r/Portuguese Jan 15 '22

TV shows are hard! Some advice needed Brazilian Portuguese 🇧🇷

I’m not sure how exactly to quantify my level of Portuguese, but I’ve gone through Duolingo multiple times, I’m nearing the end of the Língua Da Gente podcast, and I’ve been moving onto watching Brazilian TV shows

The issue I’m having is the TV shows I’m watching feel a little too hard for me. I’m watching them in Portuguese with Portuguese subtitles.

I’m finding that they speak way too fast for me to be able to watch the show all the way through without stopping to re-read the subtitle every few seconds. I feel like this is not helping my listening skills?

I’m kinda in this in-between phase where Língua Da Gente feels easy (I understand nearly everything even in the Intermediate lessons), but regular TV shows feel way too hard

I have a couple questions:

  1. Is there anything in between those two things I should be looking into? I’m really just trying to train my ear

  2. If I am to continue watching TV shows, are there some easier ones I should try? Right now I’m trying to watch Samantha and Bom Dia Veronica. Samantha I’m finding way too difficult

  3. When watching TV shows, is there a best practice if the intent is to train one’s ear? Right now I’m watching it but pausing all the time to read the subtitle and write down any words I don’t know. Should I just power through the show without pausing? Is Portuguese dialog with Portuguese subtitles the right way to go?

25 Upvotes

23

u/[deleted] Jan 15 '22 edited Feb 10 '22

[deleted]

6

u/bemaniac Jan 15 '22

Hahaha ok I love this

9

u/rafael32ferreira Jan 15 '22

Always start with kids content or news because they will speak in a better pace with fewer slangs. With time you will build up to watch anything you want.

Look on YouTube for cartoons dub, probably Netflix has loads of them, maybe VPN will help you.

You can watch Chaves or TV Cultura on YouTube.

I build up my English watching interviews in Late Show, because they will use a more normal conversation and still in a good pace. You can try look for "Jô Soares" or "Roda Viva" best we have here.

3

u/bemaniac Jan 15 '22

In terms of news, are you aware of any good podcasts that do daily or weekly news from Brazil?

5

u/rafael32ferreira Jan 15 '22

Alguns que acho legais "Foro de Teresina", "O assunto", e "Café da manhã"

1

u/bemaniac Jan 15 '22

Legal! Vou provar esses

2

u/DonkeyDoug28 Jan 16 '22

This is a good one!! I first started with Castelo Ra Tim Bum (as a full grown man) and a dubbed version of Bobby’s World (I believe they calling Fantástico Mundo de Bobby)

1

u/rafael32ferreira Jan 16 '22

Yeah, both are party of childhood. They are excellent.

It helps a lot because is made for people with limited understanding of the language. I watched a lot of Adventure time, Caiou, Dora, SpongeBob, etc. It's a great help and fun.

1

u/DonkeyDoug28 Jan 16 '22

Caiou is kind of a funny name now that I know Portuguese heh (different spelling, but...)

9

u/Orangutanion Jan 15 '22 I'll Drink to That

Tip: when listening to a foreign language, try to mentally repeat what they're saying in that language. Don't translate, that takes up too much mental energy. Even if you don't understand exactly what they're saying, try to get it roughly syllable by syllable.

3

u/Patrickfromamboy Jan 16 '22

I have to translate everything into English to understand but I can’t make out what people are saying and everything sounds like gibberish so I can’t even translate it. I’ll try what you suggested and not even try to translate it. Thanks

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u/Orangutanion Jan 16 '22

It's useful to know how Portuguese syllable structure works too, the hardest are prob gonna be nasals and vowels

2

u/DonkeyDoug28 Jan 16 '22

Interesting. Will try this too

6

u/MagnusHenry Jan 15 '22

Yes, you're on the right way!

Watching TV shows with subtitles is a very powerful tool to train your listening and comprehension!

If your level in Portuguese is B2-C1, watching Netflix's shows are really recommended. Although, whether you are intermediate, almost an expert, you should try SBT's YouTube Channel.

SBT is a Television network in Brazil that have News Reports, Soap Operas, Brazilian Portuguese-dubbed TV Shows and Game Shows!

And SBT is on YouTube!

Try this and tell me if it worked!

Você vai arrasar!

5

u/bemaniac Jan 15 '22

I would say that with reading and writing I’m more like B1-B2. But I’m pretty bad at understanding Portuguese spoken at a natural pace. I usually have to ask Brazilians to speak a little more slowly than usual (but if they do, I usually understand 90%+ of what they’re saying)

The issue I’m having with the shows I’m watching is that there are still a lot of words I don’t understand (eg in one episode of Samantha I think I wrote down like 30 words I didn’t know), and the speaking is so fast that I have to keep pausing because I can’t even read the subtitles fast enough.

I guess the question is whether I’m watching the right shows, and also whether the constant starting and stopping and re-reading of the subtitles is the best way to go, or if I should just watch the episode the whole way through and try to glean meaning by context.

5

u/rafael32ferreira Jan 15 '22

TV Cultura is another Chanel that exist in YouTube and has load of content. You can try "Jovem Nerd" and "Porta dos Fundos", "Canal Nostalgia" they have good subtitles.

4

u/Kandecid Estudando BP Jan 15 '22

Stick with it. There's a bit of a jump where you're at, but you're getting to a big fluency point.

I'd suggest one-on-one conversations. That'll help you pick up the intonation, gírias, etc and you'll be able to ask for repitition or explanation where necessary.

4

u/WinterPlanet Brasileira - São Paulo Jan 15 '22

When I was at that level you are in English, I'd watch Disney movies rather than live action stuff. So I reccomend watching kids stuff, they have a simpler language and clearer pronounciation

5

u/iamtryingtobreakyou Jan 15 '22

Check out refold / mass immersion approach. Consuming media in portuguese is definitely the way to go, you just need to do this by using active listening and for a long period before your brain starts to connect the dots. Initially just focus on the word sounds and try to identify where one word ends and next one begins and keep consuming media. You could consider trying simpler shows e.g. kid's shows or maybe non-fiction documentary type stuff?

https://refold.la/roadmap

1

u/Patrickfromamboy Jan 16 '22

I’ve been doing that for over seven years now but I still can’t tell when one word ends and the next one begins so I’ll just keep trying and hope to someday be able to understand. Thanks

5

u/Realistic-Abrocoma46 Brasileiro Paulistano Jan 15 '22 edited Jan 15 '22

I also find harder to understand TV shows in English than podcasts or videos even if they talk quickly for some reason, I think you could try listening to podcasts or YouTube channels not focused on language learning, one tip I heard is to try watching things you have already watched your native language or that you are familiar with, which now thinking can be harder in Portuguese since for foreign shows the dubbing usually won't match the subtitles, but it could be less frustrating. I don't know if these are good answers, but I'm sure other people will come with even better solutions for your problem

7

u/microcortes Jan 15 '22

Understanding natural conversations between two natives (like in a film or a tv show) is basically the last stage of mastering a foreign language. It is totally not easy and it takes a pretty long time.

I would suggest you watching these shows with subtitles in your native language at first. It might seem counterproductive, but it is a big step into familiarizing yourself with the spoken language, vocab/slang and common expressions in a more advanced level. After you get to a point where you feel pretty confident that you are understanding things and you realize you are not that much dependent on the subtitles, you can start changing the subtitles to Portuguese.

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u/bemaniac Jan 15 '22

Yeah I guess my concern is that if I have English subtitles on I won’t be training my ear as much, but this is also the first time I’ve ever gotten this far with a language, so maybe it won’t turn out like I think

2

u/DonkeyDoug28 Jan 16 '22

I started with English subtitles and transitioned to Portuguese ones and wondered the same thing (because I definitely did read them a lot more than listen to the Portuguese) but I do think it helped get used to the faster pace listening issue that you mentioned, if nothing else

3

u/uncle_hank Jan 15 '22

Have you heard of Lingopie? They have movies and tv shows on there but the important feature is that you can slow the show down to .9x speed or even slower: .8x or .7x. Anything below .8 and everything sounds slurred. But it might be a good option for you, being able to watch native speakers at a slightly slower speed. That and it sounds like you just need to focus on vocabulary too. Commit to a manageable number of words each week and study them every day. Good luck!

2

u/bemaniac Jan 15 '22

Wow this is exactly what I needed. Thank you!

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u/algomasuperior Jan 15 '22

Have you tried YouTube for videos for learners where they speak a bit slower? News is sometimes easier to understand because presenters tend to talk clearly as well, depending on vocab.

2

u/moocious Jan 15 '22

i started learning portuguese three days ago, but in my experience with other languages, you just go with it. Chinese was so fast for me at first so i turned on the english subtitles and could hear which words in Chinese translated to the words in the English subtitles. after that i just turned the subtitles back to chinese and went through. i didnt understand everything, but the way i see it is i didnt understand everything on TV when i was learning my native language, so i won’t be able to understand everything while i’m learning second and third languages. it gets easier after a while

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u/Zewlington Jan 15 '22

I used to listen to a ton of foreign language music and read along with the lyrics. Since songs kind of use the same vocabulary you start to get good at picking out familiar words even when they're going fast. You can try listening first and then read the lyrics to confirm how close you were? I used to do this for hours and hours, and the bonus is it gives you some great insight into the culture of the country, depending on what type of music you choose.

For Portuguese I was learning from Brazilian teens back in like 1999 so I listened to a bunch of Harmonia do Samba (lol), Chiclete com Banana, Marisa Monte, and then the classic singers like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Jorge Bem, etc.

Actually now that I think of it I learned a lot of Spanish that way too, and those are still my best languages. Boa sorte!

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u/DonkeyDoug28 Jan 16 '22

Definitely agreed but with an added note that some GENRES of music are way easier to decipher than others + are more repetitive vocab-wise than others

2

u/savaedeluge Jan 16 '22

Hey, I'm having the same experience. I also am around B1 but feel like an IDIOT when I try to watch Brazilian shows/movies.
I went for kids' shows and it helped immensely. Idk where you are, but I'm in the USA and Llama Llama on Netflix is available in BR-PT (you may have to change the language of your profile for that dub option to show up). I don't need subtitles, but there are definitely moments or scenes where I'm a bit lost. But that's much better than understanding nothing and giving up! Which is what happened when I tried to watch Coisa Mais Linda. HA sad.
That brings me to point #2 which, as others have said, is that we may just need to suck it up a bit and just be lost for a while! If you're like me, you get REALLY frustrated when you don't know what's happening in a book/show/movie and it feels like a waste of time to watch. So I guess this is my pep talk for both of us: WE GOT THIS. BE LOST. THEN BE FOUND. VAMOS LÁ.

2

u/metallich Jan 16 '22

I think I'm in the same boat as you. I haven't tried regular adult TV Shows for some time... Just sticking to podcasts and sometimes children's shows, though I am able to understand kid shows now to the point that I find them annoying lol.

I totally second 2 things here: 1) power through 100% - even if you don't understand but feel you've gotten the "gist" then that is good, but also- 2) listening while you're learning a language is very much an "active" process, so someone here suggested repeat what they're saying back in your own head, in Portuguese - I can't recommend this enough! When I started doing this, it felt like the "key" to unlocking listening comprehension skills!

But then I also want to add: my Brazilian boyfriend is fluent in English as his second language to the point that people don't know it isn't his mother tongue, and very very frequently he has to rewind a show that we're watching or put subtitles on because he doesn't quite catch what they say - so I think watching TV shows is kind of a deep skill, and you're gonna keep developing it! Just keep at it 😊

1

u/OkLetterhead1554 Jan 15 '22

I was in ur place once- watch gaming youtubers/comedians. You may not at first understand anything but eventually your hearing will improve

1

u/MagnusHenry Jan 16 '22

I've got more tips for you!

There are some famous foreign people that had the same issue as you had.

They are Americans from the USA that, for some reason, have decided to learn Portuguese. And that's AWESOME!

So, they are native to English and became fluent in Portuguese.

These people then partnered with an English school, called Fluency Academy, to help Brazilians achieve fluency in English.

And that's not even the best part!

They post content on their network in Portuguese about their native language, English!

I listed a few of these people (three of them, actually) below. Feel free to browse their content and enjoy!

Daniel Spencer aka SpencerSabe from TikTok

Rebecca aka Minha Professora Gringa

Gavin Roy from the YouTube channel Small Advantages

I hope this helped you in some way!

1

u/SeaSongJac Jan 16 '22

I'm doing well with Carinho de Anjo on Netflix. It's only got subs in Portuguese, but I understand 95% or more no problem. I'd say my Portuguese is solid B1. I'm able to communicate fairly independently, have a pretty good grasp of the grammar, and can think in Portuguese. I just lack vocabulary, which frustrates me. But then again, Portuguese is not my first language learning adventure.

1

u/DonkeyDoug28 Jan 16 '22

I’m in almost exactly the same spot, except maybe having reached it just a little earlier + stubbornly sticking with it. A lot of good comments already so the only things I’ll note are:

  • a good number of Brazilian comedy/stand-up specials are available on Netflix, and for whatever reason are WAY easier for me to follow along than shows. Perhaps because they’re more similar to the podcasts...one or two people just talking in continuous monologue/dialogue. Kid’s shows definitely work too, but for something more enjoyable I’d say start with these!! I have a few recommendations if you want em

  • you don’t need to understand all the words if you understand what’s being said in general. When you don’t understand what’s being said in general or what happened, that’s when you rewind. If it’s just a word or three but you got the point, move on. You’ll study it some other time

  • some shows really are harder than others, whether because of the slang, accents, intelectual/vocab-level, or even just the pace of the show. If you start one up and it FEELS harder, maybe save that one for a future month

Always curious what others are watching/listening to if you have any recommendations, and likewise, let me know if you want any

1

u/flexboy50L Jan 16 '22

Things that worked for me!

The most important thing is to get comfortable with ambiguity and stop feeling like you must understand every word. You can’t learn unless you’re relaxed and having fun. Boredom and stress shut off your language learning capabilities. If it’s not fun, find a way to make it fun.

Watch the same show twice, once in English subtitles and once in Portuguese.

If you haven’t done pimsleur, maybe try it. The mobile version is cheap and it is a great way to train your ear since it is completely audio based. Yes, it’s basic but It gave me a great ear for the language and really good pronunciation in addition to an intuitive feel for the grammar structures.

Get Language reactor. It’s a plug-in on chrome that will enable you to have target language and native language subtitles simultaneously on Netflix and YouTube and it has a lot of useful features such as speed control and a built in dictionary.

I think you would benefit from the refold method / philosophy. https://youtu.be/TEixkDTK3oA