How to Learn Portuguese With Soap Operas, Radio, TV and Movies

March 6, 2012


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I am not in Brazil. How do I get to listen to real Brazilians speaking?

Listen to Brazilian Radio

CBN. You can listen to it live or download podcasts on all sorts of subjects (economics, music, health, alternative living, etc).

Listening to the radio, even in the background, is key to learning a new language. If it weren’t for my local Portuguese radio station, I wouldn’t be able to speak the language.

Watch Brazilian TV Online For Free

Watch Brazilian news, sports clips, television programs and soap opera clips on Globo.

Melodrama To The Rescue!

How can I dare to mention Brazilian media in the same blog post about learning Portuguese without explaining the pedagogical import of Brazilian novelas (soap operas)? Yes, melodrama can help you learn Brazilian Portuguese and be entertained at the same time!

This may be the first time in your life when watching television soap operas is your homework assignment. Take advantage of the opportunity!

Melodrama is easy to understand because the facial gestures and hand movements are overly dramatic. Even without knowing all the words, you will be able to “get the gist” of some of the action. The images of the characters will tell you what they are talking about.

Tune into HOW they are speaking and the words they are using to describe the images that are appearing on the screen.

Resources for finding Brazilian soap operas online.

Look For Subtitles

The use of subtitles while watching TV and movies, especially authentic programming, is extremely useful in improving your language abilities.

You can find Brazilian soap operas on You Tube with subtitles in English. Just type in the name of the novela and “English subtitles”. For example, here’s an episode of Clara e Rafaela with English subtitles.

If you are looking for subtitles in Portuguese, use the name of the movie or show you are looking for plus the word “legendado” or subtitled in Portuguese.

Viki is a website run by volunteers which features original TV programs and movies from all over the world and adds subtitles in a multitude of languages. Users can choose which languages they would like to see videos in, add subtitles as well as captions in the original language, as well as participate in culture and language discussions about the program. Use of Viki is free. Currently, there are six Brazilian TV shows (including soap opera) and one Brazilian movie with subtitles in various languages including Portuguese, English and Spanish. (Some only have English subtitles.)

Photo By: seier+seier

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