Not bitter. But Spanish belongs in Spain. If you do not know any other language then it is fine (the Portuguese in general speak several languages). However, if you know English (especially if it is your native language) and come to Portugal to speak Spanish to them then what you are saying is that all you know about Portugal is that they speak "Spanish" which is, of course, wrong, and kind of offensive, and remarkably common. :(
Plus, many Portuguese actually do know English better than Spanish.
Well, put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel?
I had a brother-in-law from Denmark and when he was introduced to others (in the US) they would start speaking German to him. It worked because he knows German (and a half dozen other languages) but he was quite puzzled and annoyed by it.
I went to Portugal last year and I would speak in Spanish to anyone who couldn't speak english and they were very thankful because at least they can understand me better. And the people that did know english even spoke to me in Spanish because they were more comfortable with it than English. Not a single person seemed offended.
Good for you. I hope you had a good time. :)
Seems though you had a slightly different experience than what I was explaining previously. You did not go in Spanish blazing and expect the Portuguese to be grateful to you and proud of you for learning the language of the country next door.
Obviously it does make sense to find a common language, however...
Best thing is to ask first. Do you speak...? Most of the younger (under 50) Portuguese speak English quite well in the urban/tourist areas that get the most travellers (like so many other countries). Those over 50 often prefer French. If they do not know English then sure, Spanish is okay as it is kind of like Portuguese with a strange accent but, that does not mean they know it well, and that does not mean they like it when people expect Spanish to be their preference (especially on English sites), and especially when people believe Spanish is the language of Portugal (or that everyone in PT should know español because they are so close to Spain) which is what we were talking about here. It would be akin to going to Turkey and expecting them to appreciate your college Arabic, or Vietnam to speak Mandarin, or even Japanese in China...
Spanish is of course more likely to be preferred as a 2nd language (not first) on the frontier/border with Spain (much like Germany when next to Poland prefers to learn Polish). However on the Atlantic side many Portuguese these days know English, French, and even a 4th/5th language better than Spanish (so Spanish can be uncomfortable).
Now in Spain, despite being so close to Portugal, few people know or can comprehend Portuguese. =]
Agreed. I'm a native English speaker, and my preferred way to phrase it would be "It's bitter?" rather than "Is it bitter?". At least between those two. In reality, I'd just say "bitter?" and raise an eyebrow, but it's hard to express that to the language bird through text.