Test Driving Languages – Portuguese

320px-Flag_of_Brazil.svgBack to the Romance languages this time, I’ve tested Portuguese. I must make a note that the Portuguese offered on Duolingo is Brazilian Portuguese. Why? Well, there are far more Brazilian Portuguese speakers than any other in the world. It’s that simple. However, considering the origin country of the language, I am including the flags of both Brazil and Portugal.

Flag_of_Portugal.svgWith that said, Portuguese is an interesting language, as it’s very similar to Spanish, but has some differences that are tripping me up a bit. We’ll talk about that below.

Eu sou um homem.

— I am a man.

Alphabet

Similar to Spanish, it has many of the same accents, but the letters are all familiar to speakers of most European languages. There are no difficulties here other than learning which words use which accents.

Pronunciation

This threw me off a little bit, because of how the ‘j‘ is pronounced. It’s not like the Spanish, which is pronounced like the English ‘h.’ It’s more like a soft English ‘j.’ Other than that, I had some problems with the course’s recorded voice. It’s quite obviously a computer voice, more so than the other languages. It’s a little distracting. But other than that, the pronunciation seems straightforward, and looks to follow strict rules, like Spanish.

Grammar

What little grammar I’ve seen is very straightforward. Verb conjugations are a bit easier than Spanish, as they use the same conjugations for you, he, she, and it. Also, you (plural) is the same as they. Less to remember! The articles follow similar patterns as other languages, depending on the gender of the noun. However, what gave me trouble was the definite article, “a.” That’s the feminine definite article, which corresponds to “the” in English. That confused me at first, and I accidentally used the indefinite article in English. Oops. That’ll take a little getting used to.

Overall Impression

Similar to Spanish, but it has its differences. I think this should be easy to learn after Spanish, but there may be some confusion and accidental mixing of languages. I can easily see that happening. But it sounds nice. I think it sounds softer than Spanish. I’m looking forward to studying Portuguese!

Have you studied Portuguese? Are you interested in it? Let me know in the comments below.

 

2 thoughts on “Test Driving Languages – Portuguese”

  1. I am of Portuguese descent. Both of my grandparents emigrated here from Madeira, Portugal. My husband and I visited Portugal in 2001 and loved it.

    My parents and grandparents spoke Portuguese all the time but never taught me. I do know a little (un pecuino) sp? Abrigado (thank you). Portuguese has a lovely shushing sound to it which makes it less guttural than Spanish and other languages. Good luck with your lessons. I may do that one day too.

    1. Yeah, I think it has a much nicer sound than Spanish.

      And thanks. It’ll be a while until I get to actually studying Portuguese, but eventually I’ll get there.

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