If you want to learn Portuguese in a way that’s engaging and generally just more fun, then YouTube is the way to go.
It’s a great place to find interesting content that will help improve your Portuguese.
You may think Portuguese is only spoken in Portugal and Brazil, but it’s actually the official language of 9 countries, spanning 4 continents. This means there are a lot of people who speak it (over 250 million!) and a lot of exciting and enticing culture surrounding the language.
YouTube’s an easy way to access that culture, with loads of videos on the site that showcase traditional music, food, and other cultural aspects. With visuals as well as audio, YouTube videos can help you improve all four language skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening).
Read on for my own personal favorite YouTube channels to help you learn Portuguese.
Best YouTube channels for beginner Portuguese learners
The following videos are perfect for beginners to Portuguese.
This channel is the best for picking up vocab.
The host, Luciana Lage, is an experienced Portuguese tutor, so you can bet she knows a thing or two about the right ways to teach Portuguese. Specializing in Brazilian Portuguese, she has released all kinds of videos onto her channel, from vocab learning to grammar lessons, to when to use words in context.
Street Smart Brazil teaches natural and idiomatic language, which will help you form conversations like native speakers. Each video covers a certain topic in depth, allowing you to develop your vocab effectively. By teaching you various ways of saying things, your Portuguese dialogues will sound sophisticated instead of repetitive.
The videos are dictated mainly in English, so they’re perfect for newcomers to the language. Another reason why these videos are so good for beginners is because Luciana Lage publishes tips and advice to improve the way you learn Portuguese. Novices who haven’t studied another language before will benefit hugely from the guidance provided by Lage.
Street Smart Brazil also offers a website where you can read articles about learning Portuguese, and obtain one-to-one lessons from Portuguese tutors.
While Street Smart Brazil provides sophisticated content, the edits are nothing special. The videos can occasionally be a bit bland, but the juicy Portuguese content within them is worth watching.
Through her channel Hello Rusty, the host (Rusty herself) releases videos for Portuguese beginners. A lot of her content is also useful for intermediate-level speakers.
Rusty is warm and friendly, and her voice is calming, a trait that is often overlooked when searching for YouTube content. Having a welcoming host is important, because this allows you to focus on language learning and makes you want to stay and watch more. There’s nothing worse than an awkward or over-the-top host.
Rusty’s videos cover a range of content, from basic vocab and grammatical constructions to interjections and pronunciation. She offers a lot of videos that are great for beginners, often speaking in English for the entire duration. This means you won’t get lost when you’re following along.
The videos are insightful, and feel authentic and original. Speaking like a native is made so much easier by Rusty, who frequently teaches you natural ways of saying things, such as this one about interjections. Videos like this one are occasionally released entirely in Portuguese for more intermediate-level students. Don’t worry, though, as the videos are subtitled in English!
She also releases videos that take you through the lyrics of popular Brazilian songs, so you can discover good music while also learning vital vocab! Songs are an especially great way of learning a language, because they often contain slang words and idioms. Learning the song lyrics alongside a native Brazilian like Rusty is extremely helpful.
Perfect for all levels, Professor Jason gives detailed and informative video lessons on learning Portuguese.
For beginners, having an experienced teacher show you the fundamentals of a language is invaluable. Given his comprehensive teaching experience, Professor Jason knows what’s best for his students.
His lesson plans are extremely well thought out. He includes lesson overviews at the start of each video, so you can be sure you’re watching a video that’s most appropriate to you. His channel is organized neatly, with videos sorted into playlists for each level and language category.
Professor Jason speaks slowly and clearly, often in English (especially the videos for beginners). His Jump Start Brazilian Portuguese lessons are best for beginners, and don’t just include simple explanations of simple grammar. Instead, Jason aims to improve your cultural knowledge, teaching you conversational phrases so you can speak like a local (for example, see this video on common informal expressions).
What’s more, as the title suggests, Professor Jason also teaches Spanish! So, if your craving for languages isn’t satisfied by just one romance language, why not try out another?
Best channels for higher-level Portuguese learners
DamonAndJo is prime YouTube culture. Funny, audacious, and innovative, these two friends make great videos to help you improve your Portuguese.
Friends Damon (the American) and Jo (the Brazilian) are vloggers who chronicle their everyday lives while embracing the cultures of foreign countries. Although a lot of their videos are in English (and some in French), they have released a bunch of Portuguese content. For this, you’ll want to navigate through their channel and click on the “Videos em Português” playlist.
Damon and Jo make videos on all sorts of topics, from travel to cooking (for instance, check out this video where they cook feijoada, a type of bean and meat dish). They also cover language aspects of Portuguese, such as common difficulties and slang terms.
The videos are more for advanced speakers, because they talk pretty quickly. However, if you find yourself not following, you can always turn on the closed captions, which have been translated into English.
What’s more, the videos actually make you feel better about yourself. Damon is still in the process of learning Portuguese (although he’s very advanced), and he regularly makes mistakes. As a result, Damon comes across as very relatable, and it’s comforting to know that no matter how good you get or how much work you put in, you’ll always make mistakes - and that’s fine!
5inco minutos is best for supplementing your advanced knowledge of Portuguese.
5inco minutos is a channel hosted by Kéfera Buchmann, who records short videos where she talks about her life or general societal issues, like relationships. Despite the name, her videos last around 10-15 minutes each, which is perfect for if you just want a quick fix of Portuguese content.
Kéfera speaks fairly quickly, so her channel is recommended for more advanced speakers who already have a good grasp of vocab and grammar. Viewers can see how language is used in context, and her natural speech is excellent listening practice for those still learning the language.
The videos are often uncomplicated monologues that cover various lifestyle topics. They might not be the most visually engaging, but they are short and sweet videos to practice your listening skills.
Porta dos Fundos is a channel of short sketches - perfect for comedy fans!
The comedy troupe behind Porta dos Fundos has enjoyed great success in recent years, winning an International Emmy in 2019 and releasing several Netflix shows. They were the first Brazilian YouTube channel to achieve 10 million subscribers, which just goes to show how popular they are.
Their videos are short and funny, perfect for Portuguese learners who want to keep up their language. They cover everyday topics in a satirical and exaggerated manner, also giving an insight into Brazilian culture.
Due to their international popularity, most of their videos have English subtitles. If you find yourself not quite getting the humor (don’t worry, that’s completely understandable), then simply turn on the closed captions.
Why learn Portuguese with YouTube?
- It’s free. Obvious, but important. YouTube is a free platform where you can enjoy a load of content easily and without paying anything.
- YouTube has a lot of helpful tools. The closed captions and playback speed features are invaluable for language learners. Not quite understanding a video in Portuguese? Turn on English subtitles. Or, if you feel like that’s cheating, you can use the playback speed setting to slow the audio down.
- Real and authentic content. The vlogs and lessons available on YouTube all contain genuine speech. Most channels will also emphasize how to speak like a native, and will teach you idiomatic words and phrases to give you a taste of how to be a local.
- Watch what you want. With no set curriculum or course, you can dip in and out of the channels as you please. You can tailor the content you watch to whatever you like the most.
YouTube has a lot of useful content for Portuguese learners of any level.
There are more educational channels that help you get to grips with grammar rules, such as Professor Jason, and there are more conversational channels that give more in-depth teachings on culture and idiomatic language, like DamonAndJo.
In my own opinion, the best overall channel for beginners is Hello Rusty. Her insightful yet simple videos cover general language use and important vocab, while going one step further by integrating songs and culture to create a highly worthwhile learning experience.
For more advanced speakers, subscribe to DamonAndJo. Their charming content is highly cultural and very relatable, and their videos are almost always translated into English in the closed captions.