With over 215 million native speakers, Portuguese is the sixth most-spoken language in the world and the second most-spoken romance language. Ten countries have adopted it as an official language including Brazil, Mozambique, Portugal, East Timor and Angola.
Portuguese developed over 2,000 years ago and with an estimated 260 million total speakers (first and second language) worldwide, it is becoming popular for study. If you have considered learning to speak Portuguese, read on for our review of Innovative Languages’ PortuguesePod101 language-learning program.
Verified September, 2020
PortuguesePod101 Review: Introduction
PortuguesePod101 claims to be a fast and fun way to learn to speak Portuguese on your own schedule. It consists of an extensive library of lessons in both video and podcast forms. You will also find interactive learning tools, interesting news, and culturally-relevant information.
When you sign up for PortuguesePod101, you are automatically given a free lifetime account. This account offers the first three lessons in each learning pathway—50 or more altogether. You will also be given a free seven-day trial period of the Premium monthly subscription package, allowing you to try out all of its features.
There is no payment information required to sign up, so it truly is free to try out. A few features you will find on the various subscription plans include:
- Native Portuguese speakers as instructors
- Complete access to hundreds of video and podcast lessons
- Audio dictionary
- Personalized lesson plans
- Detailed lesson notes
- Professional assessments
- Custom word and phrase lists
Pro #1: Affordably Priced
For those who are serious about learning to speak Portuguese, this program is much more affordable than a college course. Additionally, you can often find coupon codes for discounted monthly subscriptions. It is also important to note that the longer you subscribe to PortuguesePod101, the more money you will save on the monthly cost.
Pro #2: Variety of Lessons
PortuguesePod101 offers an extensive lesson library with loads of videos and podcasts. There are multiple learning pathways within this library to teach you how to speak in a variety of situations including emergencies, ordering food, or buying a train ticket. You will also find an assortment of learning tools designed to enhance vocabulary and pronunciation.
Pro #3: Native Speakers Instruct Lessons
We like that Innovative Languages uses native speakers for its language-learning programs. As such, you can experience the proper way to pronounce words along with delving into some cultural and societal norms.
Con #1: Too Much English
Even in the more advanced lessons, we find that English is used quite often and unnecessarily. If it were replaced with more Portuguese, learners would receive deeper instruction. Simple instructions that an intermediate learner could understand in Portuguese are usually in English, and we feel this takes away from overall learning.
Con #2: Accessing Learning Pathways can be Confusing
Though PortuguesePod101 does offer an extensive archive of lessons, they are somewhat tricky to find. There also is no clear guidance to the structured pathway you would find in the classroom.
Con #3: No Accuracy Testing
There is no real way to test for accuracy unless you opt for the most expensive monthly subscription plan. This plan does offer one-on-one instruction, testing and feedback from instructors, but the cheaper plans do not.
Features of PortuguesePod101
The dashboard is where you are taken once you’ve logged in. This is where you can choose your learning pathway, change your experience level or upgrade your monthly plan. You will also find the most recent news from Innovative Languages and new lessons posted regularly.
Though it can be difficult and confusing choosing the right pathway, there is an extensive selection of them. You can find topics like Ordering Food in Portuguese, Requesting a Wi-Fi Password and Portuguese for Travel. You can even choose the guided pathway that is similar in structure to how you would be taught in a classroom.
Videos and Podcasts
Your lesson pathway consists of both videos and podcasts, so you cannot choose one learning method over the other. Both videos and podcasts move slowly and stress pronunciation. Videos will show the words the instructor and you are speaking on-screen so you can follow along.
You will find detailed transcripts of everything you learned following your video or podcast. These will also cover any important cultural information pertaining to the lesson.
You will find a few different learning tools to help assist with pronunciation and learning vocabulary. There are flashcards, voice-recording tools, and word and phrase lists to help you keep track of what you do and do not yet know.
Who Should Buy PortuguesePod101?
Every person learns in their own way and because of this, one language-learning program is not the best for everyone. Those who would most benefit from purchasing PortuguesePod101 include those who:
- excel at independent study
- have friends or family that speak Portuguese
- have time to devote to learning a new language
- plan to pursue fluency or conversational Portuguese
Who Should NOT Buy PortuguesePod101?
Those who may not benefit from purchasing PortuguesePod101 include those who:
- excel in a classroom environment
- require instructor feedback
- lack the time or motivation for learning Portuguese
PortuguesePod101 vs Competition
PortuguesePod101 vs Babbel
Babbel offers an inexpensive way to learn to speak Portuguese with coupons offering as much as 50% off the monthly rate. They give you the first lesson for free and offer 24/7 support, though they aren’t precise about what type of support.
Upon signing up, you are asked a variety of questions including your age and why you want to speak Portuguese. Babbel uses these questions to design a learning course around your native language and favorite interests. Unfortunately, much of the lesson revolves around fill-in-the-blank work which doesn’t allow the student to formulate his own sentences.
PortuguesePod101 vs Pimsleur Portuguese
The Pimsleur Method of language learning involves four key principles including core vocabulary lessons, organic learning, the principle of anticipation and graduated interval recall. They offer a pay-as-you-go plan, which is handy if you need to take a month or two off.
Pimsleur claims to have you speaking conversational Portuguese in as little as 90 days with 30 minutes per day of study.
$4/month $2.80/month (using this link)
- Complete access to lesson library
- Podcasts and video lessons with detailed transcripts
- New lessons weekly
$10/month $7/month (using this link)
The Premium Subscription includes all the Basic Subscription features plus:
- Introductory assessment
- Voice-recording and flashcards
- Common phrase and word lists
- HD video
- Word bank
Premium PLUS Subscription
$23/month $16/month (using this link)
The Premium PLUS Subscription includes all the Basic and Premium Subscription features plus:
- Periodic progress testing
- Learning plans personalized for you
- Access to converse with instructor and one-on-one instruction
PortuguesePod101 Review: Final Thoughts
Though we feel PortuguesePod101 might be a valuable asset for those just starting out, more advanced speakers will probably find it to be more of a supplemental course for something more in-depth. With discounts and coupon codes readily available, the monthly price makes it an attractive add-on for any language-learning program.
Michael has been an avid language learner and traveler for many years. His goal with LanguageTsar is to discover the most fun and effective ways to learn a language. He is currently learning Japanese, French and Indonesian.