Smartphone Apps to Learn Portuguese

PorEngDict

1. PORTUGUESE ENGLISH DICTIONARY – Ascendo Inc. 

Free & Premium versions available on google play

 

 Great dictionary with verb conjugator, phrasebook, translator and quizzes.
 Dictionary doesn’t take into account new Portuguese spelling reform.

 

Premium Version (£3.11/year subscription): No ads, phrase translator 2500 characters/month, add words to dictionary and synchronize between devices.

Verdict: Excellent Portuguese/English dictionary, which also comes with a phrase book, verb conjugator, quiz and translator. Good intuitive interface, very useful for people travelling to Brazil. My only criticism is that it doesn’t include the latest Portuguese spelling reform changes, which would be useful for advanced learners.

 

Score: 4 caipirinhas

 

2. PORTUGUESE CLASS – Ceardannan (FREE)
Also available for iphone

Great all-rounder. It covers vocabulary, verbs and grammar with a good variety of exercises.

It requires the installation of SVox Voice, which is a bit fiddly. The interface is quite basic, it could be better.


Paid Version (£1.75 + £1.81 for SVox Voice): All verb tenses, 4000 + words and 40 Grammar articles. Definitely worth the money (£3.56 in total, including voice engine).
Verdict: This app is great, it covers not only verbs, but also grammar and vocabulary. It’s great for students of all levels. I would have given it 5 caipirinhas if it looked nicer, so there’s still room for improvement.

Score: 4 caipirinhas
3. LEARN PORTUGUESE – TUDO BEM  £3.09
Also available for iphone/ipad
t’s a very good vocabulary builder app with 76 categories of words. The sound is good and the interface looks quite polished.
The game doesn’t give you the right answer when you click on the wrong option, so you need to click on all of them until it tells you it’s the right one.



Verdict: Excellent value. Extensive selection of words and categories. It looks very nice and it’s a great tool to expand your vocabulary.

Score: 4 caipirinhas
4. LEARN PORTUGUESE WITH BUSUU! – Busuu Online S.L. (FREE)
Also available for iphone/ipad
 It looks good and the (paid) content is quite comprehensive.

No section on grammar and structure. 




Paid Version (£2.64): It includes all 20 units – it can only be purchased from inside the free app.

Verdict: Good interface and the paid version is reasonably priced but it would be better if it had grammar and verb sections.

Score: 3 caipirinha
5. PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR – Mobile Reference (£6.06)

Good and as far as I can tell the only available Portuguese Grammar reference app. It covers both European and Brazilian Portuguese.

Very basic interface.

 

Verdict: A good app in terms of content. The only let down is the ugly interface. For the price they charge they could have put a bit more thought behind presentation. 

Score: 3 caipirinha

6. HELLO-HELLO PORTUGUESE (£9.99)
Also available for iphone/ipad

It’s divided into three levels of 10 lessons. Each lesson is a dialog, which can be broken down into “get the meaning”, “now you say it”, “now you write it”, “build your vocab” and “let’s practice”. It’s OK for students who already have some knowledge of Portuguese structure who want to expand their vocabulary.

Background noise on the recordings, no structure and grammar sections. The dialogues are quite advanced, even on lesson 1, which is supposed to be for beginners. Each lesson has to be downloaded individually which can be annoying and time consuming.



Verdict: It looks quite polished but that doesn’t justify the price. I was expecting a lot more for £9.99. The “lessons” are not really lessons, just vocabulary building exercises. For that price I was expecting it to include sections on grammar and structure. Also, the sound should be perfect – there are free apps available that have a clearer sound on their pronunciation features.

Score: 3 caipirinha

7. U TALK BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE – Eurotalk (£5.99)
Also available for iphone/ipad


Vocabulary game app with a nice interface with good quality images.

The content is very basic and limited.




Verdict: Overpriced. There is not enough content to justify its price. It’s an OK vocabulary builder app but that’s about it.


Score: 2 1/2 caipirinhas

8. PORTUGUESE TRANSLATOR DICTIONARY – GF Media Apps (FREE)

Good dictionary.


Annoying adverts and regular message asking to purchase the full version. Also the “Play translation” feature didn’t work most of the times I tried and when it did work the voice sounded quite robotic.


Paid version (£1.21): The only advantage is that it’s ad free.
Verdict: Dictionary is decent, but very poor voice feature lets it down.

 Score: 2 caipirinha

9. PORTUGUESE VERBS – Robert Muth

 

Good verb conjugator.

It only gives you the basic meaning of each verb. It requires you to install Portuguese Text-to-Speech (TTS) engine from external vendor, but even after I did it I still had problems with the glitchy pronunciation feature.



Paid Version (£1.82): It’s supposed to have a few more features, such as grammar section and off-line mode.
Verdict: Worth it just as a quick verb conjugation reference. It could be much better, starting by having more complete definition of verbs.

Score: 2 caipirinhas
10. PORTUGUESE VERB TRAINER – Robert Muth
Advanced students can use it to test their knowledge of verb tenses. On each screen there is a verb, a tense and a pronoun and you are supposed to conjugate it and then check the answer.


It’s OK but only for advanced students. There is no voice or typing feature to input answers. The interface doesn’t look very nice and the sound didn’t always work.
Paid version (£2.43): More tenses and verbs and no adds.

Verdict: A good idea but poorly executed.

Score: 2 caipirinha
11. TALK PORTUGUESE – Bhuino.com

The only positive thing about this terrible app is that the pronunciation feature worked well – the voice is very clear.

Where do I start! The free version has only 3 categories: “Basics”: Very random phrases, such as “Don’t worry” and “Good Luck”. Numbers: I know it’s impossible to put all the numbers on just one screen but 11 – 19 should have been included. Travel: Again, very random phrases.
There are grammar mistakes and sometimes the phrases that are read out don’t exactly match what is written on the screen.

Paid version (£0.87): It has 5 more categories, all poorly put together. No ads and no initial screen. Not even worth £0.87. 
Verdict: 1 caipirinha (and I’m being generous!). Terrible app, poor attention to detail, no structure, and worse – grammar mistakes. Strangely there is another application called “Speak Brazilian Portuguese” that is exactly the same as this one – the only difference being that the paid version is £2.42, instead of £0.87.

Score: 1 caipirinha (and I’m being generous)

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