PT-EN Course Newsletter - Issue #2

Hello, everyone! Oi, gente! Olá a todos!

Here is the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the release of our second course newsletter! (exciting, right?) We hope you’ve all had a very pleasant month, especially in all things Portuguese-related!

For those of you who are only catching this newsletter right now, you’ll always be able to find links to previous issues of our newsletter at the bottom of the post. If you want to receive an email notification anytime we drop a new newsletter, just fill out this form to become part of our newsletter mailing list:

Progress Report

Completed and ongoing tasks

  • Still ongoing is our intent to add European Portuguese answers and translations; please keep reporting any cases of EP vocabulary or sentence structures that are still not considered correct by Duolingo;
  • We’ve reviewed the Numbers skill, and we have kept an eye on the forums to edit the sentences that were brought to our attention there (something which we do whenever we can – since we’re not on the forums 24/7, you should always report errors and mistakes to make sure we’ll see them eventually);
  • We’re in the process of reviewing the Gerund and Politics skills; our focus will be on making sure our “best” answers match more closely the idea of a given sentence in either language (and not simply a literal translation), and also to close the existing gaps in terms of noun gender, European Portuguese and British English vocabulary (whenever relevant) and synonyms suggested by your reports.
  • We’re starting a review on our Future Perfect skill; if you have any feedback specific to that skill, we’d like to hear it (including suggestions of sentences we can include in it later).

Upcoming tasks and projects (continued from last month)

  • The EP Learners’ Guide, a proposed (if time allows) gradual addition to each Tips & Notes section of important and/or interesting information and tips for European Portuguese students on Duolingo (mainly regarding differences in grammar, vocabulary and phonetics between BP and EP in the matters covered by a given skill).
  • An in-depth content review of the skills we know you’re struggling with the most, including Present Perfect, Abstract Objects, Subj. Past and Phrasal Future Tense. Let us know in the comments which skills you feel could use more work and why so that we can prioritize our choices when we find the time to start these reviews.

General News and Announcements

  • The Duolingo Incubator (which we use to create and manage our courses) turned 2 a few weeks ago ( That means it has been two years since Duolingo started using the work of volunteer members of the community to broaden the number of courses available to all of you! If you want to check the ongoing progress of all our courses (including the PT-EN course), feel free to check the Duolingo Incubator webpage.
  • Please do not substitute “uma” for 1 and “duas” for 2 if you decide to type the digits in your answer; our system believes you’re thinking about “um” and “dois” and that’s why your sentences are being considered wrong. This issue cannot be fixed by us, so please just stay away from using these digits in numbers when they have a feminine inflection.
  • We’ve recently decided to phase out accepting English non-inverted questions in our course to make sure you learn their match in Portuguese; please make sure you use the order “Auxiliary + pronoun + main verb” from now on when translating from Portuguese to English to account for this decision. (We know you are all, or mostly, native English speakers, but we cannot separate translations for both this and reverse courses, so we hope you understand, we cannot let Brazilians believe it’s always ok to ask questions without an inversion).

Notes from the Lusosphere

Portuguese Language

If you know any good study materials online, please let us know so that we can feature them here.

Society and Culture


Community Corner

Unfortunately we haven’t received any special requests from users to have their pages showcased here in the Community Corner (feel free to send Luis_Domingos a message if you wish to do so on the next issue of the Newsletter), so we’ll just use the available space to thank the people who made comments and remarks on our very first newsletter for the lively discussion they brought and the ideas put forward.

Your feedback is extremely important to us, and we’ll make sure we answer each and every one of the comments you write in these newsletters.

We wish you all a great month! Saudações lusófonas from

The Portuguese Team


Past Newsletters

October 28, 2015


That you, Luis, Dan, and Vivi, for all your good work and this newsletter. Love your sources....couldn't be better, Obrigadíssima!

October 29, 2015

You're welcome, Elaine! Thank you for all your help and support for the community - it's always good to know we're making a difference (or at least working to make sure you have the best learning experience we can provide).

October 29, 2015

This is great Luis! Thanks for making this information and the resources available to the community!

October 28, 2015

Thank you for your kind words, and you're welcome! Just like you, we're simply trying to keep our students engaged and to foster a sense of community among us :)

October 28, 2015

Oh, wow. This is really helpful! Thank you for keeping us up to date :)

October 28, 2015

You're welcome! Good luck with your studies :)

Não tem de quê! Boa sorte com (os) seus estudos!

October 29, 2015

Thank you for this post!

October 29, 2015

You're welcome - We're glad you enjoyed it. Like we said, any comments and constructive feedback regarding the course itself are very much welcome!

Good luck with your studies :)

October 29, 2015

I really like the course! I think it teaches the language well, with skills in a good order, but there I think that more grammar explanations for some of the more complicated verb tenses would be helpful, but I see that you are already working on that! Also, a guide to pronunciation would be helpful for learners who aren't familiar with IPA, especially for those nasal vowels not used in English.

October 29, 2015

That's great news - yes, we are planning on updating all Tips & Notes and making them essential parts of your language journey.

I'm a firm believer in IPA standardization (since learning the sounds based on anothe language's phonetics and writing is bound to be subjective - just to give an example, our Brazilian students on the English course constantly complain the th-sound in "the" sounds either like a V or a D, because we don't have that sound in our language), but I can understand where you're coming from, and it's something we might do in the future (possibly a page with a phonetics table with IPA and the closest sound in English like the one you'd find in grammars or dictionaries, and later a few phonetic explanation of each letter, diphtong or digraph).

On that note, our very own Danmoller has already written a very helpful, IPA-less guide to one of the trickiest sounds in our language: nasal vowels ( I might want to check it if you haven't already.

Thank you for your feedback :)

October 30, 2015

Like you, I myself am I strong supporter of IPA - just looking out for other learners :)Thanks for the link! Very helpful!

October 30, 2015

Thanks to all for the tremendous time and effort you've poured in to this. Loving the newsletter!

October 29, 2015

Also, for anyone interested, I wanted to mention that I've been supplementing my learning by creating a Brazilian Portuguese quiz topic on Quiz Up, which can be accessed below. I find it's a nice way to get my brain to think differently about learning Portuguese, as a break from translation and vocabulary. Questions are culled from things I've learned here, as well as many other sources ranging from blogs to Rosetta to watching film, etc.. Some questions ask you to think about what the opposite of a word is, others test how you'd apply language to images, etc. I'd invite everyone to play, and even better, please let me know if you find anything off, or if you'd like to help me with creating questions. Thanks!

October 29, 2015

You're welcome! Good luck with your studies (and your QuizUp project) :)

October 29, 2015

We all really appreciate the tremendous amount of time and effort you guys voluntarily contribute to improving our learning experience here Luís! You certainly have far more than adequately stepped into the shoes of the legendary Paulenrique.

October 30, 2015

Thank you for your words, Mark - it's really great to hear that, it really validates all of our work and dedication in making this course better :) Cheers, Luís

October 30, 2015
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