Vocabulearn Portuguese: Listen to it Until You Want to Scream
You may’ve heard about Vocabulearn Portuguese, but chances are you haven’t.
In either case, just imagine someone calmly mowing the lawn with their earbuds on.
You look at their sunlit face and think, “this person is talking to himself.” Chances are, if they’re older than 30 they’re using Vocabulearn.
I have personally used Vocabulearn for Russian and Japanese. And I think it’s one of the most underrated resources to acquire vocabulary in a foreign language.
Although I am offering some affiliate links in this article, it doesn’t really change my judgment when recommending it.
Who is Vocabulearn Portuguese for?
Make no mistake — Vocabulearn is intended for beginners and upper beginners.
If you can already speak Portuguese, and you think you’re pretty comfortable with basic vocabulary, you probably won’t benefit much from Vocabulearn Portuguese. It has very basic vocabulary.
But if you spend lots of time inside the subway or on the bus, or somewhere you are just having “dead” time, so to speak, you might want to use Vocabulearn to increase your vocabulary.
How does it work?
It’s a straightforward premise.
And nowadays we have so many imitations that you might be very familiar with the concept.
First, you’ll hear classical music in the background. According to this study (2014), music helps older adults (me, me!) retain more information.
The study I mentioned compared classical music against having no background music or having white noise instead.
As a reviewer on Amazon said, you’ll want to “listen to it until you want to scream.”
And while you’re there listening to Mozart’s successes you’re going to hear words being uttered by both a native English speaker and a Portuguese native speaker.
They alternate the languages – English-then-Portuguese, Portuguese-then-English – to challenge you to either recall past words or learn new words.
The thing is, you have to repeat aloud if you want to retain the vocabulary it teaches.
You don’t really want to just listen to it passively.
Okay, okay, speaking to oneself might attract unwanted looks. People might think you’re going crazy. But believe me, if you’re a beginner and you’re using Vocabulearn Portuguese to grab more vocabulary, the benefits of repeating aloud will far surpass looking crazy to others.
There are sections you can focus on one at a time.
Each level of Vocabulearn is comprised of three sections: nouns and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and expressions.
There is no clear indication why they chose one specific word to feature in level one, or level two. To me, some words you see in level one are pretty uncommon for Brazilian speakers.
One thing that you might not like is that the speakers never say when verbs are irregular or regular. And if you’ve had some trouble with irregular verbs, you’ll know how distressing this lack might be.
But the nouns, adjectives, and adverbs don’t change much. All of the rules that they follow are easy to memorize.
For those who say Vocabulearn doesn’t include phrases and sentences… it does.
For me, the expressions are the best part.
When I was studying Japanese, I thought this expressions thing wasn’t going to work.
But because I heard the same sentence being said every day at the same time (when I commuted to college, always at noon), I ended up internalizing that sentence.
And when I was talking with some Japanese friends I said, “Are you joking?” and that sounded pretty natural to them.
Is Vocabulearn for everybody?
As I said, it’s for beginners.
Some people might say that picking up random words isn’t the way to learn, but hey, there are 7 billion people in the world. Some people learn differently from others. And that might be the resource for you.
A bit of background might help, right? (But you can skip it.)
The producer is Penton Overseas.
It’s a company that produces foreign language programs for people who want to use their free time to learn a new language before a trip or for a short stay in a foreign country.
Nobody would consider a product called “Learn in your Car” a serious college-level course.
Another company that does this is Pimsleur, but Pimsleur is much more effective to help you speak, not only teach you vocabulary; and it takes you farther.
On the other hand, Vocabulearn helps you improve your vocabulary while you’re brushing your teeth.
Where can I get it?
Unfortunately, Penton Overseas doesn’t sell it directly.
And if you don’t have the money or are a little bit stingy and don’t want to spend money right now, you might be happy to know my students found sample tracks on YouTube.
I’m not sure you’re going to find Vocabulearn Portuguese there, but you’re going to find it for other languages too.
If you like it, I suggest you buy it to encourage the company to produce new courses, or all other companies to produce new courses.
And I would suggest you shy away from imitations. Most of the time, they have bad recording quality, or the voice actors may not be the best ones to help you learn.
In conclusion, if you really have some free time to spend, or if you spend lots of time commuting/have “dead” time, you’ll benefit from Vocabulearn Portuguese.