European Portuguese with Duolingo – is it possible? (2023)

In this post I am going to answer one of my students’ most asked questions: is it possible to learn European Portuguese with Duolingo?

If you want to find out, keep reading 🙂

What is Duolingo?

If you have been studying languages online, chances are you already know what Duolingo is. According to the people at Duolingo themselves, this is the most popular language-learning platform and the most downloaded education app in the world, with more than 300 million users.

It features a lot of different languages, including Portuguese. But is European Portuguese included?

You can also learn about this topic by watching my YouTube video here:

European Portuguese vs Brazilian Portuguese

If you have read some of my previous posts, you know that Portuguese is spoken in many, many countries. In fact, Portuguese is spoken in Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, São Tomé, Macau, Timor and some other countries.

However, the two variants of the language that students most want to learn seem to be either Brazilian or European Portuguese, with Mozambican Portuguese coming right after.

But are these variations of the language so different, or can you learn one and immediately be fluent in the other?

(Video) Duolingo in European Portuguese [Is it possible?]

Well, not so fast…

While knowing one variation of the language will certainly help you along the way, it can actually also hinder your progress.

See, while they ARE the same language, Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese do have key differences.

One of the biggest of those being the pronunciation.

In fact, if you know and are used to Brazilian Portuguese, chances are that at the beginning at least, you will have some trouble understanding the Portuguese spoken in Portugal.

But what does this have to do with Duolingo?

Keep reading to find out.

Portuguese in Duolingo

So, is it possible to learn European Portuguese in Duolingo, you may be asking? Well, while you can certainly learn Portuguese, you will only find the Brazilian variation.

Therefore, if you want to learn European Portuguese in Duolingo, you won’t be so lucky.

(Video) Learn European Portuguese Online - And NOT with Duolingo!

Truth is, most of the students that come to me tell me that they started learning Portuguese in Duolingo, but what they didn’t realise or only realised much later, was that they were actually learning the variation that they did not want.

Again, this does not mean that learning Brazilian Portuguese is going to completely kill your progress with European Portuguese. But in my opinion, you should not continue down that path if you are serious about learning European Portuguese.

In fact, I understand why students end up in Duolingo. It is an easy app, super engaging and PLUS finding good resources in European Portuguese is not easy. Also, Brazilian Portuguese is actually super cute too 🙂

European Portuguese with Duolingo – is it possible? (1)

But again, if you want to find out good resources in European Portuguese, keep reading.

Below, I will tell you all about some of the best resources out there to learn Portuguese from Portugal that you can start using today to improve… There will be some FREE resources too at the end, so don’t go away without checking them out 🙂

How to learn European Portuguese online

If you’ve been searching and searching for good online resources in European Portuguese and you haven’t been able to find them, here you will finally see your questions answered.

If you are searching for some similar apps to Duolingo that offer European Portuguese, you can check the following:

You can find all the details online about these apps, but essentially they follow a little bit the pattern of Duolingo. So if you like these kind of apps, maybe you should try one of these.

(Video) Learn European Portuguese with Free Apps (NOT Duolingo!)

On the other hand, if you also would like a course that has someone guiding you from beginning to end and that is there with you all the way through, why not trying a good online course? If this sounds good to you, why not taking a look at my very own self-study, 100% online European Portuguese Online Courses.

European Portuguese with Duolingo – is it possible? (2)

I have the following:

  • The European Portuguese Master Course – it will take you from a Beginner Level (A1) to an Upper-Intermediate Level (B2) in less than 50 hours. You can follow it at your own pace, learning everything related to Portuguese and Portugal – grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, useful tips, culture, useful dialogs you can use at the doctor, at the pharmacy, when you meet someone…and so much more! I also use good resources, right from the source – Portuguese videos, TV shows, music, cartoons…it’s going to be fun!
  • The European Portuguese Speech Course – You will learn the elemental sounds of the European Portuguese and hear real native speakers speaking. I will give you charts, show you where and how to position your tongue, lips, how you should let the air flow out of your mouth to being able to master all those tricky sounds like the “nh” or the “lh”. They are complicated, right? Not anymore if you follow this course and take all the tips with you!
  • Story Time – Interactive Stories in Portuguese – This is a “not so traditional” course. If you love to learn while doing, this will be perfect for you. This membership course allows you to follow stories all in Portuguese. You will be asked to listen to them many, many times, until you know them almost by heart. You will need to take your time. Then, you will be asked to interact with those stories and answer questions related to them. This will create new pathways in your brain that will help you understand the language much better in no time! But that is not all: you will also see that your speaking will start improving. Isn’t that awesome?

If you are serious about learning European Portuguese and you don’t want to continue learning from Brazilian Portuguese resources, then you should come and check one of my courses.

Ideally, you should start with the Master Course and the Speech Course. Later on, you can also join Story Time to see what you’ve learnt in action.

If you are more a “learning by doing” kind of student, then you can jump with both feet into Story Time and learn solely through this course.

Honestly, you can come check it out and if you don’t see value in the courses, you can ask for a refund. You have 30 days after purchase to do that. So, you will not lose anything! 🙂 In fact, imagine what you can win:

  • Speaking confidently to native speakers
  • Not feeling silly in front of other people when speaking Portuguese
  • Sounding more native like than you ever imagined
  • Understanding complex sentences without problems
  • Finally connecting to the Portuguese community, making friends and maybe more…who knows?

The list goes on…

What do you think?

Would you like to try these resources in European Portuguese? Let me know in the comments below.

(Video) 100 DAYS OF DUOLINGO || I learned portuguese in 100 days

Learn European Portuguese Online for Free

If you are still not convinced, and you want to try something for free first, and check out my teaching methods before you commit to something bigger, you can also check these resources that will allow you to learn European Portuguese online for free.

  • European Portuguese Podcast – I post a new episode every week to my free podcast. It is called Mia’s Portuguese Podcast and I speak about everything and anything – 100% in Portuguese!
  • Portuguese Youtube Channel – In my Youtube channel, I post small videos every week (usually more than once a week) about Portugal and everything Portuguese. If you want to find out how to tell your friends to stop annoying you in Portuguese, or how to say “make-up” in Portuguese, among other useful, funny and interesting things, head to the channel, and you will find out! Don’t forget to subscribe 😉
  • Portuguese Instagram Page – My Instagram is also packed with videos and useful tips. Besides, you can also get to know a little bit more about me, my friends, my family and even Nala, my super cute Portuguese Podengo dog 🙂


  • Kickstart Your Portuguese – The Basics – This is a 100% FREE Online Course that will teach you the basics so you can start having your first interactions with Portuguese speakers. You will learn how and when to use the verbs SER and ESTAR, how to introduce yourself, how to pronounce certain tricky sounds and so much more! All for FREE! You can check out my method and decide whether you want to continue studying with me later on. No strings attached!

So, as you can see, there are many opportunities to learn the Portuguese spoken in Portugal for free from the comfort of you home (or wherever you are :)) Come and join me and let me know what you think about these resources.

Also, let me know: are you learning just one or more of the variations of Portuguese?

While I love Portuguese from Portugal, I just want to add that neither variation is better or worse than the other, and I believe that they just complete each other and make the language even more beautiful and rich!


In conclusion, I would like to invite you to lean in to the world of European Portuguese and to try one of the amazing resources I mentioned above.

If you are already one of my students, let others know what you think of my courses.

I wish you a happy day, wherever you are!


(Video) Speedrunning a RANDOM LANGUAGE on Duolingo (PORTUGUESE)



European Portuguese with Duolingo – is it possible? ›

There are two main varieties of Portuguese: European/Continental and Brazilian. Duolingo teaches Brazilian Portuguese, but European Portuguese speakers will also be able to understand you.

Is Duolingo European Portuguese or Brazilian Portuguese? ›

Duolingo's Portuguese course teaches the Brazilian form of Portuguese. While there are some notable differences between the Brazilian and European varieties — such as pronunciation, spelling and vocabulary — they are best viewed as two sides of the same coin.

Can you really learn Portuguese from Duolingo? ›

The world's most popular way to learn Portuguese online

Whether you're a beginner starting with the basics or looking to practice your reading, writing, and speaking, Duolingo is scientifically proven to work.

Can I learn European Portuguese on Babbel? ›

With Babbel, learning Portuguese online is easy, intuitive and under your control: learn at your own pace, choose the lessons you want, and review and practice vocabulary on the go. Portuguese and English share Latin roots and thousands of words in common.

Can Brazilian Portuguese speakers understand European Portuguese? ›

Can European Portuguese understand Brazilian Portuguese speakers and vice-versa? The answer is yes — but probably speakers will ask for clarification at times. Let's look at some of the differences between these two variants.

Is European Portuguese harder to learn than Brazilian Portuguese? ›

There are many pros to learning both variations of Portuguese as the language continues to grow in both the business and pop culture worlds. However, we recommend you start with Brazilian Portuguese first since many language-learners say its easier to learn than European Portuguese.

What level does Duolingo Portuguese get you to? ›

At Duolingo, we're developing our courses to get you to a level called B2, at which you can get a job in the language you're studying. Reaching that kind of proficiency requires dedication, varied practice opportunities, and a lot of time.

What is the best method to learn Portuguese? ›

Many language experts recommend immersion as the fastest way to become fluent in Portuguese; move to Portuguese or Brazil, live with a host family and have every interaction in Portuguese.

How many hours does it take to learn Portuguese fluently? ›

about 600 hours

How difficult is European Portuguese to learn? ›

Portuguese is not hard to learn for English speakers. Since English and Portuguese both evolved from Latin, they share ~3,000 cognates, as well as some basic grammar and pronunciation rules. English speakers will discover plenty of Portuguese words that sound familiar.

How long does it take to learn European Portuguese? ›

According to their estimations, it would take between 575 and 600 “classroom hours” to learn Portuguese. What is this? ALTE, the Association of Language Testers in Europe, estimates that it would take 500-600 hours to reach B2 level and 700-800 hours to reach a C1 level.

Is Babbel Portuguese European or Brazilian? ›

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.

What is the best translator for European Portuguese? ›

The Best Resources for Translating English to European Portuguese
  • DeepL. This one is our go-to for translating sentences from European Portuguese to English. ...
  • Google Translate. This is probably the most popular automatic translation service. ...
  • Infopédia. ...
  • Reverso. ...

Is Rosetta Stone good for European Portuguese? ›

Unfortunately, Rosetta Stone teaches Brazilian Portuguese as opposed to European Portuguese. This is great news if you're planning on visiting Brazil, but not such good news if you're planning on moving to Portugal.

What is the fastest way to learn Portugal Portuguese? ›

The Best Way to Study Portuguese – 6 Tips That Will Work Wonders
  1. Begin your Portuguese training with the best language learning app available. ...
  2. Read children's books in Portuguese. ...
  3. Use flashcards for those Portuguese words that can't seem to stick. ...
  4. Train your ears with TV series, movies, music or short videos in Portuguese.
Jul 11, 2019

Is there a big difference between Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese? ›

In general, European and Brazilian Portuguese are mutually intelligible. While there are subtle variations in grammar, lexical preferences, and spelling between the two standards, it is their pronunciations that differ the most.

Can you learn both European and Brazilian Portuguese? ›

differences between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese. European and Brazilian Portuguese are mutually intelligible, and those who speak one language can understand the other. While there are many similarities, there are also striking differences in grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

Why does Brazilian Portuguese sound so different from European Portuguese? ›

Brazilian Portuguese is thought to be more phonetically pleasing to the ear thanks to its open vowels, while European Portuguese can sound somewhat garbled. Brazilian accents have a strong cadence and lift to them, making it easier to learn and understand.

Why should I learn European Portuguese? ›

If you learn European Portuguese, you will be able to understand Brazilian Portuguese, although you will need to expose yourself to the way it's spoken through podcasts, movies, music, and speaking with Brazilian people. If you learn Brazilian Portuguese, you will also be able to understand European Portuguese.

Which Brazilian accent is closest to European Portuguese? ›

Florianopolis accent is the closest to the European one.

Is it okay to speak Brazilian Portuguese in Portugal? ›

It doesn't matter! The choice is completely up to you because the language is the same. Even though the accents, vocabulary and expressions, and grammar may be a little different, Portuguese is still the primary language used in Brazil and Portugal.

What unit of Duolingo do you become fluent? ›

Basically, if you can get to B2, then you can get by in a language with minimal discomfort. You won't be perfect, but you'll be more than capable of functioning. This pretty much marries up with my definition of fluency. And so, if you subscribe to my definition, it could be said that Duolingo aim to make you fluent.

How many people learn Portuguese on Duolingo? ›

Duolingo users by language 2022 (mm)
LanguageUsers (mm)
2 more rows
Apr 5, 2023

Can I learn Portuguese in 3 months? ›

How quickly you learn Spanish or Portuguese will depend on how many consistent hours you put into practicing the language. If you can dedicate 2-3 hours a day of deep study with the right methodology, you can achieve a CEFR A2 conversational level of fluency in only 3 months.

Can I learn Portuguese in 6 months? ›

As for the question about the time it takes to learn Portuguese, the FSI gives an estimate of 24 weeks (roughly 6 months) for an English native speaker student to reach the so-called “Professional Working Proficiency,” which roughly corresponds to the B2/C1 level according to the CEFR scale.

Can I learn Portuguese in 2 weeks? ›

You really can learn to speak Brazilian Portuguese in just two weeks or less. But you must use the right methods and have a sensible game plan.

What is the hardest part about learning Portuguese? ›

Many people think that Portuguese has impossible conjugations! There are really a lot of verb tenses to learn and a lot of conjugations to remember, this is the main reason that students consider difficult in the Portuguese language.

How long does it take for an American to learn Portuguese? ›

However, according to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), which trains US diplomats in foreign languages, it takes approximately 600-750 classroom hours, or 24 weeks of full-time study, for a native English speaker to achieve fluency in Portuguese.

Which is harder Portuguese or Spanish? ›

For most native English speakers, Spanish is slightly easier to learn than Portuguese. This is primarily a matter of access. Since Spanish is spoken by over 400 million people worldwide (compared to just over 200 million for Portuguese), it's easier to find Spanish resources and media for learning or practising.

Why is European Portuguese harder? ›

Portuguese is guttural with 'd' and 't' distinctly pronounced, which is why the Portuguese find it hard not to over stress the 'ed' endings of many English words. Then there's the pronunciation problems of some Portuguese words beginning with 'es' where the 'es' is pronounced as sch, such as in Estoril (schtoril).

What is the hardest language to learn for Europeans? ›

Hungarian is widely considered as the most difficult language to learn in Europe. Hungarians are well aware of that. It has two consequences: They often repeat that Hungarian is an awfully difficult language.

What is a B2 level in Portuguese? ›

What is this? According to the CEFR guide, a B2 language speaker will be able to: Understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialisation.

How many words do you need to be fluent in Portuguese? ›

The 5000 most used Portuguese words will make you fluent for almost every day situations. Your vocabulary will be comparable to that of a native speaker who has completed high school.

Is it easy to get around Portugal without speaking Portuguese? ›

Although recommended, you are not required to learn Portuguese to live in Portugal. Especially among immigrant communities, it is common for foreigners not to speak the local language and yet continue living their lives.

Is it possible to learn Portuguese in a year? ›

You can and will learn Portuguese faster than you expect. There are even cases (as the internet will surely tell you) of people who learn it in less than a year.

Is Rosetta Stone Portuguese Brazilian or European? ›

The dialect that Rosetta Stone teaches is Brazilian Portuguese. It is a neutral, educated accent common to metropolitan areas. The Portuguese language has two main dialects: Brazilian and European. The dialects spoken in African and Asian countries are most similar to the European dialect.

Is Rosetta Stone better than Babbel Portuguese? ›

Babbel vs Rosetta Stone: Key Differences

Here are the key differences between Babbel and Rosett Stone. In their teaching method, Babbel uses dialogues, whereas Rosetta Stone uses sentences. The audio quality on Rosetta Stone is much better than on Babbel.

Can a Portuguese person understand a Spanish person? ›

While there are some differences between the two languages, most native Spanish and Portuguese speakers can understand each other if each party speaks clearly.

What dialect of Portuguese does duolingo teach? ›

Duolingo's Portuguese course teaches the Brazilian form of Portuguese. While there are some notable differences between the Brazilian and European varieties — such as pronunciation, spelling and vocabulary — they are best viewed as two sides of the same coin.

What is the most translatable language? ›

1. Chinese Translation. Chinese is one of the most translated languages. The population of China is over 1 billion, and there are also 1.3 billion native Chinese speakers.

What language is Portuguese closer too? ›

Portuguese and Spanish are closely related, as they are both Latin-based languages and share many grammatical structures and patterns.

What is the best free language app for European Portuguese? ›

Duolingo is a popular language-learning app because it offers all of its courses for free. Learn basic Portuguese vocabulary and grammar with fun and interactive lessons.

Who speaks European Portuguese? ›

As a result, Portuguese is now the official language of several independent countries and regions: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal, & São Tomé and Príncipe.

Is Portugal Portuguese harder than Brazilian Portuguese? ›

Brazilian Portuguese is considered by many to be the easier strand to learn, with its open vowels and strong cadence (it's also considered to be easier on the ears, for this reason).

Which Portuguese should I learn first? ›

However, we recommend you start with Brazilian Portuguese first since many language-learners say its easier to learn than European Portuguese. Then, after you have mastered Brazilian Portuguese, you will only have to make slight vocabulary and grammar changes to speak European Portuguese. A WIN-WIN!

Why is Portuguese harder to learn than Spanish? ›

Grammar: There are differences in tenses, prepositions, cardinal numbers, and more in Spanish vs. Portuguese. Pronunciation and spelling: Portuguese contains more accents and silent letters than Spanish, making spelling and pronunciation more difficult than Spanish.

Why does Duolingo use the Brazilian flag for Portuguese? ›

because it teaches brazilian portuguese. similarly, english courses use the US flag. I hope some day duolingo adds portuguese from portugal variants as well, though that's likely not high on the agenda.

Is Babbel Portuguese Brazilian or European? ›

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.

What European languages are on Duolingo? ›

  • Duolingo.
  • French.
  • German.
  • Greek.
  • Italian.
  • Language Learning.
  • Russian.
  • Spanish.
Feb 20, 2023

Is Brazilian Portuguese closer to Spanish than European Portuguese? ›

The same happens in Brazilian Portuguese: “estou comendo”. In Portugal, however, people would use the infinitive verb form and say: “estou a comer”. These are examples of the differences between Brazilian and European Portuguese that make Brazilian Portuguese closer to Spanish than European Portuguese.

What is the difference between Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese? ›

One of the most significant differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese is the placement and use of object pronouns. In European Portuguese, pronouns come after the verb, while in Brazilian Portuguese the pronoun comes before. In Portuguese (like Spanish), pronouns are different depending on formality.

Does Rosetta Stone teach European Portuguese? ›

Unfortunately, Rosetta Stone teaches Brazilian Portuguese as opposed to European Portuguese. This is great news if you're planning on visiting Brazil, but not such good news if you're planning on moving to Portugal.

Does Rosetta Stone have Brazilian Portuguese? ›

Rosetta Stone specifically focuses on teaching Brazilian Portuguese, also known as Português do Brasil. It's spoken by virtually all of the 200 million inhabitants of Brazil and spoken throughout the Brazilian diaspora, which consists of about two million Brazilians who have emigrated to other countries.

Which language is most learned in Duolingo? ›

English is the top language of choice for Indians to learn on Duolingo. According to the India report card 2022 of Duolingo—the most downloaded education app worldwide—the top five languages Indians are learning on the platform are English, Hindi, French, Korean and Spanish.

Can you become fluent with Duolingo? ›

We see this question a lot and the answer is: yes. Duolingo is a free language-learning platform, and every language and lesson is totally free!

Is Duolingo test accepted in Europe? ›

Duolingo English test is accepted in Canada, the USA, China, Japan, Germany and many more countries. Duolingo English test is easier than and is equivalent to IELTS or TOEFL.


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