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

Portuguese from Portugal

I'm a very big fan of duolingo from the early start and I've following the incubator with enthusiasm. The work done by all the staff of Duolingo is amazing.

But today I come here to ask for some improvement in the Portuguese front. I'm from Portugal and I understand the reasons for Duolingo to have chosen Brazilian portuguese has their Portuguese. However I would like this choice to not impact negatively on users. I have people close to me (especially my mother and my mother-in-law) that are trying to learn english from portuguese and are becoming frustrated with the experience. In several translations they use words that are usually used in Portugal and not in Brazil, or that are written slightly different in Portugal, and lose hearts over this (very frutrating). Examples are: marron(B) - castanho(P), polonês(B) - polaco(P), dezesseis(B) - dezasseis(P), bolsa(B) - mala(P), and the list goes on.

I would like to see Duolingo to follow one of two policies: either maintain the Portuguese from Brazil as it is and allow for the creation of a Portuguese from Portugal in the incubator, or change the Portuguese from Brazil to become a general Portuguese including words usually used in Portugal (and other poruguese speaking countries). In either case I am available to help in the improvements.

If you feel that neither of these solutions is acceptable please tell me why, and help me find another solution for this problem.

Keep up the good work! Cheers

February 4, 2014

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
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" change the Portuguese from Brazil to become a general Portuguese including words usually used in Portugal (and other poruguese speaking countries). In either case I am available to help in the improvements."

I think the goal is to have a 'neutral' Portuguese course anyway - SO: Good news, you can help the DL team! Simple press 'report' below the sentence when a translation is not accepted and click 'my answer should be accepted'. If enough people do that (including your family for example) the translations will be added one by one. This is the only way it can be done at the moment, and how it is done with British English translations (instead of American English) as well. (Also, this is why crowdsourcing is beautiful!). Have fun learning to you and your family :)

February 4, 2014

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

Thank you for your comment. I've said to my friends to use the report. But I see the frustration. That's why I'm offering my time to do it in a more consistent way. And not only case by case.

February 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elen-ka

I think it's a great idea to open European Portuguese course. The difference with Brazilian Portuguese is not only in vocabulary but in many cases also in grammar. I think we should have a choice what language to learn. :)

February 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sp1gg0t

I wonder if the contributors to this thread can give me some tips. I'm a Brit living in Spain and I've done the English to Portuguese tree and am now halfway through Portuguese to English. This summer I'm planning to take the family to Portugal. Thanks to Duolingo I feel very confident about speaking to Brazilians, but I'm wondering what kind of reaction I'll get with the Portuguese. I have also done the Michel Thomas European Portuguese courses, so I more or less know the differences, however it's the Brazilian version that accounts for 80% of my knowledge. In Portugal should I try to "speak like a local" or just say whatever I can think of first?

February 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elen-ka

Speak Brazilian Portuguese, for sure, people would understand you. There are many Brazilians living in Portugal, Brazilian programs on TV etc. So, they are used to hear Brazilian Portuguese.

February 5, 2014

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

I agree with Elen-ka. There should be no problem for Portuguese people to understand you. But you may have a hard time understanding the Portuguese. Usually Brazilians have.

The closed vowels of the Portuguese from Portugal make it harder.

February 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elen-ka

That's so true :) My boyfriend is Portuguese and at the beginning I, even though being fluent in Brazilian Portuguese, could only understand some 40 % of what he was saying (add to closed vowels strong accent from the North and lots of slang words). It's been three years and several trips to Portugal, so now I understand nearly everything :D

It's a matter of getting used to, really. Maybe, listening to radio and some podcast in European Portuguese could be helpful ( I recommend rfm.sapo.pt)... or some audio-books.

Good luck! And I hope you'll have a great time in Portugal! It's truly beautiful, people are very nice and helpful and food is sooo delicious :)

February 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sp1gg0t

I'm enjoying the reverse tree. It has a few new words, but the main reason I'm doing it is to keep my memory fresh without getting bored. I feel that I now have the right sounds in my brain after doing the E => P course. I'm itching to do English to Dutch. I know I can do it the other way round, but I really need to hear it first. In reverse trees you only hear English. Another question for you: do they call a waitress "garçonete" in Portugal? As a French speaker I find that word hilarious. Someone, somewhere got very confused.

February 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elen-ka

Thanks for your tips! I think I'll try it for Italian as soon as I finish E-I tree. I am also very much looking forward to English-Dutch tree As for your question, they call waitress "empregada" :)

February 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elen-ka

Actually, I have one question too :) Do you recommend the reverse tree? Did it help you to improve? Thanks in advance!

February 5, 2014

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

Well I don't think that's going to happen, and please beware that you are not the only one with this problem.

I'm a native spanish speaker, so when I use duolingo a lot of times the solutions don't make any sense to me, and/or include some words that i've never seen before, I mean apart from Brazil and Portugal, Mozambique and Angola few other countries speak Portuguese, we got a lot of countries with different usages of words, proverbs, and so on. So for this reason I don't think they will create a course for specific countries, because then there's the regionalisms thing, and next people will be asking to use the northern way, or the eastern version of the language in an specific country

As Franky said, the best thing to do is to report the usage as correct, and maybe contribute to the discussion and clarify how it's used in Portugal. And this is what i've been doing and they actually respond to your requests, maybe not as much as one would like but, at least it's slowly improving.

It's frustrating I know but we can only make it better .

February 4, 2014

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

I understand the problem. I'm trying to offer my help to go through the course adding correct expressions from Portugal in a more consistent way.

February 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maria.nils

Have you tried to apply through the incubator? Looks like they have only one contibutor at the moment, and if that person isn't familiar with portuguese from Portugal, then they will need someone like you to get things going

February 4, 2014

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

Oh! I had applied to do a portuguese from Portugal course, but I had no idea that you could apply to help in a course in phase 3 in the incubator! Thank you very much. I will do that.

February 4, 2014

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

Several Brazilans who frequent Duolingo have also applied to help with the course(s), but AFAIK none of them have had a response yet. I feel sorry for Ker, the sole contributor. She must have a lot to do.

February 4, 2014

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

Someone pointed out this topic to me before: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/131632$from_email=comment&

Where a member of the staff mentions that they do accept Portuguese from Portugal, it's just that not enough people have reported the translations as acceptable translations. (Admittedly I never did either because I thought the staff wanted to keep the course purely Brazilian) If you decide to take the tough road (but one that will eventually make the Pt course even better!) then good luck :)

February 4, 2014

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

Thank you for the link

February 4, 2014

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

There are enough people to make a European Portuguese course, Duolingo staff just has to open the doors to allow it. I know there is a Tiago Motta on Duolingo who also wants to see it done. My wife has applied to be a contributor to a European Portuguese for English speakers course, as are her cousins.

I know Brazil is a larger country, but far more people travel to Portugal then Brazil. I believe it is like 13 million to 5 million last I saw. I am fine with there being Brazilian on Duolingo, but it seems odd to have Portuguese and not real Portuguese from Portugal. My understanding also is that African portuguese speaking countries are of the European standard, not Brazilian. There are also about 5 million European Portuguese folks outside of Portugal through diaspora, like USA, Canada, France, etc.

There are people who want to make it happen, so I hope they give those folks the tools to do it and open it up in the incubator. I am trying to organize Portuguese people on Facebook for this very reason. https://www.facebook.com/portuguese2duolingo

February 5, 2014

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

I understand your point, but I also understand Duolingo's policy. They are affraid of opening a Pandora box if they allow this for Portuguese.

I think they will have to make decisions on a case by case basis.

But more importantly now is that if they stick to the policy of having a general Portuguese language, improvements are in order. And again I offer my help to do this :)

February 5, 2014

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

Will is be a Pandora box? They would be adding the language from the native country. What other cases would be like this? I am American, but I have not experienced any of the problems Brazilian and Portuguese speakers do when working with folks from Wales, England, Ireland, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tabago, New Zealand, Australia, or India. It's not just a matter of accent like in English no? There are actually significant vocabulary and grammatical differences. At least that is what I understand.

I would be ok if there was a setting within the course to switch from Brazilian to Portuguese, to hear the European pronunciation and vocabulary.

February 5, 2014

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

I see similar problems with the Spanish unit. Although not as severe, there are some examples where words would be used in Spain and not in Mexico and So. America. Thanks for all you all do at Duolingo and for your consideration. :)

February 5, 2014

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

I'm Brazilian and i'm with you. The Portuguese language is too differently around the world, that's all by the different histories of colonization. On Brazil, in 1500 years of history, to be a big country, we received many sorts of cultures what have transformed our language too differently. And this continues in Angola, Moçambique, Timor Leste and others that were colonized by Portugal.

February 5, 2014

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

There is a similar issue with Latin American Spanish and European Spanish. Duolingo favors LA Spanish. I figure that's because English from Spanish, and Spanish from English was likely the first course offered, and the team at the time (this was before the Incubator) all spoke LA Spanish.

I doubt there's going to be separate courses for dialects. Your best bet is to report these. To be honest, this is going to be an issue with a lot of languages. German has more than one dialect, Arabic is written the same in every country that speaks it, but spoken differently . . . I'm sure Duolingo would rather not concern itself with that kind of thing, and create a "neutral" dialect that accepts all the variations.

February 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fc0292

I agree, I also have some problems with the potuguese courses and there should be a differentiation between all kinds of the Portuguese languages spoken in Portugal, Brazil, Angola and etc.

August 30, 2018

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

The difference between Brazilian Portuguese and Portuguese is far greater than American English and English. It's time to call it a different language.

November 18, 2018

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

i have been an avid fan of duolingo since it started and i have learnt 3 languages with duolingo. However i am extremely disappointed to realise the portuguese is of no use to me as I am looking for european portuguese. Its not a question of whether you understand or they understand you. It will offend people speaking only the brazilian. I already had a problem when i went to Salou and I spoke spanish instead of catalan. It is important to people to try and learn thier language. I understand the brazilian portuguese will be a greater population of speakers however you should offer a separate course for european portuguese as well I'm very disappointed Duolingo.

August 2, 2019

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

I completely agree. I live in Portugal and the accent as well as many words and spelling, and even some grammar is different. Also many idioms.

October 16, 2019
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