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With more than 200 million native speakers worldwide - primarily in Brazil and Portugal, as well as several African nations, and over one million native speakers in the United States - Portuguese is the sixth most common language and one of the least studied. Learning Portuguese can be an excellent way to boost your ability to get a job, to do business, or to speak the language as you travel to some of the most popular destinations on the planet.
A significant advantage of fluency in Portuguese is that it allows you to easily acquire many other Romance languages, such as Portuguese, Spanish, French, and even Romanian. Many people who speak Portuguese can understand those other languages without too much effort, so while it may seem that Portuguese isn't used in many places, you may find that your language knowledge serves you well in a number of countries that you might not have considered.
Thursday, January 21st
Rocket Languages uses a wide variety of methods to help students converse in beginning to intermediate Portuguese and has more than 140 hours of language and culture lessons. Because of its many positive customer reviews and affordable pricing backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee, Rocket Languages is our top pick for Portuguese lessons.
Transparent Language offers Portuguese instruction through an online subscription or a 35-lesson audio course delivered via MP3 download (Windows or Mac). Overall, Transparent gives learners less formal direction within the structure of their lessons than we found with other programs, so Transparent Language is a great fit for students who feel comfortable charting their own course through their studies of Portuguese.
When you think of language instruction outside of a traditional classroom, you probably think of Rosetta Stone. Their Portuguese language lessons are comprehensive and use audio, video, and written lessons to help learners of all types. Regular pricing can be expensive, but Rosetta Stone frequently offers discounts to make their programs more affordable.
Portuguese Pod 101, by Innovative Languagen uses a variety of approaches - audio, video, and written - to teach Brazilian Portuguese and culture, including a selection of content across several fluency levels. The user interface can be confusing, and some customers may be put off by the extreme emphasis on the "limited offer" sales pitch. We recommend trying the 7-day free trial before committing to a paid membership.
Living Language makes use of today's modern tools - tablets, MP3 players, and so on - to put Brazilian Portuguese language lessons at arm's reach. They also have print and audio instruction for students who prefer a more traditional approach. Unfortunately, Living Language does not offer their most comprehensive program, Platinum, to Portuguese language learners at this time, and there is no return policy on any of their packages.
Pimsleur is a well-established provider of language instruction, best known for its 30-minute audio lessons. If you are an auditory learner - in other words, you learn best by hearing - Pimsleur is a terrific, albeit expensive, method for learning Portuguese. Or, if you prefer a more balanced, visual means of studying a new language, be sure to look at Pimsleur's DVD version that also provides Portuguese reading lessons, flashcards, and other features in addition to the audio instruction.
Pronounced "link", LingQ teaches Portuguese by making use of Portuguese texts and native speaker "helpers", who work with students to give them more native-quality speaking and reading ability. We feel that LingQ's point-based, pay-per-use system for making those connections leaves students unsure of how much it will actually cost to learn Portuguese, and the somewhat random collection of lessons may be confusing for new users.
Strokes International Portuguese targets beginning and intermediate language learners according to the EU-Standards A1 to B2. Strokes International has few positive reviews, several errors on the website, and zero return policy, placing them in last place among providers of Portuguese lessons.
And, the beauty of the cultures where Portuguese is spoken is reason enough to learn the language. From reading the works of Nobel prizewinner Jose Saramago in their original tongue, to dancing samba like they do it during Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, knowing Portuguese is a window into a richness of language, lifestyle, music and more that is unrivaled by any other language. What could be more fun - or romantic - than being able to sing along with "The Girl from Ipanema" in Portuguese?
When choosing a Portuguese language program, you should have your language goals in mind. If your primary focus is to master conversational language - perhaps you'll be visiting Sao Paolo for a month, or making a stop in Lisbon as you tour Europe - you may not need to place much emphasis on understanding written Portuguese, and an audio-focused approach might be a great fit.
On the other hand, if you expect to use the language in a more formal setting or to use it regularly for business, it may be more important to master reading and writing in Portuguese as well as fluency in speech. Make sure to choose a program that will give you that comprehensive exposure to the language. No matter what your goals are, the most well-rounded Portuguese lessons use a variety of strategies to help learners, from flashcards and images to audio lessons and pronunciation practice.
What should you look for as you compare Portuguese language programs? There are several factors to consider, including the following:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Portuguese lessons available today. We hope these reviews help you learn Portuguese quickly and easily!
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