Don’t Waste Your Time
Besides living in Brazil and immersing yourself in the culture, it’s going to take a lot of initiative and dedication to learn Portuguese fast.
It’s extremely easy to waste months by studying lackluster language learning material; it pays to know exactly what you need to learn and the best method to meet your desired fluency level.
So, I’ve written a brief post of the three main avenues you should take during your language learning journey. It’s great if you haven’t started yet, you will be astonished how much you will learn in a couple of months.
If you have already spent months learning, but still aren’t feeling like you are getting anywhere, no worries. You can reprogram your study strategy and start fresh.
1. Learn Portuguese Fast With The Green Book
There are a lot of grammar and language books that claim to offer the essential vocabulary, verb conjugations and communication tips that will have you speaking Portuguese like a Brazilian in the shortest amount of time. But in my three in a half years of studying Portuguese off and on, no grammar book is as thorough as the Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar by John Whitlam.
Also known as the “Green Book”, Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar teaches every major language communication skill you would ever need to have an in-depth conversation with a Brazilian.
You can also buy the workbook that goes by the same name to test what you learn, but the guidebook is all you really need to perfect your writing and general knowledge of the grammar.
What I really like about the book is that the second section of it has communication scenarios from how to greet someone to how to express your desires or wishes.
This book is really detailed and I will definitely use it for the rest of my life. And it will definitely help you learn Portuguese fast.
2. Beyond The Green Book
To become fluent, you will eventually have to practice speaking Portuguese and hear the sounds out loud by a native speaker.
There are tons of companies like Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur that are popular among language learners, but I haven’t had any real success with their generic content. The past few years have seen a few smaller, lesser known companies that have produced fantastic language learning content for Brazilian Portuguese.
Your ears have to get in tune to the foreign sounds and tones of Portuguese. To learn Portuguese fast, you have to understand what Brazilians are talking about!
Check out the top 2 video/audio sites I recommend below.
Video Language Learning
- Semantica Portuguese- www.semantica-portuguese.com
- The blog is free and you can check out their YouTube channel for free clips of their videos. But the monthly and yearly subscription fee is extremely affordable for over 100 videos of native Brazilian conversation. Awesome site for the price and I recommend this video course first.
- Brazil Pod- http://www.coerll.utexas.edu/brazilpod/index.php
- This resource is entirely free and it’s quite crazy when you think about it because the amount of quality content you receive should cost you something. But the good people at Brazil Pod have chosen to offer free, excellent material for Brazilian Portuguese students.
3. Speak Like A Brazilian
And finally to get your conversation on point, you have to actually speak the language. I like Italki (www.italki.com) because you can not only hire an affordable native Brazilian teacher to help you converse, you can also find Brazilians for free language exchange. This site is great. Semantica Portuguese also has webcam lessons.
4. OK, So You Might Need One More Book
If you hate memorizing words you will never use, you are like me. To learn Portuguese fast , building relevant vocabulary is a must and you will find a lot of it in the Green Book.
But I have to recommend another awesome book called A Frequency Dictionary of Portuguese by Mark Davies. This dictionary has the top 5,000 most common words in Brazilian Portuguese.
There are also vocabulary boxes every few pages with the most common words in a specific group such as verbs or adjectives.
This book is a must have to strategically memorize the Portuguese words you are going to need to know.
So that’s about it. I could write a book on strategies to learn Brazilian Portuguese (and I think I will, stay tuned), but I think a brief post about the best resources is all you really need to get started on the right foot.
The best way to learn Portuguese fast is to live in Brazil but until you can get down there, doing these three things is your best option. Now get to learning.