04 Jun European versus Brazilian Portuguese
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:
- “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 Portuguese are very different in this regard. Generally speaking, when one has an open vowel, it is closed in the other. In Portugal: câsácu, gémius, fâlár. In Brazil: cásácu, gêmeos,fálá .
In European Portuguese, pronouns come after the verb:
Dá-me um beijo. (“Give me a kiss.”)
In Brazil, they come before the verb:
Me dá um beijo. (“Give me a kiss.”)
In European Portuguese, the gerund is not commonly used, regardless of the verb tense:
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.
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)|
|Casa de banho||Banheiro||Bathroom|
|Carro descapotável||Carro conversível||Convertible car|
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:
|Durex||Brand of condoms||Durex||Tape |
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.
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.