One of the best bits about learning a foreign language is getting to watch TV shows and movies in that language. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find movies and TV shows in Portuguese and it’s especially hard to find films and TV shows with subtitles. Netflix is making that easier, especially now that it has started adding European Portuguese content like Glória and Until Life do Us Part, but it’s still not ideal for language learners. Lingopie aims to satisfy that need by providing what’s essentially a Netflix library of content that has dual-language subtitles (e.g. English and Portuguese).
Lingopie actually takes it a little further than simply adding dual subtitles to shows. You can click on words that you don’t know and it automatically saves them for review later, and you can speed up and slow down the audio, depending on your level. Using your microphone, you can also repeat phrases that you’ve heard and Lingopie will tell you how accurate your pronunciation is.
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There’s a mixture of content on Lingopie and most episodes are around 10-15 minutes long. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the Portuguese-language content is is in Brazilian Portuguese with a mixture of children’s TV, documentaries, and comedies. The European Portuguese content — and there really are only a few episodes here — is mainly animated or arthouse content. Between European and Brazilian Portuguese, however, there’s enough to keep you occupied for a few months. It’s probably not as exciting as what you’d find on Netflix, but it’s more interesting than the audio or video that you traditionally get to listen to when learning a foreign language.
The biggest downside is that most TV shows only have one or two episodes, so you can’t really find something you like and then binge it. Then again, maybe binging TV isn’t the best way to learn a language? With the dual-language subtitles switched on, it’s all too easy to simply follow the English-language subtitles and never really learn anything new. To get the most out of this, you really need to only use Portuguese subtitles and pause when you don’t know a word or not use subtitles at all.
What level does it cover?
Lingopie isn’t aimed at a specific level. It’s probably best-suited to upper-beginners and intermediate-level learners that already have at least the beginner’s basics under their belt. It also probably isn’t going to replace a Portuguese language course, but it could compliment your learning and provide a nice break from memorising grammar and vocabulary.
It’s also worth pointing out that Lingopie really only covers listening and when you’re learning a language you also need to practice speaking, reading, and writing as well. That said, listening is a huge part of it and this will give you opportunities to hear Portuguese spoken in a variety of (mainly Brazilian) accents.
The easiest way to access Lingopie is on the website. There are also apps for Android and iOS devices.
Lingopie costs $12 per month and there are discounts if you purchase an annual membership. Is there enough Portuguese content to justify signing up for a year? Not sure. If you’re learning several languages, however, there’s definitely enough content. Besides Portuguese, Lingopie also offers French, Italian, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish.
There is a seven-day free trial (credit card required) where you can decide whether it’s right for you.
More information can be found at Lingopie.com