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DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BRAZILIAN AND EUROPEAN PORTUGUESE

2020-04-21

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DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BRAZILIAN AND EUROPEAN PORTUGUESE

PHONETICS

The differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese are not just in how words are written, but also how they are pronounced. There are even different accents within each country, although some standards are upheld. Here are some of the differences:

Brasil Portugal

“L”: In Brazil, when an “L” appears at the end of a word, it has the sound of a “U”, i.e.: papeu, visuau, portau, etc.

In Portugal, the “L” maintains its phonetics (“papel, visual, portal”).

“R”: When it comes at the end of a word, such as verbs in the infinitive, the “R” is dropped in  Brazilian Portuguese: comê, vivê, falá.

Versus comer, viver, falar.

Vowels: The two varieties of Portugues e are very different in this regard. Generally speaking, when one has an open vowel, it is closed in the other. In Brazil: cásácu, gêmeos, fálá . In Portugal: câsácu, gémius, fâlár.

PRONOUNS

In Brazilian Portuguese, pronouns come before the verb: In European Portuguese, pronouns come after the verb:
Me dá um beijo. (“Give me a kiss.”) Dá-me um beijo. (“Give me a kiss.”) 

GERUND

In European Portuguese, the gerund is not commonly used, regardless of the verb tense:

Portuguese (BR) Portuguese (PT) English (US)

Estou comendo sopa.
Estava comendo sopa.
Estarei comendo sopa.

Estou a comer sopa.
Estava a comer sopa.
Estarei a comer sopa.

I am eating soup.
I was eating soup.
I will be eating soup.

ACCENTS

There are differences in how some words are written. The circumflex is not used as frequently in European Portuguese, while the acute accent is more common.

Portuguese (BR) Portuguese (PT) English (US)

Tênis
Acadêmico
Gêmeo
Bônus

Ténis
Académico
Gémeo
Bónus

Tennis
Academic
Twin
Bonus

VOCABULARY

In addition to differences in writing and phonetics, some words have different meanings. Some Brazilian vocabulary is also influenced by American English. Below are some examples:

Portuguese (PT) Portuguese (BR) English (US)
Telemóvel Celular Cellphone
Casa de banho Banheiro Bathroom
Autocarro Ônibus Autobus
Comboio Trem Train
Equipa Time Team
Carro descapotável Carro conversível Convertible car
Conduzir Dirigir Drive

FALSE COGNATES

It’s true… not only do different languages have the well-known “false friends”; the same holds true between different varieties of the same language! Here are some examples:

Portugual Meaning Brazil Meaning
Durex Brand of condoms Durex Tape
Taxa Percentage Taxa Kickback
Apelido Last name Apelido Nickname
Bala Bullet Bala Candy
Esmalte Enamel Esmalte Nail polish

TERMINOLOGY

The terminology of any given field of expertise will also have considerable differences in both Portuguese variants. So, readers/users/operators of one variant may do not understand or be misled if provided with documentation in the other variant.

“INTERNATIONAL PORTUGUESE”

Furthermore, unlike Spanish, there is no “International Portuguese”. So if your documents are intended for Brazilian reader, have them translate into Brazilian Portuguese; if your audience is based in Portugal or in an African Portuguese speaking countries, then request European Portuguese.


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