Intermediate B1

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the B1 level.

CEFR Scale

My suggestion* for these two weeks is to focus on:

  • perfeito vs. imperfeito / subjunctive mood intro
  • reading and listening comprehension
  • conversation

*There's always room to adjust the course according to the group's preferences:

After this course, you'll have come closer to the B1 level and have the tools and strategies to get there and beyond.

Not sure if you should enroll in the A2 or B1 course?

Clean Slate A0

Geared toward Absolute Beginners, this course gives you a solid start and foundation to build upon.

CEFR Scale

This is an introductory course to the Portuguese language as spoken in Portugal. Throughout the course, we will focus on the Portuguese sound system and basic Portuguese grammar.

You will also learn how to introduce yourself and day-to-day, useful phrases. Finally, we will discuss learning resources and strategies to support your learning journey.

After the course, you will have a basic understanding of European Portuguese pronunciation and grammar. You will also be capable of engaging in simple, short oral interactions. Last but not least, you will be aware of a variety of learning resources and strategies to help you succeed at learning the language.

Portuguese short story for beginners - de maos dadas - Portuguesepedia
Easy Reads for Portuguese Lanugage Learners - Entre a Felicidade e a Tristeza - by Portuguesepedia

I will keep you updated on upcoming course seasons

Name *
Email *
Number of seats *
Desired level *
Where are you at? (1 Beginner–10 Fluent)

Beginners A2

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A2 level.

CEFR Scale

My suggestion* for these two weeks is to focus on:

  • prepositions
  • past tense: perfeito vs. imperfeito
  • listening comprehension and conversation

*There's always room to adjust the course according to the group's preferences:

After this course, you'll have come closer to the A2 level and have the tools and strategies to get there and beyond.

Not sure if you should enroll in the A2 or B1 course?

Beginners A1

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A1 level.

If you have just started your learning journey, you may find this course too challenging. Consider enrolling for the Clean Slate A0 instead (if available).

CEFR Scale

This is an all-round course, meaning that we’ll work on all aspects of language learning (at the A1 level):

  • pronunciation
  • listening comprehension
  • reading comprehension
  • conversation
  • grammar

After this course, you'll have come closer to the A1 level and have the tools and strategies to get there and beyond.

Not sure if you should enroll in the A1 or A2 course?

There are plenty of interesting options for our accommodation. It will most likely be a countryside house near Tavira.

I haven't booked it yet because I want to get a better idea of the group's composition (how many couples/singles) and your preferences before I do so. That will for instance help me understand how big a house we might need.

I look forward to soon talking to you about this and much more. Até breve, p

Where are you at? (1 Beginner–10 Fluent)

Surprise surprise!

Do you know what constipado means in Portuguese? It mightn't be what you are thinking...

Get a list of 50+ English-Portuguese False Friends and be surprised.

Where are you at? (1 Beginner–10 Fluent)

INTENSIVE COURSES FALL '23 (Algarve) » Applications are open!

This article is brought to you by
Online Courses in European Portuguese
Learn Portuguese through Short Stories

Learn Portuguese with Subtitles: Best Practices

Once you’ve mastered your target language, you’ll be able to watch TV shows or YouTube videos without subtitles (as well as listen to radio and podcasts). That’s proof of your mastery and most likely your ultimate goal.

However, becoming fluent in Portuguese will take time and subtitles will for sure come in handy throughout your learning journey.

So, yes. As a language learner, you can and should lean on subtitles to help you advance your Portuguese language skills. 

Now, whenever using subtitles in your learning practice, there’s a number of things you should consider for it to be as effective as possible. 

In this article, you’ll get a few useful insights as to how to make the most out of subtitles in the context of language learning. Let’s start with distinguishing between intralingual and interlingual subtitles.

Intralingual vs. interlingual subtitles

Intralingual subtitles are subtitles in the same language as the audio, that is, your target language. Interlingual subtitles, on the other hand, imply that the audio and subtitles are in different languages. 

The interlingual scenario offers two variants: either you are listening to your target language with subtitles in your native idiom (or another idiom you are comfortable with) or vice versa.

I will soon discuss when you should be using one or the other. For now, let me make you aware of how today’s technology broadens your language practice possibilities.

Machine-generated subtitles

Learning and practicing a foreign language has never been so accessible and convenient as it is today. Much of this improvement comes from advancements in technology and AI, namely, the increasing capabilities of machine-generated subtitles.

As of the time of this writing, you can look for audiovisual content anywhere on the internet and easily pull in machine-generated subtitles in your language of preference.

Whether you are browsing YouTube, Netflix, or Prime Video, there are several browser extensions* that will do the magic for you. 

* Here are a few Chrome extensions you can use (there are several others):   
Subtitles for Prime Video
Subtitles for YouTube and Netflix
Subtitles for Netflix

Now, you may be thinking that machine-generated subtitles will most likely be unreliable. Well, not so fast. I’ve been testing these tools lately and I must admit I am quite impressed. 

Granted, they still miss a number of contextual subtleties and all of that. But for the most part, these technologies are quite accurate (and getting better by the day). It is, therefore, my conviction that any language learner can greatly benefit from these tools, which by the way are free of charge.

Alright. You are now aware of the possibility of pulling in subtitles in any language when browsing the internet (all you need is an extension installed in your browser like the ones mentioned above). 

Let’s now move on to discuss the use of interlingual vs. intralingual subtitles and how you can resonate around that (in the context of language learning). 

Tips! Here’re a few suggestions for Portuguese language learners who may remain skeptical about machine-generated subtitles and prefer the “real” deal: 

Interlingual (EN audio w/ PT subs) > Foreign series on RTP play (you’ll probably need a VPN in case you’re outside Portugal)
Interlingual (PT audio w/ EN subs) > if you subscribe to any streaming provider such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, search for Portuguese/Brazilian movies and turn on the subs provided by them
Intralingual (PT audio w/ PT subs) > 22 Online Portuguese TV Shows with Subtitles to Boost Your Language Learning + 10 YouTube Channels for Portuguese Language Learners 

Should we use intralingual or interlingual subtitles?

Here’s the short answer. Intralingual subtitles are, in principle, always to be preferred – they provide a higher degree of language immersion and help you train your brain to stay away from back-and-forth translation between your native and target languages, which is crucial to the process of becoming fluent.

In practice, however, intralingual subtitles may not always be an obvious choice. It always comes down to a balancing act – your practice should always be challenging without becoming overwhelmingly difficult (to the point that it feels meaningless and you give up). 

Say, for instance, that you are an absolute beginner and you start watching a Portuguese soap opera with Portuguese subtitles. Chances are that it will be very hard for you to make any sense of it and, before long, you will turn it off. Again, your practice should be challenging, but it also should be giving and compelling. Otherwise, what’s the point?

In that situation, it would be preferable to watch the episode with subtitles in a language you have a good command of. You’d still get exposure to your target language’s audio and learn new words. Above all, you’d be able to follow along and enjoy the show while making tangible progress in your learning.

Now, within the interlingual practice, it is always preferable (also more challenging) to have the audio in your target language than the other way around. 

If you choose to have the audio in your native tongue (w/ subs in your target language), you’ll still make progress by, say, getting acquainted with a few new words. Nonetheless, you’ll be missing out on precious exposure to your target language’s sounds and melody, which is a cornerstone of your learning journey.

Here’s the thing. Learning efficacy and difficulty level are positively correlated.

Practice modeDifficulty levelLearning efficacy
1. Interlingual subs (audio in your native language) ++
2. Interlingual subs (audio in your target language)++++++
3. Intralingual subs++++++++++

Keep in mind that the progression depicted in the table above is not linear – it totally depends on the complexity level of the content you are consuming. 

For example, it is one thing to watch a short-format show with a well-delimited topic. It is another thing to watch a political debate where four guests representing four different political parties discuss the state of the nation. You may be on mode 3 while watching the former, but you might need to revert to mode 2 to watch the latter.

Complexity levels apart, you want to transition from mode 1 to 3 as you move on along your learning journey. That’s the principle. 

So, whenever you are practicing, always be conscious of that balance I’ve been mentioning: it should feel challenging without being overwhelmingly difficult. If you are practicing, say, on mode 1, and it doesn’t feel as challenging as it should, then move on to mode 2 (and so on and so forth).

Reading tips! If you enjoyed reading this post, you’ll love this one:  Mindsets and Strategies to Learn Portuguese the Best (or any other language)

Perfect vs. Imperfect

Break Free from the Tyranny of the Present Tense

Portuguese Bad Words

Master Portuguese Strong Language and Swear Like a Native.

Intensive Courses

Get right on track towards fluency 

Stay tuned for upcoming online courses and other learning materials.

Where are you at? (1 Beginner–10 Fluent)