Portuguese Language, Picking the Right Variety

Choosing the right variety will make your business stand out!

With over 200 billion speakers, the Portuguese language is recognized as an official language by the European Union, and the Organization of American States. Over the years, and especially during the Age of Exploration when Portugal was trying to colonize new lands, the Portuguese language was spread far and wide. Because of exploration to new lands and because of time, many different dialects of Portuguese have been formed.

Portuguese dialects are variants of Portuguese that have many speakers. These variants do not have enough speakers to be considered their own language. Portuguese has two main groups of variants: European and Brazilian. Differences in these dialects are usually shown in accent and vocabulary, but can include differences in grammar.

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The dialect of Portuguese spoken in Brazil

The dialect of Portuguese spoken in Brazil is divided into northern and southern groups with the northern group putting more stress on vowels. Cultural issues have played a role in preserving the Portuguese dialects spoken in Brazil. People are proud of their language and wish to keep it uninfluenced. The biggest difference between Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese is grammar. The placement and use of certain pronouns is different. They also use a non standard inflection. Some of the names of the different dialects of Portuguese used in Brazil are Caipira, Carioca, Cearense, Baiano, Fluminense, and Espírito Santo.

The dialect of Portuguese spoken in Europe

The dialect of Portuguese known as European or old world is spoken mainly in Portugal itself. The dialects within Portugal can also be divided into two main groups. These are northern dialects, southern and central dialects. Southern and central Portuguese dialects are notable for their preservation of the differences between certain sounds. They are also notable for the particular way they stress certain vowels. The southern and central dialects include the dialect spoken in the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. The northern dialects of Portuguese spoken in Portugal are notable for preserving the pronunciation of certain consonants and for the influence of the Spanish language. The northern dialects include the dialect spoken in the Portuguese city of Porto.

The dialects spoken are more complicated than this, and often include major differences in pronunciation and usage. Most of the time though, variants of a certain language will have subtle differences that allow the speakers of two (2) different dialects to communicate without the need for a translator. Often the written version of the language is also universal with no changes for dialect.

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Portuguese Dialects Worldwide

The Many Portuguese Dialects

Portuguese dialects are different forms of the Portuguese language. Many people throughout the course of history have been spoken these varying types of Portuguese. In spite of their differences, they are not distinct enough from the Portuguese language to be called an official language of their own. The variations among the Portuguese dialects are mainly in the way they sound and how different the formal and informal ways of speaking are.

There are many vocabulary differences between the dialects, but these mostly include words regarding plants, animals, and other local items. Because they are relatively minor words, it does not impact the language that much. There are very few dialects that stray from the official grammar of Portuguese. This causes almost all of the Portuguese language dialects to be understandable by all who speak the language.

European Portuguese Dialects

There are a wide variety of Portuguese dialects stemming from all different countries. One of these is African Portuguese. These dialects are typically closer to those used in Portugal. Yet, in some ways, it is quite similar to Brazilian Portuguese as well. Asian Portuguese dialects are very much alike to the African ones. Because of this, it closely relates them to the dialects of Portugal.

Another main dialect of Portuguese is European Portuguese. The dialects of Portugal can be separated into the southern and central dialects and the northern dialects. The southern and central dialects of Portugal include the dialect of the capital, Lisbon. The northern dialects include the dialect of Porto (Portugal's second largest city).

Used in the region of Galicia, Spain, the Galician language is thought by some to be the dialect of the Portuguese. This dialect is referred to as Galican-Portuguese. Others considered it to be a closely related but altogether different language. The debate regarding whether or not Galician is an official language is very controversial.

South American Portuguese Dialects

Brazilian Portuguese is split into northern and southern groups. Since So Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have so much economic and cultural power, their dialects tend to heavily influence the rest of Brazil. In spite of this, due to the immigration from the northern states to the southern states, the influence is, largely, mutual.

Portuguese is also currently very prominent in Uruguay. Uruguay recently made Portuguese mandatory for students in 6th grade at public schools. In addition to the important role Portuguese plays in Uruguay, there is also a unique Portuguese dialect spoken in the areas between Uruguay and Brazil. This dialect is called Portunhol Riverense and is not to be confused with Portuñol (a mixing of Spanish and Portuguese). It is, instead, a type of Portuguese language created in Uruguay when the first Portuguese immigrants arrived.

 








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