YouTube is an outstanding free tool for learning Brazilian Portuguese online. Here are some fun Brazilian Portuguese YouTube channels to teach yourself Portuguese — a mix of educational channels for learners as well as native content for more advanced students.
Beginners and intermediates can start with videos with English or Portuguese subtitles. However, don’t be afraid to watch content that interests you that doesn’t have subtitles; it’ll help tune your ear to the sounds of Brazilian Portuguese.
Note on subtitles: In addition to the subtitles listed below, all Portuguese YouTube videos have the option of auto-generated Portuguese captions that can then be auto-translated into English and other languages. Auto-captions are not the most accurate, but sometimes they’re better than nothing!
Levels: Low Intermediate to Advanced (B1, B2, C1)
Subtitles: Portuguese (almost all videos); some also have English
Marcia Macedo‘s considerable personal charm and gentle humor make these videos a joy to watch. Her invaluable explanations and learning tips are based on many years of teaching experience. Marcia speaks completely in a slow, clear Portuguese, creating an immersive learning environment.
Marcia’s audience includes many Spanish speakers from other Latin countries, so her videos are particularly suited for learners with a previous background in Spanish.
Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Subtitles: Portuguese and English
Easy Languages is a unique non-profit that helps people learn languages through authentic street interviews. Their short, enjoyable videos showcase local language and culture in natural, everyday situations.
I’ve watched their excellent series for German, Russian, and Spanish, but the Brazilian Portuguese is my favorite because the Brazilians they feature are so warm, joyful, and expressive!
This engaging São-Paulo-based show consists of fun short interviews with Brazilian locals and is chock-full of useful colloquial expressions. Since conversations are at native speed, it’s best suited for intermediate and advanced students, although the English subtitles also make it accessible for beginners seeking listening practice.
The main producer, Kristina, a Croatian-born, German-raised polyglot, also does an incredible job. I wasn’t sure at first about having a non-native speaker as a presenter, but she won me over with her joyful energy and passion for Brazilian culture and language.
Levels: Beginner to Intermediate
Subtitles: English and auto-generated Portuguese
Polyglot BFFs Damon and Jo post travel videos in six languages. Brazilian-born, American-bred Jo speaks Portuguese fluently, and Damon’s achieved an impressive intermediate level. The millennial duo’s extensive Portuguese playlist features lots of fun videos on Brazilian language and culture.
Levels: Intermediate to Advanced
Subtitles: Generally English, Spanish, and sometimes Portuguese
If you have a previous background in Spanish and are ready for a challenge, try Philipe Brazuca, who specializes in teaching Portuguese to Spanish speakers. (brazuca is Portuguese slang for Brazilian). Video titles and descriptions are in Spanish, but audio is Portuguese only.
Philipe speaks rapidly, so at first he can be tough to follow even with Portuguese subtitles. Don’t let this put you off, as he does it on purpose so you can become accustomed to a native speech rate. I did quickly get used to the pace, and found his videos to provide excellent audio comprehension practice. In fact, this has become my favorite YouTube channel for learning Portuguese.
Philipe focuses on colloquial Portuguese and real-life communication. Don’t miss his fascinating video on common Brazilian hand gestures. Brazilians are very expressive with their hands, and I literally saw people using these gestures every day! (Warning: A few of these are considered rude and should be used with caution.)
Philipe’s Instagram feed is also very useful.
Don’t miss this hilarious sketch about the difficulties of speaking Portuguese
Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Subtitles: English and Portuguese on many videos
Porta dos Fundos (“Back Door” in English), is a wildly popular Brazilian YouTube channel famed for its controversial comedy sketches. This absurdist comedy troupe satirizes diverse topics such as political corruption, religion, drug use, sexuality, and everyday frustrations.
My Portuguese school in Rio used Porta dos Fundos videos frequently in class to generate discussions about current events and Brazilian culture and slang.
Beginners can focus on videos with English subtitles; also try their international channel Backdoor, which features English subtitles and descriptions.
If you enjoy Porta dos Fundos and are looking for Portuguese reading material, check out Put Some Farofa, a hilarious collection of short essays by Gregorio Duvivier, one of the show’s creators.
The book offers an entertaining mix of his weekly humor columns for the Folha de S.Paulo, Brazil’s largest newspaper, and Porta dos Fundos episode scripts. (Note that despite its English title, the book is in Portuguese.)
Unfortunately, Brazilian paperbacks tend to be expensive overseas, so I recommend looking for his books in Brazil. If you have an Amazon Brazil account and a CPF number, you can also purchase the e-book versions.
Subtitles: Only auto-generated Portuguese
Popular YouTube movie critic Tiago Belotti posts short reviews of new films and the occasional TV series. I usually watch critiques for movies and shows I’ve already seen as it makes the analysis easier to understand.
Tiago’s reviews for Brazil’s Rádio CBN are also available as a podcast.
Subtitles: Only auto-generated Portuguese
Like its counterpart in English, this edgy alternative news channel provides short news briefs on diverse topics in culture, sports, drugs, politics, LGBT issues, and sexuality. The millennial-focused content is a good opportunity to hear Brazilian slang.
For some language-learning inspiration, check out these gringos speaking fluent Portuguese. (Side note: the term gringo is not offensive in Brazil — it simply means foreigner.) Witnessing their accomplishments can give your motivation a big boost when you see what’s possible.
These videos are also effective for Portuguese learning. Often, it’s easier to understand a non-native speaker fluent in the language you’re studying. You can absorb many lessons from their successes as well as their mistakes.
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Polyglot Olly Richard’s Portuguese is incredible. For more inspiration, watch him chatting with Brazilian polyglot Jimmy Mello.
Gavin Roy, the most popular foreign YouTuber in Brazil, teaches English to Brazilians. This American from Colorado has taught himself Portuguese to an impressive level.
I also recommend his other videos, such as this playlist about Brazil. While the videos are intended for a Brazilian audience, you can learn a great deal from his language usage and insights into the culture.
Brazilian polyglot Jimmy Mello interviews Jan from the Netherlands, who has achieved an inspiring level of fluency in only three months.
For more Brazilian Portuguese practice, don’t miss:
Have more YouTube recommendations to learn Brazilian Portuguese online? Please share your suggestions in the comments.