Learning (European) Portuguese online with Practice Portuguese
Today’s post begins a new category on my blog. In this category, I would like to recommend and review language courses; online courses and in-class courses (in Madeira and in other parts of Portugal) and various websites and apps. We will focus, of course, only on European Portuguese.
I would like to start off this series, reviewing one of the best, in my opinion, website for learning European Portuguese online – Practice Portuguese.
- Learning (European) Portuguese online with Practice Portuguese
- European Portuguese vs. Brazilian Portuguese
- Practice Portuguese lessons – our review
On Practice Portuguese, you learn Portuguese through English. Are you not a native English speaker and you find it difficult to study other languages using English? We have good news!
The team of Practice Portuguese is considering adding other base-language versions to their website. Would you like them to consider adding your native language? Let them know in the comments below, or simply contact the Team to share your ideas.
European Portuguese vs. Brazilian Portuguese
How different are Portuguese from Portugal and Portuguese from Brazil? There is a very noticeable difference, especially in pronunciation. See also post:
That’s why, especially when using video and podcast study materials, it’s important to learn Portuguese in the exact version you need. So if you would like to learn Portuguese, because it is required for your work, study exchange in Portugal or just a trip to Portugal – this review is for you…
Practice Portuguese lessons – our review
I am a person who rarely buys full memberships and prefers to first make sure that my money will be well spent. Practice Portuguese membership is one of those programs that is more than worth its price. All we need to do is quit inventing excuses and dedicate ourselves to studying the language. There are hundreds of lessons, videos, podcasts and quizzes already available online, while new ones are added pretty much daily.
Practice Portuguese was created by two great guys- Joel and Rui. Rui is Portuguese and Joel is a Canadian, who is in love with Portugal. They are based in Lisbon, but they often collaborate and invite to their podcasts guests from other parts of the country and Brazil. Rui’s family, his mother and his adorable grandmother are also frequent guests.
Free access vs. Premium membership
Creating such an efficient website with audio and video recordings requires a lot of work and there are no ads on the site. The website is funded by membership fees, which (at the moment of writing this post) are 15 euro/month (if paid monthly), or 153 euro per year.
In the free version, we have access to some materials, especially suitable for those who already know the basics. We can listen to the podcasts, but we do not have access to the transcripts, word lists, phrases and tests. The most important difference is no access to the interactive Learning Studio with basic Portuguese lessons.
What do you get after buying the paid membership?
First: access to the Learning Studio. How does it look like?
Learning Studio consists of two parts – UNITS and VERBS.
UNITS are more than 60 sets of lessons (more than 400 lessons in total) starting with real basics (“Os fundamentos”):
ending up at more advanced courses:
Lessons are absolutely not boring, they are interactive, and next to each sentence there are buttons allowing you to directly listen to the correct pronunciation – both fast and slow. These are not computer-generated but recorded by native speakers.
You can also… have your pronunciation instantly analysed, by recording yourself reading the new phrases. Confronting as it may be – it is definitely a great way to improve your Portuguese pronunciation. If you have no microphone and can not record yourself – not a problem. The recording questions are optional and can be skipped.
In these lessons, we will learn basic phrases, words and grammar. The program will remember your progress and show the percentage of material covered. After logging in to the site, you are automatically taken to the place where you finished last time.
The second part of the Learning Studio is VERBS – Portuguese verbs and their conjugation.
Correct conjugation of Portuguese verbs is very important, but for some, it might be of the most monotonous parts of learning a language… With Practice Portuguese, learning conjugation of Portuguese verbs will be a bit less troublesome…
You will also find here the Learning Notes, which are written grammar lessons, explained in a very clear and simple way. These are available to all users.
Apart from the access to the Learning Studio, paid membership will also give you access to all the podcast/video transcripts.
We can adjust the settings ourselves – e.g. by enabling or disabling automatic scrolling or automatic English translations. The automatic scrolling option is something that my right thumb really appreciates 🙂
You can choose from a big number of podcasts for different levels:
In addition to audio materials, there are also videos.
Choosing “Premium feature – Unlocked to Public” we can try out the unlocked demo materials available to everyone.
The latest addition to the Practice Portuguese are mini-lessons, so-called “Shorties” – similar to podcasts, but very short (1-2 minutes).
This is something for those whose excuse was a lack of time:
Practice Portuguese has something for every level. Podcasts and videos can be filtered by difficulty.
For beginners who want to learn some basic words, the paid Learning Studio lessons will be the most appropriate. Those, who are only looking for some basic phrases for their holidays in Portugal, can find them for example here:
Practice Portuguese Community Forum
A very interesting option is also the community forum where Portuguese learners from around the world can get to know each other, share their tips, interesting links, ask questions.
Pros and cons of Practice Portuguese
What do I like the most about Practice Portuguese?
It works great on mobile
The Practice Portuguese site is fully responsive – you can use it on your computer, laptop, tablet or a cellphone. The last one is how I use it the most. Instead of wasting time watching cat videos and pointlessly scrolling through social media feeds, I can now use every spare 5 minutes to get a step further in my lessons or listen to the newly added Shorties. You can not study whenever and wherever you want.
Transparency, functionality, ease of use
On the Practice Portuguese website, you can find icons with pronunciation almost at every step. You can not only see the new words and phrases but also listen to them.
Some materials are funny, a bit comic, which is why they are not boring and it’s easier to listen to them multiple times. Practice Portuguese podcasts can also be listened to on podcast applications such as for example CastBox.
Contact with the authors
The Practice Portuguese team listens and enjoys contact with their users. You can leave a comment under each lesson, each video or a recording. You can ask a question or give them feedback. If you miss a certain function or a topic, you can always let them know.
Practice Portuguese Instagram account
Do you enjoy following language learning accounts? Even if you do not know English well, you will learn a lot from following their account, for example, thanks to [such short videos].
Simple, clear and straight to the point – quick vocabulary lessons:
Some say a review isn’t a review without listing the disadvantages as well, but I truly could not point even one thing. However, not everyone learns languages the same way, so if you do not like their methods, (I doubt it 🙂 ) you can stop or terminate your paid membership at any time.
This is not a sponsored post, but we are proud to be approved as Practice Portuguese affiliates. I sincerely think that Practice Portuguese is a great product and that the paid membership is worth the price. Rui and Joel work hard on adding both new study materials and site improvements, listening to the suggestions from their users. There are a lot of materials on the site, suitable for students on different levels.
Curious how others rated Practice Portuguese? Read their user reviews.
And before I add the final thoughts in my review I would first like to share with you some of my favourite episodes:
As you might have noticed, both of my favourite episodes are about the differences between European & Brazilian Portuguese, and about what funny misunderstandings these differences can lead to… Being a fan of languages, I have always been fascinated by conversations between people raised in these two countries.
What I really like and appreciate about Practice Portuguese are lessons like this. It is hard to even call them “lessons”, as they get it – learning languages should be a fun, and not a boring task.
I am glad that thanks to such interesting and funny materials Practice Portuguese “smuggles” knowledge and helps people all over the world study Portuguese in an interesting and easy way.
In my opinion, Practice Portuguese is one of the best options available at this moment online for studying European Portuguese.
Would you like Practice Portuguese to be available in other languages? Which ones? Let the authors know in the comments below.
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Ola, I’ve been using Practice Portuguese for about 4 months. I love the program. As a Canadian, I can relate to the guy Joel. Lots of variety in styles of learning. Not as formal as Pimsleur, but very good.