Brazilian Language

What language do Brazilians speak?​

So, when we say Brazilians speak Portuguese, we mean they use a version of the language that’s very similar to what people speak in Portugal, the country that actually brought Portuguese to Brazil way back in the day. But over time, Brazilian Portuguese has evolved in its own unique way, influenced by the diverse mix of cultures and languages found in Brazil. But what are the differences between Brazilian Portuguese and Portugal Portuguese for grammar and vocabulary?

Imagine you have a tasty ice cream sundae, and the base is classic Portuguese, but then Brazil adds its own delicious toppings. You get some words and expressions that might sound a bit different from European Portuguese. Plus, there are regional differences within Brazil itself. In the north, south, east, and west, you might encounter various accents and slang words that make conversations super colorful and interesting.

Portuguese is the official language of the country and is used for government, education, media, and day-to-day communication. While there are many indigenous languages and some other immigrant languages spoken in Brazil due to its diverse population, Portuguese is the most widely spoken and the one you'll commonly encounter throughout the country.

250 million speakers

Yes, this is how many people speak Portuguese in the world!

9 countries...

Nine countries have Portuguese as their official language.

... and 2 territories

It's also spoken officialy in Goa (India), Macao (China).

5th most spoken

Portuguese is considered the 5th most spoken language in the world.

Countries that Speak Portuguese

Portugal

Brazil

Angola

Mozambique

Guinea-Bissau

Cabo Verde

East Timor

Equatorial Guinea

São Tomé and Principe

Brazilian and Portuguese

There are some notable differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, and certain aspects of grammar between the Brazilian Portuguese and Portugal Portuguese. Check out some of these differences:

Pronunciation

Vowel sounds: Brazilian Portuguese tends to have more open vowel sounds, while Portuguese Portuguese often uses more closed vowel sounds. This affects the overall rhythm and melody of the language.

Consonant sounds: Some consonant sounds are pronounced differently. For example, the “s” at the end of words and syllables is often pronounced like “sh” in Brazil but more like “s” in Portugal.

Intonation: The intonation patterns can vary, leading to differences in how sentences sound.

Example: The word “Portuguese”
Brazilian: “português” (pronounced: por-too-GEZ)
European: “português” (pronounced: por-to-GESH)

Vocabulary

Brazilian Portuguese versus Portugal Portuguese share a common core vocabulary, but there are many words that differ. Brazil has been influenced by various indigenous languages and has adopted words from African languages as well as from other European languages, which has led to a unique vocabulary in some cases.

Example: The word “bus”
Brazilian: “ônibus”
European: “autocarro”

Grammar

Verb conjugation: While the basic rules of verb conjugation are the same, there are differences in verb forms for certain tenses and conjugations. For example, the second person plural (you all) form of the verb can differ.

Use of pronouns: There are differences in how pronouns are used and which pronouns are preferred. This can affect the overall style of communication.

Formal vs. Informal: Brazilian Portuguese tends to be more informal in certain contexts (even more in grammar usage), whereas Portuguese Portuguese may maintain more formal language structures.

Example: The word “fact”
Brazilian: “fato”
European: “facto”

Cultural and Regional Nuances

The way Portuguese is spoken in different regions of Brazil can vary greatly, just as regional accents and dialects exist in any large country. Portuguese Portuguese has regional accents as well, but they are distinct from Brazilian accents.

It’s important to note that both Portuguese Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese are mutually intelligible, meaning speakers of one variety can generally understand and communicate with speakers of the other variety, but there may be some challenges in understanding certain accents and regional colloquialisms.

Example: “How are you?”
Brazilian: “Como vai você?”
European: “Como estás?”

Why should I learn Brazilian Portuguese?

Learning Brazilian Portuguese can be beneficial for various reasons, including business opportunities, cultural enrichment, travel, and personal growth.

Economic Opportunities

Brazil is one of the world’s largest economies, and it offers a wide range of business opportunities in sectors such as agriculture, technology, energy, and finance. By learning Brazilian Portuguese, you can tap into this expanding market. If you’re involved in international business, Brazil has significant trade relationships with many countries, making it a valuable market for exports and imports.

Regional Influence

Brazil is the largest country in Latin America, and knowledge of Brazilian Portuguese can be a gateway to understanding the language, culture, and business practices of other Portuguese-speaking countries.

Cultural and Personal Enrichment

Brazil has a rich cultural heritage, including music, literature, cinema, and cuisine. Learning the language allows you to fully engage with these cultural aspects and connect with people from a vibrant and diverse country.
Brazil is also a popular tourist destination with stunning natural beauty, iconic landmarks like Christ the Redeemer, and lively cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Speaking Portuguese can greatly enhance your travel experience by allowing you to communicate with locals and explore off-the-beaten-path locations.

Language Skills and Cognitive Benefits

Learning a new language has been shown to enhance cognitive abilities, including improved problem-solving skills, memory, and multitasking. Learning Portuguese adds to your linguistic repertoire, making you a more versatile communicator. It can also make it easier to learn other Romance languages like Spanish, Italian, or French due to their similarities.

Networking and Communication

If you’re dealing with Brazilian companies or clients, being able to communicate in their language demonstrates respect, builds trust, and can lead to stronger business relationships.
Speaking Portuguese also allows you to connect with Portuguese speakers worldwide. Brazil has a significant diaspora, and there are Portuguese-speaking communities in various countries.

Perhaps, after this, you will be convinced to learn Portuguese. And here at Rio & Learn, we have many options, from online Portuguese courses to courses in Brazil