Language learning tools and tips

Here are few tips, tricks and useful sites that I am finding helpful in learning Brazilian Portuguese. I’d be interested in hearing your suggestion too.

1. Self paced learning

a.Don’t if any one saw this article in the Guardian today ( It promotes a scientifically proven way of learning vocabulary efficiently and a website that lets you do the same.

I’ve only started using it but it seems quite good.

b. Smartphone users can get software that does the same thing. On Android I use a flash card program called Wise Cards ( which varies the items it tests you on according to how well you are learning them. The app costs a few pounds but then lets you link to websites that have loads of sets of vocab cards (the Quizlet site seems best Top 1-500 Words Portuguese is good as is Portuguese Irregular Verbs.)

I’ve used this program a lot for learning Dutch and now Portuguese. It is a brilliant tool to let you learn on the go. If anyone wants me to, i can demonstrate it on my phone and show you how to get it working.

2. Language Immersion for Google Chrome.

If you use Google Chrome and want to sprinkle a bit of Portuguese through your regular web browsing  I recommend this extension

Install it, select your chosen second lanuage and your current level of expertise. Then for every site you visit it will use google translate to change some of the words into portuguese. this way you are learning whenever you are reading online. If you don’t know the word you can click on a word or phrase shows you the original English.

Video explanation here.

3. Google translate.

Hopefully everybody has already found this 🙂

4. Subtitles for music and tv

Like Jana said, listening to songs is a great way to learn a language This site is a good place to go.

It has loads of Brazilian music videos, all with a full set of lyrics and most with subtitles.

Meanwhile, if you watch a lot of downloaded tv or fims. Why not add some Brazilan Portuguese subtitles? This site is very handy for finding subtitles for american TV series.

5 Soap Operas.

How about getting hooked on Brazilian soap operas? I’ve started watching the recent hugely popular Avenida Brasil. The country virtually ground ot a halt when the last episode aired in October. I don’t understand much of what is said but it’s so melodramatic that you usually guess what they mean even if you don’t know what they are saying. It’s very entertaining and exposes you to real Brazilian Portuguese.

You can find all 90 episodes online here

About caspar

Caspar is just one monkey among billions. Battering his keyboard without expectations even of peanuts, let alone of aping the Immortal Bard. By day he is an infantologist at Birkbeck Babylab, by night he runs
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