How to Learn Portuguese Completely Online

By | Last updated: June 3, 2020
"I live in Portugal, I've travelled to almost every part of Portugal, and one day I hope to write a book about Portugal."

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So you want to learn Portuguese, but want to learn it online rather than in a class? Maybe you aren’t living in Portugal yet, or maybe you just live too far from the nearest Portuguese class. Perhaps you prefer to self-study or maybe you like the idea of learning from home or your favourite coffee shop?

Whatever your reasons, it’s possible to learn Portuguese entirely online – from just about anywhere in the world. That doesn’t just apply to vocabulary and grammar; it’s also possible to take classes online and find native speakers to practice with over Skype.

In this article, you’ll…

  • See a list of online Portuguese courses.
  • Find a teacher who will give lessons over Skype (some people prefer taught classes rather than taking an online course and self-studying).
  • Find a teacher who offers conversational Portuguese lessons (this is essential both for practice and making sure that you’re getting the pronunciation correct).
  • Get a list of written and audio resources that you can learn from in your spare time.

Online courses in European Portuguese

The following courses are all completely online-based, and the list doesn’t include textbooks. If you’d like to see a list of them, be sure to read the complete list of courses that cover European Portuguese.

Resources for beginners

These materials don’t correspond to an exam level, but as a guide they’re they’re A1 to A2 level (beginner).

Want more resources? Be sure to read the big list of free resources for learning European Portuguese.






Instituto Camões Portuguese for Foreigners C1 – A paid self-study course covering A1 Portuguese, with basic (includes group Skype tutoring) and premium (includes individual Skype tutoring) options.


Once you reach this stage, your best bet is to contact one of the schools or teachers that offer private lessons over Skype at C2-level (see schools below).

Schools & teachers that offer private lessons

Some people want to study online (especially if they’re not in Portugal) but would prefer lessons rather than self-study. If that sounds like you, the following schools offer 1-to-1 classes over Skype which can tailored to your needs.

You can also take structured classes through sites like Italki or Verbling. Both also have teachers that give conversational classes where you just practice speaking and they correct any mistakes that you make.

Practice speaking

A big part, if not the most important part, of learning a language is actually speaking with someone. Traditionally most people would do this face-to-face in a café or in someone’s home but, increasingly, more and more people are doing this online through apps like Skype – even people who live in Lisbon or Porto.

There are two ways to practice speaking Portuguese: either with a teacher or as part of a tandem exchange (where you swap tuition in your native language for the other person’s).

Teachers that offer conversational Portuguese classes

It’s much, much more effective to work with a teacher than with a language exchange partner, and there are several sites where you can find teachers who offer conversational Portuguese classes like:

Italki is the largest of the three, and tends to be the most popular and also the cheapest. Most of the teachers that are on Italki are also on Verbling and other similar sites as well.

(Note: If you just select Portuguese, you’ll get a lot of teachers from Brazil. Be sure to select that you want a teacher who comes from Portugal as well).

Where to find a tandem exchange partner

There are several sites which connect native language speakers with people that are learning that language. You chat over Skype or over the phone, spending some time on each language and correcting each other’s mistakes. Sites to look at include:

Practice listening & Reading

About this article
This article was first published in December 2018. It was last updated on June 3, 2020.
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11 thoughts on “How to Learn Portuguese Completely Online”

  1. Hello
    Could you please advise on where I can do a PORTUEGUESE language text and receive a certificate, preferably online. I will look forward to your response

  2. I have not noticed that yhe name of a certain site that teaches European Portuguese is on here… so I would like to tell you about it! It is a huge gift for anyone to learn European Portuguese…there are two brilliant individuals in Lisbon who realised some years ago, that most Portuguese classes online was Brazilian, so they created a a wonderful learning tool for this lovely language, and it is strictly European Portuguese….here is the name of their site: they have a free option, and an upgraded option, it only costs about €11 per month and is worth every cent. With the paid option you can record yourself, copying the speaker, so that helps you to repeat until correct. Many other good learning tools on their, have a look for yourself.

  3. Hi James,

    Thanks for all the info!
    I’ve tried Plataforma de Português Online but there seems to be a problem when you press the icon to listen. There is almost never a sound. Very frustrating as the site seems to be very interesting to use for online learning…. :-((((

    • It’s a really comprehensive site, but it suffers from some big technical problems. I find it very slow.

      Such a shame as clearly a lot of work went into it!

  4. Hi James
    Please could you check the Travellinguist Portuguese 101 site that you recommend? Some of those pronunciations sound distinctly Brazilian – for example, “onde”?


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