How Portuguese is Duolingo Portuguese?

How Portuguese is Duolingo Portuguese? I am a great admirer of the amazing Duolingo language teaching system. Yet, I believe Duolingo could do better with Portuguese. Since my retirement I live in Portugal and find significant differences between Portuguese Portuguese and the Brazilian version. Quite apart from differences in word use and expressions there are considerable deviations in pronunciation. Given the fact that Duolingo accommodates several languages with only a few million native speakers, Danish, Swedish and so on, it cannot be too difficult to use a Portuguese speaker for the already existing texts with the comparatively few amendments needed for a parallel course. Let it be!

April 13, 2016


That won't happen anytime soon - they just don't see things like that (I've asked - I'm a former moderator/course coordinator for the PT course), and that does put a dent in their whole business/education model (it's the reason why I'm not affiliated with DL anymore; i.e. I asked if BP-EP parity would ever be a possibility, and their answers were vague and kindly dismissive).

If you want to learn more about EP (or have other people in the same situation as you), feel free to visit my blog ( I'm write posts about grammar (including phonetics) and I have a running segment with EP words, most of them foreign to BP speakers (or significant to Portuguese culture/history).

Continuação de bons estudos e de uma ótima reforma!

April 13, 2016

Thanks, Luis. Nice to know I've got a soul mate. You are making a major contribution to the cause. Am impressed by your grammar tips, too. Bart

You're welcome - I'm glad I can help fill this gap somehow, and make sure EP students feel like they learn the language in a different way. It will never be as fun or as addictive as Duo, but it can work as an alternative that can fill some of its gaps (including the ludacris idea that you can become fluent in a language just by completing an introductory course with grammar drills and no sentence context).

Agreed, however, at least the 'Immersion' tab offers some solace to the sentence context hungry.

My wife and I are relatively new to learning EP. While it is true that there are some differences to BP many of the basics are the same. We also use Michel Thomas CDs which we find excellent. We have a teacher one day per week and she can help clarify anything that we are confused about on Duo Lingo. We have quickly learned the differences between EP and BP. Overall we still find Dualingo valuable and more so because it prompts you everyday, sets goals, and if you want to you can even be competitive against your spouse and other folks. I am sure I recognise your face maybe from A&EA Facebook page. We are in Bordeira, near Sao Bras and are considering setting up a EP chat group in the newly opened cafe in the village.

I find it odd that this has always been such a hot topic on duolingo and yet the English and Spanish courses are also only one version of the language and that doesn't seem to bother anyone. I'm British, I don't mind that duo teaches only American English and that people who live in Britain or other countries need to learn to adapt their knowledge. American English is more widely used and understood. It would be pointless to have several versions of the same language.

Luis's blog is great and I have been looking at it and watching Portuguese news channel here in Brazil, as I would like to broaden my knowledge of the language and visit Portugal.

I have a very close friend in London who is Portuguese and her 10 year old daughter and mine are also very good friends. They have no problem with each other's version of the language. They find the differences intresting, just as I find the American use interesting and at times funny and vice-versa. Some people need to adapt their language learning from Duolingo to the real world and other's less so. But like they say, you can't please all of the people all of the time.

Me, too finds the differences interesting. That's exactly why I want to perfect my Portuguese as it is spoken in Portugal.

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