Like English, Portuguese has strong Latin roots. That’s why you can easily translate certain Portuguese words, like delicioso, energia, and informação, even if you've never taken a Portuguese lesson.
Unfortunately, it's not all that simple! For one thing, the language is spoken quite differently across the world, yet most resources focus on teaching the Brazilian dialect.
The other primary dialect, European Portuguese, is spoken in Portugal and its other former colonies.
It differs in some aspects of grammar: clitic pronoun placement, preposition usage, and the gerund, to name a few, as well as vocabulary. For example: cachorro vs. cão (dog), trem vs. comboio (train), relva vs. grama (grass)
The informal form of you is tu in Portugal and você in Brazil. Você is technically the formal you pronoun in European Portuguese, but many speakers actually avoid the word entirely.
Yet the most striking difference is the pronunciation. For example, 'd' and 't' are pronounced like 'j' and 'ch' in the Brazilian dialect. In European Portuguese, 's' can sound like 's', 'sh', 'zh', or 'z', depending on where it appears.
Brazilian Portuguese vowels are more 'open’, creating a more even, melodic flow that learners often find easier to understand. European Portuguese vowels, on the other hand, are more ‘closed’, sometimes reduced to the point that they are barely noticeable. This creates a stress-timed cadence that generally takes more listening practice to comprehend.
Hear the difference and learn more at PracticePortuguese.com
There’s more than one Portuguese!
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