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Portugês de Europa


I'm going to visit Portugal in a few months, and I'd like to know what the differences are between the dialect taught on DuoLingo (which seems to be that of São Paulo) and what I will communicate in Portugal.

I've read about the spelling differences, but what about pronounciation and accent? How are they different? And what about vocabulary?

Obrigado! John

October 6, 2014



For many people, the main difference between Brazilian Portuguese (as taught by Duolingo) and the Portuguese of Portugal is the accent. Yes, there are differences in the grammar, vocabulary and so on, but if you can't understand a word of what is being said, extra European Portuguese grammar lessons and vocabulary cramming won't be much use. Note, this problem is not reciprocal, and if you do manage to acquire a good Brazilian accent you will be understood in Portugal very well (The Portuguese are exposed to a lot of Brazilian TV so the accent and way of speaking are familiar to them).

You can hear a variety of different Portuguese accents on this page (Flash required):


Learning to speak Portuguese with a native sounding accent is a lot of work and it is probably best to choose which variant of the language you think will be most useful to you early on. Duolingo is probably one of the best ways to learn Portuguese from scratch but all the listening/speaking exercises are based on Brazilian pronunciation. As I say, you'll be understood in Portugal and if that is an acceptable first step then I suggest that while doing the Duolingo lessons you listen to as much European Portuguese as you can in order to tune your ear. That is very easy because the Portuguese national broadcaster has an excellent site with live and recorded radio and TV programmes: http://www.rtp.pt. Another small hint, Duolingo has one short unit on the use of "tu" and then more or less ignores it, you should not as it is widely used in Portugal. You can learn EP specific vocabulary using flashcard sites like http://memrise.com and http://quizlet.com and there is a useful list of vocab differences here:


There are several other ways to pick up the basics of European Portuguese. One is from the US Military:

Two more were created within the EU for Erasmus (European University Exchange) students:

and the Flash based virtual classroom:

and try the "Internet Polyglot" lessons:

Listening to podcasts is another way to get a regular dose of EP and here are two:

I hope you enjoy your trip to Portugal.



Obrigado! That's quite a wealth of information. When I listened to the clips on Learning Portuguese I noticed that most of the accents, with the possible exception of the Porto accent, pronounced the 'de' in words like 'continudade' like 'dee' or 'jee', with the latter mostly in the Brazilian accents. I, on the other hand, pronouce that syllable like 'duh', which I guess is my French accent kicking in. Is that an invalid pronounciation?


As a native speaker of Portuguese, Brazilians pronounce d's alot of times as jee. Like 'intende' I would pronounce een-tein-jee. In Rio they make more emphasis on 'x' like if you say 'seixta' in Rio they would say like sei-shh-ta. I'm Brazilian not Portuguese. Although I do know that they have some different words. They say dog as 'cão' and we say 'cachorro'. There are many different accents but the way they teach here in Duolingo seems like São Paulo's accent (Where my mother is from). I hope you enjoy learning Portuguese and enjoy your trip to Portugal!


I'm not a native speaker of Portuguese so what I say may not be true, but I don't think it's very likely that your current pronunciation of "de" would cause any kind of misunderstanding whatsoever (perhaps it could be confused with "do" but you would be forgiven I'm sure).

I meant to caution you not to read the text while listening to the audio clips. When I listen to EP with the text in front of me, or watch EP videos with subtitles, I get the (false) impression that I'm able to understand what is being said. I experienced this just a few days ago when roman3000 posted this useful collection of readings:


Another nice resource, posted some months ago by gauchowatcher, is this set of quite old movies from Portugal subtitled in Portuguese:



I need to clarify a bit: I seem to do this with most words that end in 'de', or 'te', and I think I heard this same tendency in the Porto audioclip. For example:

'restaurante' becomes 'res-toh-rahn-tuh'


This thread has more advice:


One of the sites I mention there provides an audio file where you can hear words spoken in isolation in both Pt-PT and Pt-BR and perhaps that will let you compare word final "te" and "de" sounds more easily, at least for the particular variants used in the recordings. If you are interested in hearing a particular word you may be lucky and find native speaker audio here:



The accent from Porto is the most similar to the Brazilian accents, is there a reason behind that?

Also I found the Rio accent the clearest


I'm not sure whether there is any good reason for that. Actually, of all the Brazilian accents, the one from Rio preserves the "sh" sound (for 's' in some positions) which is characteristic of the accents heard in Portugal. I just came across this video by an American:


where he tries to introduce a variety of Portuguese accents.


Another great resource is Portuguese Lab! Fantastic courses with listening dialogues in European (Lisboa) Portuguese.


There is some difference in syntax too. The most important I guess in European Portuguese, people use infinitive whereas in Brazil we use gerund in the present.

"Estou a trabalhar" - European Portuguese;

"Estou trabalhando" - Brazilian Portuguese

Bons estudos e boa viagem!


Hi, yes, there are many differences in pronunciation and accent, just like with Br English and Am English. Brazilians tend to stress all the vowels in the word. On the other hand, portuguese seem to "swallow" them. One example is "meninos". Portuguese say something like "mninsh". Brazilians also turn the -l at the end of the words into an -u sound (eg. legal is pronounced as le-gau) and the portuguese do pronounce it.. Also, Brazilian Portuguese enphatizes the ending syllable in a word while Continental Portuguese does the opposite, making the words sound shorter. And many more :)


Thanks! I also like your picture!


Here you can hear the different accents. In this video the interviewer is Portuguese and the interviewee is Brazilian. (As for me not necessarily I agree with him in all things. My goal is not to argue politic, but to help with language)



I lived in both places and can confirm taht pronounciation is rather diferente. I recommend you to listen to some Portuguese radio in order to get used to it. This one is quite ok: http://rfm.sapo.pt/


The principal difference in the pronunciation is the "sh" sound at the end of words. For instance, "as coisas" would be pronounced roughly "ash coisash" in standard European Portuguese (EP). "Lisboa" (Lisbon) would be pronounced "lishboa" or "lizhboa" (an "s" before another consonant is also always pronounced "sh"). EP is spoken at a significantly quicker speed than BP, and the frequent "sh" sounds can often make it sound like Russian in fast colloquial speech. Unlike Brazilian speech, EP does not extend vowels often, and nasal vowels are more subtly pronounced. Vocabulary differences are really quite negligible; the accent is the toughest difference. EP speakers can easily understand BP, but it is not the other way around, as Davu mentioned. Hope this helps!


Well, someone might have told you already, but at least when it comes to writing it is not normal to say f.ex "ele me ignora" like you do in Brazil, you would say "ele ignora-me". Another thing I have noticed is that they don't say "café da manhã", but "pequeno-almoço". And of course the famous "suco" wich is "sumo" in Portuguese from Portugal :D

Boa viagem - aproveita!


I'm a native Brazilian Portuguese speaker and European Portuguese does sound quite different. An example is that they would say "senta o teu cu aqui" (or something similar) as in "sit your butt here", which would never be used in Brazil as "cu" is an offensive word. Something else is that they use "casa de banho" instead of "banheiro". They also use the pronoun "tu" a lot which is almost always replaced by "você" in Brazil.
Ladyhawkmc brings up a very good point that they swallow the vowels, and that is very true! and I think they also speak faster with more slurring and linking of words.


Obrigado! But I don't know much IPA. :-/


Boa sorte! I once sat at the gate in Galeão Airport wondering what language was being spoken by the two men sitting behind me. After about twenty minutes, much to my surprise, I started recognizing words. It was EuP.


I found this on vocabulary differences: http://40.media.tumblr.com/8bbac4323a926ea8aa5f01bc61e638c4/tumblr_mxbb63Jg801spedluo1_400.png Its not all of them, but it hilights some


In my previous comment I included this longer list:



the missing c infront of t's in brazilian portuguese is an italian influence, no?


Well, both variants of Portuguese and Italian come from Latin and it seems Latin did have that "ct" sound so I'm not sure when it was lost.

Since the last spelling reform, European Portuguese has lost the "c" of "ct" from several words where it is not pronounced. In fact, in that Sonia Portuguese list, only "electrônico" keeps the "c" as far as I can tell.

This Wiki page talks about the Italian influence on Brazilian Portuguese:


and it says "The lexical influence of Italian on Brazilian Portuguese, however, has remained quite small" but that doesn't mean it had no influence in other ways.


The vocabulary is the same. The only different thing ( really important ) is the pronunciation, that even I , I have problems to understand ( I'm Brazilian ).


Hi Jonas. When you say the vocabulary is the same I guess you mean the vast majority of it. I'm sure you're aware there are some differences though (see the sonia-portuguese link in my other comment). The differences have crept in for several reasons. For example, the influence of Tupi-Guarani means a common pineapple is called an "abacaxi" in Brazil but it's an "ananás" in Portugal. Other influences mean that breakfast in Portugal is "pequeno-almoço" but it's "café da manhã" in Brazil. Some are less easy to fathom like the name for a bus and a train: "ônibus/trem" in Brazil, but "autocarro/comboio" in Portugal.

Like you, I think that pronunciation is the major difference between the two variants, but this paper expands on the other differences and even includes a comparison with African Portuguese:


That document was written before the orthographic agreement of 2009 and some of the small differences mentioned have (or should have) disappeared.


Yes, There's different words but It's like the same...Who understand Autocarro can to imagine a bus, I can it, and If don't happened...You ca simply to ask for explain, Different word I find outing my City...Like slangs ^^ I understand you ^^


You are totally correct, of course, there is nothing to stop communications after a common vocabulary has been agreed, but that's not quite same thing has having no differences initially.

Apart from different words for the same things, the Portuguese tend to choose slightly different verbs for common actions or states and if you are lucky enough to be treated as a friend they soon revert to using "tu". When I first heard someone ask me "percebeste?" rather than "entendeu?" it took me longer than usual to get what they meant. But, as you say these differences are soon ironed out.


It's this ^^...What your level in Portuguese now? and What your native language? Continue like that! :D


The vocabulary is the same, but exist some important differences. At least, two words are very very dangerous: "rapariga" and "vulgar".

In Portugal, they are "young woman" and "common/normal" respectively.

However, never say "rapariga" in Brazil. Seriously: "rapariga" designates a woman who engages in sexual activity for payment.

"Vulgar", in Brazil, means "inferior quality". Is not always offensive, but be careful.


"Português de Europa". Desculpe!


Ao menos no Brasil, "português europeu" é mais comum, porém "português de Europa" é absolutamente compreensível. A Wikipédia usa "português europeu".


At least in Brazil, "português europeu" is more common, but "português de Europa" is absolutely understandable. The Wikipedia uses "português europeu".

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