Frustrated with Spelling!

What do you do when the lesson (particularly listening and spelling) just gets too hard? I can cruise through a few lessons in a unit easily and then I get to one that I just can’t figure out what they’re saying (even in turtle mode) much less spell it. You can’t skip a word or phrase even if you want to for the moment because the way the program is set up. I find myself “cheating” by writing it down or taking a screenshot just to get passed the program. I don’t think I’m really learning it that way. (I have already repeated past units I’ve completed and would like to keep moving forward.)

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Hello cdj829,

I usually just bomb that question in order to see the answer and then try to understand from there. I bomb out so often, but get it eventually. Are you saying the program doesn’t let you do that any more?

Frustrations aside, I am glad you wrote: welcome to Practice Portuguese. Where are you from?

Portland, Oregon

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Hi Judy,

Thanks for responding. I’m from California. I also bomb the difficult question the first time. If a lot of different questions come up in between, I might forget the difficult one and bomb again. I keep trying and just keep getting the spelling wrong after multiple tries. So, I finally have to give up and write down the correct answer when it is displayed so I can enter it next time. The adaptive learning is really helpful at times, forced multiple attempts does not do anything for my retention because I just get frustrated. I think I just need to exit out of that lesson, try a different one and go back to it later.


I’ve been thinking about you for the past few days. I have started working in earnest the last week or so after letting it drop for A COUPLE OF YEARS!!! Whoa! Well, that’s what happened and restarting up I am humbled by what needs to be refreshed! Scraping off the dusts of time I find familiarity more and more each day. I see somethings in the flash cards that are helpful to me.

Blinkering in on limited, selected grouping of exercise sentences, and words I am discovering patterns that I hadn’t before noticed and through experience instead of rout memorization. I may be more able to apply this order when speaking and writing.

Rui’s intonation is consistent and musical. I hear the letters spoken in the word as it is written. Phonics? I didn’t learn to read that way in school. I find the Snail very helpful.

What I keep returning to is your lament- I can’t move ahead in this! But I’m pretty sure it takes as long as it takes, and breezing over the details may in the end leave you high and dry. I don’t think you are cheating by writing things down. I’m pretty sure you are trying to make concrete in your mind this quick silver language. No effort is wasted.

Ecoutéz et repétéz . I find myself making each word a tune. I may end up sounding like Julia Child but whatever…Practicing Portuguese to each his own.

Best to you!

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Thank you Judy. You are so kind to respond. You are absolutely right that it takes as long as it takes. I’m trying to push too fast through the units. I discovered some of the other resources, like flashcards, that will be helpful to review. Rui’s voice is wonderful. I have more difficulty with the other speakers, but I’m glad we’re getting used to different voices.

Muito Obrigada!

Just wanted to mention a few more ideas:

  • You could try completing the exercises on mobile (or trying out our new app :star_struck: ) because then you can add the Portuguese keyboard and use auto-correct to help you avoid having to know the correct spelling. (I generally recommend this for people who are more concerned with speaking the language, rather than writing the language.)
  • I would second the idea of spending more time with the flash cards. This removes the problem of not being able to skip past it and you don’t have to deal with any typing/spelling. Most importantly, if you’re running into frustration a lot, it’s a good idea to spend more time on reviews before moving to new units. Otherwise I worry you will burn yourself out :exploding_head:.

Glad to hear you’re sticking with it despite these roadblocks and thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this! It’s helpful to know how you’re experiencing the lessons. Maybe in the future we can add a skip button or limit the number of times a phrase is repeated.


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Thanks Molly,
I do have the Portuguese keyboard but I didn’t think of using auto-correct. I also haven’t checked out the app. I am more interested in listening, reading and speaking. I appreciate the tips.

I did burn myself out and took a long pause from studying. I’m about ready to go back. I think I’m going to clear out all my progress and start over. I’ll spend more time with the reviews rather than trying to barrel through the lessons. (I am seriously Type A which I know isn’t the Portuguese way.)

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