This week we are celebrating World Portuguese Language Day on May 5th. To make this day special, we have some interesting facts about this beautiful language. Read further to discover common differences between Portuguese in Brazil vs Portugal (also known as European Portuguese)!
Some History and Numbers To Get Started
Over 2,000 years ago, the Roman language Portuguese was developed when the Romans arrived on the Iberian Peninsula, a peninsula that primarily consists of modern-day Spain and Portugal. Today, more than 265 million people in the world speak Portuguese, and there are 9 countries where Portuguese is the native language. With these numbers, the Portuguese language can be seen as one of the most widespread languages in the world. However, only 5 percent of Portuguese speakers live in Portugal.
Portuguese in Brazil vs Portugal
The Portuguese language knows two regulators: one is Portugal and the other is Brazil. The largest population of Portuguese speakers, namely 211.2 million people, live in Brazil. If we look at Europe, I think I won’t surprise you if I say that most Portuguese speakers live in Portugal (about 10 million of them). Although you may think that the Portuguese language that’s spoken in Portugal and the Portuguese language that is spoken in Brazil is the same language, there are a lot of differences between both “Portugueses”.
Is The Portuguese Spoken In Brazil and Portugal Really Different?
The biggest differences between Portuguese from Brazil and Europe are in accents, consonants, pronunciation, and a few grammar rules. Throughout history, both countries attempted many agreements to unify the Portuguese language between countries that have Portuguese as an official language – also known as Lusophone. In theory, we should formally speak the same language, both spoken and written. But, in reality, we still have many differences.
Three Common Differences
The first difference between the two “Portugueses” is the pronunciation. People say that Brazilians speak vowels wide and long, and European Portuguese speakers don’t pronounce the vowels that much, because they speak with a more closed mouth. Also, some consonants are pronounced differently. It’s mostly about the ‘s’ at the end of a word. Brazilians pronounce an “s” at the end of a word as “ss”, while European Portuguese pronounce it as “sh”.
Another main difference, related to the pronunciation, is the accent. Most people would say that, because of the open vowels, Brazilian Portuguese is more phonetically pleasing to the ear compared with European Portuguese. Because European Portuguese can sound a bit mumbled, some say that Brazilian is easier to learn and understand as well.
The last, and probably the most obvious difference between Portuguese in Brazil vs Portugal is the vocabulary. Both languages know some words that are completely different. Here is a list with some words that are different:
|English||BR Portuguese||EU Portuguese|
Can They Understand Each Other?
Yes, they can. Although, in my opinion, it’s easier for Portugueses to understand Brazilians than the opposite. Because people in Portugal consume much of Brazilian culture like soap operas, music, and TV shows for a long time. And, these days, Youtube and TikTok influencers can be added to that list.
Are you planning to go on holiday to Portugal or Brazil soon and you don’t speak Portuguese? It may be easy to know some Portuguese words! Keep an eye on our website and sign up for free to learn Brazilian or European Portuguese. Not convinced yet why you should learn Portuguese? Read about 5 Reasons Why You Should Learn Portuguese, and I’m sure you will be convinced!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of SPEAK.