What's a Shorty?

You may have your own meaning, but around here, a Shorty is just a short dialogue or article recorded by native European Portuguese speakers. Most are around 1-3 minutes long, so they are a more "bite-size" version of our Podcast episodes. We release new Shorties regularly, so they are a great way to stay consistent with European Portuguese listening practice!
A Shorty shows up at the end of most Units, so they are already worked into your learning path. If you want extra practice, however, there are hundreds more to explore under the Practice tab, along with Podcast episodes and Videos. 

There are a few different types of Shorties:

  • Diálogos - Dialogues. Fictional dialogues between 2 or more people
  • Narrativas - Narratives. Anything fictional that's not a dialogue. These typically include diary entries, emails, a description of someone's daily routine, etc.
  • Artigos - Articles. Non-fiction pieces on a variety of topics such as history, places to visit, and more.
  • Lendas - Legends / folktales. These include retellings of popular myths or traditional stories that are told in Portugal.

Filter by Level and Topic

On the main Shorties page, you can filter by type, estimated level, or topic, to find exactly what you're looking for. These are the difficulty levels:

Tips & Instructions

Basic Instructions

  • Press the play button to hear the audio. The transcript should sync automatically.
  • Click Translate to toggle the English translation on or off
  • Use the Vocabulary and Expressions tab to review and learn key words/phrases
  • Take the Quiz to check your understanding or to practice your reading/listening comprehension. 
  • If you're doing a Shorty that is part of a Unit, complete the Quiz to reveal a link to the next Unit.

Tips for Working Shorties into the Learning Process

Don't be discouraged if you have trouble understanding a Shorty. These are meant to be a challenge! Especially in the beginning, don't be afraid to rely on the Translate button heavily. 

We are showing you realistic language, which is a big step up from learning isolated sentences in the Units. This is important, though, because native speakers don't speak at an A1 level. We want to make sure you're getting some exposure to "real" Portuguese from the very beginning. Learning happens when you get out of your comfort zone, so we expect that at first you will struggle and get a lot of questions wrong. But over time, you can rely less on the translation and more on the foundation you've built from lots of trial and error.

The Quiz

As for the Quiz, it's all in Portuguese, so you may not know all the words. (This is similar to how some of the A2 CIPLE exam questions will be.) You won't have the translation to fall back on here, so the challenge is to figure out the question and the answer, based on what you do know. 

For example, let's say you just listened to a Shorty in which two people introduced themselves, and you see the question "Como se chama o homem?" You may not have any idea what any of those words mean, but you notice words that contain "cham-" in the transcript whenever the speakers are talking about their names. You also see that the choices are Daniel, Carlos, and João. These all sound like men's names, so you can probably guess that the question is about the man's name. Hey, maybe "homem" means man? 🙂

Get Creative!

We encourage you to get creative with your learning here. Of course you can simply listen to the episode, answer the quiz questions and move on, but you might get more out of it if you use these as a tool you can apply to your own goals and daily life. 

For example, let's say you just moved to Portugal and you've been having a lot of trouble communicating when you go shopping or go to a store. You go to the  Shorties page and select the "Shopping", "Customer Service" topics. You choose A1 and A2 for the Level so they aren't too difficult. Click Apply and you have a list of episodes to help you prepare for your next outing!
Once you choose an episode to listen to, there are many ways to learn. Think about what is most helpful to you, given your current level and goals. For example, you could do any (or all!) of the following:
  • Review the vocabulary and expressions and listen for them in the audio. Think about when you might use each expression in real life.
  • Listen to the audio and follow along with the Portuguese text to practice hearing the individual words in fast speech, or to help get used to the "flow" of the language. Slow down the audio to 0.8x or 0.9x if it's still too fast!
  • Listen to the audio and follow along with Translate on. Try to visualize the scene.
  • Read the transcript in English first. Now that you have some context, try it in Portuguese only. Listen multiple times, with and without the translation, trying to understand a bit more each time. 
  • Read the transcript out loud (or repeat it line by line) to practice pronunciation and gain confidence with speaking out loud.
  • After listening, go back through the transcript to study the sections that were most confusing or that included new grammar/vocabulary.
  • Take the Quiz to check your understanding. You can read the transcript or re-play the audio when you get stuck.
  • More advanced learners can summarize the Shorty (or make up your own version) by speaking out loud or writing in Portuguese.
  • When you're driving or cleaning or on-the-go, listen to a Shorty in the background to get exposure to the language.

How Do I Get the Transcript?

The audio-only version is free, but with membership you get access to all these useful features (in addition to the other membership benefits):

  • Portuguese/English synced transcripts
  • Vocabulary List
  • Expressions List
  • Quiz

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