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Ten facts about Portuguese

Where is Portuguese spoken?

There are eight members in the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (CPLP): Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, The Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and East Timor. It also shares official language status with Mandarin Chinese in Macau, a former Portuguese territory which was handed over to China in 1999.

How hard is it to learn?

If you know Spanish, Italian or French, you’ll notice some similarities with Portuguese. For example, each tense has six different endings. Some sounds can be harder to pronounce, but generally, pronunciation mistakes won’t change what you actually meant!


What you already know about Portuguese

You’ll find many familiar words in Portuguese: televisão, estudante, universidade, mapa, problema and bicicleta. There are also many loan words from Arabic, French and, more recently, English. During the times of Portuguese exploration some words entered the English, such as cobra, flamingo and piranha. More recent imports include the Brazilian  Bossa Nova and the Brazilian cocktail caipirinha. Or try this headline: Brasil vai negociar subsídios à agricultura com União Europeia (Brazil will negotiate agricultural subsidies with the European Union).


The most difficult words or tonguetwisters

O rato roeu a ropa do rei de Roma (The rat gnawed the king of Rome’s clothes). This is arguably the most famous tongue twister.

A aranha arranha a rã. A rã arranha a aranha (The spider scratches the frog. The frog scratches the spider).

Anticonstitucionalissimamente is a long adverb meaning in a very unconstitutional way.

Know any good jokes in Portuguese?

Mother-in-laws, blondes, lawyers or corrupt politicians are often the butt of jokes:

A sogra chega para uma visita surpresa. O genro abre a porta:
"Olà! Não nos vemos há tanto tempo! Quanto vais ficar conosco desta vez?"
A sogra sorri, querendo ser gentil:
"Até vocês se cansarem de mim."
"A sério? Não vais nem tomar um cafezinho?"

(The mother-in-law comes for a surprise visit. The son-in-law opens the door:
"Hi! Long time no see! How long are you staying this time?"
The mother-in-law smiles, trying to be polite:
"Until you get tired of me."
"Really? You’re not even staying for a coffee?")

Joãozinho, Little John, is the most mentioned character in Portuguese jokes:

Tia Lídia pergunta ao Joãozinho:
"O que vais fazer quando for grande como a titia?"
O Joãozinho responde:
"Um regime!"

(Aunt Lidia asks Joãozinho:
"What are you going to do when you are big like Aunty?"
"Go on a diet!" he replies.)


If I learn Portuguese, will it help me with any other languages?

Many words and aspects of Portuguese are shared with all the Romance languages (languages that came from Latin) such as Spanish, Italian and French

Head to the Spanish region of Galicia, on the other side of Portugal’s Northern border, and you’ll also hear galego, which is the closest language to Portuguese and which shares the same origins.

Beware of so-called false friends which can cause confusion. Pretender means "to intend" and not "to pretend" which is fingir.

In a job interview you may be asked: Você pretende se dedicar ao trabalho? (Do you intend to show dedication?). You may feel tempted to answer: não, (no), wrongly assuming the question was about what you pretend rather than intend.


Famous quotations to impress the locals

Se podes olhar, vê. Se podes ver, repara. (If you can look, see. If you can see, notice.)
José Saramago, Nobel Prize in Literature 1998.

Nenhuma ideia brilhante consegue entrar em circulação se não agregando a si qualquer elemento de estupidez . (No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some element of stupidity is mixed in with it.)
Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet and writer, 1888-1935


First publication

Following the fall of the Roman Empire, Portuguese gradually developed into a language in what’s now northern Portugal and the Spanish region of Galicia. The first known documents written in Portuguese appeared in the 12th century. A lender's notice from 1175 is commonly, although not unanimously, quoted as the first Portuguese document.

How to be polite

There are different ways of saying you: tu, for people you can be on first-name terms with, and você, in other cases, although the latter is more widely used in Brazil. In both cases the plural is vocês.

The polite way to address older people and adults you don’t know is senhor (male) or senhora (female).

Men greet other men with a handshake. In informal situations, women meeting men or other women will kiss them on the cheek, although it’s more of a quick touch of the cheeks.

Tanks to:

Entradas populares de este blog

Fechas importantes semestre Enero-Junio 2020

Exámenes de ubicación de inglés
8 de Enero (11:00 a 13:00 y 17:00 a 19:00)
15 de Enero (solo alumnos de nuevo ingreso, 17:00 a 19:00)
22 de Enero (solo alumnos de nuevo ingreso, 17:00 a 19:00)
22 de Mayo (11:00 a 13:00 y 16:00 a 18:00)
26 de Junio (11:00 a 13:00 y 17:00 a 19:00)

Cursos de inglés
Cursos Enero-Mayo 2020
20 de Enero al 15 de Mayo
25 de Enero al 16 de Mayo (sabatinos)
Verano 1: 1 al 22 de Junio
Verano 2: 6 al 27 de Julio

Exámenes de certificación
TOEFL ITP: 31 de Enero y 8 de Mayo
TOEFL IBT: 28 de Febrero y 20 de Marzo
TOEIC: 13 de Marzo
ÖSD: 8 y 9 de Mayo

"Be My Valentine" 2012

El 16 de febrero de 2012, en una breve ceremonia, se entregaron los reconocimientos y premios del concurso de poesía en inglés "Be My Valentine," organizado por la Coordinación de la Licenciatura en Idiomas. En este concurso partciparon alumnos de la Licenciatura en Idiomas, quienes demostraron una magnífica habilidad y una extraordinaria creatividad, ya que los poemas participantes eran de muy alta calidad, y fue muy difícil para el jurado tomar una decisión final.

A continuación, los tres poemas ganadores:

The Poet
(Karla Adriana C.) - Tercer lugar

There lies the poet

with nothing but his mind,

there comes the love,

to take him into the deep seas of his soul

and there comes the women

who will turn his world upside down,

as they sail, through the oceans

of what their love becomes

the bittersweet storm

that we all once swim.

So the poet lies

to himself and to faith

for a taste

of the bittersweet wine of her esence,

and he takes what does not belong to his life

but to the world,

she, the lovely …

Navita Translator: traductor gratuito para BlackBerry

Navita® Traductor es una aplicación gratuita desarrollada por la compañía brasileña Navita® para smartphones BlackBerry®. Sin duda es una herramienta muy útil para aquellos que se dediquen a la traducción, e incluso para cualquiera que esté estudiando algún idioma.

La aplicación integra 52 idiomas y utiliza los traductores de Google y Bing para realizar traducciones muy fiables. Es muy fácil de usar, y además de traducir de un idioma a otro el texto que introduzcamos, en varios de los idiomas con los que trabaja la aplicación, podemos escuchar el audio de la palabra o frase traducida. Sólo hay que seleccionar el idioma de origen y al cuál queremos traducir, introducir el texto, elegir qué herramienta queremos usar (traductor de Google o Bing) y presionar en el botón "Traducir." Si hay audio disponible, aparecerá un icono, el cual podemos presionar para escuchar la frase o palabra traducida.

También podemos usar Navita Traductor para traducir desde un mensaje de texto, un corre…