What’s the point of this website?

There’s not much online to help people learn Brazilian Portuguese. When I tried to register the domain name brazilianportuguese.blogspot.com I found that somebody else had similar problems getting hold of stuff online!

There are some things out there, but it’s a mixed bag and a lot of it is aimed at beginners. This website aims to meet a need by providing resources, most of them for intermediate level learners or higher, which could supplement more formal ways of learning Brazilian Portuguese as a language. In other words, if you live in Brazil and are trying to learn the language, or you live outside Brazil and are getting lessons from a teacher or through a course but want more practice outside the classroom, or have lived in Brazil and want to keep your Portuguese up, this website is for you.

Who writes the website?

My name is Dave Maclure and I am English and am a Brazilian Portuguese learner. I live in Brazil but I am not formally learning Portuguese from any teacher. I guess I’m trying to pick it up mainly from exposure. I am not yet as fluent as I would like, and I’m not sure I’m really at an Advanced level yet. But, my wife is Brazilian and she keeps me on track! Anything I find useful that has helped supplement my Portuguese I’ll simply add on here. The website will probably be vocabulary heavy and grammar light. I will update it irregularly, but keep checking back for more!

I am also an English teacher and I am approaching Portuguese very much from the position of an English speaker and teacher first trying to understand the similarities and differences between my first language and Portuguese. How might my English help me learn Portuguese, and how might it actually hinder my understanding?

How do I make the most of this site?

If you’re learning Brazilian Portuguese you’ll probably know some words in each of these three categories:

1. Portuguese words you recognise but can’t remember the meaning of.
2. Portuguese words you recognise and can remember the meaning of.
3. Portuguese words you can produce.

Stage 2 is all about receptive skills – listening and reading. Stage 3 is about productive skills – writing and speaking. This website will help generate words in stage 1 and also push words from stage 1 to stage 2, but it’s up to you to work on stage 3 yourself!

The first thing to say is that learning Portuguese only from a coursebook or a 1 or 2 hour lesson a week will make for VERY slow progress. I’ve been there and done that. If you want to move forward in your language learning you MUST supplement formal study with informal exposure to the language – everything counts: TV, magazine and radio adverts, street signs, instructions, subtitles on films etc. I read an article about an English guy who managed to expose himself to 8 hours of Spanish a day mainly through his ipod head phones. As you can imagine, he learned Spanish in no time.

From my experience of English teaching I’ve learned that students of a language need to be given manageable tasks in order to progress. Several websites out there will present you a page of grammar or vocabulary but with little clue as to how to assimilate it or practice it. Most of the activities on this website come with (I hope) manageable tasks that can be completed in a relatively short time. This is the case for all reading activities – questions are given for every article I recommend on here. This should help you interrogate the text more thoroughly and retain new words you read. All the answers will be available on the answers page.

Yes, but where can I get me some more Brazilian Portuguese?

I’ve tried to include just a few websites in the links section that I’ve visited and seem to be fairly “fresh”, accurate and comprehensive. Reading in Portuguese (with a dictionary by your side) will cement grammar, widen your vocabulary and might be very interesting! I suggest making one of the news sources your homepage (BBC Brazil is a good one) and force yourself to skim read one article every time you open your internet browser. Try to read in Portuguese the things you normally would in English – for example, I love football and read all my football reports (including of games in the UK) on the Brazilian website Globo. Equally, film reviews, recipes, news reports etc. could all be read in Portuguese first, then read in English later. Also, browse through some of the interactive kids websites – there’s some good stuff on there that can considerably broaden your Brazilian Portuguese vocab.

OK, so over to you. I hope the pep talk helped! Happy learning.

And, finally…

All that remains to be said is I hope you enjoy what’s on here. Good luck with your Brazilian Portuguese! I am totally open to correction, criticism, constructive comments and so on and I don’t mind you borrowing and taking ideas with you.

Also, I write a blog, in English, of my life in north-east Brazil. You can read it here.


3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ernesto  |  December 4, 2008 at 3:19 am

    eu moro nos EUA e gostaria de saber como adquirir este livro moro em ct-bridgeport , break the branch?

  • 2. Jack Scholes  |  January 11, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    pode comprar o meu livro pela internet – de várias livrarias brasileiras ou da Disal:

    If you have any problems, please let me know. Hope you enjoy the book.


  • 3. Kael Loftus  |  April 22, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Dave, your blog rocks! I found your por vs. para explanation succinct and accurate. Thanks so much! Faz tres semanas que eu tenho estudado em Florianopolis na escola Step 1. Eu gosto de usar a Internet para ajudar meus estudios. Muito obrigado! Como dizem aqui, “Beleza, cara!” –KL


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

%d bloggers like this: