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European Portuguese

I know someone posted about this a while back and that there werent going to be different dialect courses, but that there may be a chance. I am Portuguese and most of my family is from Portugal so I would like to learn to speak the language as it is spoken in Portuguese. After seeing that Zombie and Pirate are in the incubator I find it kind of ridiculous that there cant be European portuguese. Does anybody have any information on if this could ever happen

April 1, 2014

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It's a disgrace that they're hatching Klingon but not European Portuguese. If there aren't going to be any dialects, then there should only be Portuguese from Portugal.


Agreed, European Portuguese has a very distinct flavor that the Brazilian doesn't have. I have finished the Brazilian Portuguese tree and I feel i need to start again in order to learn the original European version of Portuguese. I wonder if Spanish has the same problem. Are they teaching the European brand or the various American flavors?

I can think of many languages that I'd rather see than a made up TV language like Klingon (no offence meant to Star trek fans). How about Icelandic, Fareoese and Finnish? Latin, Greek, Sanskit or even ancient Egyptian would be more useful than Klingon.


Yeah. I would love a European Portuguese course. Or at least get to choose that dialect in the current Portuguese course!


I'll give it a try. Thanks!


I highly support having the original European Portuguese taught on Duolingo. It would be my first choice of study. There is no doubt that European Duolinguists would prefer the original, in addition to the current Brazilian flavor of Portuguese.

If it is the matter of how many speak continental Portuguese (Maybe 10 million is not enough) then I wonder how many speak Klingon (and I'm not opposed to that course).


Can I add my voice to the plea for European Portuguese; its difficult not knowing if what you're learning is going to be of any use ultimately


There's also the issue that Duolingo names the language "Portuguese" instead of "Portuguese (Brazil)". This makes it harder (impossible) to create a new "Portuguese" (from Portugal) variant on the incubator. I'd definitely contribute to that.


i think it's okay to learn basics, but for myself i've observed my portuguese accent shifted from the european pronunciation i learned originally, because i've been doing the course here. i have to stop it and go back, only because my intention is to be conservative feeling more connected to the culture of portugal. i like duolingo but i think if you're really intent on learning european portuguese, just do that, don't mess with brazilian portuguese. definitely harder to come by free resources but if you're motivated it shouldn't matter that much. you can learn from a book as long as you get experience hearing yourself and others speak.


I would also love this. I am traveling to Portugal (again) and am trying to the learn at least a little bit of the language. I am very disappointed that the European version isn't available on here.


I really hope they add one too, I am living in Portugal now it would really help :)


My business and personal contacts are in Portugal and Spain. Also I started with EU Portuguese already when I was working in Lisbon so I would not want to switch. The differences in the brazillian app are too many. Please release an EU Portuguese (and Castilian Spanish) version soon!


I am also European Portuguese and I think there should be a course for it as I would love to learn it and be fluent as Brazilian Portuguese is different.


I'm Portuguese and I uploaded a few videos where I slowly pronounce hundreds of different phrases/words (each repeated 3 times): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdEij6idg_Q

I'm taking requests for any other expressions you might find interesting to hear or learn, which I'll gladly record and upload as soon as I can. I'll appreciate any suggestions to improve.


I am going on holiday to Madeira. I want to learn Portuguese for Madeira this year. Next year I shall probably visit Portugal. I want to learn Portuguese, not Brazilian Portuguese. I am also learning Spanish. I am very disappointed that Duolingo seems to be aimed at Americans and people in South America. I thought I was learning Portuguese. I now wonder whether my course in Spanish has also been a waste of my time. To not make it clear that the course is Brazilian Portuguese is misleading. I have also written many blog posts on learning Portuguese. I now think I have misled people. It is verging on misleading under the trades descriptions act. Regardless of the law, it is misleading people. It misled me. it undermines my faith in Duolingo.


According to the page on the course (https://www.duolingo.com/course/pt/en), you will be understood in Portugal if you take the Duolingo course (even though it is mainly Brazilian Portuguese) BTW, the Zombie and Pirate courses are just April Fools' Day jokes...


That is not my experience. It wasn't until I started learning European Portuguese on Memrise that I was understood in Portugal.


I just checked Memrise and as a Portuguese native I can say the courses created by the company are of very good quality, but what amazed me even more is the amount of other courses created by Portuguese natives!

It is definitely a good place to start and to end! I bet if they haven't covered all the learning aspects of the language already, they will soon do (there's even a 5000 words course, which makes my little effort of placing 500 words in Youtube quite tiny :´).

(I'm actually going to learn some Chinese in there, thanks!)


Glad to hear those are jokes. They sounded absolutely absurd to me.


However you may not be able to understand EP! Speaking and listening are not the same skill


Well, zombie and the tow others are just jokes, we have 1st Apirl. However, as a european, I would love to see european version of languages here (same with british english or spanish spoken in spain). Or at least the main difrences pointed out somewhere...


While it might be nice to be understood in Portugal, I noticed that even with my level of Brazilian Portuguese, I still cannot understand European Portuguese. So I would immediately sign up to such a course.


I am learning European Portuguese because I live there, I am absolutely certain that if I spoke Brazilian Portuguese to my neighbours they would not understand me. Apart from there being some major differences in word usage the pronunciation is very different too. Please Duolingo offer European Portuguese!


My husband and I are going to Portugal and hoping to learn European Portuguese. I concur, please Duolingo offer European Portuguese!!


Use Memrise, it's perfect!


Can you learn European Portuguese there?


Yes, I just started the program. It's a different format than most language apps I've used, but it has European Portuguese.


Use Memrise instead. Learning Brazilian will not work in practice for Portugal, unfortunately. :(


The first time I came to Portugal I could speak only Brazilian Portuguese and everybody could understand me. I've studied both and have friends from both places. Though there are many differences in vocabulary and sometimes even in grammar Portuguese people can easily understand Brazilian Portuguese. Usually it is much more complicated the other way around because Brazilians are not used to European Portuguese, while in Portugal there are tones on TV shows in Brazilian Portuguese.


European Portuguese understand Brasilian Portuguese much better than the other way around.


And could you understand conversations?


Doesn't matter. When you are learning a language, using the wrong dialect makes things many times harder.


Brexit means that we need to pass a, for us in our 70s, stringent Portuguese written, comprehension and oral exam. I have been using the Duolingo Portuguese course and it has helped a lot but it is Brazilian. Our Madeiran friends and neighbours can tell that I am learning the Brazilian version and while kind about it are upset. Please, please make a mainland version as soon as possible. We don't want to be forced to leave Madeira because we can't qualify for dual citizenship.


http://www.memrise.com has European Portuguese. I am only on level 1 and there are 10 levels. Level 1 has 210 words....! There is an app for Android and Apple. Until Duolingo gets their act together Memrise is the way to go.


Agree. I also switched to Memrise


Pimsleur offern a course in European Portuguese, not free but very reasonable and they have a great mobile version.


Cannot you volunteer to work on a course? I don't think it is as simple as anyone speaking BP or EP can understand anyone from the other country, Brazil is a big place and there are many variations in pronunciation and accent and dialect. Some people may be able to understand another from the other country, but not everyone, or even most.


I concur! Continental/European Portuguese is hugely different from Brazilian. I am a native Euro Portuguese speaker and have a very difficult time understanding Brazilian, as Brazilian is a dialect of Portuguese. It would be great to be able to practice the original language, one which is widely used around the world.


I am not a fluent Portuguese speaker, and have never been to Portugal or Brazil. That said, my understanding is that Duolingo alone will not take a learner far enough for the distinctions between European and Brazilian Portuguese to be important.

However, there are some good books you can use to augment your learning. Edwin B. Williams' 'An Introductory Portuguese Grammar' is a great resource, if old, and is focused on European Portuguese, noting Brazilian differences. The useful '501 Portuguese Verbs' reference also touches on these differences, like the distinction between falamos and falámos.


Well, as a native, I can assure you people here will understand you if you speak Brazilian Portuguese. Actually, they will love you for making the effort to learn and will try to help you. :D However, I do admit it is frustrating to fail at some questions here because the way we say a phrase is not listed in the answers. I merely signed up for "Brazilian" because I wanted to be able to pay back the site for helping me to learn German by translating some articles. :)


Do you ever hear foreigners speak a mix of Portuguese and Brazilian and does it sound really weird? I think I probably do that as I listen to both. I can't say I notice it when foreigners speak English, I mainly notice some people (often from the middle east) speaking with strong American accents.


Nope, that I have never heard. But don't worry about it, people here (or, I am guessing) in Brazil will LOVE you for taking the time to learn the language, which is not easy to learn and can be treacherous :D


I suggest you to do the tree and at the same time search for the differences between Pt-Pt and Pt-Br on the web and also watch vlogs from Portuguese speakers on youtube (that might help a lot more in your hearing/speaking than Duolingo, anyway). I guess, it's the same for all courses here, you learn the basics, but if you want to talk like a person from a specific city/country, you have to search it for yourself. Duo can't do that for you.


I'm Portuguese, I just wanted to add, that yes Portuguese from Brazil is easier, however, Portuguese from Portugal has great advantages if you wish to learn any other European language such as Spanish, French, Italian, etc. I contacted Duolingo about creating a Portuguese from Portugal course but I didn't get any answer so I believe it's not happening. If you contact us Portuguese with questions I think everybody will help.


I work with colleagues from Portugal and started learning Portuguese here to speak with them. However when I said them couple of phrases they told right away: "it's not common, we don't speak like that, maybe you learnt the brazilian"? So for communication with them it makes no sense for me to learn portuguese on Duolingo unless it will be European Portuguese. Unfortunately...


Try Memrise.com. It's European Portuguese and there are videos of locals speaking it.


will try, thank you!


Thanks for this suggestion, for someone leaning European Portuguese, this is VERY helpful!


spoken in Portugal* not portuguese lol


Are the spelling of words the same? For example: if I just memorize how words are spelled and then listen to portuguese music or watch Portuguese television/movies will I be able to pick up on the pronunciation?


Some of the words are very different. Ananas is pineapple in European Portguese. Abacaxi is pineapple in Brazilian Portuguese. D's are pronounced like J's in Brazilian Portuguese. So instead of de onde, it sounds like gee on-gee.


I think the grammar and spelling are mostly the same, only some words are different (celular/telemóvel, trem/comboio), but I haven't come across anything shockingly different so far (while reading portuguese websites, maybe more differences exist in spoken language, I can't tell ya)


No, the grammar is not always the same. For example, the usage of gerund ( estou fazendo vs estou a fazer). There are more particular cases that are not the same in Brazilian and European Portuguese.


Not exactly. There are parts of Portugal where people use the gerund instead of the infinitive in the present progressive tense


I have been to Brazil, and I can tell you that, while the language is essentially the same and the grammar and spelling alike are the same, the pronunciation is completely different. Portuguese in a Brazilian tongue sounds beautiful, while we just sound like depressed Russians :P


Yes, continental Portuguese does sound a bit like Russian (at least to novices like me), but therein lies some of it's beauty. It is a profound language!


What's wrong with sounding like Russian? I was told it's a beautiful language.


Just saying what I heard. I know for a fact that it doesn't sound too good... I had people tell me that already.


Actually, as far as I know, here in Brazil we speak something too similar to European Portuguese from sixteenth and seventeenth century (mainly in the pronunciation). By the way I'm proud for speak Portuguese... My thought is that's a very beautiful language. I like the Brazilian accent (however there are many), but I like the Portuguese accent too.


Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese are pretty much the same! I am a native speaker and the unique difference is the accent - just get used to it. Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Moçambique and other Portuguese speakers countries have signed a document that rules the grammatical field of the language - they all have to teach the same rules, structures, words... The only differences are related to the accents and the slangs. It happens even inside the US, or any other country. There are different accents even inside Brazil! I would say that Brazil was chosen because more than 80% of the native speakers of Portuguese are from Brazil, and Brazil will host the two most important international events, the Wold Cup and the Olympics (2016).


There are other differences at least for now. Maybe in the next generation this will change. For now: http://www.soportugues.com.br/secoes/curiosidades/Port_brasil_port_portugal.php


It's not as simple as you say, There are many differences in vocabulary as well as in grammar!


I agree, what is easy for a native speaker is difficult for a non-native. Why should everyone in Portugal speak Brazilian any way, Portugal is where the language came from and this should be respected. It would like someone telling me I had to speak with an american accent because the USA is bigger than England!


81% of the native speakers are from Brazil, 4% from Portugal, 4% from Angola, 3% from Moçambique, and 8% other minor regions. Brazil is the 5th biggest country in the World, Portugal is the 111th... it is compared to one of the smaller states in Brazil. I don't even need to talk about movies, books, soap operas, TV channels, tourism, political power... Logically Brazil has a bigger presence in these fields. It is fact that Brazil is also the 6th/7th economy of the World, while Portugal is the 44th. If you think European Portuguese should be thought instead of Brazilian Portuguese, I respect your opinion. But for me, it makes no sense at all to spend energy learning an accent or words that only 4% of Portuguese native speakers speak.


It makes sense if you want to live or work in Portugal for some length of time.


Both versions of the language should be taught. All over the world, there are people who are products of the Portuguese diaspora that occurred due to economics and/or politics. They are not native speakers, so they would not be included in your figures, but they are a large potential market for Duolingo.

It is wonderful for Brazil that it's doing so well economically overall as a nation and has population growth, unlike Portugal. What you describe is reverse cultural imperialism, though. The former colonizer is getting other culture marketed to it from Brazil. It would be great to see some effort to preserve Portuguese culture and share it with those who want to enjoy it and learn it.


Your numbers are a little misleading as all other former Portuguese territories where Portuguese is an official language use the European Portuguese dialect as the standard - so that figure is actually more like 19% according to your numbers (which I haven't verified). According to Wikipedia there are approximately 70 million people in countries other than Brazil where Portuguese is an official language. That's no small number.

But largely that is irrelevant, I don't see the issue with teaching both dialects. So European isn't as economically important but people learn languages for many different reasons (however, if we want to get into economics, Portugal is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe right now and Brazil is looking like a less stable market than a few years ago).

If someone is living in Portugal learning European Portuguese is going to be much more useful than learning the Brazilian variety. Most notably your ear will be tuned to the local variety and people are likely to respond to you more favourably and they may find it easier to integrate. This also applies to tourists visiting the country.

As others have said, the desire to learn European Portuguese by descendents of the Portuguese diaspora shouldn't be underestimated. According to Wikipedia excluding Brazilians of Portuguese decent that number is approximately 100 million people.

Finally, as the original poster has pointed out, if Duolingo have space for oddities such as High Valaryan and Pirate English why can't we have fun too with European Portuguese? Its going to be far more useful. All we need is somebody to volunteer to do the course...

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