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Minh Cuong DOAN

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Brazilian Portuguese vs Portugal Portuguese: The key difference

Brazilian Portuguese vs Portugal Portuguese

I. Introduction

Brazilian Portuguese vs Portugal Portuguese: A Linguistic and Cultural Comparison

Portuguese language is a beautiful and complex language spoken by millions of people around the world. It is the official language of several countries, including Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and East Timor, among others. However, despite sharing the same roots, the Portuguese spoken in Portugal and Brazil have some notable differences in terms of pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.

In this blog post, we will explore the main differences between Brazilian Portuguese vs Portugal Portuguese, and how these differences reflect the unique cultural identities of these two countries.


II. Historical and Cultural Differences

The differences between Brazilian and Portugal Portuguese are not just linguistic, but also cultural. Brazil and Portugal have distinct histories, traditions, and ways of life that have shaped their respective languages.

For example, Brazilian Portuguese has been heavily influenced by African and Indigenous languages, as well as by the Portuguese language of the colonial period As a result, Brazilian Portuguese has a unique rhythm and intonation that reflects the country’s rich cultural diversity.

In contrast, Portugal Portuguese has been influenced by other European languages, such as French and Spanish, and has a more formal and traditional style. Portugal Portuguese is also often associated with the country’s rich literary history, which includes authors such as José Saramago


III. Pronunciation difference

One of the most noticeable differences between Brazilian and Portugal Portuguese is in the pronunciation of certain sounds. In general, Brazilian Portuguese tends to have a more open and relaxed pronunciation, while Portugal Portuguese is more formal and precise.

For example, in Brazil, the letter “s” is often pronounced like a “sh” sound, especially at the end of words, while in Portugal, it is pronounced like a “s” or “z” sound. Likewise, the letter “r” is pronounced differently in Brazil and Portugal. In Brazil, it is often rolled or trilled, while in Portugal, it is a sound that is sometimes dropped altogether.

Another significant difference is in the pronunciation of the diphthongs “ei” and “oi.” In Brazil, these sounds are often pronounced as a single vowel sound, while in Portugal, they are pronounced as two distinct vowels. For example, the word “leite” (milk) is pronounced as “lay-chee” in Brazil and “lay-teh” in Portugal.

Sunset in Lisbon, Portugal


IV. Vocabulary and Grammar difference

A. Differences in Vocabulary

Brazilian Portuguese vs Portugal Portuguese differ is in their vocabulary. While the basic grammar and syntax are the same, each country has its own set of words and expressions that are unique to their culture and history.

A table comparison can be a useful way to illustrate the differences in word usage and vocabulary between Brazilian and Portugal Portuguese. Here is an example:

Brazilian PortuguesePortugal PortugueseEnglish 
BanheiroCasa de banhoBathroom
Festa juninaFesta de São JoãoJune Festival


B. Differences in Grammar rule and verb Conjugation

Brazilian and Portugal Portuguese also have some grammatical differences. While the basic grammar rules are the same, there are differences in the use of personal pronouns, verb conjugation, and the placement of adjectives. For example, in Portugal Portuguese, the pronoun “tu” is used as the informal singular “you”, while in Brazilian Portuguese, “você” is more commonly used.

Additionally, the verb conjugation in the two dialects can be different, with some verbs having irregular conjugations in one dialect but not the other. For example, the verb “ter” (to have) is irregular in Brazil Portuguese, with the third-person singular form being “tem”, while in Portugal Portuguese, it is regular, with the third-person singular form being “tem”.

The placement of adjectives can also be different between the two dialects. In Portugal Portuguese, adjectives usually come after the noun, while in Brazilian Portuguese, they can come before or after the noun. This can affect the meaning of a sentence and make it more challenging for learners to understand.


C. Greetings In Portugal vs Brazil?

Greetings can vary between Brazil and Portugal, reflecting the differences in the two cultures. However, it’s important to note that Portuguese is a language rich in regional dialects and expressions, and greetings can vary even within these two countries. Here are some common greetings:

Brazilian PortuguesePortugal PortugueseEnglish 
Tudo beleza?Estás bom?All good?

Carnival in Brazil


Frequently Asked Questions:

1.  Can Brazilian Portuguese speakers understand Portuguese people?

Yes, speakers of Brazilian and Portugal Portuguese can generally understand each other, although there may be occasional difficulties due to pronunciation, vocabulary, or grammar differences. But, sometimes they just have a little problem to understand each other because of some different slang.


2. Is Brazilian Portuguese easier than Portugal Portuguese?

From my point of view, it’s yes. Some learners may find Brazilian Portuguese’s more relaxed pronunciation and intonation easier, while others may prefer Portugal Portuguese’s more conservative and formal approach.


3. Is Portuguese easier than Italian?

Both languages are Romance languages and share many similarities, making it difficult to definitively state which is easier. The ease of learning depends on the individual, their language background, and personal preferences. From my point of view, Brazilian Portuguese sounds easier to learn.


4. Which is more popular, Brazilian Portuguese or Portuguese?

Brazilian Portuguese is more widely spoken due to Brazil’s larger population. However, both dialects are essential for communication within the Portuguese-speaking world.


5. Should I learn Brazilian Portuguese or Spanish?

This decision depends on your personal goals and interests. Both languages are valuable for different reasons, and learning one can help you learn the other due to their similarities. For me, I decided to learn both of them, but attention, don’t learn them at the same time. You should spend a significance of time, to master one before learn another, that make sure you don’t speak Portugnol (Portuguese+Spanish)

Also interesting: 10 Portuguese words that will melt your heart



As for me, I’ve completely fallen in love with Brazilian Portuguese – it’s musical and enchanting, isn’t it? It’s not that it’s glamorous or anything, it’s just uniquely beautiful.

Did I skip anything cool? Now it’s your turn. Do you prefer Brazilian Portuguese or its European cousin, or maybe you’re the one brave enough to tackle both? Let me know by leaving a comment below right now!

Remember, Brazilian Portuguese and European, while coming from the same family, grew up in different ways. They have their own vibes – in the way they pronounce it, the words they use, the rules they follow and even in the culture they represent. So if you’re diving into Portuguese, get ready to soak up all this amazing diversity. It is part of what makes language and its cultures rich and rewarding.

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Photo profile_Minh Cuong Doan

Minh Cuong DOAN

As a language lover and international trade marketer, my goal is to share my knowledge and experience in learning romance languages with others.

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