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Living Language Review

Monday, November 29th

2021 Portuguese Lesson Reviews

Living Language Review 1.5 Star Rating

Living Language

1.5 Star Rating
  • Subscriptions available as 1, 3, 6, and 12-month plans
  • Beginner to advanced Brazilian Portuguese content
  • Shorter programs available for travel- or business-focused Portuguese
  • Sample lessons on the website

Living Languages is no newcomer to online language lessons. As part of the Penguin Random House brand, it's been around for more than seven decades. You might think that kind of expertise would lead to an excellent Portuguese learning platform, but unfortunately Living Languages fails to measure up to their rivals.

Lessons for beginner to intermediate students

Living Languages makes Portuguese lessons available for "beginner to advanced" levels, but the list of topics covered seems to stay in the basic-to-intermediate category. These include greeting others and introductions, asking questions, expressing likes and dislikes, and conjugating verbs in past/present/future tenses. You can choose the membership term that you think you'll need to cover all of the content, with plans starting at $39 for one month and going up to $150 for one year.


  • $39 for 1 month
  • $50 for 3 months
  • $75 for 6 months
  • $150 for 1 year

Portuguese for travel or business available separately

There's also a Passport Course available: just enough Portuguese to help you "get by in almost any travel situation" . You can get 3 months of access for one person priced at $50, or learn with a friend for $75. Similarly, Living Languages' Business Course in Portuguese focuses on more than 1000 phrases useful in business situations, as well as work-specific cultural notes to help you understand and communicate better. This is priced at $60 for three months of access.

Better try the free lessons first

If you're considering Living Languages for your Portuguese lessons, we strongly recommend that you try the free lessons on their site. They're all in the category of Essential Expressions, and you can click through some of their grammar explanations and learning activities to see how this service works.

Best Portuguese Lessons

What decade is this?

Compared with other platforms, Living Languages' structure probably won't blow you away. There's no mobile app that we could find, the graphics on the games are distinctly late 90s/early 2000s, and we didn't really come away feeling like we were learning much. Also, there are no speaking activities: most Portuguese lessons today have some way of comparing your speech against that of a native speaker, but there's none of that here.

Fewer features now, not more

Living Language also used to offer e-Tutoring options as part of their highest tier of packages. However, that feature hasn't been available since 2018: it was dropped along with their iOS app too.

No refunds for any reason

The final straw for us is the lack of a refund policy. Once you've paid for access to Living Languages, whether that's a one-month payment or for a full year, there's no satisfaction guarantee.

Worst choice for Portuguese lessons

We have a hard time finding any reason to use Living Languages for learning Portuguese. Even free services available today offer much more interactive platforms than what you'll find here, and you'll definitely get more for your money with other Portuguese lessons. We encourage you to consider the higher-ranked language lessons in our review.

Where Are the Best Portuguese Lessons?

Maybe you're enchanted by the images of carnaval and your dream is to see it in person someday. Or you live in a tourist destination frequently visited by Brazilians and it would help you in your job to be able to speak Portuguese. Whether your interest in the language is for business or pleasure, it's important to know how to go about learning it!

The truth is, not many places offer Portuguese classes (unless you live near a university). It should come as no surprise that the majority of people learning it today are doing so online! From one-on-one tutoring to fun apps you can use on the go, there's no shortage of ways to improve your fluency and get ready to have actual conversations in Portuguese.

The Best Portuguese Lessons Compare Portuguese Lessons Compare Portuguese Lesson Reviews What are the best Portuguese Lessons Best Portuguese Lesson Reviews

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.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Which Portuguese lessons are right for you? The first consideration is your current level of knowledge. Some providers are best-suited to beginners because they don't offer much beyond the basics of "Oi, tudo bem?" and "Eu gosto de comer frango" . You'll want to select a language service that has the right level and quantity of content for as long as you expect to study Portuguese.

Another important factor is how you prefer to learn. Some students want their lessons to be as game-like as possible, with lots of points, badges, and leaderboards. Others feel more comfortable with a traditional, straightforward approach: detailed grammatical lessons (preferably in English first!), lots of repetition, and no competition with other students. There are Portuguese lessons that suit both of those learning styles - and a few that even combine them!

Once you've identified a few good choices for your language learning, here are some criteria you can use to help make your final selection:

  • Value. What does the platform give you at no obligation, like a free trial or sample lessons? What fee-based options are there? Is it a subscription or a one-time cost? How much content will you get for what you pay? Even a "cheap" Portuguese lesson service can be a poor value if it doesn't give you well-structured teaching and plenty to learn.
  • Ease of Use. If you get frustrated with the Portuguese program, you'll likely find it hard to motivate yourself to practice. Take advantage of any options that let you give it a test run before you pay for a subscription. If you notice that you're excited to do just one more lesson or listen to one more dialogue, that's a good sign.
  • Reputation. What do other students say about the Portuguese lessons? Does the company have a good track record for offering quality content and a platform that works as expected?
  • Refund Policy. Once you've paid for your Portuguese lessons, can you get your money back if you're not satisfied? Many services give you a timeframe of 15-60 days to request a refund, but not all do. Understand the provider's terms and conditions before committing to a paid plan.

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best options for taking Portuguese lessons. We're confident that this information will help you choose the right learning platform to get you falando portugues in no time!

The Best Reviews of Portuguese Lessons