The Everything Essential Brazilian Portuguese Book
March 2, 2014
Author Fernanda Ferreira, Ph.D.
Publisher Adams Media
Publication Date 2013
Skill Level Beginner, Intermediate
This small and portable book by Fernanda Ferreira, Ph.D., will work fine as a refresher. I envision it as being appropriate for, say, the businessperson who has studied Brazilian Portuguese in the past, who is hopping on a plane to go to Brazil, and who wants a quick, relaxing reminder of things once known.
Otherwise it is an odd entry into the language-learning market. If you are a true beginner, it is not for you. You will be stymied! New vocabulary isn’t always translated, and discussions of verb forms and other grammatical subjects are too high-speed and scanty to be absorbed if you haven’t already learned the material in the past. The exercises are incredibly short. It took me under 30 seconds to do many of them. They often consist of about five questions where you circle answers or fill in the blanks—which isn’t a lot of reinforcement and isn’t going to teach you much.
If you already know some Portuguese and actually want to practice, I have another suggestion, which is Dr. Ferreira’s book The Everything Brazilian Portuguese Practice Book with CD. I am a healthy chunk of the way through that one, and it offers oodles, I mean oodles, of exercises. More practice than almost any language-learning book I’ve seen. It will not fit tidily into a purse or coat pocket, but so be it: language-learning sometimes requires some elbow room.
In both books, Dr. Ferreira’s writing is clear and her commitment to Portuguese apparent. The more diminutive Everything Essential Brazilian Portuguese Book that is the subject of this review helped quickly remind me of things I had learned before, but it would not be a good way to launch a brand new Portuguese undertaking.