Portuguese is a western Romance language of the Indo-European language family, that originates from the Iberian Peninsula of Europe. Portuguese is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages, placed sixth behind Chinese, Spanish, English, Hindi, and Arabic. The language has two main kinds of Portuguese, namely Brazilian and European. Brazilian Portuguese is spoken Brazil, while European Portuguese is spoken in Portugal and other African countries namely, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Angola, Guinea Bissau, and East Timor.

The two Portuguese languages have both similarities and differences. There are key differences in grammar, spelling and the meanings of certain words. People who are not familiar with Portuguese, may have little to no chance to pick up on the differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese.


Some of the major differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese.

Vocabulary and spelling difference.

The languages use different words when mentioning the same thing sometimes. Say for instance, a bus is named onibus in Brazil, whereas in Portugal it is named autocarro. This proves that Brazilian and European Portuguese can be considered to be two different languages, at times. The two languages have words that are spelled the same and those that are spelled differently, even if it is mostly a slight difference of an additional letter or suffix. Brazilians add -inha at the end of their nouns when denoting a small size or cute nature. When they describe Nina as cute, a European Portuguese speaker may call her Ninita while a Brazilian may call her Nininha.


Brazilian Portuguese speakers have their version of -ing, which is -ndo. The word for run is “correr” and a Brazilian will drop the last “r” and append the “ndo” to change the word from run to running. Say for instance, a Brazilian Portuguese speaker wants to say “I am running”, they will say  “Estou correndo”. Whereas, European Portuguese speakers don’t use -ndo, they will say “Estou a correr”, when they say “I am running”. European Portuguese is considered to be soft and it has been compared to the Russian language based on the sound of the verbs. While Brazilian Portuguese  is considered to be melodic based on the flow from the tongue like music.

Which language is easy to learn between European and Brazilian Portuguese?

According to language scholars, Brazilian Portuguese is much easier to learn compared to the European Portuguese. This will pave your way to learn the European Portuguese language, as the two languages are not entirely different. You will only have to do slight grammar and vocabulary fixes to speak the European Portuguese.

One of the biggest differences that you will encounter when learning the Portuguese language, is that the varieties between the two languages has to do with você and tu. Both are second-person singular pronouns, equivalent to “you” in English. But in Portugal, você is used in more formal situations. Tu is more informal. In Brazil, on the other hand, most people use você in both formal and informal situations.In Portugal, commonly use tu and vós, while Brazil uses, which favors the pronouns você and vocês.


Can Brazilian and European Portuguese speakers hold a clear and comprehensible conversation?

Regardless of all the differences, there is no doubt that most Portuguese and Brazilians understand each other well. While some Brazilians still find it a bit hard to understand the Portuguese spoken in Portugal, Portuguese people are used to the Brazilian accent due to exposure through Brazilian soap operas, which are really popular in Portugal. However both Portuguese and Brazilians try to speak slower so that they can understand each other and that the conversation can flow.

To sum it all up, although there isn’t much difference between European and Brazilian Portuguese, there are instances that both language speakers might find them themselves translating their documents from one language into another. For an example, a Brazilian Portuguese speaker that want to venture into business in Mozambique will have to get their business documents translated into European Portuguese, which is the official language of Mozambique. The slightest transformation that the translator will do to the document will make a great difference in the business market.

Your Portuguese language partner.

Speak Portuguese is the fastest professional Portuguese translation service agency in South Africa. We have a number of certified Portuguese translators that are always ready to offer quality translation services from Portuguese to English and the other way around. As the top notch language services company, we have helped numerous clients with Portuguese interpretation and localisation services at a flat rate. With the number of highly professional and experienced interpreters we have, we have managed to satisfy the numerous Brazilian and European clients we had and exceeded their expectations. We pride ourselves in this.

We are only and email and a phone call away. If you have any questions you would like to ask, kindly contact us on the following numbers 012 348 3134 or send us an email at, we will gladly be of assistance to you.

The difference between European and Brazilian Portuguese
Article Name
The difference between European and Brazilian Portuguese
This article gives a brief description of the Portuguese language and the two major dialects that are found in the language, namely European and Brazilian Portuguese. It also outlines the difference and similarities of the languages and the speaker, as well as the location where the languages originate from.
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Speak Portuguese
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