"The people talk to the king."
Translation:O povo fala com o rei.
But that's in Brazil, isn't it? I thought in Portugal and elsewhere it still had the meaning "the people."
Surely 'The people talk...' is like saying 'They talk...' so the verb should be falam?
Yes, they talk = eles falam. People = pessoas (plural = a lot of persons) povo (singular - group of people, mass, usually related to the people who make up a village, town, city, state, province, country, etc).
Which usage is more common in BP... "O povo fala..." or "As pessoas falam..." ?
well, I think they both are used because there is a slight difference.. pessoas = a lot of persons, individually. povo = a lot of people as a mass, group of people. In this case they are citizens, so "povo" works better.
When you say "o povo fala ao rei" it means that this is not a conversation, it's just the people informing the king about something. That's the difference
You say povos when you are talking about two or more groups of people at the same time. E.g. Os povos argentino e brasileiro são rivais no futebol.
Note that "brasileiro" e "argentino" are both singular, meaning that there is only one "povo brasileiro", and only one "povo argentino" but "povos" in the sentence is plural because it referes to both of them.
If my understanding is correct then you wouldn't pluralise 'povo' because it in itself acts like a plural. Much like in english we would say "a group do something" or "the crowd are rowdy".
Depends on your English :P In American English, you'd generally say "a group does something" or "the crowd is rowdy". Consider the famous phrase "and the crowd goes wild!"