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

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Esta? Está? Estar? – What’s the difference?

These three words have some important differences that you need to know! And of course, after reading this post you will be able to use them properly 😉

Let’s start!

  • ESTA: It’s a demonstrative pronoum, just like “this” and “that”. But in Portuguese we have different demonstrative pronouns for masculin and feminin and ESTA is for feminin

Eu estarei ocupada esta semana. (I will be busy this week)

Esta caixa é grande. (This is a big box)

* the masculin of ESTA is ESTE.

  • ESTÁ: It’s the verb “ESTAR”(to be) in the 3rd person of singular in the Simple Present tense or when it’s conjugated with the pronoun VOCÊ.

Ele está cansado. (He is tired.)

Ela está doente. (She’s sick.)

Você está linda! (You look pretty!)

Você está estudando? (Are you studying?)

Você está trabalhando duro para atingir seus objetivos. (You’re working hard to achieve your goals)

 

The alternative form of “ESTAR” is “tá” or “tô” (singular). But it’s nonstandard.

Ele cansado. / Ela linda!

Eu doente.

Você estudando?

 

  • ESTAR: It’s the infinitive of verb “to be” in Portuguese (remember: In Portuguese “to be” means “SER” or “ESTAR”)

Eu vou estar em casa mais tarde. (I’ll be at home later)

Estar com você me faz feliz. (To be with you make me happy)

 

Finally we have:

estaestarestá

 

Listen to the audio of this post here:

Brazil Experience – Testimonial of Two British Girls

Hey guys!! Here we are again! 😉 And this time I’d like to share with you this GREAT testimonial sent to our email (portuguesemassa@gmail.com) from two British girls who were visiting Brazil. I hope you enjoy it and more than that, I hope you can live the same amazing experience they had in the country and with our beautiful Portuguese language!
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As part of a year-long trip around South America, we were fortunate enough to spend six weeks travelling down the East coast of Brazil.  Having never visited the country before, our minds were full of curiosities about the land of sun, samba and caipirinhas.  Not only were all of our expectations fulfilled, they were exceeded day by day.
Obviously, when you first think of Brazil your mind is immediately drawn to that silhouette of Jesus standing high above the Cidade Maravilhosa, and so it should be.  What we weren’t expecting is how much more the country has to offer.  Stunning beaches in Fortaleza and Ilha Grande, waterfalls in Paraty, displays of traditinal capoeira in Salvador and the breath taking Iguacu Falls.
Having studied Portuguese at University, we were pretty confident that we already had a good grasp of the country’s culture and knew what to expect.  However, it became more and more apparent as the weeks went on that we would barely scratch the surface.  We got to experience the vast differences between the concrete jungle of Sao Paulo to the laid back surfers’ paradise Florianopolis to the colonial cobbled streets of Paraty.  Being foodies, we were so excited to uncover what Brazil had to offer: por kilo restaurants (in our eyes the best invention man has ever made); sweet and refreshing acai; churrascarias, a meat lover’s paradise; exotic fruit that you can’t even buy in Waitrose; the freshest sea food you could imagine; and the most delicious home cooked food.
It goes without saying that it would have been impossible to have had such an incredible experience if we had not had even the simplest grasp of the language.  It’s true that tourists can visit Brazil and scrape by with the odd obrigado accompanied with wild hand gestures, but if you really want to experience all the country has to offer this just isn’t enough.  Although we were skeptical,  having not used our Portuguese for a good two years after graduating, we were touched by how many people were grateful for us even trying and encouraged us to keep going.  Whether it be over a family dinner, discussing different types of fruit to trying to explain what role a Learning Mentor plays in British schools on a night out.  Without a doubt our ability to communicate, even in the smallest sense, allowed us to form friendships with people and see things that we will never forget and that you most definitely won’t find in the Lonely Planet.
Out of all of the countries that we have visited so far on our travels, Brazil is the one that has really captured our hearts (sorry but it’s true!) and we are already planning our next trip hopefully for a special occasion in the near future!! to discover more of what it has to offer.
Sara Morgan and Jessica Catteril

10 Reasons to Learn Portuguese

Brazilian Portuguese is a passionate, musical and romantic language, where the focus is on expressing yourself rather than following tons of grammar rules, making it the ideal learner’s language. And brazilian people just LOVE when foreigners do everything they can to learn their language, then you have a great recipe for language success. 

This is why our first post on this blog will be about the reasons to start learning Portuguese! 

keepcalmportuguese

1) Brazil is now the world’s favorite country 

Always called country of the future, Brazil is starting to look  a lot more like the country of the present. Everybody  wants to come to Brazil, to invest here, to live here, to work here and the next few years will be very busy, specially with some world’s events taking places in Brazil.

In 2013, Brazil will host the Confederation Cup, a major international soccer event. The events will be held in 4 to 6 cities throughout Brazil. And with the upcoming World Cup (2014) and Olympic Games (2016) in Brazil, there are a LOT of positions to be filled by bilingual speakers!

2) Brazil has emerged as a global economic player and expectations are rising of further success ahead.

It is the 5th largest economy in the world and considered 21st-century economic powerhouse!  Brazil (whose main language is Portuguese) belongs to the BRIC group, an acronym for ‘Brazil, Russia, India and China’, which means its economy has grown rapidly during the last years. So, it makes sense in the global economy to study Portuguese.

Besides, with the economy growing so fast ( Brazil is the industrial and economic super power of Latin America) the demand for professionals in different areas also increased. Areas such as Engineering and Telecommunications have a large gap of professionals, so it’s really common to hire foreigners. So, you just might find yourself moving to Brazil to work or having a competitive advantage over colleagues at your company if you speak Portuguese.

3) Sixth most widely spoken

This language is spoken in four continents: Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. More people speak Portuguese as their native language than speak French, German, Italian or Japanese.

4) Equal status to Spanish in Uruguay

In Uryguay’s educational system at the north border with Brazil Portuguese is as important as Spanish at schools.  In the rest of the country it’s taught as an obligatory subject beginning by the 6th grade.

5) Brazilians Accept You as One of Theirs

Brazilians are naturally friendly and if you can communicate in their language it’s even better!

In Brazil, it’s all about who you know, i.e “networking” and this is a natural built in part of the language. So you effectively kill two birds with one stone in learning the language, as amazing doors of possibilities begin to open.

6) Portuguese/Spanish: the perfect pair.

No matter what career path you choose, you will multiply your chances for success if you speak these two languages since they cover all of South America plus many other places in Europe, Africa, and Asia. If you already speak Spanish is even easier to learn Portuguese!

7) The astonishing richness of literature in Portuguese

Everything from The Lusiads, the greatest epic poem of the European Renaissance — to the modern Brazilian narrative and poetry, the best-kept secret in the Western Hemisphere. The Portuguese writer José Saramago won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998.

8) Those interested in world music will greatly benefit from knowing Portuguese. Over the last five centuries, 

Portuguese, African and Amerindian traditions, instruments, harmonies, dances, rhythms, and other musical elements have been mixed to form unique sounds and rhythms such as samba and bossa-nova.

9) You can enjoy your trips much better

Brazil is one of the major tourist destinations in South America. Knowing the language of the country you visit provides the tourist with choices not available to those who don’t.

10) Broaden your view of the world.

Learning a new language is not just learning grammar and vocabulary. It is learning new sounds, expressions, and ways of seeing things; it is learning how to function in another culture, how to know a new community from the inside out. Portuguese can help you do so.

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?