Learning Brazilian Portuguese & Finnish: clear the list – May 2017

The Clear-the-List challenge is hosted by Lindsay (from lindsaydoeslanguages.com), Kris BroholmAngel Pretot and Shannon of Eurolinguiste. The goal is to share monthly goals and support each other while learning foreign languages.


Review of April

  • talking to myself: I haven’t really done it. I wasn’t lazy or anything, I just forgot!
  • week 4 video: I made a video where I speak Portuguese after four weeks of learning.
  • singing Disney songs: check! I had fun doing it. At the beginning I had no idea what I was singing. But little by little I began recognizing different sounds and words. Here’s a list of the songs I prefer: livre estou (Frozen), saber quem sou (Moana), um mundo ideal (Aladdin), necessário somente o necessário (Mogli e Balu), o cores do vento (Pocahontas).
  • listening to Daniel Araújo: the songs are pretty slow with a clear pronunciation. It’s great to practice the Brazilian pronunciation and sing along. Especially to spot the nasal vowels. This is what worries me the most about pronunciation, I think I can hear and understand pretty much any portuguese sound now, but the nasal vowels are a bit tricky! I have to be careful with those and probably find a language partner any time soon before building any bad habit.
  • watching YouTube videos: I enjoy watching 5incominutos and Rafinha Bastos (even though I can’t understand everything yet).
  • watching MasterChef Brasil on YouTube: probably the best way to learn food vocab while absorbing the language with native content. But maybe it would be more efficient (=obtaining the same results in less time) with short video clips? Instead of watching 1h30+ episodes!
  • I can notice the different accents now: portuguese and ssshhh sound at the end of words, different Rs in Brazilian (alveolar tap VS guttural sound).


I started a page where I’m going to put links to YouTube channels in different languages. YouTube is where I spend most of my time to immerse myself in foreign languages (when I don’t have a direct access to natives). It’s free and there are hours of native content!

I also decided to maintain my languages on a more regular basis, instead of doing it once in a blue moon! So now I’m watching at least 10 minutes of YouTube videos in English, Spanish and Italian every day.

It’s not an excuse but I got caught up with life and I had trouble focusing on Portuguese this month. Next month it should be more peaceful!


Goals for May

I’m satisfied with the level I reached so far with my Portuguese. I’m at an intermediate level and I still have much to learn (even with basic things). But this is what I wanted to do. I’m learning Portuguese in order to be able to communicate with natives when I visit South America one day. From now on, I’ll just maintain it and keep learning with YouTube. I’ll take italki lessons a few months prior to traveling to take it to the next level, but for now I’m happy where I’m at.

The second reason why I don’t want to spend more time on Portuguese is because I want to start learning a new language. I’ve been really curious about this one and I’ve put it off for a while now. A few years ago, I spent two weeks in Finland and I loved it. The country, the people, the culture. And the way the language sounds! I’m fascinated by everything related to Finland!

How I approached Portuguese gave me some insights on how I want to start learning Finnish. Here’s what I plan to do in May:

  • look at the IPA system, practice the different sounds and find the ones I have most trouble with
  • create short work-outs to practice the complicated sounds in order to master them
  • learn basic sentences with FinnishPod101 (and Google Translate and YouTube videos if necessary)
  • again the goal here is to learn without looking at written phrases or words. I’ll use translation only at the beginning to boost the learning process. I’ll learn how to read and write once I’m comfortable listening and speaking.
  • look for Disney songs and Finnish artists
  • look for YouTube channels I enjoy
  • start looking for language partners on italki. I’ll plan speaking sessions at the end of May, once I can introduce myself and say a few basic things. This was my weakness with Portuguese. I didn’t spend time looking for language partners and didn’t speak the language much.


I think learning Finnish will be a real challenge. I felt I could be lazy and still learn a lot with Romance languages, so this time I’ll have to work harder ^^

Thanks for reading. And thank you for this amazing community! When I joined the clear-the-list challenge in March, I wasn’t expecting to meet such a welcoming community! The support is amazing and I’m glad I joined this group!!


See you next month!


Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages, Angel Pretot of French Lover, and Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency

10 thoughts on “Learning Brazilian Portuguese & Finnish: clear the list – May 2017”

  1. Hi Akita,
    Disney songs are so good to listen to music when you don’t have any other idea^^
    I like Frozen songs in Icelandic and Aladdin songs in Hungarian… But I can’t recommend you any in Finnish as I don’t learn it 🙁
    Good luck with your goals for May! You seem to have a real good “starting a new language” strategy!

    1. Hey Dorothée. Thank you for your feedback, I’m always changing my “starting a new language” strategy, but this time I feel like I have something I’m going to enjoy ^^ haha I’m glad to see I’m not the only one to use Disney songs!

  2. Waaaa I’m so excited to find someone in the language community starting to learn Finnish!!! <3<3<3 I wish SO much luck to you 🙂 If there's anything I can do to help you on your way, let me know!

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