Note: This Rocket Portuguese Review is up-to-date as of October 23rd, 2021.
Many believe that Portuguese is only spoken in Portugal and Brazil when, in fact, it is the official language of several countries in Africa, such as Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Principe. There is even a country in Asia, Timor-Leste, where Portuguese is one of two official languages. With 270 million Portuguese speakers worldwide, it makes Portuguese the sixth most spoken language in the world, and therefore a good reason for anyone to master it.
If you are considering learning Portuguese, please read our in-depth review of Rocket Portuguese (2021 Edition).
Rocket Portuguese Review: Introduction
Rocket Languages is a popular language-learning website (and app) with lifetime access to the course of your choice, that’s a rare feature not many others give. It currently offers 12 languages for English speakers, one of them being Portuguese.
Like many other apps, it offers you the convenience of learning to speak Portuguese on the go and at your own pace with its collection of audio lessons, both online and offline. One of it’s best features are quality and fully downloadable audio lessons, diverse reinforcement activities, recording tools, search tool and guided learning pathway. It sounds like everything you want from a language learning course. To be accessible and easy to follow.
Before you decide to purchase, you could choose to enroll in a free trial and get 6 hours for free. Even with limited access to the first module (out of seven), it should be enough to decide whether this course meets your standards or not. Then again, if you choose to enroll, you get a second chance (within the first 60 days) to give up, no questions asked. (Or at least that’s what they say )
A few of the accessible features of RocketLanguages include:
- Access on a computer or mobile app
- Downloadable mp3 files
- Three subscription levels including, Level1, Level 1&2, Level 1,2 &3
- Voice-recording tools
- Activities in writing, listening, speaking, and a quiz after each lesson
- Reinforcement learning algorithm
- Culture notes
- Well explained grammar with loads of examples
- Survival kit section (first language help in different daily situations)
- Search tool
Rocket Portuguese : Pros
Pro #1: Interactive audio lessons
Lessons are designed to help you speak right from the start and retrain tongue muscles for the new language. The interactive form allows you to record your voice as one of the characters from the dialogue while voice recognition helps you become aware of your pronunciation, as often we are not.
Pro #2: Variety of activities to reinforce all aspects of your new language
Every lesson comes with a range of testing tools to make sure the material sticks in your memory. Activities are divided into four sections, listening, speaking, reading, and writing, so you have the chance to practice vocabulary and phrases in all possible ways. One interesting feature that left us impressed, was the ability to change the roles you are playing in the dialogue. So, for example, you get the chance to record your lines, once as a customer and once as a salesclerk. We found that this feature stands out especially if you learn in tandem.
Pro #3: Algorithm that measures your language weaknesses and helps you improve
Their clever algorithm follows your success and adapts to focus on areas you are most struggling with. After the lesson, you have a variety of options to reinforce your skills, one of them being flashcards. Here, you’ll be able to rate each word as easy, good, or hard, which later helps you redo only the ones rated as hard to remember. Sounds neat, right?
Pro #4: On-The-Go Learning
You have the option to access your account on a computer or mobile app. You can even download it as mp3 to study when you are offline. This allows you to learn whenever is most convenient for you. The MP3 audio is ideal for listening during commutes. Giving that no videos are included, this makes Rocketlanguage a true on-the-go learning app.
Pro #5: Culture notes
Culture notes in English provide essential pieces of information about Portuguese culture. It helps you as well take a needed break from all that language learning.
Pro #6: Search tool
A search tool allows you to enter a word and find it back with all sentences containing entered word or expression in the search query.
Rocket Portuguese Cons
Con #1: A steep price
If you are a beginner who has a long-term goal of becoming a fluent Portuguese speaker, having lifetime access could be something to consider. However, if you want to purchase the Intermediate level, you are still bound to pay for Beginner’s course, as they are glued together. The same goes for the Advanced level, where you get (Level 1, 2 & 3). We conclude that beginners are in a more favorable position here.
Con #2: Lack of video materials
This is not a con for everyone, but for those who are more visually propelled, this course could look less attractive.
Con #3: No printable lesson transcript
Although mp3 files are fully downloadable, there is no such possibility for lesson transcripts.
Rocket Portuguese Features
Interactive audio lessons
You will find loads of audio material where the instructors speak slowly and give you time to follow along. Each audio lesson is followed by flashcard repetitions, audio repetitions, writing exercises, and a quiz. Speaking and listening are the greatest strengths of this course.
It covers a wide range of topics beginning with the absolute basics and leading up to discussions that are quite advanced in level, covering all the essential topics.
Your dashboard is your home base of the Portuguese program. Upon logging into your account, you will be taken to your dashboard. From here you can do things like access different learning pathways, keep track of your progress, check on your leaderboard position, how many points you have earned, and your position compared to other Portuguese learners. If you are competitive, this feature will drive your learning. Another thing we noticed is that navigating is convenient, and we salute the ability to take notes on almost every page.
Plenty of learning tools is there to supplement your lessons such as interactive flashcards, voice-recording options, writing exercises, audio recognition, and quiz at the very end. We already mentioned how great it is to have a clever algorithm that follows your ups and downs and helps you reinforce your weaknesses.
There are 3 main pathways to get you started speaking Portuguese. The first one contains interactive audio lessons, followed by the learning tools we mentioned. The second pathway consists of Language and Culture notes and covers areas such as grammar, alphabet, and useful information about the culture. And we couldn’t enjoy more the fact the grammar is demonstrated rather than explained in heavy detail. The third pathway is a survival kit section. In the Survival kit, you’ll find quick lessons if you need to brush up on travel or emergency phrases.
Who Would Most Benefit From Using Rocket Portuguese?
If you are committed to your long-term goal of becoming a fluent Portuguese speaker, then you will surely benefit from having a lifetime access feature. We feel that people who would benefit most from Rocketlanguages include those who:
- thrive at independent study
- have a long-term plan to become a fluent Portuguese speaker
- enjoy learning on the go
- like to be guided on their learning journey
Who Would NOT Benefit from Rocket Portuguese?
Some language learners may not reap all the advantages of RocketLanguages and that includes those who:
- are on a tight budget
- require one-on-one help with learning
- lack motivation
- prefer video format
Rocket Portuguese vs. The Competition
PortuguesePod101 vs Rocketlangauges
PortuguesePod101 consists of an extensive library of lessons in both video and podcast forms. You will also find interactive learning tools, news, and culturally relevant information. But, as we all know, sometimes crowded websites could make you feel overwhelmed, and you could find yourself spending more time searching for the right lesson than studying. On the other hand, the Rocketlanguages website is easy to follow and navigate and has well-structured pathways. The other main difference is that instructors in audios on PortuguesePod101 use English frequently and sometimes even unnecessarily, while Rocketlanguage audio files are all in Portuguese, and written translation in English, which saves your valuable time and cuts down unnecessary talk. You can read our full review of PortuguesePod101 here.
Pimsleur vs Rocketlangauges
Both Pimsleur and Rocketlanguages provide audio-based learning, yet they have different approaches. The main difference is that Pimsleur focuses more on constant repetition of isolated words or phrases, with a brief pause so you can repeat, while Rocketlanguages provides you with dialogues set up in the context of a real situation. Although repetition is much needed when learning a language, it is difficult to remember a phrase when it’s completely out of context.
We don’t see Pimsleur as a stand-alone product, yet as an audio supplement to a textbook or other main resources.
How Much Does Rocket Portuguese Cost?
RocketLanguages offer two days free trial, to get a sneak peek at the materials. Once you purchase the desired course, you’ll again have 60 days to make your mind, and they guarantee that if you decide it’s not for you, for any reason whatsoever, you could ask for a full refund. We like that we had a chance to fully test out the course before buying.
As it usually happens, a substantial discount is applied if you purchase all three levels at once.
Level 1- Instant lifetime access $149.95/ $99.95/ (using this link you get a coupon that saves you $50.00)
- Takes you from beginner to intermediate.134 hours of lesson time
- 2666 phrases with voice recognition
- 34 Interactive Audio lessons
- 33 Language & Culture lessons
- 1 BONUS Survival Kit worth $49.95
Levels 1 & 2- Instant lifetime access $299.90/ $249.90 / (using this link you get a coupon that saves you $50.00)
- Takes you from beginner to advanced.
- 244 hours of lesson time
- 5807 phrases with voice recognition
- 66 Interactive Audio lessons
- 56 Language & Culture lessons
- 2 BONUS Survival Kits worth $99.90
Levels 1, 2, & 3 – Instant lifetime access $449.85/ $259.90 / (using this link you get a coupon that saves you $189.95)
- Takes you from beginner to advanced.
- 370 hours of lesson time
- 10004 phrases with voice recognition
- 98 Interactive Audio lessons
- 87 Language & Culture lessons
- 3 BONUS Survival Kits worth $149.85
Rocket Portuguese Review Summary
In the end, we think that Rocket Portuguese is easy to follow learning tool for those just starting out learning to speak Portuguese. Its interactive and downloadable audio lessons are its best feature, alongside reinforcement activities that will surely lead you to steady success. Unlike other platforms, Rocket Languages offers lifetime access instead of monthly or yearly subscriptions. We admit this kind of investments sound a bit frightening, especially if you are not 100% certain in your decision to learn Portuguese. However, for those who are committed, and have a long-term goal to become fluent, having lifetime access is a major advantage.
Nikolija has been an avid language learner for many years. She became a language teacher, and more recently realized she wants to explore how being a creative learner helps you acquire a new language. Her most recent project was developing a textbook for learning French language (B1) through storytelling and creative projects.