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I understand, it's just sometimes people delete perfectly valid comments or essential parts of discussions and it is frustrating. On the subject of keeping up the good work, thanks so much for all your comments in here as I am new to Portuguese and I am basically relying on your input to help drag me through these lessons! Muito obrigado!
OK let me try. It's pretty clear that both stranger and estrangeiro have the same origin - Wiktionary says it's the latin extraneous, meaning foreign, external. The difference is that in Portugal extraneous gave place to two different words, estrangeiro, meaning someone from another country, and estranho, meaning strange, alien, an unknown person. "Stranger" has a much more broad definition and, although it can also mean foreigner, it's mostly used to qualify a person you don't know or a person that is weird. The Portuguese word for that is "estranho".
A few more practical examples: the Portuguese translation for "kids shouldn't talk to strangers" is "as crianças não devem falar com estranhos". If you used "estrangeiros" it would make no sense and even be rude, because it assumes that any person from a different country is potentially a bad person. Or, if you tried to translate "Don't be a stranger!" in Portuguese to invite someone in and said "Não seja estrangeiro!" instead, that would sound ridiculous because you would be basically asking them to change (or deny) their country of origin.
They can be interchanged in some contexts, especially the broader use of stranger (i.e. all foreigners are strangers, but not all strangers are foreigners, in a way).
Typically, they are differentiated the way I described. I'm guessing that is the difference between estrangeiro and estranho as well.
As a reply to petee0518 My parents were both foreigners to the US (naturalized citizen and resident alien). Neither one of them was a stranger to me (nor, obviously, to each other). In english, "stranger" and "foreigner" are a Venn diagram with a modest overlap, but neither one implies / subsumes the other.
Eu num sou estrangeira.
In colloquial talk, is it more common to hear "num" then "não"?
Is it something that should be shunned?