Blog Posts

Member Newsletter: Forum Announcement

June 5, 2019

You asked for it: By popular request, we’ve launched a Practice Portuguese Community Forum! For years, we’ve been having fantastic conversations with members, directly via email. So now, it’s about time that the whole community can benefit from some of these nuggets that would otherwise be lost deep in the email archives. In the forum, […]

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Learning Studio: Speaking Practice (New!)

March 20, 2019

We’ve launched a new feature to record and analyze your pronunciation of phrases inside Lessons!

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Learning Studio: 50+ Exclusive Dialogues

January 20, 2019

After you complete all of the Lessons of a Unit, you’ll unlock a special dialogue. They’re basically bite-sized podcast episodes (1-3 minutes long), designed to put some of the vocabulary you’ve learned into context. We’ve launched over 50 new dialogues, with more on the way as we continue to roll out new Learning Studio Units. […]

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Learning Studio Upgrades: Mastery Levels & Scoring

September 4, 2018

September 20th: This post has been updated to reflect additional scoring tweaks we launched today, inspired by some of the feedback in emails and this post’s comments. We’d love to know what you think in the comments… Obrigado🙂

We have exciting news! Over the past year, we’ve been rebuilding the Learning Studio from the ground up to prepare for lots of new, powerful features coming your way.

Although things will look mostly the same at first, some new intelligence has already been added to improve the functionality of the lessons, and their scoring…

Before: Classic Scoring

Previously, your lesson score was calculated as a percentage of how many questions you answered correctly.

For example, if you got 90% of the questions correct during a Lesson, that Lesson Bubble would fill in accordingly:

Your progress on individual phrases of a Lesson was not tracked, so the Learning Studio did not know which phrases you had already mastered, or which you still needed to practice.

Mastery Level

Now, when you complete a lesson, your Mastery Level for each phrase stored for later in the Learning Studio’s brain:

  • You’ll see this list at the end of a lesson, so you’ll know exactly which phrases you still need to work on.
  • All of the Phrase Mastery Levels combined determine your Lesson Mastery Level (which is visually represented by those filled-in bubbles on the main Units screen).
  • Whether you take a Lesson for the 1st or the 15th time, the questions will intelligently adapt themselves based on your Phrase Mastery Levels.
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Simple Phrases To Learn Before Visiting Portugal

May 19, 2017

We often get messages from complete beginners who plan to visit the country and want to learn a few of the basic phrases. In Portugal, the level of English is quite good, especially the younger generations in the main cities of Lisbon and Porto. But regardless of how well the locals speak your language, picking […]

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Getting Past Beginner’s Intimidation On Your Way To Portuguese Fluency

July 29, 2015

We get amazing emails from our members daily, and we usually just respond to them privately. But since the response got quite long and involved, I decided to go over it a couple times before sending and try to turn it into a more or less intelligible article that others might be able to relate to… but you can be the judge! – Joel

Question (Edited slightly): I need inspiration and a plan. I am a subscriber and like the Podcasts a lot. Husband is Portuguese and I have taken lessons, can read and write pretty well but am so reluctant to speak. I did go to his village in central Portugal for three weeks alone to force myself to speak. (had no choice!).

Oh, I am 69 years old. I know that I know more each year but as time passes am more and more reluctant to talk. I guess it is me evaluating myself? And of course it is marido’s native language so I just let him do all the talking when we are in Portugal. We go often, at least once a year. Listening to the podcasts is really good for me.

But what do you suggest? I know that immersion would be key but at my age I am not interested in spending one or two months away from meu marido. Of course the big challenge is verbs and yes, I know when I talk I am translating. When I write it seems to come much more naturally but then I am calm and I am a very visual person (writer and painter). Meu Deus! I bet you didn’t expect a message like this. But what do you think? What would be a good plan? I am a very disciplined person and just need a boost of inspiration.! Thanks in advance, Obrigadinha, K.

Joel’s Response:

Hi K,

Great to hear from you and thanks for taking the time to write. Thanks also for your support these last few months, we really appreciate it.

I started writing this then realized it might be interesting for others to read so I tried to write it more like an article. So if it’s ok with you, I’ll post the question and answer (without your name of course), on the long-neglected blog section of our site!

It is also inspiring that even though you are beyond the age of your average language learner, you are still taking your language learning seriously (keeps the mind sharp… many people stop learning after their schooling and our brains quickly get lazy with every year that passes!)

Bringing the Learned Vocabulary / Grammar the Surface (a.k.a. Activating a Language)

I was exactly in your position when I started learning – I had studied a bunch of grammar and vocabulary, but it seemed like there was a great distance between the knowledge in my brain and the words coming out of my mouth… in other words, if I was writing or had a few seconds to think, I could construct the phrases, but to immediately recall the vocabulary, verb conjugations etc instantly in a conversation was another challenge. Studying a language on paper is one thing, but then it takes hours of listening, speaking and therefor months / years of feeling dumb on a daily basis in real-life conversations. (After almost 3 years of speaking the language, those moments of feeling dumb are less frequent, but they still happen frequently!)

Intimidation in Speaking a New Language

I totally understand your intimidation with the language and your reluctance to speak. I find it especially happen during weeks where I am working mostly with English clients and communicating a lot with my Canadian family/friends – If you spend hours and days away from the language, it takes a little while to warm up the Portuguese muscle again.

It also doesn’t help that most of the population (especially the young generations and those in hospitality/tourism) seem to speak near-perfect English. So as new Portuguese speakers, it is intimating and frustrating to know that any second, we may make a mistake that will cause them to start speaking English to us, (rendering our Portuguese-learning efforts useless!)

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Subscribing to Practice Portuguese on Android

May 16, 2015

We recently had a user ask us how to download our podcast for offline listening using an Android device. In the past, we have used and enjoyed Pocket Casts, a “podcatcher” app for Android, but the process should be similar regardless of which app you choose.


In the App Store (on your Android Device it may be called Android Market, Google Play Store), search for and install the Pocket Casts app (by Shift Jelly)

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Practice Portuguese November News Update

November 10, 2014


After almost two years of us putting all of our focus into releasing new podcast episodes, we realized that our website design and functionality was starting to slow us down. We were stacking new features onto the very basic website we had started with, which was working fine… but today, we are very proud to announce a brand-new, ready for 2015 and beyond!

Read on to find out more about these new features and upgrades. We hope you’ll find that our site is more beautiful and much more fun to use.


Updates Throughout the Site

 The home page has been redesigned to do a better job of introducing the Podcast, the people behind Practice Portuguese, and what we’re all about!

• We have also tried to do a better job of explaining the Premium features on the sign-up page, since we were having some questions about exactly what Premium Members receive in return for their support.

• Since we receive so many great emails from members (as well as passers-by), we created a Reviews page which allows visitors to see messages from other Practice Portuguese fans all over the world! Of course, we don’t include anyone’s full names or identifying information for privacy reasons.



New and Improved Premium Features

Here are just a few of the improvements we have made to make our Premium experience even more delightful!

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Practice Portuguese August News Update

August 3, 2014

Community Growth

In the past year, we have been blown away by all the positive feedback we have been receiving from iTunes listeners, blogs, googlers, and of course, our supporting premium members.

(We love to hear from our listeners and members, so send us a message to say hi! Escreve em português ou inglês, como queiras!)

With this encouragement and support, we have been exploring new ways to better serve the European Portuguese learning community.

More will be announced in the coming months, but for now, keep reading to find out what we have been up to more recently…

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Different Accents Throughout Portugal / Sotaques em Portugal

August 27, 2013

Here is another question from our friend Ihsan, to be answered by Rui:

Q: I was wondering if Portugal had different accents according to region like in Brazil…and if they varied greatly or differ only subtly? If there are different accents, which one does Rui speak?

Rui: Sim Portugal tem diferentes pronúncias que variam de acordo com as diferentes zonas. Os Açores têm a pronúncia mais marcada de todo o País (continente e ilhas) e talvez a que menos portugueses entendem.

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Will Speaking Portuguese Help Me Communicate While Visiting Spain? / Falar Português em Espanha?

August 24, 2013

I found plenty of discussions about how it’s really not recommended to speak Spanish in Portugal, but I couldn’t find anything the other way around. I’ll be going to Seville in a couple months, and in case I can’t use English, would I be boo’d at for trying to communicate in Portuguese, since I don’t know Spanish?

Rui: Nunca ouvi dizer que não se deve falar espanhol em Portugal, acho até que geralmente os portugueses têm mais facilidade em entender os espanhóis do que o contrário.

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