If you’re thinking about learning Portuguese, then you might be wondering whether Duolingo’s Portuguese course is the course for you.
Portuguese is spoken by roughly 280 million people worldwide — most notably in Portugal and Brazil, but also crops up in parts of Africa and Asia!
Duolingo’s Portuguese course teaches the Brazilian form of Portuguese. While there are some notable differences between the Brazilian and European varieties — such as pronunciation, spelling and vocabulary — they are best viewed as two sides of the same coin.
If you learn the Brazilian brand, you’ll still be able to get by on your holidays in Portugal. So don’t let this sway you too much!
That being said — is Duolingo good for learning Portuguese?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Portuguese on Duolingo.
We’ll look at:
- How Duolingo’s Portuguese course is structured
- Special features
- Other features you need to be aware of
- The pros of Duolingo’s Portuguese course
- The cons of Duolingo’s Portuguese course
Ready to dive in?
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What you’ll find in Duolingo’s Portuguese course
If you’re new to Duolingo, then it’s worth pointing out that all of Duolingo’s courses are structured in pretty much the same way.
They all follow what is commonly referred to as the lesson tree.*
The tree is broken up into a set ofunits…
Each unit has a set of skills…
Each skill has up to 6 crown levels…
And each crown level has a set of lessons…
The basic goal is to work through the tree by completing every lesson… in every level… in every skill… in every unit.
As of August 2022, Duolingo’s Portuguese course has a total of 4 units, broken down into a total of 91 skills. That means there are 455 crown levels in Duolingo’s Portuguese course (or 546 if you include the legendary levels).
The Portuguese course also has a couple of bonus skills you can buy from the Duolingo Shop. These focus on idioms and flirting.
The exercises in the Portuguese course are basically the same as in all the other courses. Some of the common exercises you’ll come across include:
- Complete the translation
- Mark the correct meaning
- Picture flashcards
- Select the missing word
- Sentence shuffle
- Speak this sentence
- Tap the pairs
- Tap what you hear
*Duolingo are switching up their courses to a brand new format known as the Learning Path. It’s only been rolled out to a handful of users so far, so the majority of users will get the traditional lesson tree above. However, if your Portuguese course looks different to the above, then you’ve probably got the new lesson path. Check outthis postfrom Duolingo to learn more!
Does Duolingo’s Portuguese course have any special features?
Although English speakers can learn nearly 40 different languages on Duolingo, it’s important to point out that not all of the courses are created equally.
Some courses have special features that others don’t.
Some of these include stories, audio lessons and podcasts.
As of August 2022, Duolingo’s Portuguese course has 100 stories, but doesn’t have audio lessons or podcasts.
These are basically fun little mini-stories entirely in Portuguese designed to improve your reading, listening and speaking. You follow along line by line, and every now and then answer questions to make sure you know what’s going on.
They’re great for learners of all levels, so once you’ve unlocked the first batch you can feel free to jump in at any point.
There’s also a conversation mode on some of the stories, which lets you take part in the story by reciting what one of the characters is saying.
Other features in Duolingo’s Portuguese course
Duolingo’s Portuguese course is built on the same stuff as all of Duolingo’s other language courses.
We won’t go into too much detail here, but some of the features worth knowing about include:
- XP – As you work through the Duolingo Portuguese course, you’ll earn experience points, which are more commonly known as XP. You’ll earn XP for pretty much everything you do. Some lessons, tasks and exercises will earn you more XP than others.
- Leagues – Every week you’ll be entered into a league with other Duolingo learners. There are 10 leagues to work through, starting at Bronze and ending at Diamond. The leagues are basically leaderboards — simply earn more XP than others in your league to have a chance of winning.
- Gems – XP and crowns aren’t the only things you’ll earn as you learn Portuguese. You’ll also earn gems, which you can spend in the Duolingo Shop. There isn’t really much you can buy here, but you can use your gems to pick up things like Streak Freezes, bonus skills, Timer Boosts for timed challenges, and some costumes for the owl.
- Friends – Duolingo is a social experience, so you’re able to follow other users and compare your progress. The guys at Duolingo reckon you’re 5 times more likely to finish your course if you follow people! To get you started, feel free to give me a follow — my username is DCiiieee!
- Duolingo Plus/Super – This is Duolingo’s premium membership. Pay for Plus/Super and you’ll get access to some useful features, including unlimited hearts, no ads and Practice Hub.
Is Duolingo good for learning Portuguese?
Now to answer the all-important question: Is Duolingo good for learning Portuguese?
Let’s consider some pros and cons.
Learning a new language can be pretty intimidating, especially if you only speak English.
This is why one of the nicest things about Duolingo is just how accessible and welcoming it is.
Regardless of the language you’re learning, Duolingo presents its courses in a really warm, vibrant and inclusive way. So whether this is your second language or your tenth, you can feel at ease straight away!
On the whole, Portuguese is one of the easier languages to learn for English speakers. That said, it isn’t always as straightforward as some of its Romance cousins. Accents, pronunciation, variation between Brazilian and European Portuguese, and other quirky grammar rules can make learning Portuguese a tad tricky.
Fortunately, Duolingo introduces you to all the essential details. The course comes packed with a wide variety of material, gently introducing new words and grammar concepts in a way that naturally gets you up to speed.
The bespoke tips sections are loaded with useful grammar explanations that will help you make sense of each skill you’re working through. From adjectives and prepositions to tenses and conjugations, Duolingo’s Portuguese course does a great job of getting you familiar with the language.
Duolingo’s Portuguese course also comes with the usual placement test when you first start, so you can rest assured you’ll start your tree from a place you find comfortable.
This is one of Duolingo’s standout features and it’s only available in a few of its courses.
Fortunately, Portuguese is one of them!
One of the best things about the Portuguese stories is that they’re genuinely interesting and funny as hell! Duolingo have got some seriously great writers!
They’re so good that reading them doesn’t feel like work. Yet all the while your reading and listening comprehension is going up, up and up!
And while there aren’t as many as some of Duolingo’s other courses, they’re still a HUGE selling point for the Portuguese course.
I highly recommend getting stuck into them as soon as you can!
This doesn’t just go for Duolingo’s Portuguese course, it’s the same for ALL of them!
One of the best things about Duolingo is that it’s more than just a language learning tool.
It’s also a game. And although this isn’t to everyone’s liking, it’s a big part of why so many people show up every day to do their daily lessons.
For everything you do in Portuguese, you’ll earn XP (experience points) which contribute towards your position in the weekly leagues.
Now this isn’t something you should take too seriously (you can read more about why here) but if you take it lightly it’ll definitely make your Portuguese a lot more enjoyable.
Because ultimately, the more you enjoy something, the more likely you are to do it. And given learning Portuguese will require you to show up regularly for a very long time, Duolingo could be the perfect solution.
Another great thing about Duolingo is that the Portuguese course is 100% free.
There is a premium subscription — Duolingo Plus/Super — but this isn’t something you need in order to complete the course. The whole thing is completely free; the premium subscription just adds a few features that make things a bit smoother.
This is great if you’re just dabbling with Portuguese and aren’t ready to commit just yet. But also if you’re keen to get started with the language but don’t want to fork out on special software or tuition.
I take it you’ve seen the owl memes?
Yes, the owl can be *a bit* of a stalker at times, pestering you at all hours to do your daily Portuguese lessons!
But relax, contrary to popular belief, he’s not gonna kidnap your family anytime soon!
Jokes aside, Duolingo is brilliant for keeping you motivated.
Learning Portuguese takes time. It’s not something you’re going to pick up overnight.
According to the US Foreign Service Institute, it takes roughly 600-750 “class hours” to reach “Professional Working Proficiency” in Portuguese.
So yeah, if you’re going to learn Portuguese, you’ve got to be in it for the long haul!
That means creating an unbreakable habit. And Duolingo’s amazing for doing that.
Put it this way — my current streak (i.e. the number of days in a row I’ve used Duolingo) goes all the way back to May 2016.
And that’s not just because I’m a bit obsessive! It’s thanks to Duolingo being such a great way of keeping me motivated!
Really short course
Although Portuguese is one of Duolingo’s better-supported courses, the course itself is reallllly short.
It only has four units, which is less than half of what you get in courses like French and Spanish.
While each skill has up to 6 levels, realistically you could plough through them in a pretty short time.
This means that although Duolingo is great for getting started with Portuguese, eventually you’ll need to look further afield if you want to make significant progress.
Not great for speaking
This is the case for most of Duolingo’s language courses.
Duolingo is brilliant for getting to grips with the listening and reading side of a language. You even get opportunities to practice your pronunciation.
But when it comes to speaking in a real-life scenario, Duolingo’s Portuguese course won’t get you there by itself.
The problem is the speaking exercises aren’t conversation exercises. You get a little bit of practice in the conversation mode on the stories, but this just involves reciting what the characters say. You don’t actually come up with your own responses.
Speaking is a skill in its own right and to learn it you’ll need to practice it regularly, ideally with a native speaker, or at the very least using a program that has conversation scenarios (such as PortuguesePod101).
If you’ve read any of my other articles then you’ll know one of the things I dislike most about Duolingo at the moment is the heart system.
Hearts are basically lives or chances. You start off with 5 then lose one every time you make a mistake.
If you lose all your hearts then you’re not allowed to progress through your course until your hearts replenish.
You can either watch an ad to get one back, do a practice session, spend some gems or wait 5 hours.
It’s far from ideal as it does the unhelpful thing of punishing you for making mistakes.
Which, as far as I’m concerned, is ridiculous as mistakes are absolutely essential and unavoidable when learning a language.
If you’re a total beginner or simply on the fence about learning Portuguese, then Duolingo’s Portuguese course is definitely a great place to start.
You’ll learn the basics of the language, get to grips with the pronunciation, pick up a nice chunk of useful vocabulary, and see the language in action in 100 mini-stories.
You’ll also have a blast working through the course as you compete in the weekly leagues and alongside your friends!
By the end of the course, you’ll definitely be more advanced than when you started.
However, given that the course only has 4 units, you’ll need to use other resources as well if you want to reach fluency.
By itself, Duolingo’s Portuguese course could probably get you to an A2 level in reading and listening (so long as you’re doing enough passive learning as well).
A good tool to use — either alongside Duolingo or after you’ve completed the course — is PortuguesePod101.
PortuguesePod and Duolingo complement each other beautifully, as they both target areas that the other misses. Duolingo is great for reading and typing things out, whereas PortuguesePod is brilliant for improving your listening and speaking.
With PortuguesePod you’ll also get essential resources like grammar packs, cultural insights, and learn the 2,000 most common Portuguese words — so by the end of the course, you should be able to understand as much as 80% of all Portuguese conversations.
When used together, Duolingo and PortuguesePod will give you everything you need to reach a comfortable level in Portuguese.
if you’re new to Portuguese…
I’d highly recommend taking Duolingo’s placement test, figuring out what level you’re at, and then working through the first couple of units of the tree. This will get you familiar with the basics of Portuguese.
At the same time, I’d recommend taking advantage of PortuguesePod’s free trial to get familiar with how the language sounds, pick up some useful phrases and cultural insights, and practice speaking as soon as possible.
Once you’ve worked your way through the Duolingo course, I’d recommend coming back to it daily to keep the streak alive (habit is SO important when learning a language) and start to move through the intermediate to advanced packs on PortuguesePod.
Finally, make sure you’re getting enough passive exposure to Portuguese as well. It’s really important to experience the language in an authentic environment — so things like TV shows, music, books, real-life conversations — so you can see how everything you learn on Duolingo and PortuguesePod works in the real world.
By the end of the course, you'll definitely be more advanced than when you started. However, given that the course only has 4 units, you'll need to use other resources as well if you want to reach fluency.Can you become fluent in Portuguese from Duolingo? ›
By the end of the course, you'll definitely be more advanced than when you started. However, given that the course only has 4 units, you'll need to use other resources as well if you want to reach fluency.Does Duolingo actually work? ›
Good for Practice, Not Always for Learning
Even with some of the well-developed courses, Duolingo may not be enough to completely teach a language to fluency. As mentioned earlier, Duolingo is great for getting a base in a language—but don't expect to get to advanced fluency on Duolingo alone.
At Duolingo, we use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) to set goals for different proficiency levels when we design our courses. The levels are labeled A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2, and they cover increasingly complex language needs.Can you learn Portuguese from Portugal on Duolingo? ›
Duolingo is one of the most popular language learning apps and so it isn't surprising that many people download it when they decide to learn Portuguese. But after a while, some people end up realising that Duolingo teaches Brazilian Portuguese and not European Portuguese.Is Duolingo better than Babbel? ›
The biggest difference between Babbel and Duolingo is the approach to language learning. Babbel is a better option if you want traditional language instructions through modules and lessons. By contrast, Duolingo works great if you need a playful, gamified experience.Why does Duolingo use the Brazilian flag for Portuguese? ›
We chose the US and Brazilian flags because we teach those variants of the languages, because they have the overwhelming majority of the speakers, and because they are the variants that most people want to learn (sorry chaps!).How long should I use Duolingo per day? ›
To optimize your learning, aim to spend between 15 and 30 minutes on the app each day. If you're struggling to commit a decent amount of time to your learning, try breaking the time up throughout your day. You could spend five minutes practicing in the morning, another five at lunchtime, and five more in the evening.Is Rosetta Stone better than Duolingo? ›
Yes. After thoroughly testing out and reviewing each language learning app, we found Rosetta Stone to be a superior program to Duolingo. While we like Duolingo's gamification of learning, Rosetta Stone is simply more comprehensive and effective.Has anyone actually learned a language with Duolingo? ›
Research shows that Duolingo is an effective way to learn a language! But the truth is that no single course, app, method, or book can help you reach all your language goals.
At Duolingo, you can learn as many languages as you want! We encourage you to select a new language to tackle once you've completed a course. A language expert? Take as many courses as you would like at the same time.Does Duolingo test your level? ›
So if you manage 10-55 on the Duolingo English Test, your level would be considered Basic. If you manage 60-95, your level would be considered Intermediate. Score 100-125, and your level would be considered Upper Intermediate. And if you manage anything above 130, your level would be considered Advanced.How far can Duolingo bring you? ›
When it comes to listening and reading, they found that 5 units of Duolingo is comparable to 4 university semesters. As for speaking, they found that at least 50% of learners that had completed 5 units of the French and Spanish courses reached at least an A2 level of speaking.What is the best way to learn Portuguese fluently? ›
Many language experts recommend immersion as the fastest way to become fluent in Portuguese; move to Portuguese or Brazil, live with a host family and have every interaction in Portuguese.What is the easiest way to learn Portuguese? ›
The easiest way to learn Portuguese is to use a high-quality language learning app. There are a lot of different apps to learn Portuguese, but the best overall app is Rocket Languages. With Rocket Portuguese, you'll learn everything you need to know to become conversational in Portuguese.What is the hardest language to learn for Portuguese speakers? ›
For example, if you're a Brazilian who speaks Portuguese, Russian would probably be a tricky language for you to learn. If you're from Poland and grew up speaking Polish, though, Russian likely wouldn't be as difficult for you because it has more in common with your native language.Is there anything better than Duolingo? ›
We have compiled a list of solutions that reviewers voted as the best overall alternatives and competitors to Duolingo, including Rosetta Stone, Busuu, Lingvist, and Mango Languages.How to get super Duolingo for free? ›
How do I get Super Duolingo? If you're currently a free user of Duolingo, you can upgrade to Super Duolingo at any time in the app! You'll be able to try Super free for 2 weeks before your subscription starts.What happens when you finish all the leagues in Duolingo? ›
From there, the goal is to work your way up through the leagues all the way up to Diamond — Duolingo's highest league. Once you've done that and you've finished every single league, you will progress onto the Diamond Tournament (more on that below!).How long will it take to learn Portuguese? ›
How long does it take to learn Portuguese? Visual Capitalist reports that it takes 24 weeks (575-600 hours) to learn Portuguese, according to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). That earns it a 'category 1' status according to that ranking, showing that Portuguese is one of the fastest languages to learn.
Portuguese immigration to America is the reason behind the existence of Portuguese in Brazil. In the 16th century, the first Portuguese-speaking settlers arrived in Brazil. At that time, the Portuguese language was not commonly used. In the 18th century, Portuguese became the official language of Brazil.Will i be allowed to swim in Portuguese Duolingo? ›
Vou deixar nadar? = Will I allow to swim?What happens when you reach 100 days on Duolingo? ›
Reaching certain milestones (such as 100 day streak) can earn the user 3 days free of Super Duolingo.What happens after 365 days of Duolingo? ›
You reach the first tier once you hit a 365-day streak. After that, it goes up every year, and this will be reflected on your weekly leaderboards and profile page. So if you keep the flame burning for 3 years, you'll have a little 3-year badge underneath your username.What happens when you reach 365 days on Duolingo? ›
VIP status is unlocked at 365 days and puts a little streak counter underneath your username in the leaderboards. It goes up in years, so for each year you maintain your streak, your VIP status will update. So if you have a 6-year streak, it will say '6+ years'.What is the most Learnt language on Duolingo? ›
- According to Duolingo, the most popular and most studied languages on the app around the world are:
- According to the Duolingo 2021 Language Report, there are over 500 million learners on Duolingo.
- The language that has the most learners on Duolingo is English.
The popularity of K-culture with younger audiences in India is one of the key drivers for the rapid growth of learners on Duolingo choosing Korean as their language of choice. There are also differences across States in how serious they are about studying languages—that is, the average time spent learning.What Duolingo courses are the best? ›
The effectiveness measure showed that on average participants gained 8.1 points per one hour of study with Duolingo. The 95% Confidence Interval for the effectiveness is from 5.6 points to 10.7 points gained per one hour of study.What if you run out of hearts in Duolingo? ›
You practice previous material to restore a lost Heart. Tap on the Hearts icon towards the top, and then tap "Practice". Each lesson practiced will restore one Heart. Typically, your next Heart will refill every 5 hours, so your total of five Hearts will restore within 25 hours.
If you are experiencing issues with speaking exercises in the Duolingo Android app, please check for the following settings/permissions: Speaking exercises toggled ON in the Duolingo Android app (Profile tab > Settings > Speaking exercises) Microphone permissions set to ALLOW for Duolingo in your Android settings.Does Duolingo do Thai? ›
Can you learn Thai on Duolingo? Duolingo does not currently have a Thai course. However, even if it did, I wouldn't recommend using it. Duolingo teaches random vocabulary and it doesn't help you actually communicate with Thai speakers.What is the hardest language to learn? ›
Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center puts Mandarin in Category IV, which is the list of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.What is the most useful language to learn? ›
- Spanish. Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language after Mandarin, and not a surprise at the top of languages to learn. ...
- German. ...
- Arabic. ...
- Mandarin. ...
- Portuguese. ...
- Russian. ...
You can include a link to your Duolingo English Test score reports on your Linkedin account or resume. This helps potential employers verify your English proficiency as part of the interview process, as they can review your taped responses to random interview questions.Is 110 a good score in Duolingo? ›
What Is A Good Duolingo Test Score? A good Duolingo score will be 110 and above. If you score above 120, it is considered excellent. This is especially in comparison to IELTS, TOEFL, and CEFR scores.How long does it take to become fluent on Duolingo? ›
Putting in ten hours of study and practice per day, this equates to two months for “easy” languages and four months for “difficult” languages. How do you get started? Web sites such as DuoLingo can teach you 27 languages for free.Can you only do Duolingo once a day? ›
You get 10 XP per lesson, but you can choose how many lessons you want per day. Casual is one lesson per day, Regular is two, Serious is three, and Insane is five lessons in a day.How long does it take to get good at a language on Duolingo? ›
When signing up for Duolingo, you set a daily goal. You can choose between 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes a day. Most of the Duolingo marketing touts “Spending 15 minutes a day learning a new language.” So, if you have 387.5 hours of material to get through – and you practice for 15 minutes a day – that's 1,550 days.How long does it take to become fluent in Portuguese? ›
The category 1 rating means that it is possible for the average learner to pick up Portuguese to the point of becoming fluent over the course of 575-600 hours of lessons/study spread across a period of six months.
We see this question a lot and the answer is: yes. Duolingo is a free language-learning platform, and every language and lesson is totally free!What is the fastest way to learn Portuguese? ›
Many language experts recommend immersion as the fastest way to become fluent in Portuguese; move to Portuguese or Brazil, live with a host family and have every interaction in Portuguese.Is it easier to learn Spanish or Portuguese? ›
For most native English speakers, Spanish is slightly easier to learn than Portuguese. This is primarily a matter of access. Since Spanish is spoken by over 400 million people worldwide (compared to just over 200 million for Portuguese), it's easier to find Spanish resources and media for learning or practising.What is the closest language to Portuguese? ›
Portuguese and Spanish are closely related, as they are both Latin-based languages and share many grammatical structures and patterns.What happens when you finish a language in Duolingo? ›
There is no such thing as a “finished” language course. So at Duolingo, we're always working to make our courses better! If you've gotten an update, it's because we're excited to share the latest changes to the existing course.What is the least popular language on Duolingo? ›
The least studied or least popular language on Duolingo is most likely High Valyrian.What percentage of Duolingo users finish their course? ›
Duolingo doesn't release completion rates for its courses, but a report last year said American users ranked 68th out of all countries in the number of lessons completed. A separate informal study put the overall completion rate for Spanish at less than 0.01 percent.What is the easiest language to learn? ›
- Frisian. ...
- Dutch. ...
- Norwegian. ...
- Spanish. ...
- Portuguese. ...
- Italian. ...
- French. ...