Free Audio Course – Lesson 1

I’m happy to say that my husband, Marlon, and I, have decided to put together a free audio course for those interested in starting off with the Portuguese language. It will be free and on a weekly basis. It will be available from iTunes as well.

This will not be a Portuguese audio course like the usually boring audio courses you’ve come across. I will aim to make it fun and interesting, full of tidbits and interesting idiosyncrasies of the Portuguese language.

Every week, Marlon will also include a tip to help you learn a language more efficiently.

This is lesson 1 and we talk about what you might say when frequenting a typical Portuguese coffee shop. We also mention a fascinating study on how exercise can boost your memory.

Stay tuned

by Carla Sabala

Portuguese Transcript

  • Boa tarde
  • Boa noite
  • Bica
  • Bom dia, uma bica.
  • Por favor
  • Bom dia, uma bica, por favor.
  • Um galão
  • Um galão, por favor.
  • Imperial
  • Sagres
  • Super-bock
  • Uma imperial.
  • Uma super-bock.
  • Uma sagres, por favor.
  • Um bolo.
  • Uma bica e um bolo, por favor.
  • Um galão e um bolo, por favor.
  • Chá
  • Um chá, por favor.
  • Água
  • Um copo de água, por favor.
  • Uma bica, um bolo e um copo de água por favor.
  • Casa de banho
  • Posso usar a casa de banho?
  • Obrigado
  • Obrigada

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    1. Hi Anna, I am hopping to start publishing one podcast per week. Should have the second up by the weekend.
      Thanks for your kind words

  1. What accent do you have? As you may know, accents in England can vary from street to street. Is it like that in Portugal, or is it more generalised? Would everyone in Lisboa and the surrounding area sound the same? Also, are class differences as marked? In England you can instantly tell how posh someone is when they speak. So maybe you have a middle-class Lisbon accent, or a working-class one? Obrigada!

    1. Hiya,

      For such a small country, Portugal does have quite a few different accents. Every region has it’s own. The Portuguese Islands have the most distinctive ones. And yes class differences are as marked, so not everyone in Lisbon and surrounding areas sound exactly the same, yet very similar. It wouldn’t stop you in any way from understanding them.
      We do have the Lisbon accent, not posh though. But the speed, pronunciation (as in dropping letters when saying a word) and slang to which we use when speaking , all depends on the person we speak to. I’d say that generally speaking, most portuguese people can have a higher level and lower level of portuguese language when it comes to their speech.
      Hope this answers your questions 🙂

  2. Gostei muito do curso, obrigado. A língua portuguesa é muito difícil entender, né? Tento assistir umas telenovelas na RTP, mas percebo muito pouco!!

    1. Olá Richard,
      Obrigada! No começo é bom usar legendas quando assistir telenovelas ou qualquer outro programa na televisão, ajuda muito 😉

      1. Oi Carla, muito obrigado pelo conselho. Estou a assistir Água de Mar, você a conhece? Não tem legendas na internet, mas seguindo seu conselho, estou lendo o website da telenovela, e isso está a ajudar muito. Percebo 20% do diálogo mais ou menos, mas gosto muito da novela e percebo a trama. 🙂

      2. Oooooo great idea — my sister assigned tele novellas to her Spanish language students at university! Are there a few Portuguese telenovelas you’d recommend?

  3. Thank you!!! I’m so incredibly grateful for a resource to learn EUROPEAN Portuguese. Most Portuguese learning sites or apps seem to only teach Brazilian Portuguese, or worse, they don’t specify whether it’s Brazilian or European, so if you’re a beginner you’d have no idea which version or dialect you’re learning. I have no previous familiarity with the language whatsoever, but I’m going to Portugal for the first time, and I’m relieved to know I won’t be offending anyone with poorly learned language skills. You’re the greatest.

    1. Well, obrigado Andra. 🙂
      That’s the aim. There’s a lot of Brazilian material because there’s a lot more demand I guess. But we’ll keep at it.

      Mais uma vez, obrigado.
      Um resto de bom dia.

  4. Thank you Carla, that was very informative and helpful. I will repeat this session until I feel ready to go on to the next one. The lesson on Friday was very helpful as well and I am impressed with the teaching aids and how quickly time goes. That is always a sign that it was enjoyable. Thank you

  5. Hi, Carla! I am so grateful for this podcast–but after listening to lesson one about 5 times, then lesson two, I thought–what did I miss?! Lesson two seemed vastly more complex than lesson one. I’m trying not to panic :/ Will see what lesson 3 has in store.

    Thank you.

    1. Olá Shana! I hope you got on well with lesson 3. The structure of the podcasts are based on conversational Portuguese – we just think of a realistic situation and teach you some of the vocabulary related to it and pronunciation. Please do not despair and don’t think you can’t keep up with it, because we do go over some of the same things in different episodes so it sinks in. And even if you don’t understand everything in each podcast you’ll still learn something new every time. My advice to everyone is that they have fun with it and do not view the learning process as a task or something overwhelming. Also, the episodes keep getting better 🙂 Thanks, Carla

  6. Boi noite Carla e Marlon!
    Obrigado for the Podcast, it really does help.
    I was wondering whether you guys offer face to face courses in London or even via Skype e Quanto tempo? (If that makes sense, im trying! 😂)


    1. Olá Marie, I think I missed your comment, my apologies!

      Yes I do teach via Skype. At the moment I’m very busy and cannot take up new students, but you’re more than welcome to book a 15 free session so we can meet and discuss things further and where we can go from there.
      Go to the bottom of this page:

      The portuguese in your message made perfect sense – you weren’t trying, you were doing it 🙂


  7. muito obrigado todos!
    these lessons are really happening because am in angola and the pronunciations are quite different from brasil but these have really happened me alot, thanks

    1. Hey there,
      transcripts are available from lesson 2 onwards. I’ll update Lesson 1 soon and add them here too. 🙂


  8. This was VERY helpful. I started off on part 8 on utube and commented i couldnt keep up with marlon 🤣 I mean. I was able to get most of it but there was just those few words that were getting me lol. Too used to pronouncing words the way they look :p

  9. This is a great resource thank you both,

    As a speaker of French, Italian but more particularly Spanish and Catalan, I often find myself in familiar territory here. There are some significant differences though, Beautiful language and great cultural insights. Thanks

  10. Hi Carla,
    I just found your site and I am very thankful. I’m the bad seed because growing up in New York I was one of the children in my family who never learned Portuguese but I am going to give this course 1000%. Obrigado.

  11. Querido Carla e Marlon.

    Thank you for a great podcast for learning European Portuguese pronunciation. In one lesson I have learned to pronounce many words correctly. Regarding coffee, I have found that ordering um café always gets me an espresso and um meio de leite gets me a milky coffee.
    Até logo.
    David from England

  12. Hi Carla and Marlon,
    I cannot find the transcripts for the lessons .
    Can you please direct me,

    1. Hi Marc,

      We have to update this. I’ll put it on my to do list for tomorrow. All lessons have transcripts on the page. Except for this first one.

  13. Hi Carla and Marlon ,

    I just wanna say that your material either here on the website or on YouTube is the best stuff I found to Help me Learn European Portuguese faster than ever , Especially the Video of 100 common expressions in European Portuguese, I wish there was a second Video with another 100 common sentences!

    Keep up the good work !
    Muito Obrigado

  14. Hello Marlon & Carla

    I’ve been learning (trying to!) Portuguese for about 1 yr now with Duolingo.
    My husband and I moved from UK to Portugal 6 months ago and now feel we need to learn European rather than Brazilian Portuguese.
    Your podcasts popped up when I
    searched on line and though I’ve only listened to lesson 1 I already like it and think it will be helpful.
    Your clear pronunciation and tips I found especially great.
    Thank you

    1. Thank you for the kind words Tracey. Glad you’re enjoying it thus far.
      When you wish to take your learning further, you might want to have a look at our new program called The Journey.

      Anyway, enjoy the podcasts

  15. Obrigada! It is so hard to find European Portuguese lessons where I am. I found Portuguese with Carla and I am so excited to learn. So far I find these lessons to be fabulous.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Ali. We are delighted you’re enjoying the content thus far.

  16. Thank you for these pod casts and YouTube videos. Finding them helpful.
    the hints at the end,
    the efforts in pronunciations – from the back-end to the front-beginning of the sentence,
    the written dialogue to see what is heard,

  17. So good! My husband constantly says “OH-brigado”. I told him a long time ago that he could just drop the first and last o but until he heard Marlon say “brigad”, he didn’t believe me!!! Also, here in the north of PT I have gotten strange looks for ordering a “bica” instead of a “cafe” or “pingo”. They do understand me but always correct me LOL!

  18. Hi Carla and Marlon.
    I’ve only just found your page, but I’m loving it already! I look forward to completing the 30day plan and seeing where it takes me!
    Thank you for the podcast. I really appreciate how you focus on the proper pronunciation.

    Btw. Recently, I learnt that the word ‘bica’ is an acronym and apparently stands for ‘beba isso com açúcar’. Not sure that’s actually true (maybe you can confirm?), but I guess that explains why they usually serve you coffee with a sachet of sugar!

  19. I am so glad I found my way to your wonderful class! After 20 years, I will finally be able to travel to Portugal once again in February ’23, and your course is invaluable. Also, as someone with a graduate degree in Linguistics with a focus on Language Acquisition, I can say your learning tips are spot on! Și Marlon, am locuit atât în ​​Moldova, cât și în România de câțiva ani și eu însumi vorbesc puțin românește. La fel ca Portugheza, este o limbă frumoasă! Toate cele bune!

    1. Hey Allie,

      Well, that comment made our day. Especially coming from someone with a linguistic background. We hope you continue to enjoy our content and that it will be of practical help when you do go over in Feb next year. Mmesc mult Allie. Apreciez cuvintele de încurajare. 🙂

  20. Hello Carla and Marlon! A friend recommended your course to me and I love it, thank you! I have a question about saying “please” in Portuguese. I live in Lisbon and I never hear people say “por favor”. They say “se faz favor” (usually they drop the “se” and just say “faz favor”). What is the difference between these two ways of saying “please”? Is one more formal than the other? Or is there a slightly difference nuance in the meaning? Thanks in advance and have a lovely day!

    1. Hey Mimi,

      glad you’re enjoying our content!
      So, “por favor” does sound a touch more formal, but is still used quite a bit.

      Hope that helps

  21. This was a very helpful podcast. Can’t wait to see my progress in Portuguese with your 30 day plan :). I appreciate this type of content. Muito Obrigada!

  22. Ola
    Your every YouTube video is very helpful and i am really enjoying to learn portuguese with you and I appreciate your every content but here on your link I couldn’t play the podcast and see the video as well dont how and if it works i will be glad Thankyou

  23. Hello Carla and Marlon!
    I just found your website and YouTube channel by accident … I found your way of teaching is fascinating.. Thank you… the only one thing I can suggest, if you have not implemented it in future lessons, could you summarize the all words, expressions, phrases etc.. at the end of each lesson so that we don’t hear all the English explanations again and again.. Muito obrigado.

    1. Hey there,
      Glad you’re enjoying our content.

      Good suggestion. We do do that in future episodes by putting all the important vocab in Quizlet.

      Keep it up!

  24. Oh, another question… how do you say coffee “Americano” in Portuguese… Every time I ask a coffee shop that I want Americano, they don’t seem they understand me… I have to explain to them that they need to add some hot water over expresso coffee in a big cup… you know… thank you..

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