Learning Portuguese is essential to living successfully here in Brazil. Below are listed some resources to help you along.
Private Lessons. One excellent teacher in Rio das Ostras is Rosangela. She offers private lessons in her home and has been an invaluable asset and friend to us.
Google Translate. This has been a huge help to me in clarifying websites, and invaluable in helping me write emails in Portuguese. Just remember when writing, it's a good idea to have at least a grasp of basic Portuguese first, as the sentence structure and grammar are very different. Straight web translation is often somewhat disastrous.
Portuguese Word of the Day:
Online courses. Two sites offer free courses that I know of. One is Memrise, and the other is Live Mocha.
Small pocket dictionary. I keep this handy all day long, take it with me on trips, watch TV with it nearby, and usually have it in my purse when I go out. After three years of visiting and now living in Brazil, it has become a bit frayed and well worn. This is the one I use, but there are many available. Buy it before you arrive, they'll be harder to find, and expensive here.
Television. Don't forget what a great resource this can be for you and for your children. I found that children's programming was fantastic when I first got started, lots of repetition and slow, simple story lines. Now I've moved up to movies and documentaries. What better excuse to lounge in front of the TV? Now it's educational! I found myself excited when I realized I could understand all the commercials!
Music. Turn on the radio and get familiar with the music. It's a great way to train your ear, and also a great cultural connection.
Portuguese Podcasts. This blog has podcasts you can download with excellent vocabulary and content, along with cultural information. It's very helpful to me to actually hear the language, and have the opportunity to repeat it back. You can subscribe in several different ways, including via iTunes. The podcasts are free, but you can join as a paid member to get additional learning guides to go along with them.
Portuguese Blog. This blog has a new post about every-other day with new terms, slang and vocabulary including samples of how these words or phrases are used in context.
Anyone else have good ideas? I'd love to hear them and add them to the list. You can contact me at tomebug (at) gmail (dot) com.