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Showing 1-10 of 34 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 46 reviews
on January 9, 2010
From 16 to 27 pages of activities for each chapter in the textbook, filled with consistently reinforcing material step-by-step and from involved activity to activity, you can not go wrong with this book. The textbook itself is 570 pages of instruction while the activity book has 442 pages. I have studied Russian as well as Irish and I have never seen, for either of these languages, an accompanying activity book in a series that would be as extensive and almost as lengthly as the original textbook. (Well, V Puti, a Russian set does this and is the only exception!) I have thumbed my way through the book (I am an English as a Second Language teacher by profession) and it is pedagogically sound in all elements and the activities are relevant to the language learning itself. It does not (as do some activity books) get too carried away with introducing way too much new vocabulary that is not relevant to the tasks and the textbook and guides the student through everything quite well.

I would suggest that, along with the "Brazilian Student Activities Manual to Accompany 'Ponto de Encontro': Portuguese as spoken and used in Brazil" (Remember that there is also the "European Student Activities Manual for 'Ponto de Encontro': Portuguese as a World Language" for those learning Portuguese as spoken and used in Portugal) you should also get the "Answer Key to Accompany Brazilian and European Student Activity Manuals for Ponto de Encontro." If you are studying on your own without a teacher, this will be quite valuable. In many language sets, answer keys only come with the "Teacher's Edition" and this is a welcome addition to the set and can be purchased as "new" for only $8.00.

I also have purchased the DVD of dialogues in Portuguese that includes the same dialogs with different speakers in a disk that includes all of the dialogues in both Brazilian and European Portuguese. Not only are the speakers native to each country or region, they are also filmed in each respective area, giving you the feel of each region for the Portuguese that you are studying. The activity manuals also include activities to go along with the videos on the DVD!

The completeness of this entire set is impressive as they have left no stone unturned: textbook (that teaches either Brazilian or European Portuguese, or you can learn BOTH, per your preference), separate activity manuals for each of the two Portuguese language types, an answer key in one inexpensive edition that covers both activity manuals as well as the companion oral/visual language DVD for BOTH separate as well as equal Brazilian or European Portuguese, the DVD of Portuguese speakers talking about each of the topics, chapter by chapter, of the textbook for BOTH separate as well as equal Brazilian or European Portuguese, and a 3-CD audio set for the textbook itself with a very nice and clear index listing of every track with each chapter and section. They don't stop here either! They also have an on-line site for learning Brazilian and European Portuguese with audio, interactive activities, flashcard system and tests that, when completed, you can choose to send to your teacher, to the teacher's assistant, to a friend and to yourself in plain text or HTML formats!

I had read the reviews on here about this set and none of them even went so far as to describe the entire set as a unit and how they are there to help you to really learn Brazilian or European Portuguese should you decide to use all of the resources available.

Now, this entire set, new, can be rather expensive. I purchased the CD, DVD, and book used here on Amazon. I only bought the Brazilian Portuguese Activity Manual and the Answer Key as new items. This helped me to cut the overall cost of all new materials by a rather tidy sum such that I could purchase the ENTIRE set! Even at full cost for new here on Amazon, I really feel that this entire set is a bargain as you will definitely learn, through diligence and following the program that this set offers, to speak, to listen to, to read and to write Portuguese like a native (high intermediate to low-advanced) by the end of the series. Of course, beyond this set (things that you should also do as you are working with the set), learning can be achieved through regular reading of original texts, watching movies, watching Brazilian or Portuguese TV on-line, finding a Portuguese "friend" or two, or three or whatever on-line who uses Skype for regular conversational practice and (if you are lucky, as am I) you may also find a friend who is actually a language teacher who can help you with Portuguese grammar, colloquialisms, pronunciation and can provide more "cultural notes" that make learning any language more fun, entertaining, and immersive!

Get the set, be dedicated, use it well, use Skype - don't be shy!, and do the work so that you can really achieve the great success in learning Portuguese (Brazilian, European or both) that this set offers!
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on February 17, 2014
Used this book for an entire year of intro to Portuguese during grad school. Enjoyed the layout, similar probably to how most foreign language books are structured: Chapters broken down by functional area/subject, vocabulary review pages at the end of each chapter, grammar issues broken down in charts and boxes, etc.

I still have and occasionally use this book as a reference, despite now speaking near fluent Portuguese after 5-6 years learning and 3 or so spent in Brasil. I find that you can still go back and re-learn or realize little things that you missed along the way by simply going back and refreshing on your basic grammar, reviewing vocabulary, etc. I think this book came with a workbook as well, but I don't remember it as well (and probably avoided doing the exercises at the time anyway... rsrs)
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on May 24, 2011
I live in Rio de Janeiro and I bought this book before moving here. It's a really great introduction to the language, with clear explanations and distinctions between Portuguese from Portugal and from Brazil when necessary. Compared to the selection of books here in Brazil, it's a no-brainer. I haven't used any other book from the U.S., though.

Since coming to Brazil, it's been a nice little reference and I'm glad I bought it. Of course, you need to speak speak speak to learn and improve, and I would recommend downloading The Brazilian Portuguese Podcast, too. To anyone reading this, boa sorte!

To the authors, thank you for putting together a wonderful book. You should be proud of your work.
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on March 17, 2014
I started teaching myself Portuguese(Brazilian) with Duolingo(which is an excellent program) but I felt I needed to support it with a textbook. I found it perfect for what I needed and easy to understand and follow.I must say that I have studied several years of Spanish and French so this is not my first time learning a language, but it is the first I have tried to teach myself. The book is easy to follow and starts with simple vocab and grammar. While many of the directions and text is in English, many of the examples are only in Portuguese with no English translation(Not sure if this is my edition or all of them). However this book is great because it gives you examples in Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese, so you can learn either or both.
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on February 12, 2017
Easy to read and follow. Textbook is a requirement for a class I'll be taking this summer, but getting a jump start on it will help me practice more conversational Portuguese than just learning vocabulary.
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on October 3, 2010
First of all, this is a thoughtfully-designed textbook that feels current and modern, having been published only in 2007. The pages are the most colorful and lively of any text I've seen, and each chapter is filled with a huge variety of exercises, readings, and cultural notes. I particularly enjoyed the numerous readings on Portuguese-speaking countries and cities, and I appreciate that the authors have made a big effort to include lusophone Africa and Asia into the cultural mix, in addition to the many regions of Brazil and Portugal. The cultural focus is on the entire Portuguese-speaking world, and it makes for a very worldly introduction to Portuguese, though when it comes to the language itself, only two variants are differentiated: Brazilian and European. Where differences exist, the two dialects are presented side by side. There is no specific discussion of the African portuguese dialects besides what is contained in the cultural notes.

The grammar explanations are in English and are among the most thorough and contemporary explanations I have found in any Portuguese text (with the exception of John Whitlam's Modern Portuguese Grammar, in a class by itself), with plenty of useful examples that highlight the differences between Brazilian and European/African usage.

As an independent learner not using this book as part of a class, there are some difficulties I've found in using Ponto de Encontro. The exercises are varied but weighted heavily toward interaction in groups, which is not much use if you're studying alone. I have been making better use of the accompanying student activities manual, which includes more written exercises. The publisher's website also includes a good number of audio listening exercises. But for self-study exercises, I think a book like Falar, Ler, Escrever is more useful. And as with any text designed for classroom use, the grammar is sprinkled throughout the thematic chapters, so it can be difficult to use the text as a reference or work through it at a more accelerated pace.

One problem - one that plagues most textbooks, it seems - is that there is little discussion of "usage". The differences between formal written and informal spoken Portuguese are vast, and they are multiplied by the vaster regional differences among the lusophone countries. Many times the student will encounter two or three ways of saying the same thing, and the book does a reasonable job of differentiating the European/African variants from the Brazilian variants. But it's still disappointing to see "há" presented as the primary way of saying "there is/are", when the vast majority of Brazilians would say "tem". I think usage can only be absorbed by interacting with a native speakers, so it's probably up to a teacher or tutor to impart these more sophisticated aspects of the vernacular, and I don't fault the book too much for this, especially given its worldly focus.
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on January 11, 2017
Great book to learn Portuguese, with great grammar explanation, ample vocabulary, and a great variety of texts!
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on September 25, 2016
An excellent Portuguese textbook, designed to allow you to study either Brazilian Portuguese or European Portuguese.
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on June 29, 2013
This is probably the best Portuguese textbook out there. What I really like about it is that it shows the use of the Portuguese language in different lusophone countries. I agree that it's better to have an instructor since Portuguese pronunciation can be a bit of challenge. This book is recommended for students familiar with Spanish or other Romance languages.
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on October 5, 2014
The book almost looks bran new! There are no ripped pages and the only problem is that it looked like the back few pages got wet at some point. But overall, you can read the text clearly and nothing is falling out. I am happy with my purchase.
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