years, which adds to the impression that this isn't exactly a place where you'll get Portuguese lessons with current events or pop culture included.

Each level has clearly-defined content

Wondering what each level covers? Level 1 lays the groundwork for basic Portuguese, focusing on essential travel scenarios such as dining out and navigating transportation. Level 2 delves deeper into grammar and conversational skills, preparing you for social interactions like making plans with friends or visiting the pharmacy. As you progress through Levels 3 to 5, you'll tackle more advanced topics, from discussing the internet to narrating stories in the past tense, all while refining your grasp of complex grammatical structures.

No free trial or sample lesson

Despite its strengths, Fluenz falls short in a few areas. Unlike its competitors, it doesn't offer trial options or sample lessons, leaving you to rely solely on screenshots for insight into the platform. This lack of preview means potential issues, like malfunctioning activities or broken features, may go unnoticed until after you've made a purchase. However, Fluenz does provide a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, offering some peace of mind for your investment.

Best Portuguese Lessons

Not a lot of feedback

While Fluenz positions itself as an advanced learning solution, feedback suggests it tends to deliver more of an intermediate level of fluency. For some learners, this might not align with expectations, especially those aiming for mastery of complex grammatical concepts. Additionally, the absence of recent reviews raises concerns about the program's relevance and updates over time.

Not recommended

In the rapidly evolving landscape of language learning, Fluenz faces stiff competition from newer, more innovative platforms. What might have been considered adequate a few years ago now pales in comparison to the plethora of alternatives available. With limited trial options and a lack of recent reviews, it's difficult to wholeheartedly recommend Fluenz Portuguese. While it offers a solid foundation, its shortcomings leave us wanting more from their language lessons.

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One of the primary reasons for learning Portuguese is its importance in international business and trade. Brazil, with its rapidly growing economy, is a major player in global markets, making Portuguese a valuable asset for professionals seeking opportunities in sectors such as finance, agriculture, technology, and energy. Additionally, Portuguese proficiency can open doors to cultural exchange programs, academic research opportunities, and international collaborations.

Another compelling reason to learn Portuguese is its rich cultural heritage. From the captivating rhythms of Brazilian samba and bossa nova to the haunting melodies of Portuguese fado, the Portuguese-speaking world boasts a diverse tapestry of art, music, literature, and cuisine. Learning the language provides a deeper understanding and appreciation of these cultural treasures, allowing learners to engage more fully with Portuguese-speaking communities around the globe. Why not order feijoada in fluent Portuguese when you visit Rio?

Learning Portuguese can be an enriching experience for various reasons, including its cultural significance, global relevance, and the potential for personal and professional growth. Portuguese is the official language of Portugal and Brazil, of course, but did you know Portuguese is also spoken in Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and Sao Tome and Principe, with cultural importance in regions such as Macau, East Timor, and Goa?

Ready to get to it? Muito bom! Let's take a look at some criteria you can use to choose the right Portuguese lessons for your learning style and fluency goals:

  • Levels offered. Consider your current fluency level and what you're hoping to accomplish. Do you need to start from zero, or do you have a background in Spanish or another Romance language that will give you a head start into a more intermediate difficulty level?
  • Mode of instruction. How do you learn best? Is it with lots of audio files with native speaker accents for you to imitate, direct grammatical instruction in English, total immersion from the get-go, or a combination of all that and more? Are you looking for classroom-style lectures or a fun app to keep you motivated? You'll find all of that and then some in today's most popular online Portuguese lessons.
  • Cost. What will you pay to access the Portuguese lessons you need? Many services give you something for free, with the hope that you'll buy or subscribe later. Pay attention to monthly vs. annual billing, automatic recurring subscriptions, and charges that may apply after you sign up for a free trial.
  • Effectiveness. How well will you be able to speak, read, write, and understand Portuguese after putting effort into the lessons? What do other students say about their fluency levels after using the program?
  • Satisfaction guarantee/refund policy. If you pay for access to the Portuguese lessons and wind up not liking them, can you get your money back? Is there a time limit to requesting a refund?

Whether for business, travel, or sheer curiosity, acquiring proficiency in Portuguese opens doors to a vibrant and dynamic world, enriching the lives of learners and fostering connections across continents. To help you on your language journey, the experts at Top Consumer Reviews have tried and ranked some of the most popular Portuguese lessons available today. Boa sorte!

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Portuguese Lesson FAQ

Portuguese ranks seventh overall among world languages, with approximately 223 million speakers. 150 million speak Brazilian Portuguese, but it's also the official language of Portugal, Angola, and Mozambique.
Yes, but fortunately they're all mutually understood. Depending on the Portuguese lessons you select, you may learn European (as regulated by the Sciences Academy of Lisbon) or Brazilian (which is more commonly used worldwide). The differences between the two are similar to British and American English, with variations of accents and vocabulary but essentially the same grammar and structure.
E facil! For most native speakers of English, especially those that are already familiar with Spanish or Italian, Portuguese is one of the easiest languages to learn. And, with Brazilians being known as some of the most warm, friendly people on the planet, you should have no shortage of "helpers" with whom you can falar portugues.
The good news is that the alphabet is almost exactly the same, with the exception of accented vowels and one letter - so start by learning how the Portuguese letters are pronounced differently from English. You can also pick up some basic vocabulary based on how you'll be using the language: for travel, for business, or just for fun. Finally, it's a good idea to start watching movies and TV shows in Portuguese: it's the quickest way to develop a more native accent and learn new words and phrases naturally.
It's not easy to find Portuguese lessons in person unless you live near a university. Lucky for you, there are a wide variety of online providers that give you fun, informative instruction at your convenience. You don't have to fit a class into your busy schedule when you can study whenever and wherever you like!
Most smartphone keyboards make it easy: you may have to enable Portuguese in your language settings first, but from there you can usually select the base letter (like "o" or "c" ) and the accented options will pop up. On your computer keyboard, most systems have shortcuts you can use; alternately, there are online keyboard websites that let you copy-paste Portuguese characters as needed.
Not at all: you can learn basic Portuguese for less than $100, or under $25 per month with a recurring subscription. It just depends on the lesson platform you choose and how many features you want (e.g. basic words and phrases or a certificate of completion and live help from language instructors). No matter which type of Portuguese lessons you select, you'll pay much less than you would for a college course.
Possibly. If you're using a month-to-month program, you can almost always cancel future payments but you might not get any money back. With one-off purchases of Portuguese lesson packages, it's common to get a 30- or 60-day satisfaction guarantee with a full refund. It's a good idea to see if the Portuguese lessons you're considering have a free sample lesson or trial period before you make your choice: put it to the test and see if you like the way the class is taught and if it feels right for how you learn best.
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