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The Brazilian Language

Updated on July 24, 2015

The Brazilian Language

Bom dia is good morning in Brazilian Portuguese. This wonderfully evocative language is the national language of Brazil and full of rich slang from many local and international sources.

Portuguese settlers have been in Brazil since the 16th century. For two centuries, the Portuguese language was used alongside various native dialects that prevailed in the area at that time. By the end of the 18th century, however, it was well established as the prevalent language of the country.

Much of this shift was due to the large influx of immigrants, and their slaves, who used this language. The influence of the Jesuit priests, who taught the local language, also declined and Portuguese became the common tongue of the country.

Portuguese is one of the most common languages spoken around the world. More than 250 million people use this as their primary language and it has many of the same roots as Spanish.

There are eleven countries where Portuguese is the national language and it is being adopted by more people every day. As these countries rise in economic importance, with Brazil being a prime example of this, being able to communicate in this language is becoming more important. Not only for pleasure while visiting these countries, but also for business.

The language spoken in Brazil has many local idioms added to it. Regional slang and dialects have added many words to the ‘official’ language and the spoken language has a true Brazilian flavor. Similar in the way that English spoken in the United States is related to English spoken in Great Britain.

Learning Portuguese can be done by a variety of methods. One of the most important factors to consider, though, is that the pronunciation of words is different in Portugal and Brazil, even though the written language is the same.

Learning Brazilian Portuguese
Learning Brazilian Portuguese

Online courses are available at both free and paid sites. With the prevalence of Portuguese speakers and the rising importance of Brazil in international trade and economy, finding a tutor or course to learn this language is relatively easy. However you choose to learn it, understand there will be differences in the spoken language depending on where in Brazil you visit.

Although Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, most residents can communicate in English, although convenient for casual tourists, learning the rich and beautiful Brazilian version of Portuguese is a wonderful opportunity to expand your linguistic skills and absorb even more of this fantastic culture.

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    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 2 years ago from Italy

      A short article but robust information on brazilian language. It is interesting to know that they have different pronunciation but same spelling.

    • Danielspages2013 profile image
      Author

      Daniel Baker 2 years ago from João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil

      Yes, Brazilian Portuguese varies slightly in its pronunciation than its European counterpart in that Brazilians place more emphasis on words by opening their mouths more. But, on the upside, it is easier to understand Brazilians than the Portuguese, at least in my experience.

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 2 years ago from Italy

      That is exciting to know. I am curios if how do you compare Portuguese with Spanish.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I have a Portuguese son-in-law and am trying to learn a few words. Fortunately, he shares his language with his young daughter who, obviously, is half-English. I believe it's important for a child to know both parents' languages.

      It would be interesting to know a few phrases and how they differ from one variation to the other.

      Interesting hub.

    • Danielspages2013 profile image
      Author

      Daniel Baker 2 years ago from João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil

      Thanks again for your comment Mark Johann, this is how I would compare Spanish with Portuguese: they both share the same vocab and, in a lot of cases, the same pronunciation, however, they are totally different. But that's about all I am qualified to say in comparison to the two since I hardly know the Spanish language - beyond the fact that I'd hate to offend either of the two.

    • Danielspages2013 profile image
      Author

      Daniel Baker 2 years ago from João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil

      Thank you for your comment Annart. The biggest difference between the two languages, if you're referring to Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese (from Portugal), is pronunciation.

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