Portuguese|Nami Minaki Sandra|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

  • 2020.11.27
  • Portuguese
Ten countries across the world have Portuguese as their official language: Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Timor-Leste, and Macau. There are about 250 million Portuguese speakers, of which Brazil’s population accounts for 200 million, so by far the biggest number of Portuguese speakers are in Brazil. Portugal colonized Brazil during the Age of Discovery, and Brazil is the only country in South America whose official language is Portuguese. The other South American countries are Spanish. With the influence of the native language of Brazil, however, the Portuguese spoken in Brazil is slightly different from the Portuguese spoken in Portugal. I discovered that in Japan most of the books teach Brazilian Portuguese. That’s probably because many Japanese companies have expanded into Brazil since the period of emigration. It’s called Brazilian or “Buraporu” (“Brazilian Portuguese”). I went to a bookstore in São Paulo the other day and asked if they had any books on the Portuguese spoken in Portugal. The assistant gave me a quizzical look and asked back, “Why would you want to study the Portuguese spoken in Portugal even though you’re in Brazil?” According to the assistant, you would have to bring in such books from another country.

Let’s compare three differences between Portuguese spoken in Portugal and Portuguese spoken in Brazil. The first is vocabulary. For example, in Brazil, a mobile phone is called a “celular,” and in Portugal it is a “telemovel.” “Bus” is “ônibus” and in Portugal it's “autocarro.” “Ice cream” is “sorvete” but “gelado” in Portugal. The words are completely different. The second is pronunciation. While in Brazil vowels are pronounced clearly, in Portugal, they are often virtually not pronounced, depending on the vowel. Perhaps that's why they don’t seem to open their mouths wide and speak in an indistinct kind of way. “Esperança,” which means “hope,” is pronounced “esperansa” here, while in Portugal it is pronounced as if the vowel coming after the “p” is left out, like “esp’rança.” It’s the same for “pedaço,” which means “piece.” In Portugal it’s pronounced like “p’daço.” Third is grammar. The second person singular "you" is “você,” and “tu” is used only in very few regions, but in Portugal, “tu” is used for friends and “você” is the honorific form. It’s in Brazil where the object pronoun sometimes comes before the verb in a sentence. There are various other detailed differences, but I don't think there would be any problems studying either.

In 2005, 71,314 Brazilians lived in Portugal. Ten years later in 2015, that had increased to 162,190. When Brazilians look at going to another country to work or to seek a new life, their first choice is Portugal, where there is no language barrier. As well as that, over there they have the advantages of low unemployment, and a particularly good national insurance system. In 2009 there was a downturn in Portugal's economy, so some Brazilians came back home, but it seems that of all the European countries, Brazilians have less trouble living in Portugal. With that influence, it seems Portuguese people have become used to the Portuguese spoken by Brazilians and are able to understand it better.


  • Nami Minaki Sandra
  • AgeDragon( TATU )
  • GenderFemale
  • JobLanguage teacher,shadow box crafter

Born and raised in Brazil. After graduating from university, She has been teaching shadow box crafts that she learned while in Singapore where she resided for three years due to her husband’s work and she is also a language teacher. She is in love with the life here in São Paulo where cultures and traditions of various countries melt together.

View a list of Nami Minaki Sandra's

What's New


What's New