Preparing to Learn Brazilian Portuguese

As mentioned in a previous post, I’m going to try to use mnemonic techniques to learn Brazilian Portuguese. I want to see how far I can get in 30 days. I travel a lot and if this technique for learning languages works, I’m going to use it often.

I looked for a book on Portuguese vocabulary that had words organized by topic, but I couldn’t find one. I couldn’t find any flash cards or other vocabulary resources either. The closest thing I could find to what I was looking for was a Portuguese-English visual dictionary:

Portuguese-English visual dictionary

Portuguese-English visual dictionary

The dictionary organizes vocabulary by topic, so, for example, all the types of beans are found on one page:



I’m thinking that the visual images will be helpful also.

I need a list of verbs that is systematically ordered by conjugation group, but I think I can find lists of Portuguese verbs online. I have a small book of Portuguese grammar, and there are plenty of grammar resources online, like this one.

For general pronunciation and comprehension, I may buy a Pimsleur set. I listened to the first 8 Pimsleur lessons before I went to Portugal in 2009, and I like their audio because the speakers on the CDs have a neutral Brazilian accent instead of a confusing mix of many strong regional accents, like most language CDs.

The Plan

  • The setting for my images will be San Francisco.
  • Portuguese has three types of verbs, so I will use three different parks.
  • There are two types of nouns, masculine and feminine, so I’ll separate the city (or individual settings) into at least two sections.
  • I’ll need a park or similar setting for adjectives.
  • I’ll use rooms or small settings for memorizing verb conjugations.

I haven’t started yet, but I’ll post updates about my progress.