Top 10 free European Portuguese Learning Apps

Youtubers seem to love top 10 videos, so I thought I would give it a shot, but with a pretty esoteric subject: Top 10 Free European Portuguese apps. That is, apps to help you learn European Portuguese vocabulary, although some also give you some sentence structure too.

I downloaded what seemed to me like a gazillion apps, and sifted through them all rating them in 5 main aspects:

  • Audio quality and pronunciation of terms
  • Student Engagement (whether it features images, videos, or perhaps how much it “gamified” the learning experience)
  • The interface of the app itself
  • Catalog (basically how big and how good was its database of Portuguese vocabulary)
  • Value

*Value is there because even though all of these apps are free, most have in-app purchases.

Many hours later, I got it down to 10, with some really outstanding apps. So, let’s get started:

Learning Portuguese (European) Basic 400 Words

By Yandong Liu

The good:

  • Excellent Audio
  • Easy interface
  • Use of images

The bad:

  • No quizzes
  • very bare-bones

LearnBots Portuguese – Verbs + Pronunciation by a Native Speaker!

By iEdutainments

The good:

  • Lots of verb conjugations
  • Native speaker

The bad:

  • The native speaker has a heavy northern accent
  • Antiquated design
  • Buggy
  • Not very intuitive

Learn Portuguese – Phrasebook for Travel in Portugal

By Codegent

The good:

  • Has you learn short useful sentences
  • you can slow down audio

The bad:

  • Audio is heavily compressed
  • buggy
  • poor design taste

iVerbs 2.0

By Bradley Reed

The good:

  • Straightforward interface
  • Lots of verbs and conjugations

The bad:

  • No context is ever put with verbs
  • Somewhat robotic pronunciation
  • No images

Portuguese Pocket Lingo

By Apps Kitchen Inc.

The good:

  • Quick sheets menu (or stared items) is a nice feature
  • Word of the day
  • You can record your own voice for comparison

The bad:

  • Heavily compressed audio makes listening unpleasant
  • No guidance features
  • No articles with nouns


By Loecsen

The good:

  • Non-stock images
  • Articles on some nouns
  • Notifications to get you quizzing
  • A lot for free

The bad:

  • Some spelling errors
  • The translation is not always accurate
  • Pronunciation is sometimes off

MnemoLingo Free – The Word Trainer

By BitKnights LLC Web

The good:

  • Simple & easy interface
  • Apple Watch app
  • prompts you to learn with reminders
  • syncs over iCloud

The bad:

  • No images
  • Esoteric, low-usage words
  • Limited games
  • Voice is robotic
  • Sometimes tests you before explaining vocabulary

L-Lingo Learn Portuguese

By Smart Language Apps Limited

The good:

  • Use of images
  • Audio is native and clear
  • Verbs are coupled with nouns
  • Allows for slowing down of audio

The bad:

  • Interface is not so intuitive
  • No articles on nouns

6000 Words – Learn Portuguese Language for Free

By Andrian Andronic

The good:

  • Excellent  and varied exercises
  • Good pronunciation
  • Slow down option
  • Includes articles on nouns
  • Reasonable price

The bad:

  • More probing of the user would be beneficial
  • No verbs

Memrise: learn languages

By Memrise

The good:

  • Some videos with native speakers pronouncing terms/sentences
  • Audio is not just native and great in quality, but expressive
  • Course structured around imaginative game
  • Interface is beautiful, fast, fun, and rewarding
  • courses sets developed by Memrise are top class (anyone can create sets)
  • Verbs are thought and slowly added to useful sentences
  • Lots for free

The bad:

  • hmm…Not a lot!

Learn European Portuguese the Instinctive Way!

For the last decade, we’ve been working on putting together the best possible European Portuguese course. After much research, feedback from our students, and several iterations, we think we’ve got it! 😉

At the base of it all is a sound conviction that languages are better learned instinctively, so the process needs to engaging, varied, and enjoyable. Throughout, we used scientifically proven techniques to help you master pronunciation, phrase construction, oral understanding, grammar, and all the necessary bits to get you to fluency. And still, the whole thing is presented as an adventure. It’s a course like no other, trust us!

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      1. In second place came app only with words (6000), but there is an app with sentences (5000) as well which I highly recommend to everybody 🙂

        1. I see what you mean now, there’s an app for words and one for phrases. Just been testing it. Pretty good. On iOS it is a trial only with nothing for advanced students yet, but it has potential. I will update the article to mention this.

          Thanks for the heads up! 🙂

  1. First of all thank you so much for amazing and very helpful podcast. Have you ever tried app mondly? I’ve got a full paid version and it seems pretty decent.
    Kind regards

    1. Hi Edyta, That it a good app indeed. Very well designed, but I couldn’t include it in the list as it teaches Portuguese from brazil mixed in with the European version. The student never knows which terms are Portuguese and which are Brazilian. “Suco” for example, is one of the first words you learn, but in Portugal/Angola/Cabo Verde, etc, you would never use that word, but always “sumo” to refer to a drink. See what I mean?
      Thanks for the encouraging words regarding the Podcast 🙂

  2. Thank you for your reply. I didn’t know it teaches mixed languages. I’m a begginer so I can’t distinguish the difference. Good to know that. Me and my partner are planning to move to the amazing Azores from crazy London in few months time so for sure we need an European version (with a strange Azorean accent; )). So far Português seems to be almost as complicated as my native language – Polish. Again thank you so much for the website, podcasts and all the support.

  3. I’ve got two more questions actually about the apps:) Are you sure that mondly teaches both Brazilian and Portuguese? Because I can see that one can choose either Brazilian or Portuguese. And second question: What about DuoLingo? Am I right that this one is Brazilian?

    1. Hi Edyta, at least on my iPhone it only game me one option, and that was “Portuguese” with a Brazilian flag and as I described, it was a mixture of the two “languages”. But it could be different on Android.
      Duolingo, again, at least on iOS, it’s Brazilian only. I hope that helps

    1. Hi Tyler,

      Had never heard of it, but yes, it has European portuguese.

      Very pretty indeed. Spelling games, good native audio, articles before nouns, very visual.
      Not bad at all!

      It can be confusing here and there as it doesn’t give you the word in your mother tongue but only an icon. So it shows “a sopa” and then an icon of what could possibly be a broth, porridge, or anything of that sort. I guess most English speakers would probably guess correctly, but that could be a potencial issue.

      Overall,given the little time I spent with it…Very nice.

      Thanks for the heads up. I’ll need to do a video update.

      Obrigado, Marlon

      1. Olá Marlon,

        If you press the Portuguese word it will then show you the word in your Native language, It displays the word in Portuguese first then native then remains in Portuguese but if you press the word again it will show you in the native again. Personally, for myself, I would put this app second after Memrise the 6000 words and 5000 phrases are good but they don’t have a direct course line in the same way Drops and memrise does. Just wanted to clarify as it took me a moment to realise that


        1. Ah yes. Well spotted.

          They might need some sort of a hint for interface discovery.

          Thanks for sharing Tyler.

  4. Obrigada – Obrigada!! I have been trying to find European Portuguese lessons and especially apps. Everything I kept finding was Brazilian and although they are good, I want to only learn the Portuguese spoken in Portugal. I am so happy to find your website and especially this list of apps. So again, Obrigada ~

  5. Hi Guys!

    Many thanks for that review of the ‘LearnBots’ app and I’ve noted all your points. The app has been updated now so I think its much less buggy., perhaps you can try it and let me know? Also, I noticed you didn’t click the flag on the app (which is just under the picture) – clicking the flag spins the conjugation around into English or any other language depending on where the user has downloaded it from. Just thought I’d mention that as it was an important aspect of the app when designing it. Did you know this feature existed?

    Also did you know that the app works alongside the book ‘Learn 101 Portuguese Verbs in 1 day’ book which is also part of the LearnBots series. Its the same colour coding of the book so keeping it familiar with someone who is already using the book. What do you feel could be adapted or changed to make the UI more intuitive or modern as you mentioned you thought it was about 6 years old design wise. That’s correct by the way but I couldn’t think of anything better, to be honest. : D

    Please feel free to check out the website to see where this little app has come from and do let me know if you have some suggestions of how we can improve it.

    All the best,

    CEO and Founder | LearnBots | iEdutainments

    1. Good afternoon Rory,

      Thanks for your comment. It has been a while, to be honest, I think we should revisit this subject again soon. I didn’t know about the book, that’s good to know. 🙂
      As for the UI…it’s difficult to say, but for me it was too “busy”, a lot crammed into a small screen. I guess you use a lot of screen real estate for the “bots”, but I wonder if they justify such a loss in space. A more minimalistic approach might make the whole app more attractive. That’s just my opinion.

  6. Thanks guys!! Very helpful! I’ve just shared this page on facebook. I have a few friends interested in learning Portuguese from Portugal and didn’t have a clue that there were these many Apps that teach our Portuguese instead of Portuguese from Brazil. Cheers, Tania (Australia)

  7. Recently discovered a great app with European Portuguese option called “flash academy” I’d put it on the same level as memrise!
    It’s like a mixture between Duolingo and memrise but it’s got a European Portuguese option so incredible!

  8. Thanks for these reviews! As much as I love memrise, I’m not sure if it should be included on a list of free apps anymore, since it’s now subscriber-only 🙁

    “Is Memrise free?
    We apologise for failing to communicate our offering more clearly.

    You can download Memrise and sign up for free to enjoy a free taster of the learning experience. To unlock the full experience, which includes complete official courses and a variety of learning and review modes, the purchase of one of our subscription plans is required.”

    I seem to be one of the lucky ones who can still access the lessons without paying, but when my mum created an account recently, everything except the first lesson in level one was locked for official courses. Maybe only older accounts have free access now.

    PS annoyed that duolingo does klingon and the other conlang, but not European portuguese!

    1. Thanks for the comment Clarissa,

      It does seem they have been tightening things up a little as of late. It’s still a great product and I’m a big believer in paying for a good service, but as you say, maybe there’s not that much free to justify it being on top of the list.

      I’ve been thinking about re doing this as a few new apps have appeared in the market that merit consideration.

      Stay tuned 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle,

      The Portuguese spoken in the Island is the same as in mainland Portugal, with a few vocabulary and pronunciation alterations. Being a very niche dialect I would say the best way would be to visit the Island. But you’ll have no issue communicating if you just stick to European Portuguese.


  9. Obrigada!! This list was a good place for me to start. I look forward to a video update as many of the apps I tried on the list were no longer free. I believe in paying for good product, but I was not impressed enough with the free offerings to pay for the full versions. If you and Carla ever create your own app, please let us know. I would love to be part of the beta test group. 🙂


  10. Hi. I noticed your video was shot in 2017. It is 2020 now. Is there any update on your list of best apps? I’m very interested in finding the best app for learning Portuguese from Portugal – for adults.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Sandra, you are absolutely right. It is our plan to do an update to this video, but we have no ETA at the moment.

  11. Just checked the Memrise webpage on the recommendation of this column. If I’m reading it correctly, Memrise now ONLY offers Brazilian Portuguese. 🙁

    1. Hi Erid, sorry for the really late reply. We’ve been crazy busy building our new online program. Anyway…

      They definitely offer Portuguese from Portugal. Here’s a direct link.

      Hope that helps

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