Review of: Portuguesepod101
Use: A large collection of individual audio lessons (podcasts) for learning Portuguese, along with some bonus features to aid self-study.
Engaging podcasts help you learn words in context. But you'll have to practice speaking on your own
Free content and monthly plans at $4 to $47 per month
Each podcast is around 15 minutes long.
Ease of Use
Digital immersion without the tedious work
Podcasts are sorted by level of difficulty and subject.
- Over 1,200 podcast lessons
- Free content and affordable price
- Lessons are fun and interesting
- Built in flashcard system
I Don't Like
- No speaking required
- Limited community features
Summary: With prices ranging from $4 to $47 a month Portuguesepod101 is an effective and affordable tool for learning Portuguese.
The site can function as a full blown crash course in Portuguese with lesson tracks and podcasts sorted by difficulty level. However you can also skim through the content and pick and choose any lesson you want.
From absolute novice to intermediate Portuguese speaker, Portuguesepod101 provides excellent value as an effective learning tool. Advanced speakers may not find the site as helpful.
The podcast episodes are best used for practicing your listening and pronunciation skills. They’re also not a bad way of learning new vocabulary and grammar.
The site also offers a mobile app so you can access all their content from your phone.
Portuguesepod101 offers a free account with some content as well as a 7 day trial (no credit card required), so you can use the site’s features before you decide to make a purchase.
Subscription plans starting at $4 per month (Free plan available too)
Is Portuguesepod101 right for you?
If you’re a total novice or have an intermediate experience in Portuguese then Portuguesepod101 could be right for you.
If you’re Portuguese is more proficient and you’re closer to fluency then you want to look elsewhere to practice the language. Most of the podcast episodes cater to beginners and intermediates.
Portuguesepod101 is a podcast based course, so there is a ton of audio. This makes it a great option if you want to develop your Portuguese listening skills. The lessons are also ideal for learning new grammar and vocabulary.
If you want to take your Portuguese learning mobile, the site also provides an app at no extra cost. It’s available for Iphone, Ipad, and Android and gives you access to all of the content on the website.
The audio lessons on Portuguesepod101 are typically in the ballpark of 15 minutes long. Each one is organized around a Portuguese conversation that demonstrates a specific grammar usage, cultural idea, or relevant Portuguese phrase.
The conversations deal with circumstances that you’d likely encounter in a Portuguese speaking country. Whether hangout with some friends at a cafe or walking around town, Portuguesepod101 tries to prepare you to speak Portuguese in real life.
Conversations are natural and interesting
The hosts of Portuguesepod101 will sometimes share personal stories or interesting facts. This helps keeps the lessons flowing smoothly, and it also keeps things interesting. It’s a nice personal touch that other Portuguese audio courses often don’t have.
Tools & Resources
Portuguesepod101 has added some bonus content to their podcast lessons by creating a series of tools and resources you can use when learning Portuguese.
Some, like the Portuguese dictionary, word lists, and grammar sheets, are readily available on other free sites and aren’t that big a deal. That being said, there are three that are worth pointing out: the flashcards, slow playback, and lesson transcriptions.
I’ve spent countless hours making Anki cards in the name of learning a foreign language. Even though I still really like Anki, I have to give Portuguesepod101 props for creating a very easy to use flashcard system of their own.
Their flashcards use a spaced repetition system like Anki or Memrise, but there’s a key difference. To add a word and make a card you only need to click on it from a lesson. This means you can make a large deck fairly quickly.
The slow playback is an effective feature that I wish more Portuguese course would include. In Portuguesepod101 you can select any single word from the dialogues and play them back at reduced or regular speed. This really helps you get more comfortable with the sound of the Portuguese language.
Having a transcripts of each conversation is very useful for reviewing what you learn and hear. It’s always great to see how Portuguese words are spelled and not just how they sound. Many learners also like using transcriptions to create their own study sheets or flashcard too.
You have 3 options for a subscription to Portuguesepod101: The basic, premium, or premium plus levels.
The basic level is my pick for best value. It’s only $4 a month ( for 24 months) or $8 a month for a single month (still not bad). With basic all you pretty much get are the podcast episodes. You get all of them and they’re the bulk of the course so who’s complaining?
The premium level comes next for anywhere between $10 a month (24 months) to $25 per month (1 month) you get the podcast with the added benefit of all of PP101’s tools and resources.
The premium plus level prices in at $22.88 per month (24 months) up to $47 per month ( 1 month). Here you’ll get everything from the other two levels with the bonus of personal instruction and recommendations from a real teacher.
Which subscription is the best?
The basic, assuming you’re okay with not having the tools resources. It’s certainly the most for your money. If you really want lesson transcripts and the other features the premium level is still a good purchase.
It’s really only the premium plus that we’d advise against. For as much you’re paying per month at the premium plus level you could easily subscribe to the basic level and take a lesson or two with a Portuguese tutor on Italki (and you’d probably be better for it).
You don’t need speak Portuguese
Portuguesepod101 is an effective audio course, but audio courses in and of themselves can’t give you everything you need to become fluent in a language. You will have to supplement the podcast with real one on one practice with Portuguese speakers.
No way to connect with others
I’d love to see the site add a way for Portuguese student to connect and even practice together. There’s simply nothing relating to this on the site at all.
Best way to use Portuguesepod101
Study & review
Listen to at least an episode a day and set aside a few minutes to put new words in a flashcard deck and review them. If you do this you can bet you’ll learn more Portuguese. Portuguesepod101 is designed to give you small but useful doses of Portuguese any time you want.
Get the most out of your time
Speaking of time, if you use the mobile you can pretty much practice Portuguese anywhere. This is great for filling up the little gap periods you find throughout the day when you’re on the way to the job, on break, or waiting for line.
Listening & pronunciation
Utilize the audio podcast for all its worth. With the playback feature and lesson transcripts you can but the sounds of Portuguese under a magnifying class and identify what the sounds are and how you can make them yourself.
Alternatives to Portuguesepod101
20+ minutes a day
Rocket Portuguese is built around recorded audio in the form of dialogues. The dialogues have English explanations and usually teach the language in "chunks" or phrases versus individual words (this is great for conversational Portuguese).
The Rocket French method is more structured than Portuguesepod101. Rocket Portuguese is a comprehensive course that does a good job of incorporating speaking and listening, as well as reading and writing.
30 minutes a day
Pimsleur is probably the second most popular language course behind Rosetta Stone. Pimsleur is entirely audio based and is specifically designed to develop your conversational skills.
They use a unique and effective question/recall/respond technique to get you on your feet in Portuguese. With Pimsleur You'll learn a limited but functional vocabulary and have a good sense of pronunciation.
$6+ per hour (varies between teachers)
30 minute or 1 hour lessons
An intro video from one of Italki's Portuguese teachers.
Italki is an online market place that connects language learners with language teachers for one-on-one language classes via video or audio chat.
You can connect with language speakers from around the world and practice your speaking skills. There are 180+ Professional teachers and informal tutors for Portuguese on Italki.
*with a purchase of $10 or more. After your first purchased lesson a credit of $10 will be added to your account
Portuguesepod101 is a useful and novel way to practice and learn Portuguese.
While it shouldn’t be the only thing you use to learn the language it works well as way a fun way to study wherever you go. Its monthly subscription options also make pretty affordable, especially when compared to other language learning tools.
The site also has a free 1 week trial, that you can sign up for without giving out any credit card info. It’s an easy way to use the site’s features and decide if it’s right for you.