European and Brazilian Portuguese – differences and similarities

July 21, 2016 9:55 am


European and Brazilian Portuguese present differences when it comes to pronunciation, vocabulary, and terminology. This article is going to focus on phonetic differences.

For instance, the translation of “where is the mouse?” to Portuguese would be “Onde está o rato?” The differences in pronunciation are rather marked. Here are the transcriptions of the same phrase in European and Brazilian Portuguese:

[õdəSta u ʀatu]

[õdista u ʀatu]

As we can see from these transcriptions, the way words are pronounced changes from one variation to the other. Namely, the vowels are more closed in European Portuguese, which is reflected in the way the words “onde está” are uttered in the two variations. Everything else stays the same.

Another example is the phrase “I want to drink coffee”, which translates as “Eu quero beber café” in the Portuguese language.

[ew kɛru bəber kɒfɛ]

[ew kɛru beber kafɛ]

In this second example, we see the same happening with the words “beber” and “café”, while “eu quero” shows no discernible difference.

In conclusion, while both variants can be easily understood by native speakers, European and Brazilian Portuguese are unmistakably distinct when it comes to sounds and pronunciation.

Written by  Joao Almeida

Terminology trainee at TermCoord

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