Learning Portuguese

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Moderator of the Balkans :)
Joined: 07.12.2012
Pending moderation

Hi all,

So after being passionate about Portuguese for some time, I have decided to start learning it, as I really like how it sounds. So I'm totally open to any suggestions about resources you may know, as finding the good ones always takes time, and as a complete beginner, I'd love to get some knowledge from other learners about it. As my time is very limited, I tend to study on my own rather than taking courses, and I am more of a grammar-focused learner.

I'm having a Romance languages background (knowing Italian and some French), so I was wondering how easy/hard it is compared to the other Romance languages?
Are there any good YouTube lessons/websites/books that are totally worth the time? What is your experience with them?
Are more resources available for Portugal or Brazilian Portuguese? Do they have a huge difference between them (like learning one of them, you don't really understand the other much), or they have more of a relationship similar to US/UK English?

Any comments are much appreciated, and thanks for your time!

Super Member
Joined: 22.02.2016

https://www.youtube.com/user/StreetSmartBrazil I think this yt channel is very good for learning phrases that are used in a daily perspective and this one https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCskEPRzGlsYHs_a5SJyCXag is more for a perspective of someone whose mother language ain't portuguese, but since you know Italian, i think it'll be way easier since there are lots of similarity between them, but portuguese has a tricky 'thing' that is the pronunciation of letters tends to change a lot and sometimes letters has various sounds and don't follow a specific rule to identify the sound though.
EU pt and BR pt are a little bit less intelligible than US/UK but people from Portugal, I believe have a way easier time understanding br portuguese. Gramatically it has a little bit of difference apart from words that distinguish like in br-pt 'cup' is 'Xícara' , and in eu-pt 'cup' is 'chávena' , and xícara is an arcadism while in eu-pt 'rapariga' means girl and in br-pt it means something like 'bitch' and etc... But structurally is very similar besides personal preferences ( exemple: eu-pt Amo-te and br-pt Te amo, both means I love you ) of grammar and graphic marks (eu-pt almost don't use the circumflex mark and in br it's still largely used.).
I hope I was able to be understood 'cos i don't really write much in english and i'm not actually a 'learner' but i believe we are always learning a language even when we use it every day. Regular smile

Leader of the Balkan Squad
Joined: 14.10.2016

Personally, I think that there are more resources for Brazilian Portuguese than Portuguese Portuguese, as it is more widely spoken. I believe that the Portuguese Rosetta Stone is for BP, not PP.

The First Time-Traveler
Joined: 08.12.2016

I used to study Latin voraciously and only Latin. I would occasionally toy around with the other Romance languages and most of them were quite easy considering that Spanish was already one of my birth languages. However, for some strange reason Portuguese quickly took hold of my eye . . . I've learned most of my Portuguese listening to music; I really am a fan of Brazilian and Portuguese music. The grammar of Brazilian Portuguese is quite similar to the grammar of Spanish except for the wide use of a future subjunctive case. Portuguese is the only Romance language that actively employs it . . . others have it but it's there just as a formality. Seeing that you're probably more familiar with Italian it would probably be easier to think of grammar in terms of passato remoto and regions that use passato remoto, instead of passato perfetto. This will make the past more difficult for you at first (in comparison with French and Italian) but it will eventually smooth out. However, these are just obstacles you'll be seeing further up in the road when you have a good handle on the language. I think what you should first think about is whether you're going Brazilian or European . . . maybe later on you could try African Portuguese but in the beginning I would stick to those two. Brazilian Portuguese, in my opinion, is simpler grammatically but more difficult orthographically. Also the most resources are in this type of Portuguese . . . You could get away with never using second person conjugations in Brazilian Portuguese by sticking to você which is conjugated like he and she in the third person like lei in Italian. In Portugal you have the grammatical option to do this: Eu chamo-me (I call myself). In Brazil it's always: Eu me chamo. In Portugal you write: A Secção (The Section). In Brazil it's: A Seção (The Section). There are many of these small differences in everyday words but after a while the rules become intuitive. European Portuguese tries to keep the flow of the original Latin while Brazilian Portuguese evolves it for efficiency . . . Hope that helps. Tchau Wink smile

Moderator sapiens sapiens
Joined: 05.04.2012

Gloria, it's amazing to know you're interested in my language Regular smile

I unfortunately can't help you with online sources since I don't know any. I added a couple to our Resources page but it's only about dictionaries and verb conjugators - that might not interest you in the first moment.

I agree with O.A. Ramos and Gabriel. EU-PT and BR-PT are the same languages with minor changes regarding structure and vocabulary - and orthography, as they both mentioned. Both are equally beautiful, but I guess BR-PT is the variety most widely taught around since Brazil is the country with most Portuguese speakers in general. I think that all varieties are intelligible, same as it happens with BrE and AmE.

Wish you a good time with your studies Regular smile
Boa noite! Teeth smile


The 2007 version of Teach Yourself Portuguese  (neutral) was the course that helped me to get started.
I have trouble finding material with Portuguese because I have that most annoying of flaws* , of being a Spanish speaker which gets in the way more than it helps. I'm also not quite as bright as you all.
I predict success for someone as well-rounded as you, CherryCrush. 
[link updated in next post]

Also one of its good things is that it helps you get a sense of usage on "both sides of the Atlantic,"which is how the book refers to the PT/BR thing.

And I also watched a of movies and/or telenovelas, read a lot of novels in Portuguese. I like to read out loud and record my voice, to try to practice pronunciation, recorded myself---old school stuff. This is what one did when one couldn't find native speakers near one in the old days. But now we have all sorts of new things, which is great.

(*this is meant in my odd, dark, gloom-and-doom sense of humor and self-deprecation, don't take it literally, please.)


Sorry about that link.... it didn't work after publishing it. Here it is again.
Oxford "Taking Off In Portuguese" was also worth the time, and it wasn't expensive-- it was just a bit too rudimentary, though.https://d1w7fb2mkkr3kw.cloudfront.net/assets/images/book/large/9780/3408/9780340870914.jpg

Moderator of the Balkans :)
Joined: 07.12.2012

Hi all,

thank you very much for your opinions, it really helped me get an idea about the language itself. Will check out all the suggestions, and hopefully will start learning it very soon, time permitting Regular smile

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