Teach Yourself One-Day Portuguese by Elisabeth Smith

Score:
1 2 3 4 5 6 (7) 8 9 10
“Seven outta ten!”
Pros:
straightforward audio & booklet; listen, learn and repeat approach great for auditory learners; mostly sticks to 50 basic words and 20 essential phrases that will go far in your travels around Portugal; affordable; good niche product that provides a small stepping stone for learning to speak more Portuguese

Cons:
for travelers to Portugal only!; very basic conversational phrases relevant to meet & greet, dining and where places are – beyond this, you’re out of luck; the interplay between the audio & booklet isn’t 100% intuitive and could use some tweaking


Teach Yourself One-Day Portuguese furnishes you with an audio CD and a short little booklet, with the goal of instilling in you 50 essential European Portuguese words and 20 ways to combine words into phrases.

You’ll start with a dialogue between two native Portuguese speakers, whose words and phrases are broken down and listed in the booklet (3 pages). Then, you’ll find the 50 words you’ll need to remember, and the 20 sentences you’ll memorize.

After that, the booklet challenges you with a “one-day quiz”, asking you how to say a selection of phrases. The author’s questions are pointed and relevant to situations you’ll find yourself in (“ask someone if the shops are far”). There’s a scoring and self-assessment grading guide, along with a certificate of completion on the last page.

If you’re off to Portugal and you need to gulp down a handful of essential phrases quickly, One-Day Portuguese provides a cheap, focused way of doing just that. If you arm yourself with other resources – a phrasebook or an introduction to Portuguese conversation & grammar – you’ll be ready to start speaking fairly quickly.

Auditory learners will get the most out of this course, but if you have the time and money, you might opt instead for a more robust audio course, like Pimsleur or even the more teacherly Michel Thomas Portuguese. Such a lesson course often helps you learn more while memorizing less by rote.

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