https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChristianofPeace

Portuguese Portuguses vs Brazilian Portuguese

What are the main differences between the two and can people unnderstand both?

March 18, 2016

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/efisgpr

Portuguese people seem to skip a lot of vowels. I think it sounds cool, though it does make it a little odd at times. My Portuguese is spoken with a carioca accent (from Rio de Janeiro). Watch some youtube results from both places and you'll get it quick, I bet. Look up "O Globo" on there, then "euronews Portugal". The differences are minimal at times, and funny at other times....It's a lot like American vs. English English.

March 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andre551183

Differences between portuguese from Portugal and Brazil are considerably bigger than those between american and british english. Although still not that of a big deal in terms of communication.

March 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/efisgpr

Such as...? You mean like "Estas invitado" versus "Vôce está invitado"? I would argue that there are equally great differences in types of English. Not looking to get into some protracted debate, though. Just saying.

March 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andre551183

Suco em portugal é sumo, canudo é paninho, sorvete é gelado, placa de carro é matrícula, sanduíche é feminino (a sanduíche), café da manhã é pequeno almoço, trem é comboio etc etc. British/american english also have those differences, but I always felt they are much less than brazilian/portuguese.

March 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/efisgpr

Zucchini/courgette....take a shower/nap vs. have a shower/nap......pissed (angry/drunk).....trunk/boot....stuffed animals vs. stuffed toys... pants/trousers.....panties/knickers ....(train) car vs. carriage.. etc. After all, there are American/British English dictionaries for a reason as well.

March 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andre551183

Well, most of these are easy to guess the meaning, even if you don't know the words. But I must admit that maybe I have a biased view on the subject, I learned british english at school but I have always been much more exposed to american things, so maybe that's why I don't see such a big difference.

March 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/efisgpr

Yeah it's definitely an interesting topic though, for sure.

March 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lahure

Thanks to the magnificent Luís Domingos all questions on Duo now include the corresponding Continental Portuguese versions as correct answers.

March 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/argovela

Indeed. One of the many unsung heroes who make duoLingo such a spectacular resource. Thank you, Luis!

March 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luis_Domingos

You're welcome! I'm glad I could help you and the community in any way! Good luck with your studies :)

March 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luis_Domingos

Thank you for the kind words, Mark :)

In all fairness, I have to say I haven't touched every single sentence during my time as course coordinator, so there's always the chance of some EP word not being there (and more so if they ever decide to make some changes to the course itself), but people can always report them using the same channels as ever to get that fixed eventually.

Um abraço!

March 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lahure

Igualmente Luís! You and paulenrique have added more to the Portuguese course than any others ever have. Concordo aqui, eventualmente eles podem, talvez?

March 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/efisgpr

And, yes, it's not a big obstacle to anyone fluent in one to be fine with comprehension in the other.

March 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davu

It may not be an insurmountable obstacle, but many Brazilians do struggle to understand speakers from Portugal. If it were otherwise Brazil's Globo TV would not feel the need to subtitle videos such as this one whenever a Portuguese is speaking:

http://globoplay.globo.com/v/4686513/

As an experiment, skip to 16:00 mins and close your eyes for around 2:00 mins then rewind and see how well you understood what was said. :-) That's not a really strong accent, but I'm fairly sure that many Brazilians would miss at least a few words without the subtitles. The old woman at 29:00 mins is probably more of a challenge.

March 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/efisgpr

That happened in Trainspotting, too for English-English. That's interesting, wow...and surprising.

Not gonna watch it, though -- not for now, at least. Thanks! That would happen across English dialects as well, however.

March 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davu

You're right, there are some quite inscrutable English accents on both sides of the Atlantic. Trainspotting is an extreme case where some of the dialogue had to be re-recorded with clearer pronunciation. In my experience, though, very few English language programmes made for English language speakers use burnt-in subtitles, on the other hand it seems routine to subtitle or dub European Portuguese for Brazilian viewers.

For example, the Portuguese teen series "Morangos com Açúcar" was dubbed into Brazilian Portuguese before being shown in Brazil: https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morangos_com_A%C3%A7%C3%BAcar - you can find episodes on YouTube and the original accents aren't Trainspotting thick. :-)

March 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danmoller

I once had a class in English with two teachers, one from London, another from Texas.

Apparently I could understand what they were saying despite the big difference.

But believe me, I do have a really hard time trying to make sense of an European Portuguese accent.

(Brazilian native speaker)

March 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iwc2ufan

It depends. The written versions are very similar, but the common spoken language (not what is recommended to be spoken in schools, but how most people actually speak), this is quite different. There are major grammar differences in addition to the expected differences with vocab and accent.

There is something that is not frequently talked about with Brazilian Portuguese, but I have experienced it in Brazil and read about it in linguistics books. It is called diglossia. It is the idea that a region or country can basically have two languages for different uses. An obvious example no one would argue with is Paraguay using both Spanish and Guaraní for different things. The thing about Brazil is the two languages are written Portuguese and spoken Portuguese. They are considerably different from each other (not as different as German and Portuguese but they have different rules and you can easily be good at one but not the other). When I first went to Brazil, I basically had to relearn Portuguese a bit since book Portuguese was pretty useless for easily understanding people as it wasn't what they are saying. Now, I know with all languages, there will be differences between writing and common speech, but they are greater with Portuguese than they are with English at the very least (and I am familiar with several dialects of English - I am American, my husband is English and I've spent some time in Australia as well as the US and the UK).

They can understand each other, but as a second language speaker who can very easily understand most Brazilians, I have much more trouble with European Portuguese, whereas I also speak Spanish and have rarely had a dialect be so different that it was a major issue. I need almost no concentration to understand a Brazilian and a lot to understand someone Portuguese basically. I've been speaking Portuguese for about 12 years btw to put it in context.

To give more context still, I am a translator. When I see postings asking for a translation to or from Portuguese, they will always say which one it is, whereas I also translate from Spanish and they don't always mention the dialect. Same with English, they don't always or even often mention it because the differences are smaller.

Obviously, if you spent lots of time exposing yourself to the one you hadn't studied, you would surely improve in it and it would be more helpful to study one to give you a basis for the other, but it will be less of a basis than it would be for some other languages.

Here is a fairly long wikipedia article on the differences (it also discusses diglossia below this particular part of it)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_Portuguese#BP.2FEP_differences_in_the_informal_spoken_language

March 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danmoller

"Minor" grammar differences.

March 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GarethWilliams79

In DuoLingo (with Brazilian Grammar) it insists on you using the pronoun “eu” before every verb when you are doing something. This is inconvenient! In portuguese portuguese you can just say “sou inglês” or “como peixe” etc.

March 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danmoller

A lot of people assume these glitches are "Brazilian".

No, they aren't. They have nothing to do with "Brazilian Grammar".

The only really visible difference is Duolingo being very lenient about starting sentences with "me" and "te" because that's how Brazilians speak and write. Even though, Brazilian formal grammar still says that this should not be done.

I'm pretty sure Duolingo accepts omission of the subject all around, except when the conjugation is identical to that of another person, and certainly when you have to shift the subject of the second clause to another person.

March 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GarethWilliams79

I haven't had the opportunity to test this out yet. The last exercise I did (Household 2/8) did not have any stages which required me to write in portuguese using a verb in the first person, but next time it does I will test it out. I will also test out if it accepts omission of “nós” in the first person plural, which I don't think it does either.

March 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GarethWilliams79

Yes. It absolutely does let you omit the “eu”. That is cool! My mistake.

March 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danmoller

At the beginning, the course was just incomplete, missing translations. Time has made it better.

June 28, 2017
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