Portuguese: the difference between Portugal and Brazil

Even though the two are very similar, it’s important to distinguish between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese.

In technical terms, we treat them as two unique language sets and manage TMs (translation memories) in unique language locales – only working with native speakers by country. It’s important to work through native speakers as native viewers will notice the inherent nuance of the language and recognize non-native (or unnatural) fluency.

The differences are similar to that of US versus UK English. You will find variations in spelling and differences in key terms and phrases. However, the significant difference is in the spoken word as each locale has distinctive accents and diction. We recommend that translations be localized for each market – as opposed to a single “universal” language for Brazil, Europe, and parts of Africa.

Among the main differences between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, these include:

  • Differences between formal and informal speech.
  • Spelling variations:
    • Reception is “receção” in Portugal but “recepção” in Brazil (This applies to words where the letter ‘p’ is audible in Brazil but not Europe.)
    • Media (as in mass media) is “mídia” in Brazil but “media” in Europe
  • Terms that are completely different in both languages (examples below).
    • Trem vs. Comboio (train)
    • Ônibus vs. Autocarro (bus)
    • Geladeira vs. Frigorífico (refrigerator)

Interesting in translating your project into Portuguese? Learn how Foreign Translations can help. Click here or call 1-800-774-5986 today!

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