🌍 Countries that Speak Portuguese
Did you know that Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world? 🗣
Portuguese is spoken in Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), of course, but there are also many other countries and regions that speak the language. For example:
Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, the Special Administrative Region of Macau (Macao), Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Goa (a state in western India)
💬 Portuguese Roots
Have you noticed that you can already recognize some Portuguese words? That’s because, just like English, Portuguese has strong Latin roots.
estação Play slow audio Play normal audio station
delicioso Play slow audio Play normal audio delicious
positivo Play slow audio Play normal audio positive
Portuguese is considered a “Romance” or “Vulgar Latin” language (just like Spanish, French, Italian, and Romanian). If you have studied any of these other languages, you will see even more similarities, not only in vocabulary, but also grammar structure. Not to mention the alphabet is mostly the same:
Aside from Latin, Portuguese has also been influenced by other languages like Arabic, French, Italian, and indigenous South American, as well as African languages.
🤔 Portuguese Portuguese!? #GoogleProblems
The 2 main dialects of the Portuguese language are:
- Brazilian Portuguese (Primarily spoken in Brazil)
- European Portuguese (Spoken in Portugal. It also includes the African and Asian colonies’ dialects, because they are much more similar to the European dialect.)
However, as you may have figured out by now (in your desperate Google searches for non-Brazilian Portuguese resources!), “European Portuguese” is also referred to as:
- Continental Portuguese
- Lusitanian Portuguese
- Portuguese of Portugal
- …or sometimes even referred to informally as Portuguese Portuguese! 😉
With only 11 million European Portuguese speakers vs. 200 million Brazilian Portuguese speakers, there’s no wonder why it’s so hard to find quality resources!
🇵🇹 🇧🇷 European Portuguese vs. Brazilian
Although Brazilian and European Portuguese are technically the same language, the differences are so great that even Brazilian Portuguese natives can have a hard time understanding European Portuguese when spoken quickly. Here are just a few of these differences:
- Pronunciation: The European accent is much more closed, especially in the varying degrees of open and closed vowels.
- Informal vs. formal: In most of Brazil, the word for you is você. In Portugal, we use tu in informal situations, and different forms of você in formal situations. There are many ways to speak to someone formally, which can be confusing even for long-term residents of Portugal! For example, it’s common to address someone to their face using the third person. To ask Rui the question Do you want coffee? in a more formal way, you would say: O Rui quer café? Play slow audio Play normal audio Do you (Rui) want coffee?, Does Rui want coffee?
- Vocabulary: There are many common words that are completely different. For example, the word for dog in Brazil is cachorro and in Portugal it’s cão Play slow audio Play normal audio dog
For a more detailed comparison of these two primary dialects, check out this guide we put together here: European Portuguese vs Brazilian Portuguese
📖 Let’s Start Learning European Portuguese!
Speakers of English and other Latin-influenced languages may notice that certain words are quite similar in Portuguese. So, just as a warm-up, the first Lesson will cover vocabulary words that we think many beginners will be able to figure out right away!
Use this Warm-up lesson to get an introduction to how the European Portuguese language sounds and how our Lessons work. After that, we’ll continue to the Greetings unit to teach you some useful phrases you can start using right away. Don’t worry about understanding all the grammar just yet. We’ll start exploring those details, little by little, in the Basic Grammar unit.
Estão prontos? Play normal audio Are you(pl.) ready?
Click Mark as Complete and then Continue to the first Lesson.