I am today fluent in Portuguese and learned it at home using online resources and apps. This is my favorite video ressource from when I was learning.
When you decide to learn a new language you are in for many hours and years of grammar, pronunciation training and daily exercises. The important thing to get progress, is consistency. You will need to practice every day, so it is important to feel drawn to the process and make it a game. Semantica Portuguese is a large collection of video courses. However, the way they structured the video material is what makes it entertaining. They made several series of soap operas or drama series, where they play out entire stories with many episodes. It feels like you are watching a series on Netflix, but at the same time you are learning Portuguese. You learn some Brazilian slang and a lot about the culture of Brazil as well. Culture is an important part of learning a language and you will learn how everyday thing are structured and what problems you can expect to encounter in Brazil. I could not stop myself from getting on the website each day for hours, just watching and having fun.
A ton of free and entertaining videos that tells a story!
I you think this approach could be interesting and entertaining, Semantica Portuguese has a large number of free videos on their Youtube channel. Here you can find a video series with small clips from one their series. This will give you an idea of what it is like to use their tools to learn.
Below is a story about Paul, an American visiting Rio de Janeiro. You can see it for free on this playlist with all 36 lessons including dialogs and instruction part over 75 videos. This is the oldest of the video series, so it is simple and the story and video quality does not live up to the new stories on the website. But it is still free and entertaining.
Below you can find some free video lessons from one of the newer stories (Novela). The are much better in terms of video quality and story. Now it feels like a real Brazilian Telenovela. Here is a playlist with some free video lessons from the Level 2 novela: Eduardo & Monica. Right of the bat there is passion, drama and infidelity. 🙂
Another feature I really like about these drama video series, is that after each lesson there is a lesson breakdown. An American man and a Brazilian woman goes through the dialog and explain what was said. They go into more details about the slang and how to use the grammar. This is very helpful. I sometimes feel like I am watching two TV news anchors doing their ping-pong and it is quite entertaining at times.
Semantica Portuguese have eight long video series at the moment, some of them with up to fifty lessons. So there is a lot of entertainment waiting for you, if you get the taste for trying it out. Here is a list of all the main telenovelas courses and a lot more details about them, if you want to learn more.
There are many other tools on the website as well, including pronunciation training, grammar lessons, flashcards, a test tool and so on. But these are more traditional tools and you can find them in pretty much any complete language learning toolbox.
A lot of free articles and more than 350 free videos to start out with!
Semantica Portuguese also have a large number of free articles, that really goes into details about specific topics using text, audio and video. They are awesome as well and will give you for many hours of training Brazilian Portuguese, without you having to pay anything! I recommend you start with the more than 350 free videos on their Youtube channel, then all of their free articles. You can get all of that for free!
What subscription should I get?
If you get a taste for it the main telenovelas courses are an awesome and entertaining way to learn. I went through them all in a month so I don’t think you will need the 6 or 12 month subscription, if you are willing to put in some hours every day to learn. If I remember correctly, you can also download the videos from Semantica Portuguese and watch the videos whenever you like, even after your subscription is over.