Brazilian Portuguese vs. European Portuguese

After one of our posts on Facebook showing the a comparitive between few words in Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese, I received a lot of emails and ibox messages asking for more information about this topic. So here we are!🙂 I found this very interesting text (the source is at the end of the text) that summarize everything you need to know about it.  I hope you enjoy it!😉 – Lívia Almeida

brazilxportugal

(Translated by Luana Cavalcanti)

This is a comparison,which the main goal is to spot the differences Between Brazilian Portuguese and Continental Portuguese.
Portuguese people and Brazilians can understand each other very well, just like English people can understand Americans without the need of subtitles.
The main differences are predominantly in phonetics and vocabulary. Some Brazilians might find it difficult to understand the European Portuguese because the Portuguese from Portugal has a tendency to compress words to a greater extent than in Brazil – for example, tending to drop unstressed phoneme like /e/. The language syntax is remarkably the same, and in morphology the distinctions are not numerous. Finally, there is Portuguese language here and there. To prove it, if you are learning the Brazilian variant, simply open a book or read a news website published in European Portuguese, you will understand it perfectly.

Understanding the Differences

Portuguese language was established as the official language of Brazil in 1758, by this time the contact with indigenous people and African slaves had already changed the spoken language here. According to the linguist Rosa Matos and Virginia Silva from Federal University of Bahia.”The Africans who arrived as slaves did not attend school and learned the colloquial Portuguese, creating differences in the original language.” Later, in the late 19th century, European and Asian immigrants arrived in Brazil, and new changes in the Brazilian way of speaking where introduced.

Spelling differences: 
a) European Portuguese retains some consonants that are no longer pronounced in words like acto, excepto, óptimo. The Brazilian spelling has eliminated those consonants. Although with the new orthographic Agreement,those consonants in European Portuguese will be dismissed.
b) Some words that Brazilians pronounce with a closed vowel (written â, ê, ô) are pronounced with an open vowel in Portugal (written á, é, ó), and this is reflected in differing spellings
c) The Brazilian spelling distinguishes between a closed diphtong ei and an open diphtong éi. In Portugal, this distinction is not made, because both diphtongs are pronounced identically.

– Differences of vocabulary:

There are vast differences in vocabulary, and sometimes the same word may be employed differently in the two varieties
An example that is commonly used over the internet and in some books : The word for “pineapple” in European Portuguese is “ananás,” similar to other European languages, including the German “Ananas,” French “ananas” and even the Hungarian “ananasz.” In Brazil, however, the Portuguese word for pineapple is “abacaxi”. The Brazilian Portuguese in this case was heavily influenced by native Amerindian languages , in this particular case: tupi-guarani.
Some other examples:
1. comboio (EP) = trem (BP) (train)
2. autocarro (EP) = ônibus (BP) (bus)
3. hospedeira de bordo (EP) = aeromoça (BP) (stewardess)
4. bairro de lata (EP) = favela (BP) (slum)
5. desporto (EP) = esporte (BP) (sport)

– Grammatical differences :
a) Regarding the use of personal pronouns. The pronoun tu is replaced with você in most of Brazil, because você tends to be avoided in Portugal. A gente replaces nós much more often in colloquial Brazilian Portuguese than in Portugal .
b) Regarding the distinction between third person subject pronouns and object pronouns. In colloquial Brazilian Portuguese, the subject pronouns ele(s), ela(s), você(s)are often used as objects, where o(s), a(s), lhe(s) would be used in Portugal.
c) Regarding the placement of the clitic personal pronouns. In Portugal, the clitic personal pronouns can come after a verb under some circumstances (enclisis or mesoclisis): “Dê-me um cigarro”, “Desculpe-me“, “Pode dizer-me…?” They can also be placed before the auxiliary verb, in other circumstances: “Não me pode dizer…?”
In colloquial Brazilian Portuguese, the tendency is to always place the clitic pronoun before the main verb, and between the auxiliary verb and the main verb, in compound tenses: “Me dê um cigarro”, “Me desculpe”, “Pode me dizer…?”, “Não pode me dizer…?”
d) Compound verb tenses of the form “estar + gerund” tend to be replaced with “estar a + infinitive” in most of Portugal.This happens because in Brazil you use the gerund to describe something you are doing now, since in Portugal, you use the infinitive.
e) Regarding the use of prepositions. Brazilians sometimes replace the preposition a with em or para with verbs of motion. They occasionally eliminate prepositions or pronouns from verbs that are prepositional or pronominal (“reflexive”) in Portugal.

-Syntax:

the Portuguese use definite articles a lot.
Examples: o meu nome é (EP) = meu nome é (BP) (my name is, the Portuguese literally say “the my name is”)
Brazilians normally place the object pronoun before the verb (proclitic position), as in ele me viu (“he saw me”). In many such cases, the proclisis would be considered awkward or even grammatically incorrect in EP, in which the pronoun is generally placed after the verb (enclitic place), namely ele viu-me. However, formal BP still follows EP in avoiding starting a sentence with a proclitic pronoun; so both will write Deram-lhe o livro (“They gave him/her the book”) instead of Lhe deram o livro, though it will seldom be spoken in BP (but would be clearly understood).

The Orthographic Agreement
Portuguese speaking countries signed an orthographic agreement in 1990. More than unifying spellings, the agreement is oriented to accept one another’s spelling as correct. It will be mandatory in Brazil in 2016.

Source: Azevedo, Milton. 2005. Portuguese: A Linguistic Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
Governo brasileiro vai adiar obrigatoriedade do Acordo Ortográfico para 2016,Observatório da Língua Portuguesa

One thought on “Brazilian Portuguese vs. European Portuguese

  1. Muitíssimo obrigado pelas explicacões tão detalhadas🙂 Sempre me ajuda saber qualquer diferença entre o português do Brasil (o que eu estudo) e o português do Portugal . Às vezes não entendo como eu “deveria” falar ou escrever por a confusão causado por cause de ler ou ouvir no internet as duas versões da lingua.

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