European Portuguese learner?
So I'm trying to learn European Portuguese, are there any plans to offer this in the future? And how different is it from Brazilian Portuguese?
I also want to learn European version, I think it sounds better. In Brazilian there are different pronunciation when in word appears "t" or "d" (both sounds like "ch") or "x". Also the -s endings and when the syllable ends with "s" is in Portugal pronounce as "sh", but in Brasil it is normal "s". I found European Portuguese more attractive :)
European Portuguese is quite different than Brazilian Portuguese. The Portuguese tend to drop the last vowel on words and sometimes a vowel inside a word, making a substantial difference in the way words sound. For example, Brazilians say 'fe-LIZ' whereas the Portuguese seem to say "F'LIZ", as if the word had one syllable. Just different ways of doing things; neither is "right". Of course, European Portuguese and the Brazilian variety sometimes use different words to talk about the same things, a "problem" that exists for British English and American English, as well.
Duolingo is a great tool to learn a new language, but it takes a lot of effort and unfortunatly not every accent of every language can be covered. I have a similar problem, once I'd like to learn Canadian French over European. My solution is: learn the written language here and then speak with Quebecers to learn the accent.
The two are the same language. We call them two variants of Portuguese. The written differences are not important at all. You can learn one written variant and use it in the other country. As you do with English. The only difference is that Brazilian people are not used to hear Portuguese people. But I think Brazilians understand foreigners speaking with "European" pronounciation, i.e. with closed vowels. The problem is not the pronounciation, but the way the Portuguese speak, especially from Lisbon. Too fast, the mouth not open enough...
I'm Portuguese, by the way.
You can use duolingo as a tool to learn some vocab and basic sounds that are common. But if you're planning on studying in Portugal I do not advise it. Both variations have significant written differences in grammar ( eg: sentence contruction) that will work against you in academic context. Also European Portuguese has a wider sound spectrum (a lot more sounds) but if you speak brazilian portuguese in Portugal we'll all understand you. Good luck!
I disagree with spif. If you learn brazilian Portuguese, you know Portuguese. Unless you are going to Portugal to get a degree on Portuguese language, using the brazilian variation in Portugal will not penalise you. It depends on what you intend to do. A vacation in Portugal? Brazilian Portuguese is just fine. Join Portuguese online forums? Fine too. Reading Portuguese newspapers? Fine too. But if you want to listen to Portuguese radio or TV, you'll need to get used to Portuguese accent. That will take some time, I don't know how much.
In short. You don't lose anything by learning Portuguese on Duolingo. But you will have to work a bit more if you want to listen to Portuguese people.
I hope I've helped you.
I intend to learn European Portuguese. The comments in this discussion have been very helpful and it seems that I would not be wise to use the Duolingo course as it teaches Brazilian Portuguese. From my perspective, there is a world of difference between learning a language from scratch (which is what I will be doing) and understanding what is effectively a dialect of the language.What a shame that Duolingo will not be offering a course in European Portuguse.
I am Portuguese, I am doing the course for the sake of curiosity and I've found few differences from what I would say instead of the translations given. I think this method is so good and fun that you would do well to do it. Those differences only matter if you want to speak the language as well as a native. Unless you want to be a spy, that it's not important at all. :)
It wouldn't be hard to modify the course in order to make it more "European" Portuguese, though.
Duolingo could even crowdsource it. Users would submit their readings (?) and users would vote the best from them.
I disagree! I think you should use Duolingo to learn the basics - it won't take you much further than that anyway. There are not very many resources out there to learn European Portuguese, so get what you can out of the material here and then move on to learning the differences. I am studying European Portuguese in a class (I like in Spain, if you like in the Americas I think it will be difficult to find European Portuguese classes or resources) but am more interested in Brazilian Portuguese. So far, the biggest difference I have noticed is accent - for example, in European Portuguese the "te" and "de" sounds are shorter, like French, and -s- (but not -s- between two vowels) and -s/-z are pronounced with a "shh" sound.
I have found that many resources for both grammar (Alexander Da R. Prista's guide is concise and excellent) and vocabulary have notes when there are major vocabulary differences between the two.
Anyway, all that to say that I agree with satzwei - do the course! It will only help you and it will not be wasted time. Good luck!
Let me add that, yes, te/ti and de/di sound differently (because of African slave influence in Brazil, I believe), but regarding the final s/z the pronunciation in Rio de Janeiro is different than that found in the rest of Brazil, being the same as in Portugal (sounding sh). (The common explanation is that the Portuguese royal family and its court fled to Brazil in the 19th century to escape the French troops.)
satzwi, you're right. The sound "sh" for final -s/z is mainly (and mostly) used in Rio de Janeiro, probably because of the influence of the Royal Family and the Portuguese court. I'm doing the course too, and I have to say that I don't like the pronounciations sometimes (they sound a bit robotic), but overall it's a great course!
If you'll read this discussion, in which Duolingo's founder elaborates at length on the subject, you'll see that no such thing will be implemented - http://duolingo.com/#/comment/126103
About your other question, I would argue that the differences between both dialects are bigger than those between different English idioms, all things considered, but you'll be understood by Portuguese people (the other way around does not apply) and then you can build upon that and start learning what's different in EP.
I see that this thread is a bit old, but I'm just chiming in to say that I too would honestly rather learn European Portuguese and ask if anyone knows of any resources similar to Duolingo that offer it. I still very much like this site and will continue to use it, but I would just much rather learn European Portuguese from scratch than go through the hassle of learning Brazilian Portuguese and then having to unlearn the differences once I find another resource that offers the European dialect.
I think it is a shame that Duolingo are not listening to those who wish to learn European Portuguese. I intend to learn European Portuguese but, although I like the teaching style of Duolingo, I will not learn Brazilian Portuguese. I do not mean any disrespect to Brazilians. It's rather like the difference between English (UK) and American. Each can understand the other but there are differences which can be irritating. I go to Portugal regularly but it is far less likely that I will go to Brazil (shame) I do not want to devote time to learning a new language unless it is right for me.
The thing is that on every site for language learners portuguese from Brasil is much better developed. I used Livemocha before they changed it for a brave new version, which suchs. Now it's only one lever (beginner!!) of Portuguese and about 6 levels of Brasilian. It's such a shame, learning Portuguese from Portugal is extremaly hard if you want to do it by yourself. Try movies, audiobooks - not so many of them available in Portuguese. But in Brasilian - PLENTY. Well, let's not forget that population of Brasil is more than 100 milions, and Portugueses only 11 milions, there is not so many of them (and they are lazy ;p) to put things into the internet.
Just what is the point of putting up something like "and they are lazy :p"?? That does no one any good. I think the Portuguese people from Portugal are an awesome people! (I also think the people of Brazil are amazing! :) ) I agree that it is difficult to find things to learn European Portuguese, but there are some. Try BYKI....
Oh, come on, I didn't mean anything bad :P I love Portugueses and I love Portugal with all my heart, it's my favourite european contry (after my motherland). But there are few things I've learned about portugueses: they are delightful, superfriendly, honest and lazy, they would like to do everything "amanhã, amanhã". Thay are too honest to put music, movies, audiobooks etc. illegaly into the internet, so that's why it's so difficult for us (portuguese learners) to find something useful for our learning process. Thanks, I will try BYKI!