Introduction to Brazilian Portuguese

Bem-vindo!  It’s great to have you on-board.  

Whatever your motivation for learning Brazilian Portuguese, you’re in good company. 

With over 214 million inhabitants, Brazil is the world’s sixth most populous country.  A further 4.2 million Brazilians live abroad, including an estimated 220,000 in the UK.  Brazil is by far the world’s largest Portuguese-speaking nation, it’s the largest economy in South America and a cultural powerhouse. 

You may think that you’re new to Brazilian Portuguese, but the reality is that you’ve probably been speaking Brazilian Portuguese words for some time. Samba, bossa nova and capoeira all have origins in Brazil.  Brazilian Portuguese has also borrowed words from the English language, including sanduíche (sandwich) and coquetel (cocktail).

Spoken Brazilian Portuguese differs from European Portuguese in the following ways:

  • European Portuguese is more formal
  • Brazilians pronounce their vowels more
  • Brazilian Portuguese is more receptive to assimilating words from other languages
  • Some words are completely different, for example, bus is autocarro in European Portuguese, but ônibus in Brazilian Portuguese

Despite these differences in the spoken language, there are very few differences between written Brazilian and European Portuguese.

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