PORTUGUESE in 10 Minutes a Day (book and CD-ROM) by Kristine Kershul

Score:
1 2 3 4 5 (6) 7 8 9 10
“Six outta ten!”
Pros:
lots of simple exercises to keep pace quick; useful words and phrases; lovely presentation; colorful, attractive drawings
Cons:
nearly entirely vocabulary-driven; price for such a basic knowledge; lots of repeat and rewrite; Brazilian only (a “con” if you’re learning European Portuguese)


Overall, I’m ambivalent about Portuguese in 10 Minutes a Day. To be sure, the course comes in a simple, artistic and colorful package that begs you to write and rewrite vocabulary terms and phrases. It also covers the basics of simple word and phrase lists for modular situations (looking at a house, you’ll learn the words for shower and pillow). Yet these lessons miss the fundamentals of exposure to realistic conversational situations as well as the backbones of Portuguese grammar.

A few extras make the entire package a bit more attractive. The accompanying CD reads a lot of the vocabulary lists aloud, which is a great help to beginning students. On top of that, the end of the book provides you with vocabulary stickers to place on everyday objects, providing a concrete visual cue for learners.

You will come out of this course with more Portuguese than you started with, and you may have a delightful time as you learn basic Portuguese words. If your goal is to acquire a speakable understanding, perhaps the effort you exert would reap better rewards elsewhere – which tends to be the case for me. But if you’re an absolute beginner, this is a nice enough way to ease yourself into written and spoken Portuguese.

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