In case you want more flexibility while learning Portuguese or you are short on a budget, it is definitely worthwhile to consider one of available online language learning programs. Online courses not only allow you to choose time when you want to study, but also you can do it at a comfort of your home.
Although Portuguese is not the most popular foreign language to learn, the choice of available online courses is quite big. Bellow you can find the main advantages and disadvantages of programs that offer learners to study this foreign language online.
#1. Recommended Brazilian Course – Rocket.
Rocket Portuguese is a highly rated course for learning this foreign language by most learners. Some of the biggest benefits of this learning program are that it is very dynamic, it teaches all aspects of Brazilian and it is convenient course for learning on the go.
Material in Rocket consists of interactive & fun audio lessons, grammar lessons, different programs & games for practicing your vocabulary and speaking skills as well as culture lessons. The price of Rocket is also very competitive compared to other Portuguese online programs. This is another reason why many beginners at this language choose this course.
- Rocket Brazilian and all the features in this course can be tested for free since it offers 6 days free trial;
- This program teaches Brazilian dialect, which is more widely spoken dialect of Portuguese;
- Rocket courses have very positive feedback from learners. This statement is true no matter which foreign language you intend to learn. For this reason you can be sure that it is quality and effective online program for studying Brazilian too;
- In case one of your main goals is to learn how to speak Brazilian with a good accent, Rocket is definitely a suitable program for you. This is because one of the speakers in audios is native and also there is Rocket Record feature. Not only does it encourage users to speak Portuguese out load, but it also allows to compare their pronunciation;
- Rocket is very dynamic online course and it offers engaging games & programs. For these reasons you are less likely to get bored while studying Portuguese;
- Rocket can help you learn the most essential vocabulary to get around in a foreign country. For this reason it is an ideal course for people who are planning a trip to Brazilian speaking country fast;
- Rocket program is combined from material and features that can help to improve all aspects of Portuguese language. This includes speaking, listening, reading, writing, grammar as well as culture;
- It can be said that Rocket is one of the most convenient courses for learning Brazilian on the move. This is because you can download audio lessons and transfer them to your preferred device. Also all material in this program can be accessed online or via different devices (app);
- This course includes extensive culture lessons. So in case you want to know more about Brazil and culture of people who speaks this language, you will not be disappointed with Rocket;
- This course has a couple of features like Badges, Self-Rating System, Leaderboard that will help to keep track of your progress with Portuguese. Also they can help to increase your motivation to study this foreign language further;
- It is easy to follow everything that is included in Rocket program, since detailed explanations are provided in English. Also audio lessons have transcripts in both English and Portuguese;
- Rocket does a good job at keeping retention rate high while studying Portuguese. This is achieved by repeating material in the same and further lessons. Also different games & programs in this course help to remember vocabulary easier;
- This course offers both e-mail and forum support in case you have any difficulties while studying Portuguese. Provided forum is also quite useful for communicating with other learners and sharing learning tips and experience;
- This program has quite useful feature, which is called Phrase Finder. It allows to search any Portuguese word within this course context. So in addition to finding out the meaning of a particular word, you will be given some examples showing how it is used within context of this course;
- Rocket is one of the cheapest programs for learning Brazilian online ($99.95 for 1-st part). It can be used for lifetime and also all upcoming future updates are free as well;
- Rocket Portuguese is backed up by money back guarantee (60 days). Additionally you would also get Survival Kit completely free. It includes additional material with essential Brazilian vocabulary and phrases. They are also recorded to audios so that you would be able to learn how to pronounce them correctly;
- At the moment there is only one level of Rocket program available for Portuguese language. For this reason it is only suitable course for complete beginners or intermediate learners;
- Rocket program is more focused on teaching learners how to speak this foreign language. Hence learners who want to learn grammar for academic purposes, might need supplementary resources;
- Since this course is mostly online based, you would need an internet connection in order to study via Rocket. It is possible to purchase this program in CD format; however this option is very expensive ($299.95);
#2. Living Language Courses.
Living Language offers its courses in two different formats. These include Standard Course (workbooks, audio CD’s and online exercises) and Online Course (the same content as in workbooks plus e-tutoring, access to online community as well as mobile app). So based on needed features and budget, you can choose one of these formats for learning Portuguese.
Living Language follows 4 step approach for teaching Portuguese and other foreign languages. It introduces new material in small parts, teaches vocabulary that is the most essential for communication, provides studying material in different formats and also provides in depth explanations on grammar and other parts of the new language.
- Living Language can be considered as one in all solution for learning Brazilian. It is because this course provides material for learning Portuguese grammar, speaking, listening, reading and writing;
- This course provides detailed explanations on grammar. So in case one of your main goals is to learn Portuguese grammar properly, it is definitely a great choice course for you;
- Living Language offers two main courses for Brazilian learners – Essential and Complete. The second version can be also purchased as an online course. Hence learners can choose a course from Living Language based on their budget, wanted features and level they need to achieve with this foreign language;
- All of Living Language courses are quite easy to follow. This is because everything is introduced in small parts and also detailed explanations are provided in English;
- Living Language combines written & visual material as well as audios. Due to this it can be a suitable studying course for all types of Brazilian learners – visual, audible and etc.;
- You will be able keep retention rate high while studying from Living Language course. This is because it contains different multimedia and new material is repeated once lessons progress;
- This course introduces essential Portuguese vocabulary from the first lesson. Consequently you will be able to learn how to communicate in this language fast;
- Living Language provides users of this course with some useful information about culture and people who speaks this foreign language. This kind of information can be seen as an advantage by most Portuguese learners;
- In case you prefer to study foreign languages on the go, you can choose online version of Living Language. Even though it is a bit more expensive than Complete edition, all material can be accessed online and it includes some additional features like e-tutoring;
- If you have small budget for learning Portuguese, Living Language can be a great choice for you. This is because Complete edition is priced very cheaply ($49.95), although it includes quite a lot of material to study from;
- Living Language lacks more advanced features for practicing Portuguese speaking skills (like Voice Comparison). With this course you can only improve your pronunciation by repeating audios. So if your main focus is to learn how to speak in this foreign language, other courses might be more suitable for you;
- Due to the fact that the main material in Living Language Complete edition comes in a form of books, this course might be not very suitable for busy Portuguese learners. However learners who prefer to learn on the move, can choose online version of Living Language;
- Even though provided online workouts by Living Language are free, they are also a bit less engaging than compared with some other online courses reviewed in this article;
- Some Portuguese learners might find too much English and too little Portuguese in this course. Although this is a common downside with every program that gives in depth explanations;
#3. Fluenz Software.
In this software users are guided by a video tutor who explains every aspect of Brazilian language. So it can be said that Fluenz teaching approach is based on belief that explanations in English are very important while learning a foreign language. Material & features in this course consists of short dialogues in target language that covers everyday situations, many different workouts to practice all aspects of Portuguese, audio CD’s, phrasebook and etc.
- It is possible to try a free lesson of Fluenz Portuguese at the official website of this course. This way you see how this software works and if it is suitable for you;
- For Portuguese language Fluenz offers even 5 parts. Hence you can advance quite a lot with Brazilian when using this software;
- If you need to improve all areas of Portuguese, Fluenz can be a great choice course for you. This is because it includes material & tools for improving your listening, reading, writing, speaking as well as grammar skills;
- It can be said that this software does a great job at keeping your retention high while studying Portuguese. This is achieved by explaining everything in great detail and providing many different workouts after each session;
- One quite useful feature in this course is the ability to turn on and off subtitles in the dialogues. This can be done for both languages – Portuguese and English. This allows learners to understand every aspect of the conversation;
- The fact that Fluenz provides users with different type of studying material (software, exercises, audios, dialogues and etc.) makes it quite fun and engaging course to follow;
- The other great advantage of this program is that it is very convenient to study Brazilian via Fluenz while you are on the go. You can listen to audio CD’s in your car. Alternatively you can also access material in this course via your mobile phone or other device;
- Almost after each lesson of Fluenz, instructor of this course will provide some information about culture of people who speaks Brazilian. This information is very useful if one day you are planning to visit Portuguese speaking country;
- If you are learning Portuguese for traveling purposes, you will not be disappointed with Fluenz software. This is because this course teaches only the most essential phrases & words from the beginning;
- This language program provides a lot of explanations in English. For this reason it might be quite difficult to immerse into Portuguese language while using this software;
- Even after completing all levels of Fluenz, your Brazilian vocabulary would be still quite limited. This is for a reason that each lesson only introduces a couple of new phrases and words;
- Even though Fluenz is one of the most advanced software’s for learning foreign languages it doesn’t include any social features (only forum). This can be seen as a downside by some Portuguese learners;
- In this software only dialogues are done by native Brazilian speakers. Explanations in video lessons are provided by nonnative speaker. Consequently you will not always hear proper accent;
- The price for all five parts of Fluenz Portuguese is $378 (or less if there is a discount). So it can be said that it is not the cheapest course for learning Brazilian. Nevertheless, considering quality of this software and all material included, it might be still worth paying this price;
#4. Pimsleur Audio Lessons.
When it comes to audio lessons, Pimsleur is probably one of the best known courses in this format. It can be said that the main focus of these lessons is to teach learners how to communicate in Portuguese language. Due to this, learners are introduced only to the most essential Brazilian phrases and words that are needed for communicating. On the other hand, grammar is covered only when it is totally necessary.
If you need more studying material to audio lessons, Pimsleur also offers Premium version of this course for Portuguese language. Although it is a bit more expensive, it contains Quick Match Game, Speak Easy Conversations as well as Flashcards.
The Main Pros:
- In case you want to listen to a sample lesson of Pimsleur Portuguese and see how this course works, you can register at the official Pimsleur website. This way you will get one lesson completely free;
- Pimsleur is one of a few courses that teaches learners both dialects of Portuguese – Brazilian (São Paolo Metropolitan accent) and European; however there are fewer lessons available for European dialect;
- There are even up to 5 parts of Pimsleur available for Brazilian. Hence it is suitable audio course for different level learners;
- From the first lesson of Pimsleur, you will be introduced to the most essential Portuguese phrases & words. Consequently you will learn how to communicate in this foreign language fast;
- In each lesson of this course you will be prompted to say different sentences in Brazilian. This in turn will make you to think in your target language from the start. Also this will encourage to speak out load from the beginning and increase your retention rate;
- Users of this course can learn good Brazilian accent and proper pronunciation from Pimsleur. This is achieved by audios that are recorded by native speaker;
- Since almost all material in Pimsleur is audio based, this course is suitable for Brazilian learners who want to learn this language on the go. Each lesson is only about 30 minutes long, so even busy learners can find this much time every day;
- Pimsleur audios are not too difficult to follow since words & sentences are repeated a couple of times. Furthermore new studying material is reinforced in further lessons;
- Premium version of this course is available for Portuguese language. It might be preferred by learners who want additional features to audio lessons (like game and flashcards);
The Main Cons:
- This course might be not very suitable for learners who want to learn Portuguese grammar. This is mainly because Pimsleur is audio based course and its main focus is to teach users how to speak Brazilian;
- These audios might become a bit monotonic to listen to. This is because they are based a lot on repetition and also each lesson follows almost the same format;
- You can learn very limited new Portuguese vocabulary from Pimsleur. This is because each lesson introduces only a couple of new phrases & words;
- It can be said that Pimsleur Brazilian is quite expensive course for learning this foreign language. You would need to spend $575 for all 5 levels of Unlimited version. Although it is possible to buy lessons separately or choose standard edition (slightly cheaper);
#5. Michel Thomas Audio Lessons.
Since Michel Thomas offers mostly audio based material, this course is more suitable for audible learners. One quite unique feature of Michel Thomas course is that it is based on classroom situation. So you will hear two beginner Portuguese students in these lessons. Also these audios are interactive, which means that you will be constantly asked to say different phrases in Portuguese.
The Main Benefits:
- If you want to see how Michel Thomas method works, you can listen to a sample lesson for free in the official website of this course;
- The instructor of these audios quite commonly encourages listeners to say different words and phrases in Portuguese. So by listening to Michel Thomas course you will start speaking this foreign language from the first lesson. Consequently this will also increase your retention rate greatly;
- Since there are two Portuguese beginner learners present in these recordings, listening to these audios is not monotonic. Also you can also learn from mistakes of these students;
- This course is very convenient for studying Portuguese on the go. This is because most of the material comes in a form of audios and you can download a free mobile app;
- At the moment there are two main levels available for this Portuguese (Total and Perfect). Hence you can advance quite a lot with this language by completing both of these levels;
- The instructor of these lessons teaches a lot of Portuguese vocabulary by using associations in English language. As a result you will be able to learn new words faster and most importantly you will remember them easier;
- More difficult to pronounce Portuguese words are quite commonly repeated a couple of times in these lessons. For this reason you will be able to learn how to say them correctly;
- Instructor of these lessons explains logically how to construct sentences in this foreign language from separate words;
- Michel Thomas lessons can be suitable for travelers since they teach essential vocabulary and phrases. They will come in handy while visiting Portuguese speaking country and getting around there;
- These audios are not too difficult to follow, because instructor introduces new material in small steps. Also each lesson builds on each other and more difficult parts are explained in more detail;
- From the first lesson of this course, you will be asked to stay relaxed while listening to this course. So it can be said that Michel Thomas method tries to promote stress free environment for learners who want to learn Portuguese;
The Main Drawbacks:
- When it comes to price it can be said that Michel Thomas Portuguese audios are quite expensive (~$275 for two parts). Nevertheless it might be still worth paying this price if you want quality and proven to work course;
- Due to beginner students present in these recordings, you will not always hear proper pronunciation of Portuguese words. Also these students can slow down the whole course for faster learners too;
- A computer program with exercises was recently added to this course. Although it can be said that workouts in this program are not very engaging;
- Instructor of these lessons does a great job at explaining key points of this language, sentence structure and etc. Nevertheless you would need additional material if you need to learn Portuguese grammar properly;
- Quite a lot of explanations in these audios are done in English. For this reason it is difficult to immerse into Portuguese language fully while listening to Michel Thomas course;
#6. Rosetta Stone.
If you are not new to foreign language learning, you must have already heard about Rosetta Stone brand. This language learning program follows complete immersion teaching approach. It means that there is no English explanations in this online course. Learners are able to learn new Brazilian vocabulary by associating them with pictures that are being showed.
As Rosetta Stone is based completely online, it has a lot of benefits for busy learners. It gives users possibility to study whenever they want and via different devices as well.
The Main Advantages:
- Depending on learning needs and your budget, you can choose different length subscription for Rosetta Stone Portuguese;
- At the moment there are 3 levels of Rosetta Stone available for Brazilian. While for other languages there are even 5 levels, it is still a lot of material to learn from;
- One strong side of Rosetta Stone course is that it includes a couple of different social features. These include e-tutoring and ability to play games with other Brazilian learners;
- This program includes workouts to practice all areas of a new language. So with Rosetta Stone you can improve your Brazilian reading, speaking, writing, listening as well as grammar skills;
- TruAccent feature, which is included in this program, is very useful since you can instantly get feedback about your pronunciation. Also it encourages you to speak Portuguese from the beginning;
- It can be said that Rosetta Stone is probably one of the most engaging programs for learning Brazilian. This is due to engaging learning games and interactive workouts;
- If one of your main goals is to expand Portuguese vocabulary, it is definitely worthwhile to consider this program. This is because in each lesson of Rosetta Stone you can learn quite a lot of new words & phrases;
- You can learn how to pronounce Brazilian words correctly while studying via Rosetta Stone. This is for a reason that recordings are made by native speakers;
- Rosetta Stone is quite convenient program for learning Brazilian on the go. This is because it includes app for studying via different devices;
The Main Disadvantages:
- Rosetta Stone is not very suitable course for learning Portuguese grammar. For this purpose you will need supplementary material that gives more explanations;
- At times it is difficult to tell what particular Brazilian phrase or word a picture in this software is trying to portray. So at times you need to have a dictionary somewhere around;
- In case you need to learn how to get around in a foreign country fast, Rosetta Stone is not the best choice course. It teaches quite random vocabulary, so it would take you a while to learn essential phrases;
- Rosetta Stone might seem as a reasonably priced program (179 USD for yearly subscription). Nevertheless it can become quite expensive when learning Brazilian in a long term (multiple years);
- This program lacks Brazilian culture lessons and the software doesn’t have any differences for separate languages;