Our school was founded in September 2014 with the aim of providing Portuguese courses in Lisbon to foreigners. Come and learn Portuguese in Lisbon at our language school located in Santos, near Cais do Sodré (7 minutes walk from Cais do Sodré Metro Station).
If you want to learn Portuguese in Lisbon we offer a wide range of student-tailored courses with A MAXIMUM OF 4 STUDENTS PER CLASS.
NO enrolment fees. We teach in Lisbon and Sintra.
In the majority of language schools, students speak and listen only 25% of the lesson. The remaining 75% is spent copying what the teacher explains or writes. However, at Lisbon Language Café we use a teaching methodology that allows students to hear and speak throughout the entire lesson. This is a very effective way to improve the learning-teaching process. Students start speaking Portuguese from the first day (level A1.2 and above).
Click HERE to check your Portuguese level
Our school is located in Santos, near Cais do Sodré, in the heart of downtown Lisbon. Santos is close to the river and easy to reach from all parts of the city. It is a neighborhood filled with life! A very well-connected underground and train station can be reached by foot in 7 minutes.
Our school is close to most of the main tourist attractions in Lisbon.
LEVEL A1 – YOU HAVE 3 OPTIONS
INTENSIVE COURSES – LEVEL A1 (2 week course)
Our courses include FREE ACCESS to our PODCASTS, LEARNING STUDIO and BOOKS!
do you want to try them? it’s free!!
Click HERE to check our facilities!
1 WEEK INTENSIVE COURSE IN LISBON – LEVEL A1
BIG QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR PORTUGUESE
PORTUGUESE EVENING/EXTENSIVE COURSE – LEVEL A1
Our courses include FREE ACCESS to our PODCASTS, LEARNING STUDIO AND BOOKS!
do you want to try them? it’s free!!
PRIVATE LESSONS (online or In-person)
LEVEL A1 : Programme of studies
UNIT 1 – Simple present – Regular verbs ending in -Ar -Use of the verb TO BE in the present tense -Definite and indefinite articles – Alphabet – Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers – Question words – Prepositions + articles
UNIT 2 – Rules of agreement of the adjective in gender and number with the noun – Placing the adjective in the sentence – Regular verbs, -Er and -Ir
UNIT 3 – Rules of plural formation in nouns and adjectives – Use of reflexive pronoun conjugation (reflexive verbs) – Placement of reflexive pronouns in the sentence – Word category (names, verbs and adjectives)
UNIT 4 – Irregular verbs in the present tense -Days of the week, months and seasons – Movement prepositions – FUTURE tense (with adverbials of future tense) TO GO + infinitive – Future of the Worksheet Indicative – Determinants and possessive pronouns – Placing possessive determinants and pronouns in the sentence
UNIT 5 – Adjectives, degrees – Family relationships – Use of the simple perfect past tense – Regular verbs – Graphic changes
UNIT 6 – Variable demonstrative determinants and pronouns – Placement of variable determinants and demonstrative pronouns in the sentence -Verb Haver – Time expressions
UNIT 7 – Adverbials of place -Formulas for description of physical state – Simple past
SURVIVAL KIT PORTUGUESE WORDS
Check our Course Certificate (2021)
CHECK OUR E-LEARNING PLATFORMS (FREE)!
Check this example! ANIMALS in Portuguese! Expand your vocabulary now!
A1 (38 lists) – Click HERE to have full access!
Click HERE to check what the press has said about us!
TRY OUR PODCASTS (level A1)!
On the internet, you can find a few European Portuguese podcasts and videos! Some websites LOOK FANCY and THEY ARE well-presented! Some websites put great effort into not being boring and really try hard to create fun content! Yet, they have a (big) problem! Their podcasts aren’t made by Portuguese teachers…
And that’s the reason why you can’t understand them and improve your listening skills! They mix all kinds of grammar structures into the same podcast!
Our podcasts are made by experienced Portuguese teachers. Vocabulary and grammar are in accordance with student’s level (we have podcasts for Level A1.1, A1.2, A2.1, A2.2, B1.1, and B1.2.
YOUR TIME TO STUDY PORTUGUESE IS LIMITED! Use it wisely! If you are an A1-level student, you have to do A1 level podcasts! If you are an A2 student, do podcasts for level A2 and so on. If you spend your time doing activities (podcast or videos) that are not for your level (and grammatically messy), then you are ultimately WASTING YOUR TIME AND YOUR MONEY!
LEVEL A2 – YOU HAVE 3 OPTIONS
PORTUGUESE PROGRESSIVE COURSE – Level A2
PROGRESSIVE COURSE (AFTERNOONS)
Our classes are based on conversation and complemented by a growing knowledge of grammar. If you live in Lisbon and if you want to learn Portuguese gradually this option is perfect for you. This solution allows you to learn gradually and consolidate your learning as you go. Our classes are based on conversation and complemented by a growing knowledge of grammar.
EXTENSIVE COURSE (EVENINGS)
Our courses include FREE ACCESS to our PODCASTS, LEARNING STUDIO AND BOOKS!
do you want to try them? it’s free!!
PRIVATE LESSONS (Online or In-person)
LISBON LANGUAGE CAFE VIDEO
Click HERE to check our facilities!
CHECK OUR E-LEARNING PLATFORMS!
Check this example! PAST PARTICIPLES in Portuguese! Consolidate your grammar now!
A2 (36 lists) – Click HERE to have full access!
TRY OUR PODCASTS (LEVEL A2)!
Which podcasts should you choose, is always the question, no?! Click below to hear check our opinion!
PORTUGUESE COURSES LISBON
LEVEL A2 – Programme of studies
Unit 1 – Verbs with vowel alternation, Oblique Personal Pronouns (tonics)
Unit 2 – Imperative, Use of the analytical and synthetic absolute superlative »Use of the relative superlative of superiority and inferiority »Rules for the use of time prepositions
Unit 3 – Past imperfect
Unit 4 – Conditional, direct and indirect complement pronouns
Unit 5 – Verb “Haver de + Infinitive “, Indefinite Pronouns, Personal infinitive, Impersonal Infinitive, Word formation (prefixing rules)
Unit 6 – Passive particle “SE”, Past participles
LEVEL B1 – YOU HAVE 3 OPTIONS
INTENSIVE COURSE – LEVEL B1
PRIVATE LESSONS (Online and In-person)
Progressive Course – Level B1
If you live in Lisbon and if you want to learn Portuguese gradually this option is perfect for you. This solution allows you to learn gradually and consolidate your learning as you go. Our classes are based on conversation and complemented by a growing knowledge of grammar.
CHECK OUR E-LEARNING PLATFORMS!
Check this example! SUBJUNCTIVE in Portuguese! Consolidate your grammar now!
B1 (39 lists) – Click HERE to have full access!
PROGRAMME OF STUDIES
UNIT 1: A. Simple past-perfect past tense (pmqps) B. Past tense more than perfect Composite of the indicative (pmqpc) C. Passive voice [action (verb to be) and state (verb to be)]
UNIT 2: A. Present perfect compound (PPC) B. Placement of Pronouns in compound tenses
UNIT 3: A. Indicative and subjunctive B. Formation of the Present in the subjunctive (Expression of the concession)
UNIT 4: A. Subjunctive Present (time expression and Condition expression) B. Prepositions
UNIT 5: A. Subjunctive Present (concessive alternation and hypothetical eventuality) B. Portuguese Proverbs
UNIT 6: A. Indicative mode vs Subjunctive mode B. Personal infinitive or subjunctive C. Verbs with prepositions
UNIT 7: A. Future of subjunctive B. Direct speech / Indirect speech
UNIT 8: A. Imperfect subjunctive Present vs Imperfect subjunctive
Terms and conditions (intensive and extensive courses): A course is always guaranteed even if it doesn’t have a minimum number of students, however, the number of hours may be reduced. In the event that an intensive course runs with lesson than 2 students, Lisbon Language Café offers 2 daily hours (120 minutes) instead of three. The price will always remain the same.
Cancellation Policy (Intensive / Extensive / Progressive course): More than 30 days in advance – 60% refund | Less than: 25 days – 30% refund | 5 days or during the course – no refund
LEVEL B2 – 1 OPTION
COMPARING the COST of Portuguese Language Schools in Lisbon 
INTENSIVE COURSES (2 weeks)
Lisbon Language café: 300€ for 30 hours (2 weeks). 2 to 5 students. Price per hour: 10€
Lisbon Language Café: Google reviews: 61 ** Classification: 4.8/5 ** Experience: 5 years
Portuguese connection: 500€ for 40 hours (2 weeks). 3 to 8 students. Price per hour: 12,5€
Portuguese connection: Google reviews: 67 ** Classification: 4.9/5 ** Experience: 6 years
Portuguesetcetera: 370€ for 30 hours (2 weeks). 3 to 8 students. Price per hour: 12,3€
Portuguesetcetera: Google Reviews: 28 ** Classification: 4.8/5 ** Experience: 8 years
Lusaschool: 560€ for 40 hours (2 weeks). 3 to 9 students. Price per hour: 14€
Lusaschool: Google Reviews: 60 *** Classification: 4.8/5 *** Experience: 2 years
Top tips for 2021 – Portuguese courses Lisbon
Are you planning to move to a region or a country that speaks Portuguese? If that’s your case you probably need to learn this beautiful language!
Touristic areas (in Lisbon) tend to have a very high number of English speakers. But, the reality in Portuguese towns and villages is very different. Here, you have to be able to speak Portuguese, otherwise, people will not understand you.
To learn Portuguese you have to… Start learning! Don’t forget that you will need several months of practice to grasp the language to an effective level.
CHECK OUR ADVICE!
You can’t expect perfection!
When learning a new idiom you will not reach perfection until you’ve been speaking that same language for three, four or more years!
You will do thousands of mistakes along the way but there is no other road to reach fluency!
Practice little but often! (as often as possible)!
You will probably start your learning process by spending several hours per week studying the language. But, that strategy is usually ineffective. You will not be able to retain that information over the long term.
Try to spend 30 to 45 minutes per day studying Portuguese. This routine will reinforce the language more strongly in your memory.
Customize your pacing
The secret to learning a new idiom is to go at the pace that best suits your needs! Taking a class with other students can have an adverse effect on learners. They might feel that the remaining students are too slow or too fast. As a result, we believe that private lessons are the perfect solution (especially from level A2 on)!
Find a partner
We already said that you should learn a new language at your own pace. But we also believe that it can be effective to have a learning partner! If you have decided to learn Portuguese with software, you might learn the principles of the language. But that methodology won’t prepare you for a fluent conversation. That requires solid knowledge and understanding of the language. Try to practice your Portuguese with your partner. If you do it often you will be surprised by your progress.·
If you are an intermediate student of Portuguese (B1 or B2), you must listen to other people speaking Portuguese! It is critical! This can be as simple as turning your TV (or radio) to a Portuguese channel (try with subtitles in Portuguese as well). The words (language) that are used in TV / Radio programs are what Portuguese people use on a daily basis.
Write in Portuguese
Writing in Portuguese is a great activity for your learning. This will give you the chance to consolidate many words and structures. Try to use different tenses while writing in Portuguese (present, simples past, future, imperative and other verb tenses).
Ask your teacher to correct your texts. Analyze them and revise the information. Once again, don’t expect perfection. Be patient and tolerant with yourself!
Read in Portuguese
If you are an A1, A2 or B1 student don’t try to read a Portuguese novel! Spend your time reading texts for your current level of competences. If your level is already B2 (or C1) you are ready to read almost everything in Portuguese (newspapers, magazines, books). Keep yourself in contact with the language! That’s the key tip that we can offer you!
If you follow this advice, we are sure that you will build a strong foundation for the Portuguese language. Don’t forget that if you decide to start your learning process with a Portuguese software that will help you with many of the basic communication. But, if you want to move forward with your competences, you should do a Portuguese course in Lisbon!
Brazilian and European Portuguese
Across the world, there are 260 million people who speak Portuguese. It is spoken in Europe (Portugal), Asia (Macau), South America (Brazil) and Africa (Angola, Mozambique, …). There are also Portuguese speakers in countries such as Timor, Goa (India) and Malaysia.
The Portuguese language (also known as “Camões” language) is spoken in different countries around the world in very similar ways. However, for those that are native speakers of this language, the awareness of national differences is something very apparent and important.
Consequently, we cannot be surprised by the fact that there are significant differences in grammar rules, accents, and vocabulary across the globe. In the following, we will now try to explain the main differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese.
To try to get a better idea think of how American English and British English differ; they can understand one another but they notice that the grammar structures are not exactly the same.
Check the examples that we prepared for you:
“Tu” vs. “Você”.
These two personal pronouns mean “you” in Portuguese. However, “tu” is informal and “você” is the formal version. But in Brazil, no one uses “tu”. They only use “você”. In Portugal, we use “tu” almost all the time with friends and family. On the other hand, “você” is used in formal and professional contexts.
“Olá Pedro, tu és muito simpático”. – European Portuguese
“Bom dia Pedro, você é muito simpático”. – Brazilian Portuguese
Check the conjugation of the verb, it changes from the 2nd to the 3rd person singular.
Reflexive verbs (reflexive pronouns placement)
Portuguese people use reflexive pronouns after the verb. Yet, in Brazil, they
place it before the verb.
1. “Eu lavo-me de manhã” – European Portuguese
2. “Eu me lavo de manhã” – Brazilian Portuguese
However, in negative forms, the rule is exactly the same in both languages, it always comes before the verb.
Present Continuous in Portuguese
To talk about something that is happening now, the structures are different.
In Portugal, we use “estar a + infinitive”. In Brazil, they use gerund after the verb estar.
1. Eu estou a ler – European portuguese
2. Eu estou lendo – Brazilian portugues
There are a few words that are spelled differently between the two languages. For instance, the word “receção” in European Portuguese means “reception”. But in Brazilian Portuguese, they add the consonant “P” to the word (recepção).
Brazilian people are well known for their creativity; one example of this is the way they like to transform nouns into verbs.
To congratulate someone in Lisbon you should say “dar os parabéns”. On the contrary in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilians change the expression into one word, that being the verb “Parabenizar”.
Assimilation of Foreign Words
Brazilian Portuguese very often assimilates foreign words transforming them using a phonetic twist. The word “Media” in Brazilian Portuguese is “mídia”. Brazilian Portuguese ignores the roots of the words and takes on an American-English influence. European Portuguese is more resistant to this kind of assimilation. There are many examples of different vocabulary for the same ideas and objects and this creates a few problems when communicating. But, never forget that amongst themselves they can understand each other perfectly (just like in American English and British English).
1. Comboio trem (English: train) 2. Gelado sorvet (English: ice cream) 3. Sumo suco (English: juice)
How long will it take my Portuguese learning process?
The answer is… It depends on many different factors and scenarios.
1 – Students who speak Spanish and/or Italian
If you have a strong background in Spanish or Italian, it will be quite easy for you to understand what Portuguese people say.
But it will be very hard for these students to lose the Spanish/Italian accent that will affect their Portuguese accent. After 6-9 months of hard work, many students can finish level B1 in Portuguese.
2 – Students who speak more than one language (none of them is Spanish or Italian)
For those students, learning Portuguese in Lisbon is usually a quite simple process. Learning a third language is always easier than learning a second language. Those students are already comfortable with many concepts, such as verbs, regular verbs, irregular verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and prepositions.
After 9-12 months, as a result of their effort, many students can already solve 90% of their problems in Portuguese (1 on 1 conversation) – B1/B2 students. In a group situation, with noise and with Portuguese native speakers speaking very quickly, these students will still face problems.
3 – students who speak only their mother tongue (and that language isn’t Spanish or Italian)
For this final group, we have many different examples. We have several students that after 1 year are finishing level B1. But we also have other Portuguese students who struggle to maintain a simple conversation after 12 months (which means that they are still A2 students).
Concluding, it really depends on your background and also depends on the following decisions:
- The number of hours per week that you will spend learning Portuguese.
- Materials that you will use
- The teacher that you are going to choose
- How much you will enjoy your Portuguese lessons and how keen you are to start speaking the language
- Your personality. Extrovert people tend to learn Portuguese faster because they are not afraid of mistakes.
Should I use E-learning platforms?
Nowadays, with all the technology available around us, it makes total sense to use these resources to benefit your learning. Computers, mobile phones, and tablets are great tools that give you the opportunity to access many different activities. You can study Portuguese anywhere or at any time of the day or night. Consequently, the answer is definitely YES. These tools will offer you many different advantages such as:
1. You can study Portuguese everywhere and anytime. You just have to have a smartphone.
2. You will learn new words and you will expand your vocabulary very quickly.
3. It will consolidate your Portuguese grammar because you will have many opportunities and many activities to review over and over again the concepts that you have been learning on your Portuguese lessons.
4. Nowadays, there are loads of platforms that will teach you many words and many rules in Portuguese.
5. The Lisbon Language cafe has another website that is used to share grammar activities with all students of the Portuguese language. Its address is: www.europeanportuguesecourseslisbon.com
Our E-learning platforms have the following materials (100% free of charge):
– A1 Podcasts: A good tool for A1.2 level Portuguese learners. Students who are starting their teaching process should focus their attention and energy on consolidating A1.1 basic grammar
– A2 Podcasts: A good solution to improve and consolidate A2 level listening skills. These podcasts are also an opportunity to review the grammar of this level of learning (through careful reading of podcasts).
– Videos B1 / B2: Videos are perfect for intermediate students. If this is your level you should search for videos that have subtitles and texts available. All videos have associated activities and complex grammatical structures (subjunctive: present, future, imperfect among other verb tenses more simple).
– Games, flashcards, listening activities, written expression and much more.
Our platforms are organized into lists that are divided into three levels: A1, A2, and B1. Levels A1 and A2 are for the beginner level and level B1 is for intermediate students!
Summing up, if you’re learning Portuguese in Lisbon you should use as many resources as possible. However, you should never forget that these E-learning platforms will never play the role of a simple conversation with a native speaker. Speaking is always the best (and the only) activity that will make you consolidate your Portuguese!
Should I watch Portuguese TV to improve my Portuguese? – Portuguese courses Lisbon
The answer once again is Yes and No.
YES! If you are an advanced student. These students (B2 – C1) already have a very relevant amount of information about the Portuguese language. They can already understand native speakers if they’re having a one on one conversation. However, in a group situation, they still struggle to maintain a fluent discussion. This group of Portuguese students should spend their time watching Portuguese TV in order to improve their listening skills. Watching TV (or listening radio) in a different language is very challenging but it is the kind of activity that should be used only by advanced students.
NO! If you are an A1 or an A2 student of Portuguese. You will be wasting your time with Portuguese TV. And because your time is limited, you should use it wisely. If you are an A1 student, you should spend your time consolidation A1 structures and A1 vocabulary in Portuguese. The same logic applies to A2 students, As stated before, watching Portuguese TV is a B2 or C1 activity. This means that an A1 or A2 student, can’t learn Portuguese or consolidate anything with a B2 or C1 activity. Keep yourself studying materials that are in accordance with your current level of Portuguese. Don’t waste your time with activities that are too hard for you.
How to learn the Portuguese sounds?
The first tip; don’t spend all your energy on this topic. If you’re learning Portuguese, you will shortly understand that there is other grammar content that is much more important for your learning process in Portuguese.
On the first day of your Portuguese course in Lisbon, you will notice that many students will try to learn and understand all the sounds that a native Portuguese speaker can produce. It is not a wise strategy to learn Portuguese. Go with the flow because we are pretty sure that your Portuguese teacher will teach many different sounds and rules over time.
Learning Portuguese step by step
Don’t try to learn all the sounds on the first day of your Portuguese course! Even if you try, believe us, you will not succeed. So, make sure that you keep yourself focused on the keys points of the language. Those key points will give you the opportunity to start communicating shortly.
The only effective strategy to become an expert on Portuguese sounds is… daily communication in Portuguese! You will have to use your Portuguese every day for a long period of time (2, 3, 4 years or more). Then, your accent will get better and better and you will finally produce the Portuguese sounds correctly.
Moving to Lisbon? Check our best tips.
Start learning Portuguese (vocabulary)
Start learning Portuguese a few weeks before your arrival. Use an E-learning platform to do it. Once you arrive here, do an intensive course of Portuguese (30 hours) because this will make you feel more comfortable with the language.
Avoid the center of the city center (it is too expensive and too busy). Choose an area with a good public transportation connection to the center of Lisbon. Metro, train or boat are good options. Buses and trams aren’t very reliable in Lisbon. We suggest the following areas: Parede, Algés, Carcavelos, Cacilhas, Barreiro (much cheaper).
Jobs in Lisbon
Try to find a job (or at least a few job interviews before your arrival in Lisbon). Finding a good job in Lisbon can be challenging. You can also start a new business which will probably be a much better choice than job hunting.
Meet Portuguese people
Try to meet Portuguese people because they will be super important to improve your Portuguese language. They will also give you the best tips about your future choices in Lisbon and in Portugal.
Portuguese grammar, Key points! – Portuguese courses Lisbon
If you’re learning Portuguese in Lisbon or if you’re planning to do this, you have to read this article.
You can not memorize all the information that you will learn on your A1 course. As a result, you have to make a selection of what is more important for you.
Present tense (in Portuguese). There are regular and irregular verbs. You have to be able to conjugate, by heart and as soon as possible, the three categories of regular verbs (AR, ER, and IR). The list of irregular verbs in very long in the present tense in Portuguese. To begin, you only have to be comfortable with 4 irregular verbs. But can you guess which are the BIG 4 irregular verbs in Portuguese?
Key verbs in portuguese – SER, ESTAR, TER, and IR.
If you can conjugate these verbs well (regular and the 4 irregular verbs), we can guarantee you that you will be able to start communicating in Portuguese.
Expand your vocabulary, use flashcards and use our E-learning platforms (QUIZLET). Keep yourself in contact with the language, play games and solve activities but make sure you have some fun while you do it.
Numbers in Portuguese
To do some shopping in Lisbon or to solve simple and daily activities, you have to be able to use the Portuguese numbers fluently. Spend some time on this topic. Some Portuguese numbers can be challenging (especially number between 11 and 19).
11 – Onze
12 – Doze
13 – Treze
14 – Catorze
15 – Quinze
16 – Dezasseis
17 – Dezassete
18 – Dezoito
19 – Dezanove
Daily verbs in Portuguese
To start communicating in Portuguese, you have to know all the daily verbs in Portuguese. Most of them are regular, which means that the conjugation is quite simple and you can use our platform to help you: www.europeanportuguesecourseslisbon.com
Asking questions in Portuguese is a critical part of a normal conversation, as a result, you have to know well the following interrogative pronouns:
- Qual (what for closed questions). Example: “Qual é a tua nacionalidade?”
- O que (what for open questions) Example: “O que é o universo?”
- Que (which)
- Onde (where)
- Quem (who)
- Quando (when)
- Como (how)
Top 3 Lisbon’ Miradouros – Portuguese courses Lisbon
As you probably know, Lisbon is known as the seven hills city. Even if you don’t like to walk and go up the uphills, you have to admit that a city like ours has many advantages. One of them is Miradouros.
There are plenty of them in Lisbon that will offer you unique perspectives of the city. If you’re learning Portuguese in Lisbon or even if you are just visiting the city this is something that you can’t miss in Portugal.
Now it is time to check our suggestions (our top 3):
Miradouro in Alcântara
Not far from the famous “elevador da Gloria”, it has an iconic view of Lisbon. If you don’t like to walk, you will love this option! From this spot, you can admire the east side of Lisbon.
Portas do Sol Miradouro
If you’re visiting Alfama this is a place that you have to visit. The sunrise is beautiful, moreover, you can have a coffee and enjoy the view at any time of the day or the night.
Miradouro da Graça
Great and romantic. It is related to a famous Portuguese poet who loved to spend her time admiring Lisbon. Her name was Sophia Andersen and if you decide to visit this “miradouro” you will see her statue next to it. This spot is a very romantic place, ideal for you and your partner.
Key points for A2 content – Top ideas
If you’re learning Portuguese and if you still don’t have a Portuguese teacher, you have to know which are the A2 grammar key points.
Check our opinion about this topic:
The most important tip is: You have to find a teacher to do listening and speaking activities! It is the best and the most effective way to consolidate A2 grammar content.
In terms of grammar content you will learn:
- Diagonal pronouns such as “comigo, contigo, connosco, com ele”…
- Imperative. This tense is used to give instructions to someone [example: “desculpe” = I am sorry (formal) or “desculpa” = I am sorry (informal)]
- Pretérito Imperfeito (past tense). In Portuguese we use this tense to talk about many different contexts.
1- Order something in a polite way (example: “queria um café”)
2- Talk about repetitive actions in the past (example: “antigamente ia muito ao cinema”
3- Inform about our age in the past (example: “tinha 12 anos quanto fui ao Porto”)
Time prepositions (examples: de manhã = in the morning, à tarde/noite = at night)
Conditional (example: “gostaria de ir ao Brasil” = I would like to go to Brazil
Direct and indirect pronouns (example: amo-te = I love you)
Indefinite pronouns (variable and invariable. A few examples: ninguém, alguém, tudo, nada, outro,..
“Infinitivo pessoal”. This is a tense that doesn’t exist in any other idiom/language. We usually say that when we use “Infinitivo pessoal” to bend the verb.
Example 1 : Para IRMOS ao cinema temos de apanhar o metro.
Example 2: “para ires a Lisboa, tens de apanhar o autocarro” = to go to Lisbon you have to catch the bus)
Partícula apassivante SE. Example: “Vendem-se casas!”
Regular and irregular Past participles. How to use them, guideline.
Examples: “Eu tenho lido muito” = I have been reading a lot.
Grammar is important but we don’t want to finish this article without stressing how important it is speaking and listening in Portuguese. That is the best tip we can offer you!
Are you starting from scratch? This article is for you.
Learning Portuguese can be challenging but it is perfectly achievable!
If you have decided to learn it, you will probably be glad to know that you can do some pre-work to prepare yourself for the challenge.
Check our tips:
- Try a European Portuguese E-learning platform. E-learning Platforms can be very useful to expand your Portuguese vocabulary and to listen for the first time European Portuguese. No one can learn a language only with this kind of platform. However, they are useful to introduce yourself to the language.
- Listen to Portuguese radio and watch Portuguese television. You won’t be able to understand much but it will give you a first impression of the Portuguese sounds.
- Buy an A1 book and start studying the grammar content. Make sure that you learn regular verbs by heart (-AR, -ER and -IR) and the most important irregular verbs (Ser, Ter, Estar, and Ir)
- Do some flashcards every day to expand the number of Portuguese words that you know.
- After a few weeks, you should start to write down simple sentences in Portuguese. Best Tip: KEEP it simple! The main idea is to use the most important verbs (daily verbs) in the present tense.
- Find a weekly study routine (we suggest 3 to 5 hours of study per week). Don’t be too ambitious with your learning Portuguese process! If you can do this, we are sure that you will be very well prepared to start your Portuguese course in Lisbon. Prior preparation will make you feel more relaxed and comfortable with all the information that you will receive during your Portuguese course in Lisbon.
Are you a Portuguese intermediate student (B1)? Check our tips.
If your level of Portuguese is already B1, this means that you can already communicate with people if they speak Portuguese with you in a slowly and carefully way.
Intermediate students of Portuguese in Lisbon (levels B1 and B2) face new challenges on this level.
When you’re starting from level A1, you have to learn basic grammar and the rules of the Portuguese sounds. And you have to spend some time memorizing the key rules of the language.
However, once you reach level B1, things change. At this point, you have to find a way to speak Portuguese on a daily basis. You won’t be able to consolidate B1 grammar content in Portuguese without speaking every day.
Check the grammar content at this stage of learning:
- Preterito perfeito composto (example: Eu tenho lido muito = I have been reading a lot)
- Pretérito mais que perfeito composto (example: ele tinha ido à praia com a Maria = He had gone to the beach with Maria)
- Subjunctive (Present). (example: “Talvez ele vá ao cinema” = Maybe he will go to the cinema)
- Subjunctive (future). Example: Se fores a Lisboa, eu vou contigo = If you go to Lisbon I will go with you.
Subjunctive in Portuguese can be hard. We use these structures to talk and describe possibilities, things that are not real and the wishes and fears that we have.
There are many connectors to learn and repetition plays a critical role at this point. Learning these Portuguese connectors isn’t enough. You have to use them often. You also have to hear people using it. Hopefully, you will recognize them during the conversation.
Another important tip is: find a teacher to converse in Portuguese. It must be an experienced teacher that will lead you towards those tenses and grammar structures that you’re learning and consolidating. Random talk is also useful but isn’t enough to improve your Portuguese consistently.
Watching television with Portuguese subtitles is also a great tip at this point.
Click HERE to watch a video that can be very useful to practice your European Portuguese.
Find a partner if you want to be fluent in Portuguese
A1 Portuguese students
Are you about to start learning Portuguese in Lisbon? Are you already having Portuguese lessons? If the answer is yes, you will be glad to know that this article is for you because it will explain to you how important your partner will be. If you want to achieve your goals with the language of Camões (the most famous poet of Portugal), you will need help.
If you’re still starting A1 content, there many things that are new for you. At this point, you have to focus on expanding the number of Portuguese words that you know. You also have to understand and know by heart the key points of the Portuguese language.
While you’re completing A1 content your partner won’t be very useful. This is because your ability to communicate is so low that any attempt to converse is a frustrating experience.
Don’t forget that your partner can speak Portuguese but he (or she) is not a Portuguese teacher. This means that he (or she) doesn’t know how to help you. He doesn’t know which Portuguese grammar structures you are learning.
A2 Portuguese students
From level A2 on, things get better and you can already start speaking a little bit with him or with her. It won’t be an easy task because your skills are still low and you will struggle almost all the time to find the words and the structures. You have to remember that an A2 student of Portuguese (or any other language) is still starting the journey. This means that you won’t have learned many Portuguese structures and rules at that point. Don’t expect a fluent conversation! Try to be effective when you’re communicating in Portuguese. If you can understand and if you can be understood that will be brilliant at this stage.
B1 Portuguese students
This is when things start getting better and more interesting. At the end of level B1, you will be able to understand Portuguese people in a one on one situation. And it is also at this stage that your partner will play a super relevant role in your learning process.
As a Portuguese teacher, I can guarantee you that you have to create a weekly or a daily routine with your partner to practice your Portuguese. You can speak Portuguese only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Or every day at night or another routine that suits you well. It is up to you as long as you speak Portuguese often.
Portuguese – find your rhythm of learning!
Are you planning to move to a region or a country where they only speak Portuguese? If this is your case, you probably need to improve your Portuguese! To consolidate a language, you need to… start talking! Do not forget that it takes several months to improve your skills. Only then you will move to the next level of fluency.
Do not expect perfection!
Only after several years (three, four, five or more), your fluency will become real. You will do thousands of mistakes in the learning process. But this is the only solution to attain fluency. Practice little but often! (as much as possible)
You will probably start your studies spending many hours per week studying the Portuguese language. But this strategy is usually ineffective. We do not have the capacity to withhold excessive information in the long run. Try to spend 15 to 20 minutes per day studying Portuguese. This routine will reinforce the information in your memory.
Find the right rhythm for you!
The key to learning a new language is to find a rhythm that fits you. Taking classes with other students can sometimes have a negative effect. Your colleagues can be too slow (or too fast) to your pace. Consequently, we believe that individual classes are the perfect solution for each case.
Find a partner!
We have already said that you must learn the language at your own pace. But do not forget that finding a partner is very effective. If you have decided to learn Portuguese with an online platform, you may have expanded your vocabulary. But this methodology will not prepare you for a fluent conversation. This requires a consolidated knowledge and an understanding of the language. Try to practice your Portuguese with a partner. Doing so often will surprise you with your progress.
If you are an intermediate student of Portuguese (B1 or B2), you must listen to native speakers. It is fundamental! This can be as simple as turning on the TV or the radio (try using subtitles). The words and expressions that are used on television are those that the Portuguese use in their daily lives.
Write in Portuguese
Writing in Portuguese is a great activity for your learning. You will consolidate a lot of vocabulary and grammatical structures if you write often. Try using different verbal tenses (present, past, future, imperative and other more complex). Ask your teacher to correct your texts. Revise the text and the corrections. Again, do not expect perfection. Be tolerant and patient with yourself!
Read in Portuguese
If your level of Portuguese is still A1 or A2, do not try to read a novel in Portuguese! Use your time to read texts for your current level of competencies. If your level is already B2 or C1, then read everything you can (newspapers, magazines, books). Keep in touch with the language! This is the most important tip we can give you! If you follow these pieces of advice, we are sure that you will build a strong foundation in the Portuguese language.
LEARNING A SECOND LANGUAGE – EFFECT ON THE BRAIN
Learning a second language can have a positive effect on the brain, even if it is taken up in adulthood. Researchers found that reading, verbal fluency and intelligence were improved in a study of 262 people tested either aged 11 or in their seventies. A previous study suggested that being bilingual could delay the onset of dementia by several years.
The big question in this study was whether learning a new language improved cognitive functions or whether individuals with better cognitive abilities were more likely to become bilingual.
The findings indicate that those who spoke two or more languages had significantly better cognitive abilities compared to what would have been expected from their baseline test.
The strongest effects were seen in general intelligence and reading. The effects were present in those who learned their second language early, as well as later in life.
The pattern found was “meaningful” and the improvements in attention, focus and fluency could not be explained by original intelligence.
Theories of language acquisition: Krashen
Stephen Krashen (University of Southern California) is an expert in the field of linguistics, specializing in theories of language acquisition and development. Much of his research has involved the study of non-English and bilingual language acquisition. During the past 20 years, he has published well over 100 books and articles and has been invited to deliver over 300 lectures at universities throughout the United States and Canada.
Krashen’s widely known and well-accepted theory of second language acquisition has had a large impact in all areas of second language research and teaching since the 1980s.
KRASHEN’S MAIN IDEAS
Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drills;
Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language – natural communication – in which speakers are concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the messages they are conveying and understanding
The best methods are therefore those that supply ‘comprehensible input’ in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear. These methods do not force early production in the second language but allow students to produce when they are ‘ready’, recognizing that improvement comes from supplying communicative and comprehensible input, and not from forcing and correcting production.
In the real world, conversations with sympathetic native speakers who are willing to help the acquirer understand are very helpful.
SIMPLE PHRASES IT’S HELPFUL TO LEARN BEFORE YOU VISIT PORTUGAL
Portugal remains a tourist destination for many tourists, especially in the summer season. If you are planning a trip to Portugal, the words that follow will be very useful in any Portuguese region or city (Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, Azores or Madeira). It is always helpful to have some knowledge of the language of the country you visit (or will visit). In this article, you will learn words and phrases that will make your life easier in Portugal.
1- “A que horas abre / fecha?” – What time do you open / close?
If you visit Portugal, we are sure you will try to enjoy, experiment and do as much as possible. For this reason, we believe this question will be one of the most important in your Portuguese survival kit. If you can ask this question (and understand the answer), you will not fail to fulfill any of your plans.
2- “Onde é a casa de banho?” – Where is the toilet?
Very important! Particularly if you are visiting a place for the first time. Knowing how to ask where the bathroom is, is one of the obligatory phrases for all tourists visiting Portugal (or any other country).
3- “Tchim-tchim ou saúde” – Cheers
In Portugal, when we make a toast, we always say the word “health”. The “tchim-tchim” option continues to be used by older generations and is less common than just saying “saúde”. When we say “saúde”, we make a toast with family and/or friends and by saying “saúde” we are wishing good health to everyone present at that place.
Although the English language level is quite good among Portuguese residents (especially in the main cities of Portugal), it is always beneficial to be able to use a few words of the local language. If you do it, you will be able to demonstrate your interest in the Portuguese culture and you will be able to feel the Portuguese atmosphere.
If you plan a trip to another Portuguese-speaking country, then it is important to know that most of the words are the same, but the pronunciation can be quite different.
Here are some words and phrases (in European Portuguese) that, in our opinion, will be important for your visit to Portugal or to other Portuguese-speaking ones.
To greet someone in Portuguese.
Olá – Hello
The following options can be used to say hello or to say goodbye.
Bom dia (good morning)
Boa tarde (good afternoon)
Boa noite (good evening)
Tchau (goodbye, informal)
Adeus (goodbye, formal)
If you want to get someone’s attention or accidentally brush against someone then you should say:
Desculpe (pardon me or I am sorry)
To show your manners you can say:
“Se faz favor” or “por favor” (please)
Com licença (excuse me)
Obrigado (thanks, if you are a man)
Obrigada (thanks, if you are a woman)
Desculpe (I am sorry – formal)
Desculpa (I am sorry – informal)
De nada. (you’re welcome)
The following will especially come in handy while exploring the city, or while dining:
Um café (a coffee)
Tenho uma reserva (I have a reservation).
A conta, por favor (the bill, please)
In case you want to explore the Portuguese shops…
Quanto custa? (how much is it?)
Estou só a ver, obrigado (I’m just looking, thanks)
Aceita cartão de crédito? (do you accept credit card?)
Here are a few more essentials:
Mais ou menos (so-so)
Mil (one thousand)
In case you get stuck (very unlikely…)
O senhor fala inglês? (Do you speak English?)
Desculpe, não falo português. ( I am sorry but I don’t speak Portuguese)
WHAT IS THE IDEAL AGE TO LEARN A SECOND LANGUAGE?
This topic is the subject of much discussion and there is no consensus among researchers and scholars. There is, however, a recent MIT study that indicates a specific age, a window of opportunity you should know about. Some studies have shown that adolescents and adults are better at learning a new language than children (except for pronunciation). The explanation is probably related to the fact that adults and adolescents already have a good knowledge of their first language.
This knowledge of grammatical concepts of languages (what is a regular / irregular verb? And an adjective? And an adverb?) is used in the second language learning process. Some language acquisition experts say that the sooner a child starts learning a second language, the better! Indeed, it seems to make sense that the earlier this process begins, the more time there will be to learn and the greater the progress (compared to someone who started later). In addition, it’s generally accepted knowledge that young children learn most things quickly!
However, there is also evidence that supports the idea that learning a second language can hinder the acquisition and consolidation of the mother tongue (if the mother tongue is not yet consolidated). There are several authors that speak of the disadvantages of this possibility, as this may “hinder total proficiency in both languages”.
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
So, what is the best age for a person to start learning a foreign language? The answer, according to the most recent MIT data, is pre-adolescent age between 10 and 11 years. And the more motivated the child is to learn the new language, the more successful it will be!
Although the window of opportunity is 10/11 years old, teenagers still have good language skills up to 18 years old. This competence begins to be gradually and slowly lost from that age on. Also according to the recent MIT study, there are no significant differences between people who started this process from birth or in the aforementioned window of opportunity, and a decline after this age period is clear.
Despite the universally established prestige of MIT, this study has been widely contested. To argue that it is only possible to achieve fluency equivalent to that of a native when the learning process of the second language takes place between 10 and 11 years, is at least quite debatable.
Some investigators indicate the existence of documented cases that indicate the exact opposite. According to Professor Marilyn Vihman (University of York), there are many cases of people over the age of 20 who have learned languages and achieved absolute fluency (to the point of becoming spies). This researcher does not believe there is a critical age and a decline after that age.
Another researcher named Danijela Trenkic, also from the same university, points out that the MIT study focused only on the grammatical component. However, we all know cases of people who communicate effectively in another language despite occasionally misusing grammar.
Insist and persist
The reasons for a decline in language skills after age 18 are unclear. Some argue that this loss is due to the slower adaptation of the brain during the aging process and that it begins to happen as adulthood arrives.
However, these MIT revelations should not cause any adults who have only now decided to learn a second language to become discouraged. The truth is that regardless of age, adults are also perfectly capable of learning a language and achieving a good level of fluency.
And it never hurts to remember the numerous physiological benefits this stimulation brings to the brain. For example, when we learn a new language, we are better protected from possible brain degeneration diseases (such as dementia). That’s certainly good news for everyone!
DAYS OF THE WEEK IN PORTUGUESE
Enjoy your day every day even if the name of that day is a bit strange like … fair … The Portuguese use numbers and fairs for the names of the weekdays which breaks with the European norm (monday, martes, donnerstag…). Why are the days of the week related to numbers and fairs?
Before Christ, the names of the pagan gods were used to name the days of the week. Example: mercredi (day of mercury).
The use of numbers on weekdays is related to Christianity in Portugal. Thus, this relationship ruled out the use of pagan names to designate the days of the week.
It is possible to find documents from the Middle Ages referring to the days of the week as Monday, Tuesday… the word “feira” was added as liturgical prayer. For example, the 3rd day after Saturday was the “feria tertia”. The evolution of Latin dealt with the evolution to the current format: “feria tertia” »» Tuesday.
The names given are associated with the old fairs. The exceptions are Saturday and Sunday.
The days of the week in Portuguese:
2ª-feira – Monday
3ª-feira – Tuesday
4ª-feira – Wednesday
5ª-feira – Thursday
6ª-feira – Friday
Sábado – Saturday
Domingo – Sunday
Segunda feira/2ª-feira (or Monday) means “second fair” in English. Terça-feira/3ª-feira (or Tuesday) means “third fair”. We can apply the same logic for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
WHY DOES THE WEEK START WITH “MONDAY” AND NOT “FIRST FAIR”?
Because the first day of the week is God’s day (Sunday), which is related to the word “domini” that comes from Latin. “Domini” means the day of God. According to Portuguese culture, the first day of the week must be dedicated to God, the creator of the world. The days of the week in Portuguese reveal two interesting things about Portuguese culture:
1-Portugal as a religious and monotheistic country
2-The relationship between the Portuguese and trade
On a daily basis, the Portuguese often do not use the word “feira” because when they say “Segunda/2ª = Monday”, the receiver will understand that it is Monday. The same logic applies for all other days of the week (except for Saturday and Sunday).
Regarding Saturday, this word is related to “sabbath”. It is believed that there is a relationship between this word and Judaism.
Why you should Learn portuguese
Portuguese is a passionate and romantic language, where the focus is on expressing yourself rather than following tons of grammar rules, making it the ideal learner’s language.
1) Always called country of the future, Brazil is starting to look like the country of the present. Everybody wants to come to Brazil, to invest here, to live here and the next years will be very busy.
2) Brazil has emerged as a global economic player! It is the 5th largest economy in the world and considered 21st-century economic powerhouse! With the economy growing so fast (Brazil is the industrial and economic super power of Latin America) the demand for professionals in different areas also increased. You just might find yourself moving to Brazil to work or having a competitive advantage over colleagues at your company if you speak this great language.
3) Portuguese is spoken in 4 continents: South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. More people learn and speak Portuguese as their native language than speak Japaneses, French, German or Italian.
4) Portuguese and Brazilians people accept you as one of theirs. Portuguese people and Brazilians are naturally friendly and if you can communicate in their language it’s even better! In Brazil, it’s all about “networking” and this is a natural built in part of the language.
5) Portuguese/Spanish: the perfect couple. You will multiply your chances for success if you learn and speak these two languages since they cover all of South America plus many other places in Europe, Africa, and Asia. If you already speak Spanish it will be very easy for you to learn Portuguese.
6) You can enjoy your trips much better. Portugal is one of the major tourist destinations in Europe and Brazil is one of the major tourist destinations in South America. If you learn and if you know the language of the country you visit that will provide you many more choices and better experiences.
LEARNING GRAMMAR… DO I REALLY HAVE TO?
Learning grammar is a big question but the truth is that there isn’t a perfect solution that fits everyone! The methodology that works for me can be completely different from the one that works for you!
In fact, any method could work due to a combination of different things. What is crucial in any methodology depends on the goals and especially on the student’s learning style. This general principle applies to study grammar when learning a new language!
However, we should also say that for different goals (like passing a test), a different approach would be necessary to achieve that specific objective.
Portuguese Grammar: forget perfection!
Don’t make grammar your priority! A grammar-focused approach frames the language into a set of rules made up of nothing more than those horrible grammar tables.
In fact, grammar doesn’t improve your fluency. Even if you try to study it until you know it perfectly, that will not give you the confidence to use it during a normal conversation with actual human beings. You just can’t win the grammar battle as you will never be able to memorize all the grammar rules.
Believe us: you do not need to be an expert in grammar to speak a language, this is a fact! Grammar can act as a wall between you and fluency and very often it hold back students in their learning process. Start your learning process with phrasebooks. Once you get familiar with the language then you can go and look at grammar books and tables and you will find it interesting (and you will be able to attach that information to a specific context).
What is the best way to learn Portuguese (or any other new idiom)?
A small study of foreign language learning in adults compared two methods. One is known as the explicit or classroom method. This is the kind of traditional classroom teaching where students are taught a lot of information about grammar rules.
The other method is known as the implicit or immersion method. The idea here is to learn much the way children do when they learn a native idiom. That is, by being with native speakers and absorbing the language that surrounds them, generally without a lot of explanation.
The researchers tested the people three to six months after they had learned the idiom, to see how well they could remember it. The study found that those who had learned it with the immersion method had brain waves similar to those of native speakers of a language when speaking that idiom.
Professor Ullman says those who trained with the classroom method also became more native-like in their brain processing. But only the immersion group showed full native-like processing of the grammar.
EUROPEAN PORTUGUESE LISTENING TEST (FOR B1/B2 PORTUGUESE STUDENTS)
Camané was born in 20th December 1966 in Oeiras (near Lisbon). He is probably the best portuguese Fado singer ever.
The song (and the poem) that you will listen to has 14 missing Portuguese words. Try to find out those words! Enjoy your portuguese listening test and keep yourself learning Portuguese in Lisbon! And don’t forget, to learn portuguese, consistency is king!
Ando na vida à procura
De uma ______ menos escura
Que traga luar do céu
De uma noite menos ____
Em que não _____agonia
De um dia a mais que _____
Vou cantando amargurado
Vou de um _____a outro fado
Que fale de um fado meu
Meu ______assim cantado
Jamais pode ser _____
Porque do fado ____eu
Ser _____é triste sorte
Que nos faz pensar na ______
E em tudo o que em nós _____
______na vida à procura
De uma noite menos ______
Que ______luar do céu.