Portuguese

Last updated: 2 weeks, 2 days ago


Portuguese is the study of the Portuguese language and its literature. In a Portuguese degree, you can expect to study prose texts, poetry and drama, and also practice grammar, translation and spoken language practice. Many people learn Portuguese from scratch during their degree, rather than attending university with prior knowledge, so there are lots of resources here for both beginners and more intermediate speakers.

Application Resources

Here are some general resources related to Portuguese. These should be a useful introduction, regardless of which Portuguese related course you’re interested in and where you might want to study it.

Grammar and Language

These resources are particularly useful for practising your grammar, vocabulary and spoken Portuguese, which are essential for your degree. You could come back to these resources in the summer between A Levels (or equivalent) and starting university, if you wanted to make sure you haven’t forgotten all the language skills you’d learned!

UniLang Beginners Course 🔗 🌟 A free web course which introduces you to the basics of Portuguese grammar, for total beginners. If you’re applying for beginners Portuguese, you won’t be expected to know any grammar, but it might catch your interest.

‘Portuguese Verbs and Essentials of Grammar’ by Sue-Tyson Ward: A very useful book introducing you to grammar from beginner level.

Conjuguemos 🔗 A website offering handy drills and exercises for practising grammar.

Podcasts

Podcasts are a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the Portuguese language. You are likely to come across a variety of accents, speaking paces and tones, all of which are brilliant exposure to ‘real’ Portuguese, i.e. how it is spoken everyday, not how you’ve been used to with listening exercises from a textbook! Noting down phrases and vocab is a great way to expand your knowledge of the language, and is good scholarly practice for when you come to University.

Carioca Connection 🔗 🌟 A fantastic podcast series designed for Portuguese learners, perfect for picking up new vocabulary and preparing for university study.

Slow Portuguese 🔗 A Spotify podcast which gives you the opportunity to learn to listen to native speakers at a slower pace. Perfect for beginners.

Films and TV series

Watching films in your target language is a great way to immerse yourself in it. Use English subtitles if you feel it necessary, or alternatively Portuguese subtitles if you can read and understand it well but struggle with the speed or accent. This might be useful at all stages of the application, depending on whether you apply as a beginner or with prior knowledge.

‘Que horas ela volta?’ - A particularly interesting film looking at class divides in Brazil.
‘Coisa mais linda’ - A series set in Rio in the 60s.
‘Aquarius’ - A Brazilian-French drama.

Literature

You might want to read some poems or short stories for your personal statement, or in preparation for an interview, in which (if you have prior Portuguese knowledge) you might be asked to look at a short poem or piece of text.

Project Gutenberg 🔗 🌟 A massive online library containing thousands of e-books - this can be particularly good for finding some of the set texts on the course, texts on preparatory reading lists or anything you have uncovered in introductory texts.
Introduction to Portuguese literature 🔗 🌟 A very comprehensive web article introducing some of Portugal’s most reputable authors.

‘The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas’ by Machado de Assis - A Brazilian novel in translation which is a good short read for beginners.

‘Laços de familia’ by Clarice Lispector - A collection of short stories, each no more than 20 pages long. Particular recommendations include ‘Feliz Aniversario’, ‘O Jantar’ and ‘Uma galinha’.

Poems by Mia Couto - A Mozambican poet, whose works are short and full of interesting imagery.

Poems by Antonio Ramos Rosa Pessoa - These are easily accessible online.