Does Babbel Offer European or Brazilian Portuguese?

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Last updated on June 5, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

Babbel is one of the biggest language learning companies in the world, offering courses for multiple languages such as Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Portuguese.

But after starting to learn Portuguese with Babbel many people find themselves asking a question they didn’t know was important: does Babbel teach Brazilian or European Portuguese?

The answer is: Babbel teaches Brazilian Portuguese, much like another popular app, Duolingo. Although Babbel don’t specifically refer to it as Brazilian Portuguese, they do use the Brazilian flag rather than the Portuguese flag, which is a bit of a clue. However, this flag is often used as the defacto flag when talking about the Portuguese language.

Is there a difference? Yes, and if you’re planning on living in Portugal (or spending a lot of time there) you should focus on European Portuguese instead. S

peak Brazilian Portuguese in Portugal and you’ll spend a lot of time being corrected by Portuguese people – definitely not what you want when you’re trying to get by in Portuguese. And if you decide to switch to European Portuguese, you’ll then have to relearn a lot of what you’ve already learnt. Basically, it’s better to focus on Portuguese from Portugal if that’s where you plan to spend the majority of your time.

So, with that in mind, what are some alternatives to Babbel that focus on European Portuguese?

Firstly, there are a number of courses that cover beginner and intermediate level European Portuguese.

Secondly, there are lots of resources which don’t have a course-like structure but are essential for learning Portuguese such as podcasts and flashcard apps.

This isn’t to say that you should completely avoid Brazilian Portuguese, although you may want to avoid Brazilian Portuguese teaching materials. You’ll still have a lot of contact with Brazilians most likely, and when you watching films in Portuguese or listen to music, there’s a good chance they’ll be from Brazil. So you’ll want to be able to understand Brazilian Portuguese but speak European Portuguese.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, Duolingo focuses on Brazilian Portuguese and not European Portuguese as well.

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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.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the helpful hints. I may have to go to Babbel and request for Portuguese Portuguese. Let’s see what happens.
    Kind Regards

    Reply
  2. Duolingo does NOT teach European Portuguese. Wasted my time for months (yes, I learned a lot of words but the pronounciation is very different). Got misunderstood a lot in Portugal.
    Duolingo does make a couple of references to both European and Brazilian Portuguese but is quite quiet about telling you it teaches Brazilian.

    Reply

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