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Learn Portuguese in Rio

Learn Portuguese in Rio

If you're staying in Rio for longer than a couple of weeks, you can enjoy the city even more by learning some Portuguese and really getting immersed. Be an average gringo no more!

Of course there are many methods to learn a new language, but here we talk about 2, a great online course you can begin before you arrive and a language school for once you arrive.

Most language schools in Rio offer intensive (intensivo) courses consisting of 3 levels, beginners, intermediate and advanced. Usually completed in 4 weeks per level, 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Language Schools in Rio - Opinion

When I first moved to Rio I couldn't speak a word of Portuguese. I decided to go in head first and take the intensive course. I really enjoyed it but I, along with the rest of the class, didn't think the teacher did the best job, none of us left with any confidence. Some even decided to have a break from learning portuguese after the first month as they weren't enjoying it. Because of this, I was highly unprepared for the second level which made it all the more difficult. After struggling through the second level I decided to change school, I visited some other schools and eventually settled on a new school in Ipanema.

It turned out to be a great idea, good teachers, friendly atmosphere, close to the beach and they even organise lots of activities for you to do and meet other people - which was a huge help in a big city like Rio. An extra incentive was also that it's a school that was initially set up to to financially support and assist an orphanage in a place called Xerem. Nowadays they have their own social program called Mais Caminhos, with the profit generated from tuition they support many social programs to help underprivileged children in communities from favelas like Cantagalo, Pavao & Pavozinho nearby, so it's great knowing your fees go to a good cause.

Check out their video

Everyone has their own experiences and preferences of course but it's due to mine that we just recommend the one school here, Caminhos Language Center in Ipanema.

Make learning Portuguese fun, get involved and meet new people! I found it a great way to meet people, it can really help. In case you're interested, here's an example of some of the activities they organise:

  • Beach volleyball
  • Football
  • City Tour
  • Samba Class
  • Trips to the Orphange
  • Favela Tour
  • Hiking

All of them are, great, I love to play football with a mixture of people from around the world, some weeks there is Brazilians playing with English, Africans, Australians, Norwegians... you name it! It's great fun.

Learn online - Opinion

It's highly advisable to try to learn a new language in a variety of ways. While learning Portuguese I came across this amazing site Semantica Portuguese that really helped me in a number of ways. Their method is a very modern and interesting way of learning the language, through broken down video stories in the style of soaps (called "Novelas" here). It keeps the learning interesting, is visually stimulating, and done in a very stylish way.

With added touches such as Talk-show style breakdowns and the grammar being explained visually as well as verbally, it really helped me move forward. They have various levels as well as street talk, learning by music and a blog with lots of useful and free information. The way they make the videos in real world situation definitely helps as well. They even have tests at the end of each section to see how you're doing.

Learn Portuguese with Semantica

I tried many different methods of learning but this, along with the course I took was what I found most helpful. Ideal if you want to get a head-start learning before you come and then continue learning from home- or even via mobile.

Here's an intro to what you can expect from this brilliant site

Top Tips

Immerse yourself in the language while you're here - Put Brazilian music on your phone, watch novelas (Brazilian soaps), read the newspaper, watch the football and of course interact with people! You'll be surprised how quickly you pick some things up

Important Phrases

Hi Oi
Thank you Obrigado (m) / Obrigada (f)
How are you / things? Tudo Bem? (You can also reply - tudo bem!)
Good morning Bom dia
Good afternoon Boa tarde
Good evening / Good night Boa noite
Excuse me Com licença
Yes Sim
No Não
Please Por Favor
Sorry Desculpe
What is your name? Qual é o seu nome?
My name is... Meu nome é ...
Can you help me? Você pode me ajudar?
Can you speak more slowly? Pode falar mais devagar?
Do you speak English? (Você) fala Inglês?
Does anyone here speak English? Alguém aqui fala Inglês?
I don't understand Eu não entendo.
Does anyone here speak English? Alguém aqui fala Inglês?
How much is it? Quanto é?
You are beautiful! Você é bonita!

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