3 Differences between European Portuguese versus Brazilian Portuguese

If you are visiting Portugal or Brazil and trying to learn Portuguese you should arm yourself with a little knowledge on the differences between these two Portuguese-speaking countries. I am fortunate enough to learn that if I listen to a person speaking in Portuguese, I can immediately tell if he/she is from Brazil or Portugal.

It might be annoying trying to figure out which Portuguese (European or Brazilian) you should learn, unless you have already decided where to go. Paying attention to the way they speak goes a long way. Here are some of them.

Little nuances and pronunciation. Brazilians use a lot of “j” (dz) in words that have “d.”

For example “Bom dia - Bom dzia

While Portuguese only say “d” as it is.

Also, they use different words for common uses. 

For example “I’m sorry.”

In Brazil, “Lamento”

In Portugal, “Disculpe”

Another example “Here”

In Brazil “Aqui”  (Aki)

In Portugal “Ća” (Ka) although you can also use “Aqui”

And for some reason, European Portuguese talk way faster than the Brazilians.

The list goes on.

In my opinion, the real difference lies in the proximity of neighboring countries in each region. While I wouldn’t say one influenced the other, it’s more of intermingling. Portugal is close to Spain and has more Spanish sounding words and meaning interspersed into European Portuguese language. In Brazil, however, there is more Latin American influence.

When learning Portuguese one must therefore understand the difference between being in Brazil versus being in Portugal. It’s wise to know your appropriate Portuguese words, their pronunciation and their meanings and you will not confuse people wherever you go.

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