Where Do I Start?
Are you wondering where to start or how to use the site?
There's no "right" way to learn, as everyone has different goals when learning a language. For example, someone who is traveling to Portugal for a month would want to prioritize different topics compared to someone who is planning to live there. Someone who needs to understand Portuguese for business purposes would have different goals compared to someone who wants to communicate better with family, friends, and neighbours. With this in mind, we've tried to make the platform as flexible as possible to give our users more control over their learning experience.
That said, we have plenty of suggestions for those of you who like to have a more structured path!
When in doubt, the best place to start is the Units section.
Start with the first unit and move down the list in order. The level selectors at the top of the page let you navigate to each level: A1, A2, B1, B2 (i.e. from beginner to upper intermediate). For now, you can start with A1.
Each unit includes:
- Learning Notes (explanations of grammar topics, including audio examples),
- Interactive Lessons (practice these concepts and "learn by doing" via activities such as multiple choice, fill in the blanks, type what you hear, speaking practice, and more)
- A "Shorty" dialogue recorded by native speakers of European Portuguese to let you put what you've learned into a more realistic context.
You can also explore the full library of Shorties. Beginners can filter by difficulty level to focus on those that are tagged A1 or A2. Don't expect yourself to understand every word right away! Simply click the "Translate" toggle button to reveal the English translation in the transcript. The Shorties are a great way to get exposure to the language and build off of what you learn in the units in a more natural way.
Our Podcast episodes range in difficulty level, but we've released some that are geared toward beginners/intermediates recently. The easier ones include excerpts of Portuguese dialogues, with the grammar and pronunciation explanations in English.
The Videos tend to be at a more advanced level, but you have the benefit of the visual context, so even if you're not picking up everything, it's an entertaining and motivating way to learn! The animated videos and the TAP videos series are a good place for beginners to start.
Do you already know a little Portuguese, but you want to keep learning? We would recommend using the Units to review the basics and then continue on to the grammar concepts you haven't covered yet. Some of our users say that even though they are at a more advanced level, they still learned a lot and clarified some ongoing questions by working through the Units from the beginning.
If the lessons at the beginning seem way too easy, however, it's better to skip forward to a later Unit where you feel more challenged. We unlock all the Units from the beginning, so you don't have to slog through anything you already know by heart. You can use the level selectors at the top of the Units page to switch easily from A1 to A2 to B1 to B2.
Most importantly, at this stage we recommend that you also spend time challenging yourself by putting your listening skills to the test with our Shorties, Podcasts, and Videos, found under the Practice tab in the top menu. These episodes include real, fast-paced dialogues, scripted dialogues, interesting articles, as well as Rui and Joel's pronunciation tips and helpful explanations. You can even filter by difficulty level (A1 - C1). Try A2 to start and increase the difficulty if it's too easy. Here are some quick links:
As a beginner, you can often "get by" just learning a few verb tenses, but you can't avoid those other conjugations forever! Our Units cover many different categories of verbs, but you can also check out the Verbs section to get an overview of the conjugations of hundreds of common verbs and quiz yourself on the different tenses.
As an advanced learner, you will probably get the most out of our Shorties, Podcasts, and Videos, and filtering the difficulty level to B1, B2, or C1. We release more episodes weekly, so it's a good way to get consistent, quality listening practice. We have a number of members who live in Portugal for part of the year and like to use these episodes as a way to maintain their skills when they're away.
If you're already fairly fluent in Portuguese, the Units could be a little too easy. That said, we have a number of more specialized topics, such as Getting Residency in Portugal, Slang, Idioms, Buying a Home, Government and Politics, and more, so you should check to see if there are Units that could help you learn new vocabulary, review the topics that you tend to struggle with, or fill in the.
The level selectors at the top of the page let you navigate to each series of units: A1, A2, B1, B2 (from beginner to upper intermediate).
The Verbs section is useful if there are certain conjugations you struggle with or if you want to practice some irregular verb forms.
Do you have questions? Check out our forum for topics that range from grammar questions to pronunciation tips to guides to Portuguese culture and what it's like to live in Portugal. You can search the existing discussions or post your own questions to get answers from the Practice Portuguese team, as well as your fellow learners.
For more tips and advice on how to get the most out of our site, check out this blog post which includes a worksheet to help you evaluate your progress and add more European Portuguese into your daily habits.
Ready to start learning? Read more about membership here. 🙂🇵🇹