Lingua Critic - Portuguese


Language Reviews














Live Portuguese Radio
Miradouro (Madeira)
Orbital (Lisbon)

Rui Veloso No H Estrelas No Cu


Portuguese is a Romance language that was originated in what is now Galicia and northern Portugal. It is derived from the Latin spoken by the romanized Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula (namely the Gallaeci, the Lusitanians, the Celtici and the Conii) around 2000 years ago. It spread worldwide in the 15th and 16th centuries as Portugal established a colonial and commercial empire (14151999) which spanned from Brazil in the Americas to Goa and other parts of India, Macau in China and Timor (north of Australia). It was used as the exclusive lingua franca on the island of Sri Lanka for almost 350 years. During that time, many creole languages based on Portuguese also appeared around the world, especially in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.

Today it is one of the world's major languages, ranked 6th according to number of native speakers (between 191 and 230 million). It is the language of about half of South America, even though Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas. It is also a major lingua franca in Portugal's former colonial possessions in Africa. It is an official language in nine countries, also being co-official with Cantonese Chinese in the Chinese special administrative region of Macau, Tetum in East Timor and Spanish and French in Equatorial Guinea. There are sizeable communities of Portuguese speakers in various regions of North America, notably in the United States (New Jersey, New England, California and south Florida) and in Ontario, Canada.

Michel Thomas ( by Michel Thomas)  No memorizing, no text books, no drills, no homework!
Portuguese has been produced by popular demand at the Michel Thomas institute. The course is hosted by Virginia Catmur along with native speaker Paulo Santos who ensures correct pronunciation is achieved. It is the same vehicle of teaching in that there are two others who are learning from scratch too. If you find yourself getting annoyed with them, then it means you are making considerable progress! The instructors have done a fantastic job in teaching this difficult nasal language and after the course you will be forming long and complex sentences in Portuguese. This is very impressive indeed! There is now an Advanced course. Please also look at the reviews others have given.

Complete Portuguese( by Manuela Cook) 
The latest edition from the Teach Yourself range. This course is in colour and is essential material for learning the beautiful Portuguese Language. The course also does not differentiate between the European and Brazilian, but shows you how to use the language wherever you are. There is also a great section on the features of the language with comparisons to English and the way its spoken. Each chapter is based upon a theme and associated conversations. The chapters progress at a good pace to ensure that, by the end of the course you have a reasonable fluency in the language. For those who do not have the time to study for too long there are quick introductions and a summary of the key principles involved in the lesson, but we strongly recommend you work through no more than one full chapter a week, so you understand fully before moving on. This course needs to be followed chapter by chapter. Complete Portuguese focuses mainly on conversation and is designed to take you to B2 Level of the Common European Framework for Languages

Portuguese for Dummies (Karen Keller) 
The "Dummies" book series has always provided a useful and light-hearted way to understand subjects often seen as difficult. This is generally done in a humorous and simplistic way to essentially demystify the subject. The Portuguese language is presented in this way and it gives useful techniques and methods for pronunciation and verb conjugation. This is your fun and friendly guide to the Portuguese language and well recommended as a supplement to other courses.

Rosetta Stone (Brazilian)  
Rosetta stone are probably the most well known language software people on the market and for a good reason. They are a good example of getting what you pay for! The whole experience is based on "total immersion". At each stage of learning you listen, read, speak then match up the words and phrases to the pictures or videos. There are no translations! It is quite passive but extremely effective. If you treat it like a game you can learn very fast because  its addictive. It is also structured in such a way as to give a defined progression which is so often lacking in traditional language learning methods. Worth 5 stars but because of the price we gave it 4.
Portuguese in 3 Months ( by Dorling Kindersley) 
This is the new version of the popular Hugo's Portuguese in 3 Months which has now been fully updated. A generally simple technique which comprises of conversations and exercises focused on listening and speaking. It will take longer than three months to master all this course has to offer but it can be comfortably done in around 9 months. This is a great course for learning on the move as the book is small and most of the material is on the CD which can be ripped to any player.

Pimsleur (European Portuguese) ( by Paul Pimsleur) 
Only the first 1-5 lessons of Level 1 are linked here. You should try these as samples to see if it fits your learning style.Pimsleur start you off immediately speaking European Portuguese by listening and responding. These courses are excellent pieces of audio art but they are expensive and you may not be suited to this way of learning. They are all audio courses and teach conversational Portuguese by using them for 30 minutes each day. There is only one level curently for European Portuguese which comprises of 30 half hour length lessons, each building on the previous one. No explanations regarding verb conjugations, but there is an English speaking host who guides, prompts and gives you not much more than word meanings. However it is an extremely effective method and has been used extensively within Govt and educational establishments. You can read about the method here. Download more detailed information on course content here (PDF)

Brazilian Version (3 Levels in total for this version) Click Here

Vocabulearn ( Penton Overseas Inc) 
These are similar to the Learn in Your Car series by Henry Raymond. At first glance these seem like rather ineffective ways of learning as they generally comprise of an English speaker saying a word or phrase which is followed up by a Portuguese lady translating it all to a backdrop of light music. You are essentially learning by rote. As such you play it until you scream! Yes you will learn hundreds of words and phrases but really for beginners this is not a good way because you are not getting an understanding of verb structure of sentence construction. However this is great for testing yourself while commuting or making use of dead time to revise what you know. Vocabulearn is great for clarification of genders which often need reinforcing! There is also a Level 2 if you want more advanced learning/testing
Earworms (Brazilian) (by Marlon Lodge) 
Earworms Portuguese is produced along the same lines with the same type of vocabulary as others in the range. There is an English man conversing with a Portuguese woman and asking her how to say things in Portuguese. All the time there is a rhythmic sound/beat going on to her syllables which is designed to stick in your mind rather like a catchy song. The vocabulary being taught is basic but essential and is a relaxing experience. You don't need to make any real conscious effort as your brain is absorbing it through the beats. Overall a fun and enjoyable experience, reasonably priced and it works! But only for basic survival skills. European Portuguese 1 & 2 if you are after this version of Portuguese
Recommended Study

(c) 2017 - Language Reviews