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Beyond The Basics: How to Learn Portuguese to A2 Level

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Last updated on March 22, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you’re learning European Portuguese, a good milestone to aim for is the A2 level. This level, which is the second level in the CEFR scale, will give you enough Portuguese to navigate many basic day-to-day conversations and basically just get by.

The B1 and B2 levels (or intermediate) will give you more skills to handle day-to-day conversations and really get by, but at the A2 level, also known as upper-beginner, you’ll have a good foundation on which to keep learning.

And here’s something else: The A2 the minimum language proficiency level required for those applying for Portuguese citizenship or permanent residency (for those from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland).

  • You’re apply for Portuguese citizenship after living here for 5+ years
  • You’re applying for permanent residency as a third-country national after living here for 5+ years 
  • You’re applying for Portuguese citizenship through a Portuguese grandparent
  • You’re applying for Portuguese citizenship through your Portuguese spouse or partner

Courses That Cover A2 European Portuguese

You probably already know this, but there’s a difference between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese.

If you’re planning to sit the CIPLE exam (A2 Portuguese) then it’s best you have focused on Portuguese from Portugal due to the differences in pronunciation and grammar. 

There are now several courses that cover European Portuguese at the A2 level.

Portuguese Pro

Portuguese Pro comes from Liz Sharma of Talk The Streets, one of the most popular YouTube channels about learning European Portuguese.

The course is incredibly thorough and also includes a lot of additional content through the back catalogue of weekly videos covering pronunciation and answering members’ questions. 

A1 & A2 From Mia Language Academy

Around $399 + TAX

Mia Esmeriz teaches European Portuguese and has courses that cover A1 and A2 Portuguese, which you can purchase as a bundle. She also offers additional courses covering the B1 and B2 levels as well as a separate course on pronunciation. 

Read a review of Mia’s courses

Practice Portuguese 

Practice Portuguese started out as a podcast but is now an entire language learning studio. It’s also one of the few European Portuguese resources to include an app.

There’s plenty of great content within the members’ area, but what’s particularly helpful is the shorties or short dialogues, which will be invaluable for familiarising yourself with spoken Portuguese. If you’re taking the A2 language exam, this is one of the areas people find the most challenging, so it’s worth listening to the audio clips here to familiarise yourself with how Portuguese is pronounced in Portugal.

Read a review of Practice Portuguese

Portuguese Academy

$35 per month or $199 per year

Portuguese Academy from Portuguese Lab offers a course that covers A1 and A2 Portuguese, as well as B1 and B2 if you wish to continue improving your language skills. 

The Journey

€25 per month or €250 per year

The Journey is a language course from Portuguese With Carla that follows an incredibly cinematic story while at the same time teaching you Portuguese.

Although it isn’t broken down into categories like A1 and A2, there’s a lot of useful content in here and the course goes into the B1 and B2 levels and even touches on some C1 stuff. It’s ideal for those that want a more non-linear immersive approach to learning Portuguese and who want to go beyond the A2.

Read a review

Plataforma de Português Online

Plataforma de Português Online is a free online course that covers levels A1-B2. It isn’t perfect (it sometimes crashes and it’s not very instructive) but it’s still a useful resource to have access to for free, particularly for working out what vocab you need to learn for each level.

Other Resources

  • Memrise: Tailored for those aiming to solidify their vocabulary, Memrise excels at using spaced repetition and interactive games, making memorisation more effective and fun. For A2 learners, its real-life language videos featuring native speakers can be particularly beneficial, bridging the gap between textbook Portuguese and the way it’s actually spoken.
  • Drops: Perfect for learners who are short on time, Drops makes vocabulary building a breeze with its visually appealing and quick activities. At the A2 level, engaging with its playful lessons can significantly boost your vocabulary, a critical component for moving beyond basic conversations.
  • Meetup.com: While finding European Portuguese speakers might be a challenge, Meetup.com remains an invaluable resource for practicing speaking skills. For A2 learners, the key is to engage in conversations that stretch your comfort zone, helping to reinforce your learning in a practical, social setting.
  • Conjuguemos: As you delve deeper into A2, mastering verb conjugations becomes crucial. Conjuguemos, with its interactive activities and games, turns what could be a tedious aspect of language learning into an enjoyable challenge. It’s an excellent tool for reinforcing your understanding of different verb tenses and forms.
  • Lyrics Training: This innovative app combines music with language learning, offering a fun way to improve listening comprehension and pick up colloquial phrases. At the A2 level, where understanding spoken Portuguese becomes more important, Lyrics Training can help you tune your ear to the nuances of the language, all while enjoying some catchy tunes.

See more resources in our big guide to learning European Portuguese.

Books

If you prefer to learn languages the old fashioned way, there are also a number of textbooks that teach Portuguese to A2 level. 

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James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.