- 1) How many countries in the world speak Portuguese?
Portuguese is the official language of eight countries and one special administrative region (Brazil, Portugal, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Angola, East- Timor, Guinea-Bissau, SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe and Macau, considered a special administrative region in China.
About 300 million people in the world speak Portuguese and this has made it stand out as the 5th most spoken language.
- 2) What makes Portuguese very different from Spanish? How is it similar?
Portuguese and Spanish are actually very similar.
If you are a native Spanish speaker you can understand more than 50% of the vocabulary in Portuguese and vice-versa.
The trick comes in when you realize that pronouncing words in Portuguese are nasalized.
Similarly, Spanish only has one accent (acute) where as Portuguese has four (acute, circumflex, grave, tilde).
Both these languages differ in grammar and spelling.
In Spanish, for words such as â€œtodoâ€ meaning, â€œallâ€ (singular masculine), Portuguese has two different ways of expressing the same idea.
In Portuguese, you have both â€œtudoâ€ which means â€œeverythingâ€ as in â€œEu como tudoâ€ meaning â€œI eat everythingâ€ or â€œtodoâ€ in â€œtodos os diasâ€, meaning â€œevery dayâ€ and â€œtodo o diaâ€, meaning, â€œthe whole dayâ€.
Another similarity between Portuguese and Spanish is that the word â€œmountainâ€ in Spanish is â€œmontaÃ±aâ€ and in Portuguese it is â€œmontanhaâ€.
There are many incidences, but not always, where the letter “enyÃ©” or Ã± in Spanish is replaced by nh in Portuguese.
- 3) Which romance languages are the most similar? The most different?
In terms of pronunciation French and Portuguese resemble each other the most.
I would say that Spanish and French are the most different because of the fact that in Spanish you pronounce everything you write.
Unlike Spanish, French is a language where you do not pronounce many of the words you actually write.
An example of this is the verb conjugation of â€œparlerâ€, meaning to speak.
The â€œIâ€, â€œYou (singular)â€, â€œHe/She/Itâ€, and â€œTheyâ€ (plural) forms vary in spelling- â€œje parleâ€, â€œtu parlesâ€, â€œil parleâ€ and ils parlentâ€ but when these forms are pronounced they all sound the same.
Likewise, French has two different types of â€œRâ€™sâ€.
In the name â€œRobertâ€, French pronounce the beginning â€œrâ€ completely different from the ending â€œrâ€, where as in Spanish both Râ€™s in the name Roberto sound exactly the same.
- 4) Is it easy for someone who speaks Portuguese first to learn Spanish?
I do think it is easier for a native Portuguese speaker to learn Spanish than another Romance language such as French.
In terms of grammar structure and spelling, there are more similarities between Spanish and Portuguese than between Portuguese and French.
- 5) What about people who speak French? Can they easily pick up Portuguese?
French native speakers have an easier time picking up Portuguese than Spanish speakers because of the nasalized pronunciation of words such as â€œcÃ©uâ€, which means “sky.”
- 6) Are French and Portuguese similar?
Both French and Portuguese are very similar in regards to pronunciation.
They both have four accents and are languages where many of the sounds are nasalized.
Brazilian Portuguese actually borrows many words from French and uses them.
Words like, â€œChapÃ©uâ€ are borrowed from French but vary in pronunciation and in spelling.
In French, the word for â€œhatâ€ is spelled â€œchapeauâ€.
Sometimes words like â€œbathing suitâ€ or â€œmaiÃ´â€ in Brazilian Portuguese are pronounced similarly to their French counterpart but spelled differently.
In French, the word for â€œbathing suitâ€ is spelled â€œmaillotâ€.
Ironically enough if you take out the circumflex, or â€œsmall chapÃ©uâ€ in the word maiÃ´, you will be left with the month of May or â€œmaioâ€ in Brazilian Portuguese.
However, grammar in both French and Brazilian Portuguese is different especially when it comes to conjunctions such as â€œbutâ€.
In French, â€œmaisâ€ means â€œbutâ€ but in Brazilian Portuguese it means â€œmoreâ€.
- 7) What’s the major difference between Brazilian Portuguese and Portuguese spoken in Portugal?
The difference between Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese is grammar, spelling and the pronunciation of some vowels.
For example the Brazilian Portuguese word, â€œÃ³timoâ€ which means â€œgreatâ€ is spelled â€œÃ³ptimoâ€ in European Portuguese.
Another example of this is the word for â€œcancerâ€.
In Brazilian Portuguese the word is “cancro” where as in Brazilian Portuguese it is â€œcÃ¢ncerâ€.
- 8.) Why Portuguese?
I wanted to learn Portuguese because when I heard it for the first time I thought it was one of the sexiest languages spoken.
After spending New Yearâ€™s in Brazil one year, I was fascinated by CandomblÃ© an African religion practiced in the northern state of Bahia.
Stories of the OrixÃ¡ or deities of the Yoruba religious system come to life on New Yearâ€™s Day when Bahianas and cariocas (Brazilians from Rio) dressed in white release small straw baskets with with pieces of pork rinds, melons and white flowers into the ocean.
This ritual is performed so that an OrixÃ¡ by the name of YemanjÃ¡, known as the â€œrainha do marâ€ or â€œQueen of the oceanâ€ grants the wishes of those who present these offerings.
- 9) How long did it take you to learn Portuguese? Why did you choose this language to perfect?
I started studying Portuguese when I was at the University of Florida.
I studied Portuguese for about a year and a half and then I moved and lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- 10) As a native Portuguese speaker, what is the biggest challenge learning the language formally? Or rather learning another language?
I think the most difficult part about Portuguese revolves around the specificity of certain vocabulary that is completely different in Spanish.
For example, the word â€œtelaâ€ which means screen (TV) in Brazilian Portuguese is â€œ pantallaâ€ in Spanish.
Another example is the word, â€œbalaâ€ which in Spanish is a bullet and in Brazilian Portuguese it is a piece of candy.
Similarly, certain words in Spanish such as the verb â€œcenarâ€ to have dinner can be confusing in Brazilian Portuguese because in BP the word is â€œcearâ€.
As you can see there is no association between the two words.
Memorization is probably the best way to learn words like â€œcearâ€ and â€œcenarâ€.
- 11) What are a few common and everyday phrases people use?
Some common daily phrases people use in BP are â€œbom diaâ€ meaning “Good morning” or â€œMuito prazerâ€ meaning â€œNice to meet youâ€ or the colloquial â€œvaleuâ€ for â€œthank youâ€ instead of the more formal way of saying â€œthank youâ€ which is â€œobrigado” (for males) or “obrigada” (for females).
- 12) What type of person should take the time to learn Portuguese?
There isnâ€™t a specific type of person that should take the time to learn Portuguese.
I would recommend anyone who is interested in working or living in Brazil or Europe to learn Portuguese.
I highly recommend learning Portuguese to anyone who is interested in the language or if you work within the agriculture sector such as the production of soy.
Brazil is one of the biggest exporters of soy beans in the world.
Interestingly enough,Â the number one ingredient in making biodiesel is soy oil.
Anyone who is interested in soccer, Brazilian culture, â€œcarnavalâ€ or carnival, music such as samba, bossa nova, frevo, sertanejo or many other types of Brazilian music should learn Brazilian Portuguese.
While living in Brazil, I also met many French who moved to Brazil to learn more about cinema and directing movies after such big cinema hits like â€œCidade de Deusâ€.
Films like â€œCidade de Deusâ€ not only revolve around the concept of criticizing current social, economical or political situations within Brazil but also benefited from the Fernando Henrique Cardoso presidency to form part of Brazilian contemporary cinema.
- 13) What’s your favorite Brazilian Portuguese movie?
My favorite Brazilian movie is â€œCentral do Brasilâ€.
This movie is extremely touching and depicts friendship bonds created between an older woman and a little boy.
Throughout the movie these bonds get stronger and show how although not from the same blood, someone you love can become a â€œmother figureâ€ or you can love someone and treat someone as if they were your real son.
- 14) What’s your favorite Portuguese book?
My favorite Portuguese book is â€œO Alienistaâ€ by Machado de Assis.
- 15) What’s your favorite Brazilian Portuguese song?
My favorite Brazilian Portuguese song is â€œA Velha InfÃ¢nciaâ€ by Os Tribalistas.
- 16) What’s your favorite thing about Brazilian Portuguese?
My favorite thing about Brazilian Portuguese is still the tone of sexiness that every word possesses.
- 17) What’s the one thing that is the most beautiful about the Brazilian culture?
I love the fact that I can walk anywhere in Brazil and I think that every person I see could be from anywhere in the world.
Interracial marriages/relationships amongst Asians, Africans, Arabs, and Europeans have introduced a mixture of races that I have never seen anywhere else in the world.
I also love the German style cathedrals in PetrÃ³polis, Brazil.
Similarly, one of my favorite hobbies in Brazil is paragliding from the Pico da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro and strolling down the streets of Copacabana while sipping on a suco de aÃ§aÃ (acai drink).
** Logo by Sasha Muradali ** All images from WeHeartIt.com **
Eva Rosales began traveling at the age of four and has not stopped since. She has lived in 13 countries and traveled to 35 (including Iran, Morocco, Brazil, Slovakia, and Tanzania.) She speaks French, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic and Bahasa Indonesia. Eva is also is well-known for her ability to mimic accents.
Eva earned her Masters of International Affairs with a regional context in the Middle East and a concentration in International Security from Columbia University and a Bachelorâ€™s of Arts in French, a Bachelorâ€™s of Arts in Political Science, a Certificate of Merit in International Relations, and a Minor in Portuguese from the University of Florida.
In order to further her international studies, Eva went on to receive further training at the Instituto Brasil-Estados Unidos – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Institut d’Avignon in Avignon, France, the Arabic Language Institute in Fez, Morocco, and received a Darmasiswa Fellowship to study Bahasa Indonesia from the Ministry of Education of Indonesia at the Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Eva has worked with the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid, the Rating Fund for the Inter-American Development Bank, Wide Angle PBS, the International Consulting Consortium and Marcia Teixeira. She is also the founder of Recurso, a non-profit for children’s education and nutrition, started at the University of Florida, where she attained her B.A.
Hyperfluent teaches individuals to embrace diversity through culture immersion activities, traveling, and language acquisition.
Mention “Little Pink Blog” and receive a consultation with a 30-minute lesson from Eva.
Sasha H. Muradali runs the Little Pink Blog (formerly Little Pink Book PR). She holds a B.S. Public Relations from the University of Florida with a minor in Dance (â€™07) and an M.A. International Administration with a concentration in Communication from the University of Miami (â€™08). She loves Twitter (@SashaHalima), Harry Potter and the colour pink. Get a copy of the Little Pink Blog delivered to your Kindle and find us on Facebook.
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