20+ Podcasts To Learn Brazilian Portuguese (Intermediate-Advanced)
For the links, check my medium: https://medium.com/@TScartezini/20-podcasts-to-learn-brazilian-portuguese-from-science-to-true-crime-intermediate-advanced-fbb24f83c233
1. (Breakfast) — Folha de São Paulo — 20/30min — on Weekdays.
Café is an original piece made for Spotify by Folha, the most important newspaper in Brazil. It is published daily around 6 a.m, thus its name. The anchors, Maurício Meirelles and Magê Flores, focus on the outstanding topic of the day. It may be international relations, corruption, or a catastrophe.
2. (Go to sleep with these) — Nexo — 15min — on Weekdays.
Although it is also a daily podcast, differently from Café, Durma gives you a more panoramic view of the day. The approach is to talk about the various events of the day, rather than just the main event. Antonio Mammi and Letícia Arcoverde present the show. They are from Nexo, a digital newspaper that has an emphasis on science dissemination.
3. (The Subject) — G1–30min — on Weekdays.
Another daily podcast, O Assunto focuses on diving deep into one subject. It has a similar editorial approach to Café, but Grupo Globo, a media conglomerate most known abroad for its soup operas, is the name behind it.
HISTORY AND POLITICS
4. (Black Lives) — Rádio Novelo — 30/40min — on Tuesdays.
Vidas Negras is an original production for Spotify centered on black personalities and cultural traits that marked Brazilian History. Every Tuesday with Tiago Rogero, you will learn about Machado de Assis, Axé music, Marina Silva, and more.
5. (Project Querino) — Revista Piauí / Rádio Novelo — 1hour — 1 Season.
In another Tiago Rogero project, Querino thematizes Brazilian History through the lens of blackness. It explains how we got where we got. Rogero says the podcast is a response to 1619 by Nikole Hannah-Jones. He interviews her in one of the episodes, by the way. Querino is produced by Revista Piauí, a monthly magazine inspired by New Yorker.
6. (Forum of Teresina) — Revista Piauí / Rádio Novelo — 1hour — on Fridays. ⭐
Published once a week on Friday mornings, the show discusses the main political event of the week from a left-ish perspective. The relationship between the trio that conducts the Foro, Fernando de Barros e Silva, José Roberto de Toledo, and Thais Bilenky, is one of the high points of the show. At the end of the one-hour-long conversation, they read letters from the audience.
7. (President of the Week) — Folha de São Paulo — 15min to 1hour — 1 Season.
Each episode is about one of the 29 presidents that Brazil has ever had. It goes as far as our First Republic, talks about the military coup, and then comments on Lula and Bolsonaro.
8. (Narrated Portrait) — Revista Piauí — 40min to 1hour — 1 Season.
It is an original documentary series about president Jair Bolsonaro made for Spotify by Carol Pires. It also has a Spanish and an English version. The last one is presented by The New Yorker journalist Jon Lee Anderson.
9. (Terms From the Politics) — Nexo — 25min to 1hour — Seasonal.
The show explains Political Science terms. The word “politiquês” is a neologism and means something like “technical terms of politics”. In Brazilian Portuguese, the “quês” always has that meaning of specialized vocabulary, like “juridiquês” (technical language used by law officials).
INTERVIEWS / DEBATES
10. — Revista Quatro Cinco Um / Rádio Novelo — 50min — Every Fifteen Days / Weekly.⭐
Paulo Werneck, the editor of the book review magazine Quatro Cinco Um, whose name is an homage to Ray Bradbury’ Fahrenheit 451, hosts this podcast. Twice a month, he talks to writers and invites artists to read small pieces of the guests’ work. Besides, Paulo curated Flip (Festa Literária Internacional de Paraty, or, in English, International Literary Festival of Paraty), the biggest literary event in Brazil, three times. A tip: if you happen to be in São Paulo, you can visit the office they share with the publishing house Ubu at Largo do Arouche. Take the opportunity and buy a printed edition of the magazine.
a. Bonus: If you want to know more about Brazilian literature, check out , a YouTube channel that interviews women that write in Portuguese, and , an in-person interview with Brazilian authors conducted by the literary critic Manuel da Costa Pinto, filmed and published on YouTube.
11. (Nipples) — B9 — 1hour — on Mondays, Fridays, and some Wednesdays.
Once a week, Cris Bartis and Ju Wallauer debate controversial themes with guests. The duo has an incredably honest and chill vibe that people love it.
12. (Bro to Bro) — Spotify — 2hours — Weekly.
The host of this is none other than the rapper Mano Brown from Racionais MC’s. He interviews public figures like politicians and artists, such as Lula, Dilma Rousseff, Karol com K, Kondizila, and Djonga, just to name a few. If you want to know more about Mano, listen to Racionais MC’s second album, Sobrevivendo no Inferno. Mano a Mano is published on Thursdays.
13. (Most Illustrious Talks) — Folha de São Paulo — 40min — on Saturdays.
Ilustríssima is a section of the Folha newspaper dedicated to discussing more intellectual topics, or, as we say in Portuguese, mais cabeça. Award-winning authors and scientists are regular guests on this show.
14. (37 Degrees) — Lab37–40min — Seasonal. ⭐
This is an absolute one of my favorites! 37 is a narrative podcast, very well produced by Sarah Azoubel and Bia Guimarães. They have a unique perspective on each subject they approach. The periodicity varies according to season. Fun fact: I went to a postgrad with Bia’s husband.
15. (Twenty Thousand Leagues) — Livraria MegaFauna — 40min — Seasonal.
Made by Leda Cartum and Sofia Nestrovski, this podcast has an original proposal that’s worth listening to just because of it: to read scientists as writers. Again, if you are in São Paulo, you can visit the bookstore behind its production, Megafauna, around the Copan Building. Besides, Leda is the daughter of Noemi Jaffe, one of my favorite writers, who wrote a book about her own mother. Noemi’s mother, Lili Jaffe, is a holocaust survivor of Serbian origin from the former Yugoslavia and was . Noemi’s book, O que os cegos estão sonhando?, was translated to English, What are the Blind Men Dreaming? (Deep Vellum, 2016).
16. (The Earth is Round) — Revista Piauí / Rádio Novelo — 50min — Seasonal.
Bernardo Esteves, a journalist from Revista Piauí, talks about science and the environment every Tuesday.
17. (Garage Dragons) — Independent — 1h30 — Every Fifteen Days.
Just as old as any dragon in the podosphere, just kidding. These guys are scientists from different fields that talk about a wide range of topics in an informal roundtable.
18. (Humankind Project) — Independent / GloboPlay — 1/2hours — Seasonal. ⭐
Influenced by the American podcast Serial, It started as an independent project made by Ivan Mizanzuk, a journalist from Curitiba, and it became huge! Now it is a book and a TV series too. The project is known for focusing on two shocking crimes involving powerful and influential people accused of sacrificing children in rituals in two very far away cities: Guaratuba (Paraná), and Altamira (Pará). Ivan used to also host a podcast about politics, Anticast.
a.Bonus: (Field Podcast), Independent — 20/30mi — Seasonal. This is a bonus tip for those who got hooked on the Altamira season. Campo is a science dissemination podcast in Anthropology. One of their seasons, Sentidos do Campo, is a reflection on Paula Lacerda’s field experience in Altamira with the victims of those crimes. I had the opportunity to meet her once and got very touched by her sensibility.
19. (The Woman From the Abandoned House) — Folha de São Paulo — 40min — 1 Season. ⭐
In this narrative podcast, Chico Felitti investigates the history behind his mysterious neighbor. Eventually, we discover that she and her ex-husband are fugitives of a hideous crime. What is interesting here is how their crime is related to their racial and economical privilege.
20 (Beach of Bones) — Rádio Novelo — 1hour — 1 Season.
As the previous true-crime podcasts mentioned, Praia dos Óssos also has a sociological approach, so to speak. It retells the history behind the murder of Ângela Diniz, a Brazilian actress, killed by her boyfriend at the time.