If you are looking for a free (or cheap) and easy way to learn Portuguese I highly recommend Portuguese Duolingo. You can download this app for free onto your smartphone. The basic plan is free to use, but you can upgrade to PLUS if you would like certain benefits such as more lives and less ads.
Portuguese Duolingo lessons
Duolingo teaches you languages in a series of mini lessons on each topic such as food, animals and numbers. You work your way through the Duolingo Tree (series of lessons) until you reach the end of the tree. There are 11 ‘castles’ or sections in the Portuguese Duolingo and the further you get the more challenging the topics become such as spirituality and politics.
Bonus Lessons and Stories
As well as the main lessons, there are also bonus sections such as Idioms and Flirting. There is also a section with Portuguese Duolingo ‘stories’ where you can read short stories on different situations and learn new vocabulary. Examples of Duolingo stories include ‘a date’, ‘at the museum’ and ‘the honeymoon’.
What level will I reach with Portuguese Duolingo
In total, it will take you approximately a year to get through all 11 sections of the full Duolingo tree studying 10-15 minutes a day on the app. This will get you to around A1 or A2 level depending on your confidence and ability at the end of the course.
Portuguese Duolingo – The Verdict
What I love about Duolingo is the competitiveness, because you compete in leagues for Gold, silver or bronze. if you are quite a competitive person (like me!) it can be quite consuming if you have the notifications on! You may want to switch them off so that it doesn’t interrupt you at work!
The free version is great but I feel that is spoilt by ads and your lives (hearts) run out quite quickly. I wanted to learn Portuguese as quickly as possible and personally I was happy to upgrade to Duolingo PLUS – the paid version. You get a couple of weeks free and it’s just $12.99 a month after that. Well worth it I feel.
The only downside is that the app focuses on Brazilian Portuguese which is a slightly different accent to European Portuguese that you will hear in Portugal. You will also find that some words are different such as ‘dog’ which is ‘Cachorro’ in Brazilian Portuguese and ‘cao’ in European Portuguese.
If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Duolingo Diamond League.