User talk:Learnportuguese

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Hello, Learnportuguese, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your messages on discussion pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question on this page and then place {{helpme}} before the question. Again, welcome! The Ogre 13:54, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

The best way to keep up with discussions and information about me is to watch both my user page and talk page. I most often reply to discussions on my own talk page. I do occasionally reply on your talk page. But to keep things a little more organized, I tend to keep discussions to my own talk page. Be sure to use the edit summary when posting messages to my talk page. My talk page is a friendly and dynamic place for discussions about many aspects of the beautiful and fascinating Portuguese language. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and start a new discussion, or scroll to the bottom of anyone's comments and post your own comments. I hope you have fun here. :-)

Picture of Learnportugeuese the Wikipedian in 2006.jpg


learning Portuguese[edit]

As a native Portuguese speaker, I'm sure you have made much better changes to articles on the various dialects/accents of Portuguese than I ever will. I am an American female college student wishing to learn both EP and BP so I can do news reporting for radio and Internet radio/podcasting. Is it most effective to learn both versions of Portuguese to be most understood in the whole Portuguese-speaking world? For instance, do you know both EP and BP or just one version?

I've read almost all the articles pertaining to Portuguese language and culture around the world. It's amazing the amount of information Wikipedia holds! learnportuguese 20:55, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Hello. :-)
In my opinion, trying to learn two different dialects of a foreign language at once is bound to do more harm than good. My advice would be to pick one and learn that one well. Later you could get acquainted with other dialects.
Now, which dialect to pick is a difficult and very personal question. My advice is that you start with the variety you like best or, failing that, the one that is likely to be most useful to you. Ask yourself whether you are more likely to work for radio geared towards BP or EP. Exchange ideas with other people who have learned the language. Consider also whether you intend to live abroad in the future, and if so where.
To answer your question, I am from Portugal, and I am fairly familiar with Brazilian Portuguese, at least the varieties of it which are used in the media. Like most Portuguese, I have heard it often on television, mostly because Brazilian soap operas (telenovelas) are popular here. The opposite is not true: most Brazilians have had little exposure to European Portuguese. I would never say, however, that I "know Brazilian Portuguese". I am not a native, and all I've learned about it was from afar, though sometimes by talking to Brazilians through the Internet.
My impression is that of the two varieties of Portuguese, the Brazilian one is the most likely to be understood well throughout the Portuguese-speaking world. On the other hand, the types of Portuguese actually spoken in the African and Asian Portuguese-speaking countries are generally closer to European Portuguese.
I wish you the best of luck with the study of our language (in whichever variety), and if I am around when you have a question just ask in my talk page.
I leave you with a word of caution: although the Internet is an incredibly useful tool, it also contains a great deal of incorrect information. This is particularly true as far as web sites about the Portuguese language are concerned, I'm afraid. Even Wikipedia's articles, to some of which I have contributed substantially, are of uneven quality, and, as any other articles, can suffer inaccurate or misleading edits from well-intentioned but ill-informed editors, or from biased editors with ulterior agendas.
With my warmest regards, FilipeS 22:07, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Why do you think it is Brazilian Portuguese that is most understood throughout the Portuguese-speaking world? learnportuguese 19:58, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Mostly thanks to the popularity of Brazilian soap operas and Brazilian music. FilipeS 22:59, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
How do you know when to say sou or estou? That is so confusing to me. There is ser and estar, which both mean to be. That is the most difficult part of Portuguese for me. I am on a level somewhere between beginner and intermediate. How did you learn English? Your English is very very good. learnportuguese 23:22, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
This is indeed complicated for people that do not have this difference in their native language. I suggest you to create a topic on it so more people can help you there. One way I think you may use to separate this two concepts is to distinguish among "characteristics" and "states". Characteristics should be described with "ser", while states with "estar". For example, in the phrase "I'm Brazilian", being Brazilian is a characteristic of myself (even though we can lose nationalities, it's not something we normally consider) so the translation is "Sou brasileiro". On the other hand, if you say "I'm tired", being tired is a state that may change, so the translation would be "estou cansado". I hope my explanation helped you. --Tiago Rinck Caveden (talk) 17:07, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi. I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, but I've been busy, and had little time for Wikipedia lately. Regarding your latest questions, which fall a little outside of the scope of Wikipedia, I want to ask if you have made your e-mail accessible to other users. Please don't write it here in this public forum, but I think you can make it available to other users in your user profile. I would rather reply to some of your questions by e-mail. It's more private. Regards. FilipeS 14:32, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Gui 20:06, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi. I'm Denis Xavier from Maceió, Brazil. I would like to congratulate you, an US American willing to learn this beautiful language: Portuguese. As we all know, the tendency all around the World is people forgetting to speak their own language to speak an universal English. But this is not why I came here. I dropped by just to say that I totally agree with FilipeS on the opinion that you should think about the future use of your portuguese language skills in order to choose variant one you should focus to learn: BP or EP. But any of these have their own beauties and once you get used to one, the effort to learn the other one will be minimal. I would compare it with a situation I lived myself. I learned English, basically, at an American English school in my hometown. That's why I got used to the american way of speaking the language, in the start. But once I got more used to the language (the difficult part), understanding the british or the australians, for example, wasn't that difficult! I sometimes find it very beautiful the way british say one sentence. Sometimes I think it's the american way that sounds better, in another sentence. What I'm trying to say is that I ended up mixing what I think was the best in both variants and made myself my own 'English', if you will. The truth is I'll never be able to speak English as well as I speak portuguese, even if I spend 10 years in the US or the UK, and I have to deal with that. But that's good, actually. In my opinion this is called The challenge of knowing little and going foward to learn more.

A huge country like Brazil makes it's own language sound differentely in distant regions within oneself. It's like speaking English in New York and Speaking English in Alabama. Even thou people in my city speak the same variant of Portuguese that people in São Paulo or Porto Alegre speak, we differ among ourselves in pronouciation, intonation and even in local words. This should be an extra challenge if you consider BP.Denisxavier (talk) 19:17, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

hi, and thanks[edit]

English is a common second language for everyone in the world - it's basically "learn English or stay at home". The basic is learned at school, and everybody pays for private lessons if possible. Also, I'm working in the IT sector - we need English everywhere. All programming languages need at least basic English. And, frankly, I'm such a nerd - my pleasure is pop culture and, above all, learning everything I can. Needing some help, just call me. wildie · wilđ di¢e · wilł die 19:37, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

blind people in Brasil[edit]

As you're female, "I am blind" would be "Sou cega" in Portuguese. I don't have much contact with blind people, so I have just a general idea about their situation here. I will research first. Bye. wildie · wilđ di¢e · wilł die 14:18, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I am visually impaired and went to Brazil three times. The only city that I found to be accommodating to people with disabilities was Curitiba. Morganfitzp (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

While not being an excellent city for the blind, Rio has some good parts. The best is of course the natives, who are always willing to help guide someone (I've been asked a lot of times, but not sure how easy it would be for foreigners to ask for help). We also have the educational Benjamin Constant Institute, but that's aimed more for people who live in the city I think ;). The council are also starting to change some roads to be a bit more accomodating, but that may take a fair while yet. - ChrisWar666 (talk) 13:58, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Re. Portuguese[edit]

I do speak Portuguese. I have been to both Portugal and Brazil and I can speak both dialects, although I nearly always speak European Portuguese (the dialect spoken in Portugal). Regards, Húsönd 01:12, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, I am a native speaker of English as well (some of my family is English-speaking, so I grew up listening to both English and Portuguese). I'm not from Asia or Africa, but from Portugal itself. It's interesting that you are willing to learn both European and Brazilian Portuguese. They're very different and sometimes I wonder if I should consider Brazilian to be a dialect of Portuguese or a separate language. They may write very similarly, but sound very differently (and even the grammar and structure of the sentences often differ). Many words and expressions are also different. As for the climate, it is different as well. Brazil is a tropical country. As for Portugal, I don't really know how's the climate here anymore. We used to have four seasons but the climate has changed drastically in the last decade. It's like the seasons come at random now. The food is also very different and diverse. I truly hope that you'll soon have the chance to go abroad. Make good choices when you do go! Best regards, Húsönd 02:31, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm not part English part Portuguese. I'm just Portuguese, but happen to be bilingual. :-) Húsönd 02:45, 7 September 2007 (UTC)#

Portuguese is a language, not a dialect. European and Brazilian Portuguese are not dialects. They are two different ways to write and pronounce the same language. Every year there are international conferences about that subject – differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese. Septrya 02:05, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
The difference between the two could be compared to the difference between American and British English. Some words are more common or spelled differently, some grammar is a little different, but the differences are minor for native speakers. In Brazil there's a big difference in the way that things are pronounced from region to region--just like in the U.S. Morganfitzp (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


Actually, the article on the Portuguese language has many excellent samples of the dialects of Portuguese that you would find interesting to compare. I'm not sure if I could do the recording thing... :-/ I have heard Jamaican English before, and if I recall I guess it is similar to other Caribbean English dialects, is it not? Regards, Húsönd 03:43, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

blind people in Portugal[edit]

Hi. It is great that you are learning Portuguese, as it shows you are persistent. Portuguese isn't the easiest language to learn, as you must have already understood. You say in your user page that you think 3 years is the ideal time to spend in a Portuguese-speaking country to learn Portuguese correctly. This may be true in what concerns almost all the language specifications but the pronunciation. In another language, the pronunciation can be close to perfect, but in Portuguese very few foreigners can get the actual accent, even when they have lived many years here. Blind people in Portugal are a bit marginalized, and I wouldn't recommend it as a good place for you to work. Greetings from Portugal, Filipeacaeiro 11:50, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

completely new[edit]

Hi everyone. I've completely revamped my user page and talk page. Be aware that there is no longer a section on my talk page called QUESTION FOR PORTUGUESE SPEAKERS. I have posted questions for ongoing discussion (meaning once the question is answered, that's NOT the end) in my user page. My user page is set up just like a Wikipedia article, with different headlines for each section. This is an easier format for my braille screen to navigate, though visually it may look dull.

A thousand thanks to all the Portuguese speakers who have contributed to my talk page so far. I've learned a lot already. !!

I will continuously update my user page and talk page. This means that sections or questions that were there may be deleted the next day. A good way to keep up with these ongoing changes is to put a watch on both my user page and my talk page.

IMPORTANT: When posting messages to my talk page, always be sure you have viewed the most recent version of my user page. (My talk page may also contain useful messages by other Wikipedians.)

HAVE FUN! learnportuguese 15:17, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

No, I haven't gone and totally revamped my talk page this time, but I have made some major changes. The discussions that I think are particularly important I have put their titles into bold type. Also I see that users are now using section editing to add comments. This is great. It makes it easier to find your messages and also is logged in the history. learnportuguese (talk) 15:44, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

your user page's questions[edit]

  • How do you pronounce r?

The two main pronunciations are like the h and r in Harry. The h sound, maybe stronger, is used for initial r (rápido is almost happy + do in a single word), for double r (carro), and after vowels before consonants (arma, very like to "arm"). Between vowels, it's like your r. Caro is almost like your care.

I disagree about the last "type" of R (single, between vowels). If you're comparing with American English, you'll only hear people speaking "caro" as "care" in regions where the caipira accent is very very strong (I have this accent myself and I don't speak like that). I don't think this sound can be compared with the American English R, but I've heard many Indians speaking with this R sound, so I guess you can associate it with the Indian English R. In American English, sometimes I hear they pronouncing the T in a way similar to that, for example in the words "better" or "water".
About the terminal R (in the end of words or before consonants), it's a mess. :-) You may speak it the way you want, basically. I guess the most "neutral" accent would be to make it like in Spanish (touching the upper part of your mouth with your tongue). I speak it quite like the English R (because as I said I have the caipira accent). Cariocas speak it somehow like the French R... so, you may pick yours. :-P --Tiago Rinck Caveden (talk) 14:07, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Is s always pronounced like the sound in shell?

S is pronounced mainly like sea, not shell. Sometimes it is more like rise.

  • What do you say to someone when he/she is crying? I know it starts with qual. It would be equivalent to "what's wrong?".

"Qual o problema?" is very near "what's wrong?" in meaning and usage, but a direct translation would be "what's the problem?". Other option: "que foi?" ("what happened?)

  • How do you say that you miss your home country or your family and friends?

Two ways to say this: "Sinto falta de meu país/minha família e amigos.", or using "saudade" instead of "falta" for a more intense feeling. See Wikipedia's saudade article for this beautiful Portuguese word.

Words used:

  • Rápido = quick, swift, hurry
  • Carro = car, automobile
  • Caro = expensive
  • Arma = weapon, gun Wildie (talkcontribs) 16:27, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
  • How do you pronounce r? / Is s always pronounced like the sound in shell?

Here in Brazil, the way you pronounce R and S usually tells where you're from. It's one of the most complicated things about Portuguese pronunciation.

R may have at least 5 different phonetical values:

1. Like hat, but usually harder, just as described by Wildie.

E.g.: rápido, carro, porque

2. Like Spanish porque, especially before vowels.

E.g.: caro, porque

3. Like far, but usually faster, again just as described by Wildie.

E.g.: porque

4. Like Spanish arriba (this one is becoming rare)

E.g.: rápido, carro

5. When pronouncing the infinitive form of a verb, the final R is usually dropped.

E.g. viver

As you can see, "porque" may be pronounced in at least three different ways, depending on the accent.

Before vowels, S is almost always pronounced exactly the same way as it is in English. Otherwise, it may or may not be the same as in English. In Carioca and some Nordestino accents, for example, it is pronounced like shell or pleasure (E.g.: mais).

So if you don't master all those regional features, don't worry. They are too many, even for us Brazilians, to learn.

Vocabulary: viver = to live; mais = more, plus Eumedemito 02:18, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

regional pronunciations (dialects?) in Brazil[edit]

Most people in Brazil speak a fairly standard Portuguese. The thickness of the regional accent tells how schooled a person is. Except for some people, like Ariano Suassuna or myself, who are proud to speak regional, most people may try not to because some associate it with a lack of general culture, backwardness. However, you can still easily notice the different accents in slight pronunciation differences.

People from the southern states tend to pronounce a thicker r in final positions (3 and 5 in Eumedemito's post). Southern pronunciation is also in a higher pitch, sometimes faster. In Rio and surroundings people speak slower, drop the final r (or soften it really very much), and tend to speak at lower pitch, usually replacing the final s with its palatal counterpart. As you progress towards the Northeast, pronunciation seems to become more melodic, with intense variations of pitch, pace, and emphasis. Northeasterners drop the final r AND palatalize the final s ("shell" instead of "sell"). In Minas Gerais, the heartland of Brazil, people tend to have a thick accent, difficult for foreigners to understand. We drop both final r and s (this latter not always), use variation of pitch, and make strong use of liaison.

I always wanted to explain this to someone! jggouvea (talk) 23:39, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

How about São Paulo? learnportuguese (talk) 13:57, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
People from São Paulo are always arguing with people from Minas Gerais about how to pronounce words like "porta" where there's an "r" before another consonant. In São Paulo the "r" is slightly trilled while in Minas it's aspirated. In many rural areas it's a hard "r" and almost sounds like how an American would pronounce it: "poor-ta." Morganfitzp (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
It's incredible how every region differs from another, in a diversity of ways. I live in the southern Brazil (Caxias do Sul, near Porto Alegre). In my city we talk a lot like paulistas (from São Paulo), but not quite. In the surrounding areas, we have people who are descendants of italians and germans, and they talk with strong accents. Nearby, in POA (Porto Alegre), it is all different! They talk really fast and, as we say, "singing". So, it has a lot of variations. I think that european portuguese vary a lot less, but I'm not quite shure. Oh, and I have to differ with jggouvea, off course: the heart of Brazil is the RS! (Rio Grande do Sul = Big River from the South). LOL Khullah (talk) 02:54, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Adding to Khullah's comment on European Portuguese, there is a lot more of variation in the speech than one would think for a smaller country. I believe the accents differ between the north and the south, and then the islands (the Açores and Madeira Islands) have completely different speech as well. learnportuguese (talk) 22:46, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


Claro. This is a very confusing expression for me to understand. I used an online translator, and it came out with the meaning CLEARLY. That doesn't sound right though. Is CLARO the same as É VERDADE? learnportuguese 00:11, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Hi. Claro is a very tricky word indeed for learners and foreigners to get used to. It may not be directly translated as "É verdade". It is mainly used when, in a dialogue, the other person is telling you something he/she did and then you agree with what he/she said. I'll give an example because it is really tricky.

OK, there's this man and he says something like "The dog attacked me, so I tried to knock it down with a stick.". And you say "Claro", demonstrating that you agree with the solution the man found to his problem.

I hope you have understood this. Maybe one of the other Portuguese users can give you more satisfying help. Filipeacaeiro 19:22, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Could claro be understood as an English equivalent for OK, or is this an exclusively Portuguese concept? I'm sure this differs between Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. É verdade? (It's true?) learnportuguese 20:24, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't think "claro" is an exclusively Portuguese concept. When used as a separate expression, you can think of it as "of course" or "sure". Eumedemito 02:17, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

You can also understand CLARO as 'it's obvious'. For example: Will you buy your boyfriend a gift for valentine's day? Answer: É claro! Denisxavier (talk) 19:38, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

É verdade.[edit]

Do Portuguese speakers use "É verdade" a lot? I seem to hear this phrase a lot in the media, as both a question and a declaration. Is this more a formal way of asking/answering a question in an interview, or is this also used in everyday conversation? "É verdade", as a question or an answer, means "It's true", right? learnportuguese 00:54, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

"É verdade" is used in two different circumstances. It means "it is true" indeed, but colloquially it often means "by the way", especially if used at the beginning of a sentence. Example: É verdade, telefonaste à tua irmã? (By the way, did you call your sister?) Regards, Húsönd 11:07, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Any doubts on vocabulary or if you want to learn a phrase, just ask! By the way, I think Évora would be an interesting place to visit in Portugal. It is actually a World Heritage Site. Filipeacaeiro 18:11, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Please note that "é verdade" used as "by the way" is more of a European usage, since I never, ever, saw a Brazillian use this expression like that. One of the Brazillian uses would be in a situation like when a teacher shows an error in a student's test and the student, realizing the error, replies "é verdade...", or just "verdade...". That would be translated as "I see...". Davi Medrade (talk) 20:51, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

radio podcasts in Portuguese[edit]

If you want to listen to radio podcasts in Portuguese there's this site [[1]] with podcasts from TSF radio shows in European Portuguese. Filipeacaeiro 18:19, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

The live broadcast is here: there is a dial in forum at 10:00GMT and at 14:00GMT there is a show called "mais cedo ou mais tarde" (sooner or later) about "other people that should be in the news" professors, researchers and artists later, at 19:15GMT, "pessoal e transmissivel" (personal and broadcastable) is also an interview show in a Larry ging style. The english speaker's interviews should be interesting to you, because the English audio is preserved along with the questions in portuguese and the translation of the answers. The show's title is a word play on the advice printed on the back of credit cards "pessoal e intransmissivel" (for you use only), thus rendering it "public usage allowed" or "up close and public" Galf (talk) 11:21, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

up for discussion[edit]

For all users watching my talk page (and user page)--including The Ogre, Husond, FilipeS, Wildie, and Filipeacaeiro--how difficult is it for Portuguese speakers to understand one another? Anyone can join in this discussion. There are many others that have been started on my talk page, and some more on my user page. Keep watching for continuous updates!

IMPORTANT: Please do not edit my user page. There are several questions that are easily transferrable to my talk page, but they are posted on my user page for general viewing. The questions that can be continuously discussed start on my user page, unless I specifically put them on my talk page. My talk page is an open forum for any questions related to Portuguese language. Have fun my fellow Wikipedians! :) learnportuguese 23:54, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Portuguese speakers understand one another effortlessly, just like you understand English speakers. Brazilian speakers may, however, find it a bit difficult to understand European Portuguese in their first contacts with the dialect, but they'll get used to it fairly quickly. The only Portuguese dialect that I find difficult to understand sometimes is the one spoken in some of the Azores, especially if spoken very fast. Húsönd 14:09, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Here's a sample of Azorean [[2]]. They pronounce the vowels differently, especially the u. The tone is also different. Húsönd 14:19, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Maybe I shouldn't listen to Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese at the same time. I think I'm getting confused. I need to learn European Portuguese first, THEN work on switching my accent over. Not that I don't like Brazilians. I just think the way I'll take my life, I'll end up in Portugal first. :-) Boa tarde para todos. learnportuguese 20:40, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Olá para todos. (Hello everyone.) On Husond's comment, I'm not sure if I effortlessly understand English speakers, SOME English speakers. There's a guy at my college from New Zealand. I feel like such a dork because he only speaks English (like me thus far), and I'm always saying "Sorry? Tell me again." It's crazy, but I'm not good with understanding someone's accent; I've never been good at it. So it will be interesting once I master European Portuguese how well I will understand Brazilian Portuguese. But I shouldn't think that far in the future yet; I'll get myself into a mindrace (where thoughts keep piling up). :-) Boa noite. learnportuguese 01:19, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Portuguese speakers/Évora[edit]

I wasn't sure how to reply directly on your question, so I'll reply this way. As any language, Portuguese has its own dialects that vary from region to region. In my region, for instance, people are often said to sing when they speak, due to our own dialect. It is widely accepted that the best Portuguese is the dialect spoken in the region of Coimbra. I sometimes find it very difficult to understand people from the Azores or Madeira Islands because their dialects are very tricky, the pronunciation in some vowels and the speed makes them very difficult (at least for me) to understand. About Évora, there are many things to see. The ruins of a Roman temple, right next to it there's a cathedral that is a hybrid between Romanesque and Gothic architecture, a chapel whose walls are covered with skulls and human bones, etc. I think it is worth a visit. Filipeacaeiro 22:12, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Olá Filipeacaeiro. What is this region where the dialect sounds like people are singing? I've never heard a description like that. :-) It sounds interesting. learnportuguese 01:19, 3 November 2007 (UTC)


What is Romanesque and Gothic architecture? Since I'm blind (sou cega), I have no idea what these are. learnportuguese 23:07, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Romanesque architecture is the style churches were built around 800-1100 and it consists of churches with thick walls and very dark interiors. Gothic architecture consists of churches with high pinnacles and colored windows, with lots of details in the façades. Architecture is not my best, but try to search the web to get more information. Regards,
Filipeacaeiro 16:19, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


I thought the dialect of the Madeira Islands was hard to understand. Not that I understand much anyway. Just the cognate words like internacionais, condicional, exatamente, etc. I also thought the dialect of the Algarve region was significantly different from the rest. I personally don't think there is a BEST Portuguese to speak, whether or not people think it is from Coimbra or Lisboa or Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. But that's just me. learnportuguese 12:24, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Hi, don't know if you still use this page or not, but here it goes: I'm portuguese, born and raised in Algarve. As for the portuguese spoken on Madeira, to be honest, it is a little hard to understand, even for the others portugueses, who speak the language, so don't worry about that. ;) As for the one spoken in Algarve, it depends from the region (east: pt:Sotavento Algarvio, west: pt:Barlavento Algarvio), but in general, the Algarve people don't say the very last word, like in -carro- (car), we would say -carr-, without the -o-. Cheat.2.Win —Preceding undated comment was added at 01:46, 4 November 2008 (UTC).

Waldir's reply[edit]

Hello, Learnportuguese! Thanks for your message. I'm glad you're interested in the Portuguese language. I promise to help you every time you need it if it is in my reach. Now, answering your question, I don't think all Portuguese speakers can also speak English, :) but as a widely accepted international language, many of us do indeed speak it, and some of us fairly well. But I don't think the ratio is bigger than in other countries. Feel free to ask for help whenever you need it. :) cheers,
Waldir 22:55, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, I supposed you already knew where I am from. You said it yourself in the last message you sent me: Cape Verde. I learned English in classes I took out of school (though we also learn English at school in Cape Verde). I love the language, so I kept learning it by talking to people online, learning song lyrics, and watching movies... I'm improving all the time. English is not a perfect language and there are many complicated things I wish could be simpler, and the same happens with Portuguese. These languages are not prone to be liked by many people, but I guess English happens to gain some charisma because it appears in mainstream movies and media, becoming day after day part of the global culture. The same doesn't happen with Portuguese, and that's why not many people show interest in learning it. That's my opinion at least. Waldir 13:17, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi Learnportuguese. First of all, let me ask you not to add comments in my talk page without a section title. Otherwise they stay in the previous section. I have now a section called "conversation with learnportuguese". Try to write there from now on, ok? :)

Secondly, replying to your questions: I suppose you want to say that you can't talk Portuguese very well yet? In that case, you can say "Ainda estou a aprender o Português" (I'm still learning Portuguese), or "Ainda não sei falar muito bem o Português" (I still can't speak Portuguese very well). If that was not what you were asking, I apologize. I still can't speak English as well as I'd like to, too! :D

You already know, I suppose, that "why" is "porquê", and "because" is "porque". I can't tell you very clearly why it is like that, and how to easily remember which one is which, but I would suggest you to take a look at the discussion groups listed here: [[3]], especially this one: [[4]]. Try asking these questions there. I'm sure they'll be able to help you out. ;) Waldir 19:40, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Hey, Learnportuguese! Long time no see! =P
Thanks for your message, but the fact is I have been busy with some projects in the Portuguese Wikipedia, and school stuff too, so I haven't been able to follow discussions on your talk page. But if you need my opinion on any topic, just tell me, I'll gladly comment if I can find some time :)
Happy New Year! Waldir talk 14:03, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

new question for ongoing discussion[edit]

Would you say that Portuguese is more difficult or easier than English to learn as a second language? If so, why? If not, why not? (See other ongoing discussion questions above.) Any user is welcome to start posting answers beneath. [User:Learnportuguese|learnportuguese]] 14:47, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

I'd say neither is harder. I don't know really. But perhaps English is harder to pronounce for many people. I still find many words tricky... Waldir 15:05, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

I think Portuguese should be harder, because of grammatical inflections, gender, etc. but, since it is my native language, I don't know. JonatasM (talk) 03:03, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Cabo Verde and São Tomé e Príncipe[edit]

Since these islands are in Africa, are they tropical? If anyone's been to these islands, tell me all about it!! :) :) learnportuguese 16:18, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

They're tropical, yes. I've never been there, but I have relatives who have. The weather is hot; the vegetation is luxuriant. Lots of palm trees. Húsönd 17:39, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I am Cape Verdean. I've visited several of the islands, and I can tell you that nearly each one of them has its own characteristics. My island, Sal, and the two others from the same geological group, Boavista and Maio, are very flat and dry and have lots of sand (most of it from the Sahara Desert). They're the oldest islands, and that's one of the reasons they are so flat (because of the erosion). Then there's Santo Antão, São Nicolau, and Santiago, which are much more recent (geologically speaking) islands, with a lot of mountains, and therefore more rain, and more vegetation. Santo Antão is particularly green, some places look like a tropical forest; but in that island there are also plants from other latitudes (for example, there is the only eucalyptus forest of that latitude--or something like that, I'm not sure). There's São Vicente, which is somewhat mountainous but much drier than the previous 3 islands. Then there's Fogo, which has a volcano taking over almost the whole island, and then Brava, very small, very green, very beautiful I heard. Santa Lusia, the unhabbited one, is one of the smallest and doesn't have much to see. Nowadays it is a natural reserve for endemic species of birds and lizards. Waldir 19:26, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Are Cabo Verde and São Tomé e Príncipe near each other? learnportuguese (talk) 18:32, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

incorrect Portuguese vocabulary[edit]

Hello. I corrected some minor mistakes I found in those Portuguese sentences on your user page. By the way, I noticed that most of those sentences are written in Brazilian Portuguese. A European Portuguese speaker would make several changes, especially insertion of articles that Brazilians often disregard. Húsönd 17:36, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese have so many differences that even I haven't decided whether to consider them dialects of the same language or different languages. They sound very differently, and also have many lexical and grammatical differences. They write similarly, yet orthographic differences occur quite frequently. Brazilians also tend to simplify the language, as by suppressing articles and verbal forms that a European Portuguese speaker would use. Here are the differences between the Brazilian sentences you have on your user page and the ones I'd use as a European Portuguese speaker:
  • Você fala Inglês -> Falas inglês?
  • Sou Americana. / Sou cega. --> Eu sou americana. / Eu sou cega.
  • Qual é seu nome? --> Qual é o teu nome?
  • Meu nome é Roberta. --> O meu nome é Roberta.
  • Qual o problema? / Que foi? --> Qual é o problema? / O que foi?
  • Sinto falta de meu país, minha família, e meus amigos. --> Sinto falta dos meus pais, da minha família, e dos meus amigos.
  • Qual é a sua opinião? --> Qual é a tua opinião?

Regards, Húsönd 22:12, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I wasn't offended in any manner. I am puzzled that you got that impression. Neither do I think that European Portuguese is superior to Brazilian Portuguese in any manner. I am fully aware of language evolution and that every single language on Earth serves its purpose perfectly. By the way, it is true that addressing one in the third person (as in the examples you provided: sua, fala) is considered formal usage of the Portuguese language in Portugal (in Brazil this usage is both formal and informal). You should thus use those words when addressing people you don't know in Portugal (it's considered impolite to use the personal pronoun tu and the associated verbal forms unless you are talking to children or people you are friends with). Likewise, addressing people with the word você is also rude. You must use the associated verbal forms of você, but refrain from saying that very word. Regards, Húsönd 00:31, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi! I'm Portuguese and this is how I would write those sentences:
  • Você fala Inglês -> Falas inglês?
  • Sou Americana. / Sou cega. --> Sou americana. / Sou cega.
  • Qual é seu nome? --> Como é que te chamas?
  • Meu nome é Roberta. --> Chamo-me Roberta. (O meu nome é Roberta. is less usual.)
  • Qual o problema? / Que foi? --> Qual é que é o problema? / O que é que foi? (In oral EP, we almost always insert "é que" in wh-questions.)
  • Qual é a sua opinião? --> Qual é a tua opinião? (This is a case where we might suppress "é que".) Velho 23:22, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

And here comes the Brazilian!

First off, have always in mind that the language we speak here is considerably different from the one we write (some linguists go as far as saying they are indeed two distinct languages with different historical origins). Besides that, as Brazil is a huge country, you'll always find a zillion minor differences in spoken language from region to region (although, in general, they're not an obstacle to mutual understanding). Having that in mind, it's also useful to know that the dialects spoken in the Southeast (Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo and, especially, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) are the ones most influential today.

Now here's how I would speak/write some of those phrases from your vocabulary section (remember that I'm from the São Paulo state countryside):

  • [spoken phrases] // [written phrases]
  • 'm dia! // Bom dia! (I wouldn't say Muito bom dia!. Sounds too polite. It would probably be understood as a joke.)
  • Boa noite! (By the way, it also means Good night.)
  • 'cê fala inglês? // Você fala inglês?
  • P'favor. // Por favor.
  • (Eu) acho que sim. (Eu) acho que não. (Eu) acho que... // Acredito que sim. Acredito que não. Acredito que... (Pensar is not a common choice when expressing opinions.)
  • Sim. É. Isso. // Sim. Exatamente. Correto. (Yes, Exactly, Right)
  • Né? // Não é? (generic question tag)
  • Oi! // Olá! (Olá is not common in spoken language)
  • Verdade? É mesmo? // É verdade? (Is it true?, Really?)
  • Qual seu nome? Como 'cê chama? // Qual é (o) seu nome? Como você se chama?
  • (O) meu nome é Zé. Eu chamo Zé. // Meu nome é José. Me chamo José.
  • Entendo. // Compreendo. (I see.)
  • 'tendi. // Entendi. (Got it., I understand.)
  • De onde 'cê é? // De onde você é?
  • Sou da África. Sou da Ásia. Sou do Brasil. Sou de São Paulo. Sou de Portugal. (Unfortunately, there's no rule to define the gender of a place name.)

Some of the simplifications present in spoken language in the examples above are specific to a phrase; some are just common features.

O senhor/A senhora can always replace você. Context defines which one is best.

Eu is frequently dropped in the beginning of a sentence. In the middle, it's usually kept. The same happens with other particles. (Just as happens with phonemes inside words, unstressed words tend to disappear when spoken.)

Excessive use of particles such as o and eu is considered as a mark of colloquial language. We learn in school to avoid them as much as possible when writing.

Beginning a sentence with an oblique pronoun is still considered wrong (like in Me chamo José.), but this rule may change in the near future. Eumedemito 01:24, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

As regarding to your "more vocabulary" section, I have only one observation to make. Estou ainda a aprender o Português would never be heard over here, and is unlikely to be seen on paper. Gerund in Brazilian Portuguese is formed by [verb stem]+[vowel]+ndo. That vowel is either a, e or i, depending on the verb. So, instead of a aprender, the Brazilian form would be aprendendo. Eumedemito 01:49, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

email is enabled[edit]

Just so everyone knows, I have enabled email reception for my user profile. I've tried to keep as many modes of communication open as possible. If you don't want to put something on my talk page, you can always email me. HAVE FUN! :) learnportuguese 01:02, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm not being able to contact you on that address, even through Wikipedia. If it's just me, well, then I'm unlucky. If not, maybe it could be a good idea to create an account at Eumedemito 03:22, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

pronouncing Portuguese[edit]

I do not understand your request. What do you exactly mean by "How would you say that you're very particular about pronouncing Portuguese? I'll need to know that so people don't think I'm trying to make fun of them"? Húsönd 15:19, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that people tend to find one disrespectful for attempting to speak their language. In Portugal, if you try to speak Portuguese with the locals, they'll be surprised and pleased even if your Portuguese isn't perfect, because it'll show them that you are trying to learn their language rather than relying on their eventual ability to understand English. So don't worry. And I guess it's the same everywhere: no matter how poorly you speak a foreign language, its native speakers will still be happy and proud because at least you're trying to learn it (unlike most people who won't bother). regards, Húsönd 16:12, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
It's easy to see the difference. Porque (why) will usually appear at the beginning of a sentence that'll be marked with a question mark at the end. In European Portuguese, we often ask "Porque é que...?" instead of just "Porque...?". Porque (because) will appear in the answer to the question, with a declarative tone. By the way, the one-word sentence "Why?" would be "Porquê?" in Portuguese. When standing alone, the stress of the word "porque" will change to its last syllable. Húsönd 16:32, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Correct. We literally ask "why is that...?". :-) Regards, Húsönd 17:53, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
How would you say that you're very particular about pronouncing Portuguese? I'll need to know that so people don't think I'm trying to make fun of them. learnportuguese 14:32, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
You might say something like Sou exigente com a minha pronúncia do Português, literally "I'm demanding with my pronunciation of Portuguese", but I wouldn't be if I were you. Pronunciation is usually a difficult part of a language to get completely right, and it's also something that you can refine along the way. FilipeS 17:50, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
One thing I find really hard to master in Portuguese is how to write the words why and because. I know they are almost the same. Is there a way I can remember to tell them apart? learnportuguese 16:25, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
That's not surprising. You see, even native speakers can't reach an agreement on how they should be spelled, and then there are regional variations in how the words are pronounced (between Portugal and Brazil, mostly). :-)

So let's be pragmatic. "Why" can be spelled porque (Portugal), porquê (Portugal), por que (Portugal and Brazil), or por quê (Brazil). The Brazilian rules are perhaps the simplest: use por quê at the end of sentences, and use por que everywhere else.

I must tell you, though, that in my opinion the talk pages of Wikipedia are not the right place for learning a language. I have tried to send you other suggestions by e-mail, but it didn't get through. I will try again when I have the time, but that may take a while.

Regards. FilipeS 17:50, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I think Filipe is right. One very good website is [[5]]. They have users from all over the world and they arrange local meetings from time to time. If you still want a personal space for language discussion, I think you should create a forum, as a Wikipedia page like this can get really huge and messy over time. Perhaps a blog could also be useful. Eumedemito 01:37, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

special characters in Portuguese[edit]

á â ã à ç é ê í ó ô õ ú

To all Portuguese speakers, how do you know when to use these characters? Do they represent different pronunciations, or do they just represent where to stress a syllable (á é í ó ú are used in Spanish for syllable stress only, not different pronunciations). learnportuguese 18:18, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Stress is a different pronunciation, isn't it? :-)

Most of the time, those diacritics have to do with pronunciation (if one includes stress in pronunciation). In some cases, they are a matter of convention. I suggest you take a look at Portuguese alphabet and Orthography of Portuguese. FilipeS 19:14, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

In European Portuguese, every use of diacritics has to do with pronunciation (although they're also all a matter of convention. I guess I can teach you a few good rules on diacritics from the European Portuguese point of view. Let me write two of them just for today:
  1. The acute accent (´) always marks the stressed vowel.
  2. The acute accent doesn't change the sound of u or i. It always "opens" the sounds of:
    o - like English "aw" in "law", instead of "o" in "old" or "oo" in "too";
    a - like English "a" in "father", and not like the second "a" in "drama";
    e - like English "e" in "bed"; the other two sounds of "e" do not exist in English, but they exist, for instance, in French: in Portuguese, "é" is never read like "é" in most French words nor like "e" in French "de". Velho 23:37, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
In at least one situation they are a matter of convention: differential accents. --Cotoco 19:49, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Learnportuguese: in response to your question, there are some word pairs (or, I suppose, sometimes more than two words at a time) that are otherwise written the same way (homonyms) where at least one of the words will take an accent and another won't, or, I suppose, will take a different accent (e.g., acute vs. circumflex) in order to differentiate the two, in writing. Some examples are the words "para" (preposition, "to" or "for") and "pára" (verb, imperative, "stop!"), por (preposition, "for" or "by") and "pôr" (verb, infinitive, "to put"). Both words in each pair are pronounced the same way. Also, and I'm not sure if this is "officially" labeled as a case of differential accenting, but some verbs follow this pattern that I'll illustrate with the verb "manter" ("to maintain"): ele mantém (he maintains), eles mantêm (they maintain). The pronunciation is the same, but one takes the acute accent and the other the circumflex. Hope this helps. --Cotoco 06:18, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
As no one mentioned the c-cedilha (ç), here it goes. The letter ç is considered as a variation of the letter c, and, I guess, exists only for historical reasons (as you'll notice soon, if you haven't already, Spanish -ción is the same thing as Portuguese -ção). It sounds just like a ss. It never comes before e or i (as c already sounds like a double s before them), and is never found at the beginning of a word. And the letter à (a com acento grave or, more commonly, a com crase) is mostly used to represent the combination of the preposition a + the article a (masculine form would be ao). Eumedemito (talk) 14:42, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
These special symbols still confuse me. I even read the articles on Portuguese orthography and the Portuguese alphabet, and I suppose I'll need a breakdown of where and when each symbol is and is not used. Mais uma vez, para todos, obrigada pela sua ajuda. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 21:09, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
In addition to á â ã à ç é ê í ó ô õ ú, I noticed that Portuguese uses - in the middle of words. When do you use -? learnportuguese (talk) 03:11, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
The dash is used pretty much like in english, to connect two words into one. Meia-hora, half an hour, is just an example. I'm guessing that you use some sort of reader software that has trouble decoding the portuguese sounds and tell apart the letters with diacritics. Galf (talk) 11:34, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
There are two main cases I remember where the dash (called "hífen" in portuguese) is used: when a word is composed of multiple words, such as in "guarda-chuva" (umbrella). On this case, there is not a rule for when to use it: it used because this is the ortography of the word (some composed words have hifen, some of them don't have hifen). The other case is on some usages of personal pronouns ("pronomes pessoais oblíquos") (such as "me", "te", "se", "nos") after verbs, such as in "lavar-se" (to wash himself). On this case, there are specific rules, but I don't know them precisely. --Eduardo Habkost (talk) 16:46, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I think I am starting to understand where - is used: in forms like dei-te or contacte-nos. learnportuguese (talk) 00:52, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

going abroad: an ongoing discussion[edit]

Is it a little scary going to a foreign country? I would imagine initially you would feel a little out of your comfort zone 'cause you'd have to wake up and say Bom dia. You can't think Good morning anymore. You'd have to think, read, speak, write, and listen entirely in Portuguese. I tried really hard to imagine what it would be like if I were to land in a Portuguese-speaking place tomorrow. I know some very basic vocabulary (and I mean VERY BASIC). :) But I do not know enough to understand and interact and survive. How would I know how to ask for things, especially eating and drinking? I literally need food and drink! :) Since I'm also blind, do you think it would be harder for me to adjust to my new environment? Many people learn a language by watching facial expressions, pointing to objects, and other visual actions. How do you think I'll learn about the world around me? I guess I'd have to ask many many questions. People would have to narrate a lot for me, be very detailed and descriptive. I keep telling myself that I CAN do it (get near-fluent in Portuguese) if I set my mind to it. I think that to learn Portuguese, I must immerse myself in the language, which of course entails going to a Portuguese-speaking place someday. I'm told that the younger you are the easier it is to pick up a language functionally (that is, not from a textbook). :) learnportuguese 01:15, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, if you can travel to a Portuguese-speaking country, you are so lucky... but you already realized that Portuguese is a quite complicated language. If you don't feel prepared to live in a foreign country, maybe you should learn a little more before traveling. Which country would you like to travel to? Tell me it's Brazil. :) // Matheus Wahl //, 13:37, Wed 03.10.2007.
It depends on the foreign country, but you don't have to be scared. I believe that you err in your notion of language usage when going abroad. You don't have to switch to Portuguese simply because you're e.g. in Portugal. You can keep using your English. Most people will understand or go find somebody who will. Húsönd 16:43, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
If Portuguese is a complicated language, I'm sure English is harder. English is spelled so inconsistently. At least Portuguese has consistent spelling. I think Portuguese may have harder pronunciation (perhaps more sounds than English), but I do not want to make that a fact because I don't want to be biased as an English speaker. I think there are three ways each to pronounce r and s depending on country, region, or city.
I think english is hard to speak if you only learned to read and write it, and hard to write if you first learned how to listen and speak it (because, as you said, spelling is inconsistent). But I think it is not so hard to speak. I think learning to write and read portuguese after learning how to speak it is easier because spelling is more consistent. But learning how to speak and understand portuguese looks harder to me because of some grammar rules and more complicated verb conjugation. --Eduardo Habkost (talk) 12:42, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

My philosophy is that if I come to your country and you speak Portuguese I should speak Portuguese, or at least try. I personally think Americans are rude (not everyone of course but we are ruder than many other cultures). learnportuguese 23:31, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I think maybe I need to reword what I said in the top of this section. I think I have four basic things that I think about when going abroad:
  • having a pickup at my destination airport
  • asking for help (directions, sort-of knowing the language)
  • getting ill in-country
  • changing time zones learnportuguese (talk) 00:59, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

my name[edit]

Would I have a different name if I travel to the Portuguese-speaking world? Since my first name is Beth, I don't think that exists in Portuguese. There is no sound for th in Portuguese, right? I WOULD say Meu nome é Beth when I introduce myself, right? learnportuguese 21:27, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Beth is a common name in Brazil (i.e., the singer Beth Carvalho). Anyway, few people change their names to travel to other countries. I wouldn't change my name to Matthew just because both have the same meaning. // Matheus Wahl //, 13:16, Fri 05.10.2007.
Beth in Brazil is spoken as "batch" (consider "a" as the "a" spoken in "Matthew"). // Matheus Wahl //, 13:26, Fri 05.10.2007.
Oh! Maybe people misunderstood when I posted my message about my name. I didn't mean to literally go and change my name permanently. I just meant I might change how I call myself (pronunciationwise) when I go to the Portuguese-speaking world. learnportuguese 02:33, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I think you should keep the English pronunciation of your name. Most people will get it just right. But if a Portuguese speaker finds it difficult to pronounce (due to the "th" sound that doesn't exist in Portuguese), he/she'll certainly come up with a variation sounding somewhat similarly (probably Bett, Bess, or Beff). Again, don't worry. Húsönd 14:33, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Beth, as an abbreviation of Elizabeth, means "Isabel". Marco Alfarrobinha {chat}contributions 04:50, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Ah, Isabel is a pretty name. I like it very much. learnportuguese (talk) 03:17, 28 January 2008 (UTC)


I don't know why, but my favorite Portuguese name is Miguel. I think it's a wonderful name. learnportuguese 20:50, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Not that it's useful information, but it happens to be my father's name, and you would be impressed with the amout of people to find it ugly or, at least, only for old people (most children here in Brazil would find it a 'funny' name to a school colleague). Davi Medrade (talk) 21:06, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I think children normally find names that are common for older people but not common for younger people funny. Names for children become more popular among parents during some periods and less popular later. A few decades later, and the name will be more common for older people and it will become associated to old people. This probably happens with almost every name after a few years. I know lots of people of the same age that are called "Rodrigo". It was a very popular name for children around 20 years ago. I bet that in 20 years from now it will become a "name for old people". :) --Eduardo Habkost (talk) 12:51, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

That's an interesting assessment you have on name popularity, but I'd say it's accurate. I'd never heard of Rodrigo until I saw Rodrigo Leão in a webcast. learnportuguese (talk) 01:08, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

obrigado & obrigada[edit]

I'm ever so confused. Do I use obrigada because I'm a girl, or if I'm talking to a girl? Isn't the rule the same for muito obrigado & muito obrigada? learnportuguese 22:59, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

If you choose to do so, you'll say "obrigada" because you're a girl; the gender of the person you're talking to doesn't matter, as you are the one who's "obrigada" (obliged). However, I say "if you choose to do so" because to many people it is acceptable to say "obrigado" even being a girl. The opposite, however (a male saying "obrigada"), would be seen as incorrect. Same applies to muito obrigado/a. --Cotoco 08:21, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I would not be so certain that it is alright to say obrigado if you are a girl because it is an incomplete sentence of which the subject (hidden) is "I". Roughly speaking, obrigado originates with the habit of saying "I am thankful" (because in medieval Portuguese obrigado meant "bound to a duty of honor" instead of "forced, obliged"). jggouvea (talk) 12:32, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Obrigada pela sua ajuda sobre este assunto Cotoco e Jggouvea. :-) Keep the good posts going! :-) learnportuguese (talk) 22:55, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

There's another word that you can use instead: "valeu". It's a slang way of saying "thanks" and literally means "it had value". I like it because it's gender-neutral. Morganfitzp (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

"valeu" is very informal, however. It is more common among young people (well, it was used by young people when I was a teenager. But today people around 30s or 40s use it because they were the young people of yesterday). --Eduardo Habkost (talk) 12:56, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I can't speak or read Portuguese much[edit]

Não leio Português muito bem, mas entendo um muito pouco de radio(?). This is the very first message I have written on my talk page in Portuguese. :-) learnportuguese 18:57, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Não leio português muito bem, mas entendo um pouco de rádio. Don't forget diacritics are not optional, and language names are not written in capital. Did you mean "I can't read Portuguese very well, but I understand a little bit about radio"? MATHEUS WAHL 16:01 UTC Thu 01 11 2007
Hi. I meant to say "I do not read Portuguese very well, but I understand a little from listening to webcasts." :-) learnportuguese (talk) 23:05, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
First, thanks for contacting me and sorry for the delay. I was traveling (and practicing my English ;-)!
I would say simply webcast instead of radio. In Brazil it's common to use the English term, specially when relating to technology. We use words like mouse (instead of rato, used in Portugal), site (rather than sítio) and even the verb deletar (from English to delete). --Calavera (talk) 03:56, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Ah, now that I've picked up more Portuguese, I think what I initially meant to say in this section is: Não leio Português muito bem, mas entendo um muito pouco ouvindo os webcasts da BBC. :-) Mas já não é verdade porque posso ler português; não sei se posso falar porque tenho... I have no one to speak with.....yet. learnportuguese (talk) 11:42, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Só uma pequena correção: Entendo um pouco ouvindo os webcasts da BBC. Você poderia dizer também: entendo bem pouco, ou entendo muito pouco, mas não pode usar um junto com muito. -- JonatasM (talk) 03:36, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

my decision[edit]

I think I'll start with learning European Portuguese (not because I have a problem with the rest of the Portuguese-speaking world) because I want to live in Portugal first. Then I'll go to Brasil. Then I'll go to Spain (but Spain is a whole other story). I figure European Portuguese has more sounds to master, so I'll get the harder accent out of the way first. Like I said, I want to achieve as near fluency as is possible. I want to be able to switch my accent between that of Portugal and that of Brasil. :-) learnportuguese 12:22, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

That's great, but I advise you to always keep in touch with Brazilian Portuguese as well, since there's a lot of information about it out there, and they are rather different pronunciationwise. Try to get a bit of both worlds. ;-) FilipeS 17:34, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Good luck, because Brazilian Portuguese is easier to understand for English-speakers than the European one. I've read it in a Portugal grammar book. MATHEUS WAHL 16:10 UTC Thu 01 11 2007

culture across the Portuguese-speaking world[edit]

Is it true that people across the Portuguese-speaking world kiss each other even when they are meeting for the first time? Here in the States, we shake hands with people we don't know. I'm curious to know, because that is definitely something I'd miss out on, not being able to see.

Are there other things I should know about that are visual that might be of interest to me as an aspiring journalist wanting to travel to other cultures? learnportuguese 19:28, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

At least over here in Brazil, yes, it's true, except for men. The usual greeting for men is a handshake, sometimes followed by a light slap on the back, in informal situations. For women (or a man meeting a woman), the usual greeting is a kiss on the right cheek, sometimes followed by a kiss on the left cheek. You can read further on the subject here: (The article seems to be accurate.) Right now I can't remember anything else visual to be noted, but if something eventually comes to mind, I'll tell you! Eumedemito 23:12, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Would someone know that I couldn't respond to their question if I raised my hands and shrugged? I know if I was trying to convey that I was tired, I would put my hands together next to my right cheek and tilt my head so it looked like I was sleeping. learnportuguese 00:45, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I guess people would understand if you did that "I'm tired" gesture, but I'm sure they would understand if you did the "I don't know" one. It's just as if you were showing you have nothing in your hands, so it's quite meaningful and direct. Oh, and be sure to raise your eyebrows; it's part of it. Eumedemito 02:23, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
When Portuguese speakers say goodbye, do they kiss again, or just shake hands? learnportuguese (talk) 13:27, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
They often repeat the same gesture they used for greeting (a kiss or handshake, depending on gender combination), but not always. Sometimes we just say goodbye. Húsönd 14:49, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Brazil is very gendered in this matter, with men only shaking hands with each other but there being kissing when women are involved. In other Latin American countries men kiss each other upon greeting. In Uruguay even cops kiss each other. Morganfitzp (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

congrats on your linguistic interests[edit]

Not many Americans take both Spanish and Portuguese. I hope you become fluent in both languages. Contact me if you have any doubt about either. - Abenyosef 02:43, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

learning Portuguese & learning English[edit]

Hmmm. I don't think I'm going to take Portuguese in a formal class. I doubt there are that many Portuguese speakers in the States anyway.

It seems as though everyone across the Portuguese-speaking world takes English in school. Do you have to take English? It seems like you guys get very far with it because you can use it in online chat like this; but also I imagine in very formal situations as well. Like I have said, since I want to be a radio journalist, I want to know the Portuguese language inside and out (or as much as possible). I envy people who grow up bilingual. learnportuguese

There are many Portuguese speakers in the States; they're just not all over the place. The states of Massachusetts (especially Fall River and New Bedford), Rhode Island, and New Jersey (especially Newark) have large Portuguese-speaking communities. Yeah, I think that people in Portugal speak English quite well, especially the younger generation. Students in Portugal learn English for at least 5 years, often 7 years, sometimes even more years. Húsönd 17:38, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Boa noite (it's quite dark here at this time). By the way, "olá e boa tarde" would hardly ever be used as it's a double greeting. Either you say "olá" or "boa tarde" but not both at the same time. :-) Yes, in Portugal I usually expect anyone who's 15-30 years old to be able to understand and speak English (most at an intermediate or advanced level). I'd say that at least one-third of the people who are 30-50 years old will also have a reasonable knowledge of English, especially if they live in the urban areas. I usually don't expect people who're over 50 to understand the language or speak it. Obviously there are many exceptions to this, and I've met many people over 50 who can speak good English (but if I were to pick a random 50-year-old person, chances are that he/she wouldn't speak the language). Húsönd 00:42, 30 October 2007 (UTC)


Is Carnaval something that happens only in Brasil, or is it throughout the Portuguese-speaking world? What IS Carnaval? Is it a Roman Catholic festival? (I only asked because the majority of the people in the Portuguese-speaking world are Roman Catholic.) It sounds like a lot of fun. (It's like the English word carnival.) :-) learnportuguese 23:03, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

In Portugal we also celebrate Carnaval, with parades, confetti, water pistols, and lots of joy. Yeah, it's a Catholic thing, although most people celebrate it just for the sake of the party, not for the religious meaning. Húsönd 00:52, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Catholic thing? I'm not so sure about that... It may have been embraced by the church, but it's a pagan tradition (a whole set of ancient pagan traditions, more precisely). And, in fact, many times it goes against catholic principles. I guess it's like "OK, do whatever you want, be pagan, but only until Tuesday. On Ash Wednesday and afterwards, be penitent and observe divine law to the letter." Eumedemito 01:51, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
A water pistol is a toy in the shape of a handgun that kids fill with water and have fun squirting it at their friends or just passersby. Tradition says that you can't be mad at someone in Carnaval, so if a kid squirts you then you just put up with it. Or you can buy a water pistol yourself and chase the little pranksters. :-) Húsönd 01:52, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Carnaval has a complicated history. Yes, it's traditional in Portugal, but it used to be very different from what you find in Brazil today. Then it kind of faded away for some decades. Lately, it has been revived, but its new incarnation is very much inspired on the Brazilian Carnaval. FilipeS (talk) 20:03, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Brazilian Carnaval is an entirely different thing. The open nature of the festival allowed black people to join playing their music, which was not quite appreciated in the rest of the year by the white ruling class. In time black music eventually overtook everything else until Carnaval became a synonym with samba (but european-style carnaval music, called marchinhas, were popular well into the sixties). In Pernambuco Carnaval merged with other popular traditions and festivals and became a colourful thing, full of people wearing costumes, giant dolls with funny faces being carried through the streets and, most distinctive of all, music played in brass instruments (trumpet, sousaphone, horns, etc.). In Bahia Carnaval has been dominated by cheap pop-music, played on top of trios elétricos by bands including electric guitars, electric bass guitars, keyboards and all manner of percussion. Some of these artists pose as "ethnic" artists, but their music is shallow and laughable. In Brazil nobody takes Carlinhos Brown seriously, for instance. Elsewhere in Brazil Carnaval is a clone of what people do in Rio usually poorer. Anyway, Carnaval tradition is actually dying, though it seems to be in full strength. In many places the festival is mostly kept for tourism.jggouvea (talk) 22:45, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

the Açores & Madeira Islands[edit]

I have never been to an island before. Can you believe that?! Is it cold or hot on an island? Do people get frightened of floods or tsunamis? Islands must be somewhat safe to live on because obviously there are people on the Açores and Madeira Islands. If you have been to these islands, I'd love to know about your experiences. I bet there's a lot of fishing. I'm a seafood lover! Shrimp is my favorite. I also like talapia very much. learnportuguese 00:03, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

The climate in islands varies around the globe, just like it does in continents (continents are just big islands, anyway...) Surprise yourself learning a bit about Greenland, Australia, and Iceland. ;-) In small islands, though, the climate is usually milder (less variable) than in continents: warmer winters, and cooler summers. But, again, this varies a lot with the latitude of the island. Madeira has a fairly mild climate; the Azores are cooler and more rainy (though still beautiful). Both archipelagos have a volcanic origin, but in Madeira all the volcanos dried out many millennia ago, while in the Azores they are just dormant. Their fumes come out of the soil in a few places, and there are springs of hot or mineral water. There are earthquakes every now and then. FilipeS (talk) 19:59, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, Madeira is a wonderful island. It's usually called the "Atlantic Pearl". The weather is great, sunny during the summer and mild in the other seasons. The island is a popular destination for European tourists. The New Year's Eve is a major attraction because of the incredible fireworks. The show in Funchal (Madeira's capital) is amazing. It's rated on the top 10 of the best fireworks in the world. There are no floods and no tsunamis. It's very peaceful. In Madeira lives about 320 000 people. In some regions there's a lot of fishing and people eat good fish. On the contrary of the Azores, like Filipe said, there are no active volcanos, so there aren't earthquakes. Other major attractions in Madeira are the Carnaval and Christmas. The Madeira wine is also world known. Madeira has beautiful landscapes, and the tourists love to walk through levadas (a XV-century construction to transport water through the mountains). People are nice and there are great hotels (top ranked also). Next to Madeira, there is a smaller island called Porto Santo, which has a 10km beach, white sand, very popular in the summer. Well, I don't know what can I say more. Any questions, just go ahead! ;) Bagoncalves (talkcontribs) 00:24, February 8 2008 (GMT
Are the Açores and the Madeira Islands near each other? learnportuguese (talk) 18:33, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Hum relatively. Probably 1000 km, one hour and half by plane. Bruno 00:24, March 15 2008 (GMT)

say versus tell[edit]

For native Portuguese speakers: OK, so I was pondering the meanings behind the words say and tell, which in Portuguese are translated as dizer. OK, so sometimes say and tell are interchangeable and sometimes not. But keep this in mind so you don't go crazy like I did trying to explain to a nonnative English speaker: to tell means to inform; to say means to speak out of your mouth. That was the answer that an English professor gave me. learnportuguese 16:16, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

My point of view: "tell" usually can be translated as contar, "say" as dizer, and "speak" as falar. MATHEUS WAHL 16:13 UTC Thu 01 11 2007
It's interesting that tell is contar. Is that just in Brazilian Portuguese? I've never heard of contar. Well, I know that when someone says diga they are tensing (or something) the verb dizer: diga, tell me something NOT say something to me (that wouldn't make sense in English). Yeah, speak is falar; I had already known that. :-) That's an important word to know. That way I can say Ainda não sei falar o Português muito bem. learnportuguese 20:40, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, we have three words related to this. contar (which actually means to count) is transitive. "Você conta uma história". This is related to the word conto (which means "tale" and "short story"), but I don't know which is the primitive and which the derived. falar is mostly intransitive. "Você fala" mas "você fala algo". I would say falar fits best with "speak" than "say." dizer is transitive. "Se você diz, sempre diz algo". Dizer is mostly like "Say". This, of course, is Brazilian Portuguese.jggouvea (talk) 22:50, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

European Portuguese versus Brazilian Portuguese[edit]

Wow! I've listened to both versions of Portuguese via the Internet. It's like they have two different sound systems. I can't imagine mastering either dialect, but I don't want to give up learning either. Even when I feel comfortable speaking in Portuguese (regardless of dialect), I will never really be fluent because I will have started learning in my 20s. It's better to start in elementary school, or else grow up bilingual. learnportuguese 21:16, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Are ae and ei the same sound? I read online somewhere that one or the other or both (I can't remember) is pronounced like the English name for the letter i. There are a lot more ei occurrences in Portuguese than Spanish I'm finding. I don't believe ae exists at all as a single sound in Spanish anyway. learnportuguese 20:40, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
In Brazil, ae is a diphthong just like any other, and, since unstressed e tends to become /i/ or /j/ in speech, most times it's pronounced as /aj/ (just like the English letter i). On the other hand, ei is many times spoken as a single phoneme. E.g.: brasileiro is usually spoken as /brazileru/. Eumedemito 21:30, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Hey... I was thinking: what Portuguese words have the letters ae together? I can't recall any, except for the name Caetano. Eumedemito (talk) 19:02, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, OK, Eumedemito, I cannot think of any words with ae together either. But ai and ei (or éi) seem to be the same sound. Take for example the words for "hospitals" and "hotels" (hospitais and hotéis). Wait, maybe that wasn't such a good example. How about mais and Janeiro? learnportuguese (talk) 23:42, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
"ai" and "ei" in "mais" and "janeiro" may look similar, but for portuguese-speakers, they are very diferent (at least for brazilians. I don't know if they sound more similar in Portugal). I get confused by the pronunciation of "a" and "e" in english, so I can't give a example english word where the sounds are similar to "ai" or "ei". The "ai" in "hospitais" and "mais" sound the same. But the "ei" in "janeiro" is different from the "éi" in "hotéis". At least in Brazil, the "éi" in "hotéis" is different from "ei" in "janeiro", but the difference is not as big as in between "ei" and "ai". --Eduardo Habkost (talk) 13:11, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

The ae combination is rather alien to Portuguese (weird hiatus), but it does show up in a couple of loanwords or learned words, such as the name Caetano (which I think is from Italian), words from Greek like tetraedro (tetrahedron), and, more commonly, aeroporto (airport) and aéreo (air). In the word "Caetano", the "ae" is indeed pronounced as an "ei", provided you use the pronunciation of Lisbon (not in Brazil), but not in the other two words. It's never pronounced like the English name of the letter "i". FilipeS (talk) 19:50, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there is any restriction on this particular letter sequence. But is only found in foreign or archaic words. Anyway, this "e" would be short (therefore produced like /i/) and result in an /ai/ diphtong. Although Caetano Veloso pronounces his name /ka.e.', this is pedantic. Any Brazilian would pronounce it /kaj.' "ae" would only be pronounced /a.e/ if the syllable has a consonant at the end or it it is stressed. Examples are the mythical Pasifaé or the Italian town of Faenza (/fa.' (talk) 22:59, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

What about words with ãe? Like mãe, pães, cães, etc.? Morganfitzp (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

That's a different diphthong; it's nasal. That one is quite natural in Portuguese, even typical of it. FilipeS (talk) 03:47, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

This is really random, but what about the word atraente? learnportuguese (talk) 20:52, 30 May 2008 (UTC)


Is the US dollar accepted in the Portuguese-speaking world, or is it a different currency? learnportuguese 23:53, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

The Brazilian unit of currency is called real (R$ or BRL; plural: reais), and, since 1999, Portugal has adopted the euro (€ or EUR; Portuguese plural: euros), the official currency of the Eurozone. Each of the Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa has its own currency. But, at least over here in Brazil, and in Portugal for certain, most places accept international credit cards. Eumedemito 03:13, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
You can go to an exchange bank and trade all your dollars. But now dollar-to-real exchange rates is the worst in 7 years. MATHEUS WAHL 16:10 UTC Thu 01 11 2007
The real is the only officially accepted currency in Brazil, but in my experience people are psyched to get dollars or euros because they are worth more. Morganfitzp (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

letter s in Portuguese[edit]

I've heard European Spanish. Like European Portuguese, I think they should rename the letter s esh. :-) That's also how they say it in Spain, except Andalucía where they drop out the s. learnportuguese 21:07, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

The Spanish "s" is not really a "sh"; just a different kind of "s". The E. Portuguese "s" can be pronounced as a "sh", but only at the end of syllables. FilipeS (talk) 19:46, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
In Portugal and some parts of Brazil (Rio and Bahia) the s at the end of a word is like an English sh. In most of Brazil it sounds like an English s.
When an s falls between two vowels it has the same sound as a z, but a double s sounds like an ordinary s. I find this rule to be more helpful in writing rather than speaking. Morganfitzp (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

letter r in Portuguese[edit]

R in Portuguese is definitely not like Spanish r, especially at the beginning of words: for example razão (reason). Also r is unique in the middle of a word: for example correta (correct). I think it will be the hardest sound for me to master. I'll need to practice that one a lot. :-) learnportuguese 21:07, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Here's a little guide for the letter R in Brazilian Portuguese (in European Portuguese it's very different):

    1. When it's between two vowels (like hora, "hour"), it's like that quick "tt" in "better" spoken in U.S..
    2. In the beginning of the word (rato, "mouse") or duplicated (errado, "wrong"), it's as H in "hero".
    3. When it's after a vowel and before a consonant (carta, "letter"), it's like that nice, rolled-tongue R in English.
    4. In the end of a noun (mar, "sea" or lugar, "place"), it's like the example 3. But in the end of a verb, (andar, "to walk" or comer, "to eat"), it's almost mute.

It's not that bad, is it? MATHEUS WAHL 20:09 UTC Tue 06 11 2007

You should distinguish between two kinds of "r": the one you find at the start of words (and some syllables), which is pronounced like an "rr", and the one you find alone between vowels. The latter is pronounced exactly like a Spanish intervocalic single "r", but the former is usually different, indeed. This varies with idiolect, though. Some speakers do pronounce both as in Spanish. Have you read the article Guttural R yet? FilipeS (talk) 19:45, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

I will read the article about the guttural r. I only thought that existed in French. I have some reading to do. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 19:58, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

It has just occurred to me that the phonetic symbols may be a problem for you. Let me know if you wish to know more about them. FilipeS (talk) 20:09, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, if anybody can explain the phonetic symbols, that would be so much help. They ARE indeed a problem for me. learnportuguese (talk) 01:36, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

In Wikipedia, each phonetic symbol has its own article, and most articles have sound samples. For example, see alveolar flap, the sound of the Portuguese "r" between vowels. Can you hear the sample? I'm not sure what you should do about the symbols themselves, though. Can you distinguish between them at all?... FilipeS (talk) 14:00, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I can distinguish between symbols and am able to hear the sound samples. Very interesting. i've got something to practice on now. :-) That rr is difficult! :-) learnportuguese (talk) 15:27, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

For an overview, see the main article International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA for short). FilipeS (talk) 15:32, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

this, that, and that one over there[edit]

I have finally mastered the words for this, that, and that one over there in Spanish. Does Portuguese have this sort of thing also? If so, I will have a lot more work to do. :-) learnportuguese 21:07, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

(I removed what I said here before, as it wasn't exactly right; that is, it was b.s....) Eumedemito 11:43, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh dear! :-) Eumedemito I can't wait to see what it's like in European Portuguese. It's already confusing enough in Brazilian Portuguese. And like I said, I've only just mastered it in Spanish. "This, that, and that one over there" is a difficult concept, é verdade? :-) (Or is it just me?) :-) learnportuguese 00:45, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't think Portuguese is confusing on that matter. English is. Hehe... Eumedemito 18:13, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Olá Eumedemito. Let's see, how to help you on the English concept of "this, that, and that one over there". Firstly, there are only three forms, plus their plural forms, which is simpler than Portuguese.

Well, this and these go together (think of them together because these, the plural form of this, sounds similar). That and those go together. Then all that's left is that one over there and those ones over there. Does that help you a little bit? learnportuguese

Well, I'm just kidding, it's not really complicated. It is indeed confusing sometimes, but I accept it as a fact of life, since there can be no exact translation between Portuguese and English when we're talking about this kind of concept. Eumedemito (talkcontribs) 00:35, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

What confuses me in Portuguese is that there are forms without plurals, and also that all the words (except aquele and aquela) are similar. Maybe if you provided a listing with English and Portuguese, it would help me memorize it. I can analyze the similarities and differences to Spanish and try to learn it that way. :-) learnportuguese 23:28, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

First, remember I can read Spanish, but have never formally studied it; so, if in doubt, consult your teacher or someone else. That said, here's a list to help you memorise these words (from Portuguese to Spanish to English, masculine/feminine/neutral):
  • este/esta/isto = este/esta/esto = this
  • estes/estas = estos/estas = these
  • esse/essa/isso = ese/esa/eso = this, that
  • esses/essas = esos/esas = these, those
  • aquele/aquela/aquilo = aquel/aquella/aquello = that
  • aqueles/aquelas = aquellos/aquellas = those
As you can see, on the contrary to what I said before, Portuguese demonstratives are actually just the same as Spanish ones. There are just some minor orthographic rules, regarding accent marks, which apply to Spanish but not to Portuguese. The inflected forms are actually easy to use, they just follow the gender and number of the noun they refer to (even if it's implicit), just as any adjective would. The neutral forms are used when no noun is implied, so there's no gender or number to follow.
  • This isn't right! -- "This what"? Just "this"! There's no noun implied. Neutral form is used. (isto/isso)
  • This one's good. -- "This what"? "This one"... A noun is implied here. Inflected form is used. (este/esta/esse/essa)

Now, when to use este, esse or aquele? Well, that can be complicated... The basic rules work most of the time, but there are lots of exceptions. The only way to learn them is practicing. Try to remember that demonstratives are closely related to place adverbs (aqui, aí, ali, lá), it may help your learning process.

About that similarity you mentioned, it confuses you, and sometimes confuses me as well. As we Brazilians tend to use esse/essa/etc instead of este/esta/etc, in some cases I don't know what the official rule says.

I hope this explanation helps!

Vocabulary: aqui = here; aí = there where you are; ali = just over there; lá = in that place, far from both of us Eumedemito 11:43, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Muito obrigada por sua ajuda. I think I'll have a chance at mastering this now. I think you're right about practicing; these only can be mastered through practical experience. That's really how I got the Spanish ones down.

No one has posted a message about how it works in European Portuguese, so I'll wait and find out. :-) learnportuguese 12:20, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

In European Portuguese demonstratives are the ones that Eumedemito described above. You say "este/esta/estes/estas" for things that are near you (in English, "this/these"), you say "esse/essa/esses/essas" for things that are near the person you are speaking to (in English, "that/those"), and you say "aquele/aquela/aqueles/aquelas" for things that are far from both you and the person you are speaking to (in English that would be "that/those" again). Brazilians almost never use the "este/esta/estes/estas" group, preferring to use "esse/essa/esses/essas" instead. Weird. Regards, Húsönd 05:04, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
A good example of the various forms of "this" and "that" can be demonstrated if we were talking about music:
  • If we were talking about a band but not listening to them at the moment, that band would be aquela banda.
  • If we were listening to the band's music at the moment they would be somewhere between "this and "that" as essa banda."
  • If we were members of the band and we were playing music we would say "this band" or "esta banda."
Does that make sense? Morganfitzp (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

food in the Portuguese-speaking world[edit]

How's the food in the Portuguese-speaking world? I'm guessing there's a lot of seafood (at least in Portugal, Brasil, Cabo Verde, Damão, Goa, Macau, and São Tomé e Príncipe). learnportuguese 23:28, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Food preferences vary greatly from place to place in Brazil, but I think these foods are at least fairly popular all over the country in everyday lunch: rice, beans, beef, chicken, potatoes and whitefish. Churrasco (barbecue), a typical Southern food, is very popular in the Southeast. It can be found in many self service restaurants and is also very popular in informal gatherings on weekends and holidays (usually accompanied by lots of beer). Feijoada (a stew of black beans and pork) is a typical carioca dish, usually accompanied by tons of other things and, of course, a caipirinha. Bacalhau (codfish) is very popular during the Lent, but not so popular during the rest of the year. Camarão (shrimp) is usually much appreciated, but it's expensive. Pasta and pizza are especially popular in São Paulo (pasta is usually eaten as lunch, and pizza as dinner). You can find a pizzeria in every corner around here. Sfiha and kibbeh are popular as fast food or snack. Besides the real food, junk food is also found in every corner -- dog simples, dog prensado, dogão, dogão com purê, dogão com vinagrete, x-burguer, x-salada, x-egg, x-bacon, x-tudo... ("x" = "cheese") Eumedemito 15:22, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
If I were to land in a Portuguese-speaking country tomorrow, what food would you recommend? I do like shrimp, but that's mainly it for seafood. I'm not too picky though. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 19:12, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
One of the particularly strong things about tourism in Brazil is our cuisine. Or better, "our cuisines"... Wherever you go in Brazil, but especially in major towns, you will eat very well and very cheap. For as few as R$ 15,00 per kilo (which is about US$ 4.2 dollars per pound) you can eat in a self-service restaurant with a lot of variety. If you want to eat what Brazilians eat, don't go after expensive restaurants in hotels, but go where the middle-class goes.
Average Brazilian meals are based on rice, beans, spaghetti, meat (beef/pork/fried chicken), raw salads and perhaps some soup. Meat pies are not much sought. Most Brazilian "tipical" dishes (like feijoada or acarajé) should not be tried by anyone who's fresh in the country. If you really must try one, eat very little of it and drink enough water afterwards.
Of these I would especially suggest you farofa, tutu, vaca atolada (beef chops cooked in manioc soup), strogonoff (no, it isn't the Russian dish, but a Brazilian adaptation of it), curau (or "mingau de milho", as we call it here in Minas Gerais, ).
A good "survival" advice: avoid eating food bought at the streets, especially meat (you can never be sure which meat it may be).jggouvea (talk) 23:23, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Brazil has some of the best fruits and vegetables I've ever had.

Some common vegetables are:

  • Couve (collard greens)
  • Abobora (squash—kobocha squash is the most common variety)
  • Mandioca (manioc, better known in the U.S. as yucca or cassava)
  • Agrião (watercress, eaten as a salad green)
  • Alface (lettuce)
  • Tomate (tomato)
  • Beterraba (beets, often grated raw in salads)
  • Cenoura (carrot)
  • Quiabo (okra)
  • Berenjela (eggplant)
  • Milho (corn, usually a starchy variety called "green corn" in the U.S.)
  • Batata (potato, add "doce" meaning "sweet" and you get "sweet potato!")

Also diminutive and augmentative suffices laed to other kinds of vegetables:

  • Abobora > Aboborinha are winter squash and summer squash
  • Pimenta < Pimetão are hot peppers and bell peppers

Get it?

Many familiar fruits have names similar to English names:

  • Banana (banana)
  • Manga (mango)
  • Abacate (avacado)
  • Laranja (orange)
  • Cóco (coconut)
  • Goiaba (guava)
  • Jaca (jackfruit)

Some common fruits have totally different names:

  • Abacaxi (pineapple)
  • Caqui (persimmon)
  • Maracujá (passionfruit)
  • Maçã (apple)
  • Uva (grape)
  • Ameixa (plum)
  • Morango (strawberry)
  • Framboesa (raspberry)
  • Amora (mulberry or blackberry)
  • Carambola (starfruit)
  • Mamão (papaya)

Other fruits have familiar names, but we are not familiar with the fruits themselves in the U.S., just the cash crops that come from them:

  • Caju (that fruit that cashew nuts come from)
  • Cacao (the fruit that cocoa beans come from)
  • Cana (cane, the plant that sugar comes from)

Other fruits we never see in their actual fruit form in North America, so their Brazilian names remain in tact in english:

  • Açaí
  • Acerola
  • Graviola
  • Pitanga
  • Cajá
  • Cupuaçu
  • Jabuticaba
  • Umbu

There are countless others. Look at the list of fruits on the Portuguese Wikipedia to get a sense of how many there are.

There are many nice things you can do with fruit, but jabuticaba liqueur is tops!!! I wouldn't take too much passionfruit juice, it supposedly soothes you and may get you sleepy.jggouvea (talk) 23:23, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi Beth, first of all thanks for getting in touch. I'd like to make some corrections regarding fruit names' spelling and meaning:
  • Abobora --> it's spelled "Abóbora"
  • Agrião (watercress, eaten as a salad green) ---> I thought watercress was "Acelga"... Help, anyone?
  • Berenjela ---> the correct spelling is "Berinjela" or even "Beringela".
  • Abobora > Aboborinha ---> Actually "Abóbora" and "Abobrinha"
  • Pimenta < Pimetão ---> typo, it's "Pimentão"
  • Cóco ---> it's actually "Coco" or "Côco".
  • Cacao ---> "Cacau" instead
  • Cana ---> not a fruit but the plant's stem, it's very juicy and sweet, of course.

--Glaukopis (talk) 16:27, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Abóbora is pumpkin isn't it? And Abobrinha Italiana is Courgette :).
Watercress is Agrião, Acelga is possibly Swiss Chard (looks like it too!), other than that, the only problem is the English is Yankee, but I'll let you off ;) - ChrisWar666 (talk) 13:58, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

letter a and letter e in Portuguese[edit]

I'm finding that more often in European Portuguese, and sometimes in Brazilian Portuguese, a and e have sounds that I cannot imitate, I'm assuming because these sounds don't exist in English. I'm glad everyone understands that I'm coming from the American English point of view. Don't use examples with English English pronunciation or I'll get very very confused. :-) Bom dia para todos. :-) learnportuguese 15:16, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, as in English, each of those letters has a vast array of possible readings/phonemes. Could you provide any examples of words where you find difficult to pronounce those letters? Húsönd 04:54, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

English actually has sounds that are very close, if not the same, as those you speak of. The unstressed "a" often sounds like the "a" in "ago", in Portuguese (this varies with dialect and other factors). The unstressed "e" does not exist exactly in English, but it sounds close to the "e" in the word "roses". FilipeS (talk) 19:41, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Husond said that unstressed a (say in the word Lisboa) is like the u in sun. Unstressed e (say in the word noite) is a schwa, which means you don't pronounce it at all. learnportuguese (talk) 01:36, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

We do pronounce the unstressed "e" in some cases. The "u" in "sun" is close to the unstressed "a", too. FilipeS (talk) 14:03, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

In most of Brazil it is acceptable to pronounce unstressed "e" like a short "i" (garlic) and unstressed "o" like a short "u" or a really short "o". 01:25, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Some words that I found helpful to practice vowel pronunciation on:

  • Avó and Avô (grandma and grandpa)
  • Alho (garlic) Oleo (oil) Olho (eye) Olhou (it watched)

very challenging question[edit]

Does Portuguese have ideophones? (Definitely look up the article if you don't know what ideophones are.) learnportuguese (talk) 21:03, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Hmm... Something like "ratatá" or "cabum"?... (I didn't quite get the difference between onomatopoeic words and them ideophones) Eumedemito (talk) 16:42, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
we have many word of onomatopoeic origin. I think some of them would qualify as ideophones.
  • blá-blá-blá -- pointless talk. Something like goobledigock
  • lá-lá-lá -- meaningless. Something you say when you don't want to listen to someone.
  • ra-ta-tá -- the sound of machine gun.
  • cabum! -- the sound of an explosion. Is used in casual talk much the same way in English you would say "things go booom!"
  • bangue-bangue -- very pejorative word referring to far west movies or to movies with excess of violence. To say something looks like a "bang-bang" means that something is excessively violent or inane, much like most American B movies (as the Brazilians see them).
  • be-a-bá -- because B and A are the first letters children are supposed to learn, we say that the "be-a-bá" of something is its very basics. "O B-A BÁ da Mecânica" would translate as 'Mechanics for dummies". jggouvea (talk) 23:32, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
These ideophones are definitely not very used, though. You'd never use them in formal speech, for example. -- JonatasM (talk) 03:52, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

something similar to say versus tell[edit]

OK, so now that I've explained the differences between the English words say and tell, I'm asking all the Portuguese speakers to explain to me the differences between the words creio and penso (as used in creio que... and penso que...). E muito obrigada pela sua ajuda. learnportuguese (talk) 15:08, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

This usage of these verbs is not characteristic of Brazilian Portuguese, so I'm not really sure, but I think "creio que" is used to express that you're not sure about something (crer = to believe), while "penso que" is used to express an opinion (pensar = to think). In colloquial speech, we use to say "eu acho que" for both over here in Brazil (achar = to find). Eumedemito (talk) 14:59, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

"Crer" belongs to a formal register in Portuguese. I don't know if you're familiar with Spanish, but Portuguese "crer" is much less used than "creer" in Spanish. I don't think there's any special difference between the two, in terms of actual meaning. FilipeS (talk) 19:39, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

short word[edit]

What is the meaning of the short Portuguese word que? I hear it all the time and it drives me mad that I can't figure out the meaning on my own. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 15:08, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

It has several meanings. Usually, when it comes along with the article o, o que = what (with or without the circumflex accent, just never mind about it). Just be careful with qu- words - they are directly related to wh- words, but they don't match exactly. And, well, as I said, there are several other meanings (which look all the same to us, but probably not for non-native speakers). Some examples, translated word by word: "Aquele que brilha" = "That (one) that shines"; "O mesmo que você" = "The same as you"; "O mesmo que você comprou" = "The same (one) that you bought" ("O mesmo você comprou" would sound quite like a "Yoda sentence" for "You bought the same", so the use of que is mandatory here). Eumedemito (talk) 15:36, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Christmas in the Portuguese-speaking world[edit]

Hello everyone. What traditions do you have in the Portuguese-speaking world around Christmas time? In the States, we decorate trees which do not have green leaves, but what we call needles. We also have special glass balls with glittery decoration on top. I think they are colorful. Red and green are associated with Christmas. We sing special songs which are called carols. On the day before Christmas, which is called Christmas Eve, we go to a church service; we do not go to church on Christmas day. Nearly all the stores and other businesses are closed on Christmas day, so we stay home and open presents with our family. I hope that was clear enough; I'm not the best explainer. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 02:52, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

The Xmas tree and other Xmas decorations are the same here in Portugal. Since November, malls are packed with people in the typical Xmas rush buying presents. On Xmas Eve, families usually gather for a special dinner, where the main course of the plentiful table is usually cod (the Portuguese people eat more codfish than any other people in the world). Octopus is also a frequent presence on the table. Then, the family chats through the evening (often while watching tv and eating), and at midnight the presents are opened. Some people go to the church here as well, but it's usually just the elderly (especially in rural areas). Finally, on Xmas Day, the family usually gathers again for a special Xmas lunch. Turkey is often the main course, but other choices aren't uncommon. Also, it should be noted that not all Portuguese families celebrate Xmas the way I described. Anyway, most businesses here are closed on Xmas Day as well. In addition, they often close a couple of hours earlier than usual on Xmas Eve so that workers have plenty of time to go home and have a good time with their families. Oh, I almost forgot. We have this "king cake" (Bolo Rei) which is a must in this season, even though many people don't like it (such as me). Regards, Húsönd 04:24, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Here in Brazil, decoration is inspired by (I mean, copied from) the American style (including snowmen etc). People used to keep a presépio (nativity scene), following the tradition started by saint Francis of Assisi, but today presépios are not as common as they used to be. Like the Portuguese, we have a special dinner on Christmas eve, but turkey is the usual main course. I'm not sure if there is a common tradition for the very day of Christmas. Instead of a "king cake", we have the panettone (an Italian recipe of bread with comfits), very popular during November and December, but not found during the rest of the year. And, besides traditional festivities, amigo secreto (secret Santa) is also common, usually accompanied by lots of pizza. Eumedemito (talk) 15:40, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

practical questions: my dreams in life[edit]

So then if I am going to be a journalist for radio or maybe newspaper, would you say it is helpful if I speak Portuguese? Of course the young people in Portugal from 15-30 years old speak English. Well, I think it would do me better if I could use a challenge and speak in a second language (in this case Portuguese) and have the people I am interviewing speak in their first language (in this case Portuguese). What do you think? Either way I am going to pursue my dream and get as close to native-level proficiency as I can. :-) As always any and all Portuguese speakers are welcome to this discussion. learnportuguese (talk) 00:55, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Knowing Portuguese is of key importance if you would like to cover Brazilian news or write a book about Brazil. Although many Brazilians speak English well -- as you have seen -- nothing compares to reading and listening to the sources of news. If you only speak English you will only interview English-speaking Brazilians, otherwise you would use an interpreter, who will 'filter' the words for you. If you know Portuguese enough, you'll be able to talk to people independently and get what they mean. Although Portuguese is quite hard, Brazilians are usually patient with foreigners who speak some Portuguese and will cooperate a lot more with you.
To practice Portuguese I would suggest you this site In it you can find links to radios brodcasting in the internet. My personal picks:
These are all "news and sports" radios (you would want to follow live how Brazilians speak). In the same site you can find other types of radios as well... jggouvea (talk) 23:47, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

another short Portuguese word[edit]

If I thought the word que was confusing, I find the word já even more confusing. It seems to mean already from what I can tell, but also could mean now, right? But now is agora, right? learnportuguese (talk) 18:16, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, you're almost right. Most times, it does mean "already", but its second meaning is not exactly "now". It's rather like "right now". It has a third meaning, by the way. "Já que" means "since/considering/in view of". Eumedemito (talk) 03:19, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Ah, Eumedemito, I see now. Obrigada pela sua ajuda. I was always confusing já with ainda, then there was the confusion between já and agora. I've since learned that ainda means yet or still (to come). learnportuguese (talk) 23:13, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

I would say that "já" can mean "already" or "yet" (the latter in questions). FilipeS (talk) 19:37, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Christmas greetings[edit]

I just want to say Feliz Natal (Merry Christmas in Portuguese) to everyone. :-) I'm glad no one has yet compared Portuguese with Spanish on my pages. I get severely annoyed when (for some mysterious reason) people think Portuguese and Spanish are pronounced the same. learnportuguese (talk) 22:47, 21 December 2007 (UTC)


How do you ask someone how to say something in Portuguese? I know it's Como se dice en Español in Spanish, but that certainly would not help me in the Portuguese-speaking world!! :-) Again Feliz Natal para todos (Merry Christmas to everyone)!! :-) learnportuguese (talk) 23:13, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Well this one is no big deal. Just the same, actually... "Como se diz (word) em português?". Eumedemito (talk) 18:21, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

another Portuguese challenge[edit]

I have so much trouble with the nasal vowels so often spoken about in Portuguese. They are not in English. Does anyone have a suggestion for me to perfect my pronunciation? I have come up with only one solution: practice. :-) Até lago. learnportuguese (talk) 01:13, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

That's the only solution. Nasal vowels, and especially nasal diphthongs, are indeed very hard to pronounce for English speakers. I have met some English speakers who were living in Portugal for many years and they still could not pronounce them very well. But I guess that's just because they didn't go the extra mile for perfection, as they were very good speakers of Portuguese anyway and could fare well without pronouncing them exactly as natives do. Regards, Húsönd 02:54, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

I feel like if I practice my Portuguese, even if I don't get it perfect, the people in all the Portuguese-speaking world will know that I have made an honest attempt to speak Portuguese as well as I am able. I just think the prospects of acquiring a second and third language are fascinating. Doing so opens doors of communication. I figure by knowing three languages (English, Portuguese, and Spanish) I will be able to communicate with more people in the world. I am an introvert by nature, but also very curious. learnportuguese (talk) 04:04, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

And, by the way, the day you say "não" and no one notices you're not a native speaker, then you can be sure you'll have mastered Portuguese pronunciation. Eumedemito (talk) 18:26, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
This last message from you made me laugh Eumedemito. It is also very encouraging. Well, like I have said before, I think I'll acquire European Portuguese first (only because there are more sounds to master), then I'll work at Brazilian Portuguese. They are both different from Spanish, contrary to what some people seem to believe, and that makes the Portuguese language fascinating for me to learn. Para todos, obrigada pela sua ajuda e Feliz Natal. learnportuguese (talk) 01:38, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Hello! I've just seen the message you sent to my talk page. As a native speaker of Portuguese, I'm glad to know foreigners who are so interested in learning the language. Any doubt you may have concerning Portuguese (specially the Brazilian version), please feel free to ask me! For now, I only have one piece of advice for you: I really think you should concentrate more, in the beginning, in Brazilian Portuguese. Of course it's a biased suggestion, since I'm Brazilian, but there is at least one good reason to do so: Portuguese people (and, I guess, the people from Brazilian-speaking countries in Africa and Asia too) can easily understand spoken Brazilian Portuguese. An evidence of that is that the famous Brazilian soap-operas are largely broadcast in Portugal and Africa, with their original sound. The contrary, however, would never happen, as we in Brazil have difficulty understanding Portuguese people speaking. Thus, if you master Brazilian Portuguese, you'll already be able to communicate in any Portuguese-speaking country. I don't want you to change your mind based on that only, but I think it's something to think about. Até logo! --Jlpspinto (talk) 06:41, 9 February 2008 (UTC)


Does anyone know if there's braille for Portuguese? And also since Brazilian and European Portuguese differ in writing, do you think that there are differences in braille too? I've looked all over the internet, particularly Wikipedia, and haven't found anything. learnportuguese (talk) 02:31, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

There's braille for Portuguese. I don't know if there are any differences between European Portuguese braille and Brazilian braille though. Húsönd 02:55, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Christmas traditions[edit]

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is decorating the Christmas tree. As you know from reading my user page, I don't have many favorites. :-) What is your favorite Christmas tradition? learnportuguese (talk) 17:39, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

é que[edit]

Is é que inserted into all questions, or only for emphasis? I hear that, even in formal interviews, unless it's a mark of formality/politeness. I'm assuming it means "is that", but maybe could take on other meanings in other contexts. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the wonderful and dynamic discussions here on my talk page. A very Merry Christmas to all. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 01:09, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

As far as I know, it's just for emphasis. And to me it sounds like a colloquial feature. Eumedemito (talk) 18:41, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
É que is a characteristic mark of colloquial speech in Portugal. It seems to be less used in Brazil. FilipeS (talk) 19:35, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
It is also used here, in MG. jggouvea (talk) 23:49, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

place adverbs[edit]

So I think I'm starting to understand demonstratives, which are of course closely tied to place adverbs. But now I'm stuck on these: aqui, aí, ali, lá. I think these are similar in Spanish as well, so that may (or may not) help me. Mais uma vez, para todos utilizadors, muito obrigada pela sua ajuda. learnportuguese (talk) 21:52, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Those are quite simple:
    • aqui: here
    • aí: there (place close to the person you're speaking to)
    • ali: there (place far from both you and the person you're speaking to)
    • além: further over there or yonder
    • cá: here (often used with movement verbs)
    • lá: there (also often used with movement verbs)
Hope this helps. Húsönd 23:42, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Wo! I've never heard cá or além. I'll study all of the place adverbs in the above list. With time and patience, I'll understand. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 00:21, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

"Além" you can neglect for now, but "cá" is a very common word. "Cá" is the opposite of "lá". Check these:
  • Vai lá! - Go there!
  • Vem cá! - Come here!

Regards, Húsönd 03:36, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Além = beyond. (Maybe this is not exactly true in Portugal, but, well, maybe it is.) Eumedemito (talk) 23:36, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I've never heard of acolá. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 01:50, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think acolá is used at all, it is an obsolete term. Cá is generally only used with another word such as "vem cá" or "pra cá". -- JonatasM (talk) 04:00, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I found to be the most difficult to get in the habit of using because I have to use when I'm talking to you about the place where you are whether you're sitting right next to me or we're on the opposite sides of the planet! Morganfitzp (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


OK, I don't understand the differences between tu, te, and ti. I hear all of these quite frequently, and when I put them through the translator it simply said "you". I know você is formal, as is o senhor/a senhora, though I've never heard these last two forms of address used. learnportuguese (talk) 12:16, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Some personal pronouns in Portuguese change according to cases. Just like in English you would say "he saw ME" instead of "he saw I", in Portuguese when a person is the object of a verb you use "me" instead of "eu", "te" instead of "tu", "o/a" instead of "ele/ela", "nos" instead of "nós", "vos" instead of "vós" and "os/as" instead of "eles/elas". The usage of "mim" instead of "eu" and "ti" instead of "tu" is often associated with the prepositions "a/para" (to/for) and "sem" (without). Additionally, when you want to combine the preposition "com" (with) with the personal pronoun "eu", you get "comigo", with "tu" you get "contigo", "nós" gets "connosco", and "vós" gets "convosco". Here are some examples:
  • Quem és tu? - Who are you?
  • Quem te disse isso? - Who told you that?
  • Isso é para ti. - That's for you.
  • Vou sem ti. - I go without you.
  • Foi a ti que pedi. - It was to you that I asked.
  • Vou contigo. - I go with you.
As for o senhor/a senhora, that's a very formal way to address someone. If you enter a store in Portugal, clerks will address you as "a senhora".
  • A senhora precisa de ajuda? - Do you need help, ma'am?

Regards, Húsönd 15:27, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't you just say "Quem és?" for "Who are you?" learnportuguese (talk) 23:45, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, no, not really. We nearly always use the personal pronoun in this case. Húsönd 02:19, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
"Quem és?" is correct, but sounds kind of bookish. You'll find it in literature, but not in everyday speech. FilipeS (talk) 19:33, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
This may sound really strange, but I THINK (though I may be wrong) that someone in the media used se or si to refer to someone formally (the English translation would be you then). I didn't know these existed, unless I was wrong and they actually said te or ti. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 01:36, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes. It kind of violates the grammar rules of classical Portuguese, but everybody does it in Portugal. It's easy to see where it comes from, the sequence of prepositional pronouns mim, ti, si. Traditionally, si was only a reflexive pronoun, but nowadays it's also used as a regular objective pronoun. See the article Portuguese personal pronouns. FilipeS (talk) 14:06, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Could consigo take on the same meaning as contigo, that sort of violation of the grammar that you said before? I swear I heard another radio journalist say it. So I WAS right, though, about si being used instead of ti! Ha ha, so I'm not going crazy! learnportuguese (talk) 15:36, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, you got it all right. :-) FilipeS

The articles in this section are very helpful. I don't remember reading them before, so I'm glad I have links to them now. Personal pronouns and possessives are much easier than the demonstratives and place adverbs. I think ANYTHING else in the Portuguese language is easier than the demonstratives and place adverbs. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 15:47, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Oh, I disagree! The demonstratives are quite easy. You just have to get used to thinking in three degrees of distance, instead of two. FilipeS

Thinking in three degrees of distance for demonstratives (and also place adverbs) is not my problem. My problem is getting the right word because they are one letter different. learnportuguese (talk) 23:21, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Don't worry much about it. I think the great majority of Portuguese speakers don't know the difference between este and esse, isto and isso, etc., because there's no difference in meaning in the spoken form. There are some parts of grammar that very few people use correctly. --JonatasM (talk) 04:11, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
So are lhe and se also forms of you, or are they just third-person pronouns? learnportuguese (talk) 16:22, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, they can mean "you":

  • Posso-lhe fazer uma pergunta? "May I ask you a question?"
  • Como se chama? "What's your name?"

But this is standard. It's not one of the grammar violations I mentioned. It's just 3rd person address. FilipeS

But here's a catch: se can also mean if, right? So how do you know when to use se in a sentence? learnportuguese (talk) 22:40, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Since se=if and se=yourself belong to different parts of speech (conjunction versus pronoun), there are few occasions when they might be confused (if any at all). FilipeS (talk) 23:36, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Can you give examples of when se means if and when it means you? :-) lol learnportuguese (talk) 23:48, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I can do both at once: Se se preocupar demasiado com minúcias, vai perder tempo com elas sem ser preciso. ;-) FilipeS (talk) 15:58, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Do people actually use vós, vos, and convosco? If anything, it sounds like something from the north of Portugal. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 16:47, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

The personal pronouns article has a section about vós. Check it out. FilipeS (talk) 21:33, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Nowadays there're only a few pockets in northern Portugal where "vós" is still used, especially in the province of Trás-os-Montes. However, even there the usage of "vós" is far from uniform (I actually grew up in Trás-os-Montes in a town where "vós" is commonly used by almost everyone, but people from a town just a few miles away don't use it). I usually refrain from using "vós" and its respective verbal forms when I'm in Lisboa because people will often find it funny/archaic. Húsönd 17:21, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, some radio journalist used the vosso/vossa/vossos/vossas form today and it cracked me up. :-) lol It was like nothing I'd ever heard before. learnportuguese (talk) 11:37, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Why would you be so amused by it? FilipeS (talk) 15:55, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

I was amused because I'm so used to hearing seu/sua/seus/suas. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 21:51, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

In some parts of Brazil you'll hear tu/teu/tua, but sometimes they conjugate tu like they were saying você. Most people just use você. A lot of this has to do with regionality. Morganfitzp (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia in Portuguese[edit]

Wo. I just discovered that there is Wikipedia in Portuguese. That's pretty cool. When I get to maybe an intermediate level in Portuguese fluency, I'll be able to read and contribute some. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 23:40, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Don't be too excited about it, though. It's quite a mess. Eumedemito (talk) 01:40, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I second that. Húsönd 02:17, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I third(?) that... or second it again...(?) Anyways, you get the point! Goldencako 00:00, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Oh come on guys (Husond and Eumedemito). Can the Portuguese Wikipedia really be that bad? (Of course I don't know nearly enough Portuguese to understand any significant articles yet, so I probably shouldn't be saying anything anyway.) It's not like we aren't editing things in the English Wikipedia all the time, no? :-) learnportuguese (talk) 02:58, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

It's really not that bad, but it's really not that good either. The quality of the content is usually just poor. By the way, since you're learning Portuguese, I would not recommend that you use the Portuguese Wikipedia as a resource for learning the language because the Brazilian and European Portuguese dialects are way too entangled there. Húsönd 03:57, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
No, I wouldn't use the Portuguese Wikipedia to learn Portuguese, I'd use it as reading material just to expose myself to the language in its written form. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 00:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
In case you like literature, I am an amateur writer: Jggouvea (talkcontribs) 23:41, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

interesting sets of words in Portuguese[edit]

I'm finding that there are words that have the same ENGLISH word but NOT the same Portuguese word. They confuse me. Take for example tempo and vez (both translated as time). I'm learning that vez is used for how many repetitions of something (mais uma vez, bom dia / one more time, good morning), as opposed to the moment of an action (tempo agora para ler / time now to read). Perhaps I'm totally wrong on this, but at least I'm trying. As an introvert, it can be rather difficult sometimes to write what I'm thinking; but it's certainly easier than speaking it. :-)

Then there are all the place adverbs, which have fewer words in English and more words in Portuguese.

The same also goes for the demonstratives. learnportuguese (talk) 03:06, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

I think vez is more like a point in time, while tempo is some period of time. (As if vez belonged in the line of natural numbers and tempo in the line of real numbers.) Tempo, by the way, may have a completely different translation in English: weather. Eumedemito (talk) 04:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Still talking about these words that just "split" into two or more, we Portuguese speakers sometimes have a hard time with English prepositions. Just take a look at these ones: de = of/from, para = to/for, em = in/at/on... Eumedemito (talk) 04:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
"Tempo" and "vez" are easy to distinguish. "Tempo" means time (or weather), whereas "vez" means "turn". It's just that in Portuguese we don't really say "one time" or "two times"; we say "one turn" or "two turns", but we have to translate that as "time" in English.
    • Não tenho tempo para isso. - I don't have time for that.
    • Passou muito tempo. - Much time has passed.
    • Como vai estar o tempo amanhã? - How's the weather going to be tomorrow?
    • Uma vez parti o braço. - One time I broke my arm.
    • Fui lá uma vez. - I went there one time.
    • Já te disse isso mil vezes. - I've told you that a thousand times.
    • É a minha vez! - It's my turn!
    • Era uma vez... - Once upon a time...
Regards, Húsönd 04:16, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm, that's interesting that tempo means both time and weather. learnportuguese (talk) 00:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
To say "One time I broke my arm", wouldn't you say "Uma vez parti o meu braço"? learnportuguese (talk) 00:57, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
In Brasil, at least, you would say "Uma vez eu quebrei meu braço". --JonatasM (talk) 04:19, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
I've found more words like tempo and vez: ser and estar, and saber and conhecer. How do you distinguish these? learnportuguese (talk) 00:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
More hard-to-distinguish words for me: haver and ter. learnportuguese (talk) 02:31, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
In formal language they are easy to distinguish: haver refers to existence and ter to possession. "Tenho um carro" (I have a car), but "Há um carro estacionado ali" (There is a car parked there). The confusion has arised because in Brazil we started to use ter instead of haver to form the compound tenses. Havia dito ("had said") became tinha dito ("had said"). This is quite a new development (less than a hundred years) and not yet fully assimilated by the grammar. Generally speaking, if it is not a compound tense, you should use the two verbs explained above. Just notice that ter corresponds both to "have" and "have got". jggouvea (talk) 12:37, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Other hard words to distinguish: para and por. learnportuguese (talk) 17:49, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh, those dreaded prepositions! Generally speaking, Portuguese prepositions tend to be more abstract than their English counterparts (if they happen to have counterparts in English). In principle, para means "to" and por (with its compounds pelo, pela, pelos, and pelas) means "by" or "through", but that is not really useful a definition because prepositions are used differently in Portuguese. There are hundreds of instances in which you use "to" in English put not para in Portuguese. A good tip is to use the dictionary and I will explain why: Portuguese transitive verbs can be "direct" or "indirect" (or both). If a verb can be indirect it is usually accompanied by a given preposition depending on context (much the same way an English "phrasal" verb like "to get up"). An example, falar ("to speak"). The prepositions used with this verb are:
  • falar com (talk with/to)
  • falar sobre (talk about)
  • falar em (talk in/about)
  • falar de (talk about) -- usually interchangeable with falar sobre, but more elegant.
  • falar por (talk instead of, talk by means of)
  • falar para (talk to) -- less elegant if the object is a person
Anyway, I am sure this didn't help much... jggouvea (talk) 12:46, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
No Jggouvea, your post (above) was very helpful. Obrigada pela sua ajuda. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 14:10, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

"Ser" and "estar" do cause a lot of trouble for English-speaking learners of Portuguese, as both verbs translate as "to be". By the way, Portuguese is not the only language to have this distinction; Spanish and other languages have it too. Basically, "ser" means "to be (something as a permanent quality)", whereas "estar" means "to be (something at a given time)". A simple example of the distinction is:

  • Eu sou feliz. - I'm happy. (used with "ser" it means that I'm a happy person, it's one of my qualities)
  • Eu estou feliz. - I'm happy. (used with "estar" it means that I'm happy at this moment, but it doesn't mean that I consider myself a happy person)

Examples of applications of "ser":

  • O livro é meu. - The book is mine. ("ser" is used when indicating possession)
  • Ele é alto. - He's tall. ("ser" is used when indicating permanent qualities)

Examples of applications of "estar":

  • O livro está em minha posse. - The book is in my possession. ("estar" is used with non-permanent qualities. Unlike the example above, this sentence doesn't say that the book is mine, just that I currently have it)
  • Eles não estão aqui. - They're not here. ("estar" is used when indicating location)
  • Tu estás cansado. - You're tired. (again, a non-permanent quality)
  • O que estás a fazer? - What are you doing? ("estar" is used as an auxiliary verb for current activities)
  • Estou a ler. - I'm reading. (again)
  • Estive a ler. - I've been reading. (and again, in the past)
  • Está sol. - It's sunny. ("estar" is used for weather)

Now, "saber" and "conhecer". Usually, "saber" means to know something (as knowledge), whereas "conhecer" means to know someone or to meet someone (but only for the first time when two people become acquaintances. Meeting someone e.g. in the street would be the verb "encontrar").

  • Eu sei isso! - I know that.
  • Não sei. - I don't know.
  • Sabes nadar? - Can you swim? (literally "do you know how to swim?")
  • Vocês sabem onde está o cão? - Do you know where the dog is?
  • Não conheço essa pessoa. - I don't know that person.
  • Conheces este escritor? - Do you know this writer?
  • Sabes quem conheci na festa? - Do you know who I met at the party?

Finally, "para" and "por". "Para" is translated as both "to" (note: only for places where the subject will stay at for some time. For brief periods of time we use the preposition "a") and "for" in English. Additionally, "para quem?" is translated as "for who?" and "para quê?" as "what for?".

  • Para quem é isso? - Who's that for?
  • É para mim? - Is it for me?
  • Vai para casa. - Go home. (literally "go to [your] house)
  • Vou voltar para os Estados Unidos. - I'm going to go back to the United States.
  • Vou para as aulas agora. - I'm going to school now. (literally "I'm going to the classes now")
  • Isso é para quê? - What's that for?
  • É para abrir garrafas. - It's for opening bottles.

The preposition "por" has multiple applications in Portuguese. I'll come back to it later. Húsönd 18:39, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

I am confused. When does one use comprender and when do you use entender? learnportuguese (talk) 23:26, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Their meaning is similar. "Compreender" means "to comprehend", while "entender" means "to understand". I should also note that the extremely common verb "perceber" also means "to understand", thus being a perfect synonym of "entender". I think that in Brazil they use "perceber" far less than we do in Portugal. Brazilians seem to prefer "entender", while the Portuguese use both verbs with similar frequency. Best regards, Húsönd 00:54, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Perceber makes sense as also meaning understand/perceive. learnportuguese (talk) 03:26, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
'Perceber' is actually very common in Brazil, but here it means "to notice", "to realize", or "to perceive". (I didn't even know it could mean 'entender' until I came to Wikipedia.) 'Compreender' is usually the same thing as 'entender', but sounds more formal. It means "to understand" or "to contain", just as in English. Eumedemito (talk) 23:40, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I hate to have to do a comparison with Spanish because it is one of the annoying things I encounter when I tell people I want to learn Portuguese. But I must to illustrate my point, to ask my question. Are lo and la used the same way they are in Spanish, with the - symbol? learnportuguese (talk) 20:18, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, no. Actually, in Spanish, "lo" and "la" can be either articles ("lo", neuter and "la", feminine) or pronouns. As direct pronouns they are usead interchangeably before or after the verb (though the Spanish use prefers before:
La encontré (Sp.) => A encontrei (Pt.)
Lo dije (Sp.) => O disse (Pt.)
Notice, please, that "O" is masculine in Portuguese but neuter in Spanish (Portuguese does not retain any traces of a neuter gender and the masculine performs this role). "Lhe" (Pt.) corresponds to Spanish "Le" (indirect pronoun).
"Lo" and "La" do only appear in portuguese when used after infinitive verb forms?
fazê-lo = fazer + o
Before the reforms of 1946 these forms used to be written like this:
fazel-o = fazer + o
Which was much clearer. Notice that the "l" actually belongs to the verb ending, not the pronoun. jggouvea (talk) 03:29, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

New Year's Day[edit]

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! :-) FELIZ ANO NOVO!!!!! :-) Let's get some good discussions on my talk page this 2008! Please take time to scroll through my entire talk page. There are many discussions that need to be started or added to. New Year's Day is such a great time to think about because everyone in the world celebrates it. What's it like in the Portuguese-speaking world today? Everybody have fun on Wikipedia! :-) learnportuguese (talk) 18:40, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I read that the Rose Parade, a traditional American parade in the city of Pasadena in California, had a float by some Portuguese-Americans. The description read like this: "With its first Rose Parade float entry, the Portuguese-American Community honors "The Holy Ghost Festival", a traditional Portuguese celebration. The center of the float features the crown that is typically used during the holiday's festivities. The remainder of the float consists of a fountain and an ornate arch designed in a way that is typical of Portuguese architecture. The back of the float is accented with a delicate lace design. The Portuguese-American Community fosters Portuguese culture and rewards deserving high-school and junior-college students with educational scholarships through its foundation program." I thought people would find this interesting, even though it is January 3. learnportuguese (talk) 23:21, 3 January 2008 (UTC)


If you speak Portuguese, can you understand Galego? learnportuguese (talk) 01:17, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

I guess so, at least the European Portuguese speakers wouldn't have any trouble. I mean, they wouldn't have any trouble after getting used to the language (which shouldn't take more than a mere couple of hours just listening to it). I grew up not far from the border with Galicia, so I can understand Galician with no trouble at all (although every now and then I come across a strange word I've never heard/seen before). However, Galician is not a uniform language and it possesses different degrees of similarity with Portuguese, depending on the area of Galicia a speaker is from. Usually, the farther from Portugal, the less similar it gets. Húsönd 04:31, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, that's interesting about Galego. Apparently it is somewhat understandable by European Spanish speakers too. But mainly the ones living near to the border to Galicia. learnportuguese (talk) 04:38, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Galician is a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish, so I guess it's not hard for Spaniards to understand the language. Húsönd 04:41, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

English as a second language[edit]

I never cease to be amazed as to how you Portuguese speakers speak English so well, almost better than me sometimes!! :-) English is a very difficult language, especially to write. And the most difficult thing about any language I think is its prepositions. :-) What are your thoughts on having English as a second language? learnportuguese (talk) 02:28, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, I'm a native speaker of English (although I've always been more influenced by Portuguese from growing up in Portugal), but it is true that the Portuguese seem to manage pretty well in English. I guess it has to do with movies/series on TV, which are never dubbed. Youngsters are constantly in touch with English. By the way, I don't think that people here would consider English a difficult language, quite the opposite. Húsönd 04:39, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I guess we don't have all that contact with English. Actually, most people here are really lazy when it comes to learning languages (or even watching movies with subtitles - Brazilian TV is nearly 100% in Portuguese). I think English is actually "easy to learn" because of its simplified structure (compared to other Germanic languages), but "hard to master" for the very same reason. Eumedemito (talk) 01:10, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Do Brazilians learn English in school like the Portuguese? learnportuguese (talk) 15:08, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
In theory, yes, we do. In practice, no, we don't. Theory and practice are no close friends in Brazil. Eumedemito (talk) 16:23, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh you make me laugh Eumedemito. :-) You must have been a very good English student (if theory and practice aren't close friends in Brasil). You are definitely on your way to finding yourself a good job. The better you communicate in a foreign language the more likely it is that you will get a good job. That's why I want to learn Portuguese and Spanish; as a journalist then, I'll be able to interview more people than I would if I only know English. learnportuguese (talk) 16:31, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Just to complete Eumedemito's remarks, in Brazil you study English at school but learn it at a private (usually expensive) language course. jggouvea (talk) 12:49, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Also, bilingual schools are becoming more popular nowadays, especially for younger children. They are very expensive though, but in bilingual schools students usually gain a pretty fluent grasp on the language. Of course, this is not only for English, but most bilingual schools teach either German, English or French. Goldencako 23:57, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
It's interesting that many people, more so I'm finding in Portugal than in Brasil, say English is easy to learn. This is fascinating to me. I personally think English is a strange language to write out, even as a native speaker. learnportuguese (talk) 11:35, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikimedia Commons[edit]

What is Wikimedia Commons? learnportuguese (talk) 00:15, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

The Commons is our repository of images, media, etc. We usually upload those resources there so that they may be used by all sister projects, not just the English Wikipedia. Read more at Wikimedia Commons. Regards, Húsönd 00:27, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh no! I should have uploaded that photo of myself into Wikimedia Commons, not Wikipedia, right? I licensed it, so everything's good there; but I had no idea about Wikimedia Commons 'til about 20 minutes ago. My bad. learnportuguese (talk) 00:39, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
No, that's OK. You did well because that photo is mainly to be used here on the English Wikipedia. But photos that are likely to be used everywhere should definitely be uploaded/moved to Commons. Húsönd 00:53, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

sem (without)[edit]

I think the Portuguese prepositions are going to be one of the harder things for me to master. I think the correct use of the prepositions of a language is a good indicator of whether a person is a native speaker or not. Sem (without) is the easiest preposition, but the ones I find hard are the smaller ones: de, a (which is also a definite article), para, por, and em. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 16:22, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Trust me, the Portuguese prepositions aren't harder than the English ones, although you'll have to cope with their contractions (e.g. de+a=da, em+os=nos, por+o=pelo, a+a=à, etc.). As for "sem", don't forget that it sounds just the same as "cem" (one hundred). Have a good time in college, Beth. :-) Best regards, Húsönd 18:15, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Oh no! Nos is confusing because it is a prepositional pronoun AND a prepositional contraction. learnportuguese (talk) 20:07, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Don't worry. When reading a sentence it's usually quite obvious whether it's the pronoun or the contracted preposition. Húsönd 23:32, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Can you give examples of when nos means us and when it means in-the? :-) lol learnportuguese (talk) 23:48, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Sure, see below.
  • nos (us):
    • Ele trouxe-nos. - He brought us.
    • Ele não nos viu. - He didn't see us.
    • Foi isso que ela nos disse. - That's what she told us.
  • nos (in/on/at+the (masculine plural)):
    • Ela está nos Estados Unidos. - She's in the United States.
    • Só saio nos dias de sol. - I only go out on the sunny days.
    • Põe isso nos armários! - Put that in the closets!
    • As pessoas sentem frio nos estádios, especialmente nos invernos mais rigorosos. - People feel cold at the stadiums, especially in the harshest winters.
Hope these are enough. :-) Regards, Húsönd 03:04, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

yes/no questions in Portuguese[edit]

One thing I must say I'll have to get used to is that yes/no questions in Portuguese are exactly the same as their responses structurally, except the response has a period and the question has a question mark. That's so confusing to me, but it's just another fun Portuguese grammatical challenge. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 01:34, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

True. In Portuguese the tone suffices for turning a declarative sentence into a question without having to mess with its structure. So, you may answer the question "É?" (Is it?) with a simple "É." (It is.). :-) Húsönd 03:09, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
It is not always the case, though. In European/Angolan Portuguese, one can easily answer a question with "sim". I mean, technically, one can do it in any Portuguese of course, but I've seen it used by Angolans and the Portuguese colloquially. Goldencako 23:51, 9 February 2008 (UTC)


I'd like to visit Angola someday. What's it like there? learnportuguese (talk) 23:26, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

thinking and dreaming in Portuguese[edit]

I learned Portuguese by going to Brazil and keeping in contact with friends there. I also kept a diary in Portuguese for five years. Every day I wrote down what I did, how I felt, what objects I encountered, etc. This was the most helpful thing for building vocabulary and grammar skills and learning to think in Portuguese. It wasn't long before I began to dream in Portuguese. Sometimes I have dreams about people that I know in the U.S. where they're speaking Portuguese and this cracks me up because they can't speak Portuguese in the awake world. Morganfitzp (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Wow! I'm impressed Morganfitzp. That's exactly what I want to do. I'll just go to Portugal first, then Brasil. learnportuguese (talk) 01:29, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree. The best way to learn a new language is visiting the country of origin. I think you will like Portugal, it's a nice country and Lisboa is a wonderful city. And don't forget the islands. I grew up in Madeira, although I now live in Lisboa. And I must say the accents of the different regions are also interesting. Lisboa and Coimbra, mainly, don't have a particular accent. But Porto, it's a whole new different language. ;) Espero que tenha despertado alguma curiosidade sobre Portugal. ;) Bruno 22:57, February 7 2008 (GMT)
One time I had a dream where everybody spoke Russian. Thing is, I don't speak Russian at all. I've always guessed that language is not "verbalized" in dreams. If that makes sense. A little like colors, they just appear as images or concepts (that is, I only notice color in dreams if that color plays a part in the unfolding of the dream)? Just a thought. :) 0cm (talk) 03:01, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with your point. I have had such dreams also, though never in Russian. In dreams I think it is more or less analogous to American films: wherever in the universe you go you will always find people speaking faultless proper English. jggouvea (talk) 16:10, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Cabo Verde's language versus Portuguese[edit]

Can Portuguese speakers understand Cabo Verde's language? I have some music from Cabo Verde, but I don't understand any of it. learnportuguese (talk) 11:56, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi! There are some differences, but they can understand each other. The Portuguese of Cabo Verde is more like the European Portuguese than the Brazilian Portuguese (mine). - Al Lemos (talk) 17:12, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi! Conte comigo!!! And ask me, if need a help in portuguese. Try our Wikipedia, there, i'm sysop. Saudações (regards). Alex Pereira 18:26, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi! Long time no see! What do you mean by “Cabo Verde’s language”? If you are talking about the Portuguese spoken in Cabo Verde, Al Lemos is right, it looks like European Portuguese rather than Brazilian Portuguese, but it is understood by both. However, if you have heard music from Cabo Verde, it was most likely sung in Cape Verdean Creole, and not in Portuguese. Even if more than 90% of the words of Cape Verdean Creole derivate from Portuguese, I don’t think you will understand it, it is a completely different language. See you! Ten Islands (talk) 04:22, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Cape Verdean Creole is far from being understandable by Portuguese people. Only when they speak Portuguese we can understand. Crazy Murdoc (talk) 01:04, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

hi from Brazil[edit]

I just read your message on my talk page. If you have any questions about Brazilian Portuguese, feel free to ask. gigabyte (talk) 23:24, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


Querida [...] / Dear [...],

Agradeço sua mensagem / Thanks for your comment.
Eu gostaria de saber seu nome / I would like to know your name.
Por essa razão, eu a chamei de [...] / For this reason, I have named you [...].
Pode ser? / Maybe?
Beijos! / Kisses!
Como eu digo "beijos" em forma abreviada? Em Português é "Bjs". / How do I say "kisses" in a short manner? In English it is...

Carinhosamente / Tenderly. EgídioCamposDiz! 00:06, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Beth... é seu nome / Beth... is your name!
Você é muito bonita / You are so beautiful!
EgídioCamposDiz! 03:29, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Oi, Beth / Hi, Beth!
Isso não é o mais importante, mas... / This is not the most important thing, but...
Você troca a letra inicial maiúscula do título por u'a minúscula / You change the initial capital letter at the title by a lower case.
Por que você faz tais trocas / Why do you make such changes?
Isso é questão de estilo seu / Is this a style question of yours?
Bjs! / [?!... You have not said me the corresponding short form in English, so...]
EgídioCamposDiz! 13:36, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

replying to the message you left on my talk page[edit]

Hello. You seem to have a lot of questions about the Portuguese language. How did you become interested in it in the first place? I saw on your page that you were born in South Korea, never got interested in learning that language also? I find Hangul fascinating, but sadly, I don't know how to speak or write Korean. Maybe some day, at the moment, I'm still trying to master Kanji. Anyway, regarding a few of your questions, Portuguese don't usually have a problem understanding Brazilian people, unless they are from the countryside of Brazil and have a really thick accent. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that in Portugal, Brazilian soap operas have been aired for several decades now, people are used to hearing Brazilian Portuguese. Brazilian people, however, sometimes have a little bit of trouble understanding the Portuguese, mostly, if they've never been to Portugal or around Portuguese people. There are many Brazilian immigrants here, however, and they manage just fine. As you may know, they have been trying to work out a treaty to make an international form of written Portuguese, basically, changing it to the Brazilian form, which some find easier. Many people here don't agree with this, and I'm one of them, because the written Brazilian Portuguese takes away the root of many words and makes the language a lot more ambiguous -- the simplest example is the word "facto" (in English, "fact"), which in Brazilian Portuguese becomes "fato" without the "c". "Fato" then becomes either a "suit" or a "fact". The Latin root of the word is removed completely, to me it's like obliterating the natural evolution of this language. While I wouldn't mind if they did this on certain documents, I definitely don't want to forcibly change the way I write. I think we can get along just fine with all the different kinds of Portuguese. Although it annoys me a little when I see Brazilian editions of Portuguese authors with the words changed to Brazilian Portuguese, I have never seen this done to Brazilian authors published here and I would be just as annoyed if someone took a Brazilian book and changed it to European Portuguese. It's funny you also want to speak Spanish because every Portuguese person understands Spanish people, but the opposite isn't quite true. Spanish people are very nationalistic, sometimes I wonder if they just pretend not to understand us... although, again, Spanish people among us seem to do just fine. Necessity is the greatest teacher of all, maybe? Anyway, this is quite a long message. I'd suggest you take up some Portuguese classes if you can and if you aren't doing that already. It's very lonely and sometimes more difficult to learn a language by yourself. Hope this message has been of some use to you. If you don't mind, I'd also like to ask you something. You also mention on your user page that you're blind. I'm interested in accessibility and inclusive design, but I'm still trying to learn more about this complex topic. So it's always interesting to hear about how people with different kinds of visual impairments use new technologies and the difficulties they face when using them (bad design is easy and rampant, unfortunately). Could you tell me a bit about your experience using the web and any problems you might face when browsing websites? By the way, visually impaired people are a bit invisible in Portugal. It seems a lot of them still stay at home and hide a bit from the world. I don't blame them, our cities are not thought out with accessibility in mind. Sometimes it's difficult for people without any kind of impairment to get around, with our steep streets, slippery and broken cobblestone sidewalks, and obstacles all over the place. There was actually a small campaign in Lisboa a while back where they went around marking problematic spots all over downtown. I guess we can blame this partially on the fact that Lisboa is an old city, but then, newer cities have the same problems. It's something I find quite upsetting, everyday life can be difficult enough without having to run through a real-life obstacle course. Well, get back to me if you can. As our Brazilian Portuguese friends have taught us, "tchau"! :) 0cm (talk) 03:33, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Olá 0cm. I got your delightful message. I personally think it would be cool to walk down a cobblestone sidewalk. As an introvert, I am always taking in new information, so life is a giant adventure for me. I'll get back to all your questions later. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 12:08, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Some of the nicer cobblestone sidewalks are easier to walk on, but the ones in a state of disrepair (the majority of them, really) aren't... I see people tripping, slipping and falling all the time here. Did you know they even use cobblestones indoors, sometimes? It's a cobblestone mania! 0cm (talkcontribs) 14:20, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi, feel free to contact me about Brazilian Portuguese or anything else, but be aware that I'm not a Portuguese teacher, just a software developer :) Bpfurtado (talk) 12:25, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Pimsleur Method[edit]

Oi amiga. I just wanted to make sure you know about the Pimsleur method for learning new languages. I used them to help learn English and they are available for English speakers to learn Brazilian Portuguese. The Pimsleur method is excellent and soon you will be talking perfect Portuguese. Boa sorte! Jamirabastos (talk) 13:24, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Lisboa and Coimbra[edit]

I've been reading that these two major cities are nice places to visit. Let's start a discussion about them. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 14:18, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Lisboa is, of course, Lisbon. Let's see… in the article, we have the Castle of King George, a statue of the King Afonso, and the Lisbon Cathedral. Hm… I want to go sightseeing now! Bellito, master of all things Mac-related (talk) 00:02, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi! I saw the message you left on my talk page some days ago; I currently live in Lisboa, but was born in Castelo Branco, so I'll try and describe them to you. About Coimbra I'm probably not the best person to describe it, even though i've been there a couple of times. Lisboa, as you know, is the capital city of Portugal; It's quite big, crowded and noisy compared to smaller cities here, but there's also a lot of interesting things to see, like Parque das Nações, the [Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation|Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian]] and the Baixa. I haven't lived here for long, so that's pretty much what i can suggest. About Castelo Branco, it's a calm and somewhat small city in the interior of Portugal; Probably the most interesting places to visit are the Jardim Municipal (municipal garden), the Jardim do Paço Episcopal (Garden of the Episcopal Palace) and what we usually call the Docas (Docks), which, despite the name, is just an open area with esplanadas (Sidewalk cafes) in the center of the city. There's also the castle ('Castelo Branco' literally means 'white castle'), of which barely more than a wall and two towers remain. if you ever get to visit it, you should try to go in the spring (primavera)or fall (outono), because it gets both very hot and cold in the summer and winter, respectively. If you have any questions about the cities, or about european portuguese, feel free to ask; I'll be keeping a look on your talk page and try to help when I can. Até à próxima ('see you later' - literally 'until next time') --goncalopp (talk) 00:13, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Braga and Porto[edit]

These cities are ones I'd like to visit someday. What are they like? learnportuguese (talk) 14:20, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo[edit]

Which one of these cities is famous for the statue? Either way, I'd like to visit both cities. I've read lots of awesome stuff about them. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 14:22, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

It's Rio de Janeiro, of course! The statue is the Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. - Al Lemos (talk) 16:06, 8 February 2008 (UTC)


Hello! I noticed you left a note on my talk page (noting a note, how rather droll!). I've been learning Portuguese for a while now, my great-grandfather was actually from Portugal. I'm also into Brazilian music. Se você tem mais perguntas, deixa-me uma mensagem no página da conversa. Até logo! Bellito, master of all things Mac-related (talk) 23:59, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Hello! I also noticed that. I'm a natural Brazilian Portuguese speaker and I think it's very gentle of you to learn our language instead of try to speak to us in Spanish. I have a very sensitiveness for differences in the way of saying things between languages so I could help you. FlavianusEP (talk) 12:51, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

People trying to learn Portuguese that aren't in Brazil, that's a new one. I don't know if I'm helpful, but it's polite to reply. And I understand that no cities from my state (Oh Minas Gerais, Oh Minas Gerais, Quem te conhece não esquece jamais, oh Minas Gerais) aren't in your "Wish list", it isn't that known. igordebraga 13:47, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I am learning for at least 12 years, first through child magazines trying to teach and computer/video games, and in 98 or 99 I entered a language school. In 2001 I exchanged it, and in 2006 I finished the regular course. Mas não sei se preciso de ajuda. Tá certo que falar/escrever não é tão fácil quanto ler, eu tenho que pensar pra escolher as palavras. Bom, frequentar Wikipedia, GameFAQs e IMDb ajuda a reforçar. igordebraga 00:08, 23 February 2008 (UTC)


Do people surf in the Portuguese-speaking countries, I mean the countries with coasts? Well, I have never gone surfing. I guess it would not be so safe for a blind person. But it sounds like a giant adventure like life itself. learnportuguese (talk) 14:13, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Well.. you bet they do. With thousands of miles of coastline, ranging from above the equator to far under the tropic, it would be real bad luck to have no "surfable" waters. But, you can be sure, it's not the case. Eumedemito (talk) 15:15, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Although I know a webcam picture won't be of much use to you, I'm leaving a link here Maybe someone can describe the scene to you? It overlooks the beach at Guincho, near Cascais, on the outskirts of Lisboa and it is usually busy with surfers, especially during the summertime, but also during the winter on weekends. Galf (talk) 10:40, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Brazilian vs European difficult[edit]

Hello, good luck learning Portuguese, because I think it is very hard. :P Olá, boa sorte aprendendo o português, porque eu acho que é bem difícil.

I am still learning English and I not sure if I can help you. Eu ainda estou aprendendo inglês e não tenho certeza se posso ajuda-la.

I only speak Brazilian Portuguese and will give one example of motive Brazilian is more easy then European. Eu apenas falo o português brasileiro e vou te dar um exemplo do porquê o brasileiro e mais fácil que o europeu.

  • I am going to download those files.
  • Estou indo descarregar aqueles ficheiros. (European Portuguese)
  • Estou indo baixar aqueles arquivos. (Brazilian Portuguse)
  • Estou indo fazer o download daqueles arquivos. (Popular Brazilian)

"Eu estou indo <verb>" is the literal translation of "I am going to <verb>" in portuguese, but normally in brazilian portuguese you won't say "estou indo fazer" for "I am going to do". Instead, people say "eu vou fazer". "eu vou" is similar to "I will" or "I am going to" in english. If translated literally, it means "I go" ("vou" is past tense for the "ir" verb). So I would rewrite the phrases above as: "Eu vou baixar aqueles arquivos" or "Vou baixar aqueles arquivos" , and "Eu vou fazer download daqueles arquivos" or "Eu vou fazer download daqueles arquivos". --Eduardo Habkost (talk) 12:30, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

"Eu estou indo <verbo>" é a tradução literal de "I am going to <verbo>" em português, mas normalmente no português brasileiro, não se diz "estou indo fazer" no lugar de "I am going to do". As pessoas normalmente dizem "eu vou fazer". "eu vou" é parecido com o "I will" ou "I am going to" do inglês. Se traduzido literalmente para inglês, seria "I go" ("vou" é a conjugação no passado, primeira pessoa do singular, do verbo "ir"). Então eu reesccreveria as frases acima como: "Eu vou baixar aqueles arquivos" ou "Vou baixar aqueles arquivos" , e "Eu vou fazer download daqueles arquivos" ou "Eu vou fazer download daqueles arquivos". --Eduardo Habkost (talk) 12:30, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
In the dialect of the portuguese region of Alentejo, using the gerund is the common way of speaking. On the other hand, Alentejo has a tradition as the agricultural hub of portugal, and imagining a farmer downloading is quite humorous.... Alentejo was known as the "celeiro (grain silo) de Portugal" wheat being the dominant crop. Galf (talk) 11:03, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

There is a Portuguese phrase very interesting:

  • Did you know that thrush (bird) knew to whistle?
  • Você sabia que o sabiá sabia assobiar?

There is some travalínguas which are very difficult to speak for anyone: [6]

  • Three plates of wheat to three sad tigers.
  • Três pratos de trigo para três tristes tigres.

Cheers. Carlosguitar (ready and willing) 18:32, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

You can practice the pronunciation of the soft "r" with the following tongue-twister:
O rato roeu a rolha da garrafa de rum do rei (The rat chewed the cork of the king's rum bottle).
That one about the sabiá is useful to practice the "s". Now if you want to practice the "z":
A mariposa fazia coisas incríveis e zumbia as asas azuis (The moth did incredible things and hummed its blue wings). Every "s" in this sentence is pronounced like a "z" (something like "a maripoza fazia coiza zincrívei zi zumbia a zaza zazuis). jggouvea (talk) 03:34, 25 April 2008 (UTC)


Hello! I just saw the message you left on my talk page. I'll look around and see if there's anything I can contribute to, in the meantime, if you'd like to ask anything specific, go ahead and leave me a message.Goldencako 23:46, 9 February 2008 (UTC)


Muito obrigado pela sua mensagem. Estarei ao seu dispor caso precise de alguma ajuda! (did you get it?) -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 14:18, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Translation: Thank you for your message. I'll be at your disposal in case you need any help. -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 18:37, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

I have answered to your email but got a message back saying I'm not allowed to access that address. - Alvesgaspar (talk) 19:44, 10 February 2008 (UTC)


Recebi seu convite. Sou péssimo com meu inglês, tenho muita dificuldade para escrever aqui na Wikipedia... você acha que podemos nos ajudar?

~Translation: I received your invitation. I am very bad with my english... You think that we can help our self?

Formas de ajuda sugeridas:

  1. depois que eu escrevo em mau-inglês, aqui na, você revisa (e corrige se necessário) com seu bom-inglês. Discutimos em português quando necessário.
  2. depois que você escreve em português, na, eu reviso (e corrijo se necessário) com meu pt-BR (português do Brasil). Discutimos em português quando necessário.

--Krauss (talk) 00:32, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

hello from Natal/RN/Brazil[edit]

Hello! You have an interesting page. South korean living in America. I have a south korean friend, and she is wanting to live here in Brazil, in the same city me and my wife live. I don't really have contact with blind people (I don't know any), so I can't tell you how it is around here.

If I may ask, I have one question... How do you read the wikipedia? Do you have a software that speaks to you? And does it speak English and Portuguese? Sorry about the question. I've always wanted to know.

People say that portuguese is a very difficult language. Since it's my first language, i really can't say. I'm currently learning Japanese (日本語) and i'm loving it!

Good luck with your learning! Nudge me if you need any help!

Regards, --Kalel (talk) 12:28, 11 February 2008 (UTC)


Hi, I have just got your message. I would be glad to give you a little help to learn and practice portuguese.

My e-mail address is on my user page, you can contact me. --Eduardo Habkost (talk) 13:19, 11 February 2008 (UTC)


Hello, I got your message. Have a look at my contribuitions, I'm always putting the interwiki for Portuguese articles; a lot of them are of articles I have translated into Portuguese, so i think it will be very useful for your Portuguese learning to see the Portuguese version and compare with the English if you have any doubts. My best wishes, Leandro Prudencio (talk) 20:54, 11 February 2008 (UTC)


I got your message, and put your page on my watchlist.

If you have any special concern on a specific portuguese language or Brazilian culture related topic, just make me know.

I'm also in WP-pt under this same nickname.

--Gerbilo (talk) 15:01, 12 February 2008 (UTC)


Hi, it's so good to see people getting interested in this beautiful and complex language. I saw in your user page that you are really into this. I live in Brazil, so if you want tips or if you have any doubt, you can go to my user talk ;)

Dra marina (talk) 17:22, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

So Dra Marina You're bilingual. I envy you. How is it to be bilingual? :-) learnportuguese (talk) 22:27, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Hello! (Olá!)[edit]

Hello, you sent a message to me 5 days ago but I read it only now. So here I am!

It's very nice to see that you are trying to learn portuguese! Same as you I'm trying to learn a new language (japanese). In march I'll begin the College of Letters in UNESP, and I'll study Portuguese and Japanese.

I wish luck to you on your journey, and I'll help in what I can, but I confess that my English is poor.

See ya! Agente Rolf (talk) 22:11, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Where did you learn English? How come you're taking on a third language? learnportuguese (talk) 22:25, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, I haven't learned the English! I learned some English playing videogames.
When I was a kid I got curious on what the characters was talking or "What should I do? I don't understand what is written..."
Then my parents bought some dictionaries to me, and now I know some words and vocabulary. My grammar is really bad.
And now about the "third language". My dad is japanese, so I'd like to maintain some of my "origins". It's hard to be an illiterate to half of my relatives!! Hehe!
See ya! Agente Rolf (talk) 00:36, 15 February 2008 (UTC)


Hello. I am a native speaker of Galician. If you have any question or doubt about Galician language or culture, just ask me. I can speak and write portuguese thanks to the similarity it has with galician, although oficially we use a different graffic system in some sounds. Despite that difference we share the 80% of the vocabulary.

Nice to contact with you. --Galician (talk) 19:17, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi. So Galacian is similar to Portuguese. Actually I'm starting to develop an interest in the Galician language. But first I have to get good at Portuguese and Spanish. Not that I'm prejudiced against Galician. I've never heard Galician spoken, I think I've seen it written a few times. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 00:21, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi. From a Portuguese stand-point, Galician sounds a lot like the accent from inner-northern Portugal, which is exactly the border with Galicia. There are today a lot of Portuguese students in Santiago's med schools, which attests to the proximity in the languages. Galf (talk) 10:25, 15 February 2008 (UTC)


Hi Beth, actually I can speak three languages fluently, and those are English, Portuguese and Spanish. I'm still not soooo good at Italian and French.

I'd tell you to make an account in Wikipedia in Portuguese, so you could start seeing how this language really works. And if you have this account already, this is my user page there: [7]. I'm always there, so if you want to talk to me, you're my guest to visit my Portuguese Wikipedia page. ;)

Dra marina (talk) 14:25, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Hey Beth, I liked the part 'estarei a seu dispor'! It seems that very soon we'll have another fluent Portuguese speaker. I must confess, this language is quite difficult, but I see that you work hard to learn it, so there won't appear many obstacles on your way.

Once again, any doubt, you can ask me :-)

Dra marina (talk) 03:49, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

a little gift[edit]

I used to work in a callcenter, and one day I got the most dreaded of all calls, a blind man...after some fumbling around he exclaimed "There is a little box that I had never SEEN before..." anyway, I found a link from the Portuguese national broadcaster, RTP that is blind-friendly and has the current news machine-read to you in Portuguese regards,Galf (talk) 12:04, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Oi! Eu falo português, sim![edit]

Olá, sou um falante nativo do Português Brasileiro. Acho legal a idéia de você se interessar por esta língua, que é muito linda, mas complexa. Precisando de ajuda, é só me pedir.

Hello, i'm a native speaker of the Brazilian Portuguese. I think it's very nice you wanting to learn this language, which is very beautiful, but complex. If you need any help, ask me.

I have a MSN, if you want to add me is

Blamed (talk) 01:18, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Welcome to me[edit]

Hello, learnportuguese!

I bag your — firstly your — welcome at my talk page. Maybe? Look... for it is yet red.

LearnEnglishTalk 19:54, 18 February 2008 (UTC)


Hi. I'm sorry for the late response. I usually only work on the portuguese wikipedia, translating articles from the english and german ones, and, I usually don't have much time to work on wikipedia in the first place...not as much as I wanted to anyway. That being said I must congratulate you, it takes a lot of courage to learn a hard language like portuguese. I can't imagine myself learning chinese or farsi or some other complicated language. English is so easy and student-friendly. You will find, if not already, that the portuguese language plays tricks on you. As a matter of clarifying the issue: "...I guess there isn't a Portuguese name for James Smith, so it has to be the same..." - we tend to say foreign names as much as they are, i.e., we will not translate them to their portuguese homologues, in this case if one would, it would be something like: Tiago Ferreira. I agree with you when you say that to best learn a language one must immerse in it, if you continue to do this eventually you'll master the language. I believe when you do master it you'll see all the other romanic languages in a different, more enlightened way. Appart my lack of time, if you need help with something estarei ao seu dispor. Eicuro (talk) 13:26, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

uma simpática mensagem[edit]

Someone (not on Wikipedia) said in Portuguese that I had sent him "uma simpática mensagem", but I don't know what simpática means. I would think "a sympathetic message", but that didn't make sense to me. learnportuguese (talk) 22:53, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

It means a nice, charming message. But the correct way to say it is "uma mensagem simpática". Regards, Alvesgaspar (talk) 23:39, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Uma mensagem simpática/a nice message. That's what I figured, but I wasn't sure. I gleaned the word nice from context and the way it was said. Initially I thought "Hmm, I didn't do anything that would cause someone to say I was being sympathetic.". learnportuguese (talk) 01:45, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

You can use "uma mensagem simpática" as well as "uma simpática mensagem". The latter for emphasis in "simpática". Gerbilo (talk) 15:16, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm not so sure that I was trying to send a charming message. I would say simpática translates better as nice. But that is only my guess. :-) All of you Portuguese speakers would know much better than me. learnportuguese (talk) 20:21, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

ser/estar distinction[edit]

I have been thinking about the ser/estar distinction in Portuguese, and the implicit rules we use when choosing the right verb seem to be more complicated than I initially thought. I have found some information about this the Romance copula article. --Eduardo Habkost (talk) 16:14, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the article. That is one I haven't yet read. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 20:22, 21 February 2008 (UTC)


Hi, Learnportuguese! Sorry just to answer now, but I just come here to insert interwikis form protuguese articles. Well, I've noticed that you are quite interested in learning portuguese, so, if I could help in doing that, just "call me" in my user talk page. Kind regards, Carlos28 (talk) 21:06, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Hello! I live in Florianópolis that is one of the cities that you want to visit in Brazil! I can help you teaching portuguese!Esa3000 (talk) 14:20, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Translation/tradução: "Olá! Eu vivo em Florianópolis, que é uma das cidades que você deseja visitar no Brasil. Eu posso te ajudar ensinando português a você! Esa3000 (talk) 14:20, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

You're great. Janiovj (talk) 00:27, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, thank you. I'm Brazilian, living down south, in a little town where people speak Italian on the streets. What are you majoring in? Janiovj (talk) 01:12, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
And since you've never been to an island, check where I live, Florianópolis:D Janiovj (talk) 01:17, 26 February 2008 (UTC)


Hello, Beth! Nice meeting you, and thank you for your message. I'm wondering, though, are you 100% blind? How is it that you can read what's written here on Wikipedia? You have someone read it for you? Or maybe you have help from some technological gadget that reads what's written for you? I hope you won't feel offended by my asking.

I see there are plenty of people offering you a hand with Portuguese, so you might not need me much, but it doesn't hurt to offer mine as well. If you ever want to ask anything, whether it's related to Portuguese or not, please feel free to ask. :)

Peace, Ken :-) Haggen Kennedy (talk) 18:09, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi again. :-) How did I learn English? That's a good question. I wish I could give you a good answer, but I'm afraid I can't. It's a long story, actually. When I was in the 1st grade I already knew how to read and write, so there wasn't much to do in class. One day I saw some politician speaking English on TV and I was at a loss for words as he said things in a weird languae that some people could understand but others could not (it was like some secret code - only those who had the key could decipher it!). I was one of those people who couldn't make out a single word he was saying. I pondered over the matter for many a month until I learned that he was speaking another language, called English. Since I didn't have much to do at school I decided to learn English on my own. My father had a few (very, very old) teach-yourself English books, and that's what I used to learn the language. I never had classes, but worked quite hard to learn English. Then, in 1997, I decided to become a freelance translator. I love languages, so I thought, why not make a living out of it? 11 years later and I'm still working with that. So there's my story in a nutshell. :-)

About the braille, I must say, wow! It's amazing that your monitor will convert everything that's written into braille. I can't even begin imagining how much work it is for you to read everything with nothing but the tip of your fingers. You, milady, have my utmost respect. I bow before thy grace. :) - I wonder what smileys are like in braille.

And I'm from Brazil. Originally I'm from a beach-city called Salvador, in the state of Bahia, located in the northeastern part of the country. I still live here, though I have already lived in Spain and Greece as well. I went to college in Athens.

Thank you so much for offering me your help, I appreciate it! Once again, if there's anything you need, please let me know. :)

PS: Oh! How does your monitor let you know when a word is linked? Haggen Kennedy (talk) 03:17, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

making a standard Portuguese[edit]

I don't think it's right that there is a movement to reform Portuguese into a standard closer to Brazilian Portuguese. If Europeans, Asians, Africans, and Brazilians are surviving OK right now as Portuguese stands in its two forms, then why change anything if nothing is broken? For those of you who don't know, in the English-speaking world we have English English and American English standard written systems; but everyone survives fine without one standard being regarded as the one and only form of English. I think having different forms of writing is just as valid as having different forms of speaking. Would we make Asians, Africans, and Europeans speak like Brazilians? Or would we make Brazilians speak like Asians, Africans, and Europeans? Languages evolve naturally, in both writing and speech, and that's what makes them fascinating. Portuguese in particular is very fascinating and beautiful for me to listen to, but also Spanish. learnportuguese (talk) 00:09, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't actually think the reform will bring spelling closer to either variation. Instead it will bring both closer. Only minor changes will be made and there will still be different standards on both sides of the sea. This reform is actually more useful for African countries and for Timor-Leste, which will be able to buy books both from Brazil and Portugal without confusing children. I would remark that Portuguese books are not readily available in Brazil, and the reverse seems to be true. Books need to be adapted before being published. The only authors I have seen available without change are Fernando Pessoa (who actually used a spelling system of his own in most of his works) and Guimarães Rosa (who sort of invented a language of his own).

Anyway, I do agree that the reform itself is silly and that the current situation does not hurt the language (as the two standards don't hurt English). jggouvea (talk) 02:10, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

The reform is absurd indeed. It's a useless attempt to make the Brazilian and Portuguese dialects look more similar in their written forms. However, even if all the words were to write exactly the same, it would still be easy to identify whether the writer was from Portugal or Brazil because the dialects have huge structural and grammatical differences. I, for one, will never write any differently despite this stupid reform. Húsönd 22:33, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

drives me mad[edit]

Probably one of the very few things that drives me mad about Portuguese is the silent consonants, which I had never noticed until now. I'd hear something and see it in writing and it wouldn't occur to me how to spell it correctly. The two easiest examples are the words exactamente and concepção. learnportuguese (talk) 01:08, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

In Brazilian Portuguese, it is spelled "exatamente", and I pronounce the "p" in "concepção". I think there may be cases of silent consonants in Brazilian Portuguese also, but I don't remember any, right now. --Eduardo Habkost (talk) 16:32, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, I have a better example for silent c: protecção. learnportuguese (talk) 18:03, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
The silent c is usual in European Portuguese, but not in Brazilian Portuguese. Most (or all?) words with a silent c in European Portuguese are spelled without the c in Brazil. Examples: proteção, exatamente, correto, ereto, projeto. The following words are spelled with the c in Brazil, but at least in the region where I live, it is not silent (maybe in other accents it is silent or almost inaudible): convicção, invicto, confecção. --Eduardo Habkost (talk) 18:39, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
What-questions can begin with qual é (Qual é a sua opinião?) or o que é (O que é RSS?). I get confused which word (qual or o que) to use to formulate my questions. :-) learnportuguese (talk) 12:20, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
"Qual" is literally "which one", and "que" means "what" (in this context). In "O que é [o] RSS" you're asking for the definition of RSS, while in "Qual é a sua opinião" you're asking for one opinion, from the set of all possible opinions. Also, qual is a pronoun: "qual é a sua opinião" could be "extended" to "*que* opinião é a tua opinião" ("what opinion is your opinion"). It's somewhat difficult to explain, but if you see enough examples, you'll probably start getting a feel for it --goncalopp (talk) 01:37, 18 March 2008 (UTC)


It is without doubt harder to learn Portuguese without someone to speak to physically. Reading is one skill; writing is another; listening and speaking are others; understanding combines all of these skills. I feel a little incomplete. But in my part of the States there aren't any people who speak Portuguese. But that may change. A friend of mine's neighbor is from Angola and I'm dying to meet her (dying in this case means I'm very excited, for those of you who didn't understand). :-) learnportuguese (talk) 01:34, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

In Portuguese that expression (I'm dying to meet her) would be something like "Estou mortinha por conhecê-la.", although I haven't heard many people use it. I wish they would though, I like how it sounds. Cattus talk 03:09, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Where I live, you could say "estou louca para conhecê-la". --Eduardo Habkost (talk) 16:34, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that too. I just wanna make a correction to what I said before: "Estou mortinha por conhecê-la" (I'm dying to know her) implies that you don't know her or that you haven't met her in person before. If you have already met her in a previous occasion, I think the correct expression would be "Estou mortinha por me encontrar com ela". Cattus talk 17:56, 10 March 2008 (UTC)


Today was my lucky day. I finally met Júlia, my friend's neighbor, who is from Angola. I must say it is one thing to send an email partly in Portuguese. You don't have to worry about sounding like a dork in your pronunciation. It's another completely different thing when someone gives you a really enthusiastic hug in greeting (which I didn't mind at all) and starts shooting out questions in Portuguese (How old are you? What classes are you taking this semester?) and you have to answer them as well in Portuguese. That's why I say speaking and writing are two totally different capabilities. I must have looked a bit comical as my knees were shaking and I sort-of felt like I might fall down. But my friend Michelle called me later and told me I was smiling the whole time. I can't actually tell you if I was scared or just overwhelmed by actually getting to meet a Portuguese speaker in real time. So it turns out that she says I sound like a Portuguese. How curious! :-) learnportuguese (talk) 02:05, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Hi, Beth. I found a message of yours in my message page from February, but I have only read it today (I read wikipedia very often, but as you can see I don't use my user name frequently). I'll be glad to help you learn our language as I can.Guinsberg (talk) 04:12, 5 April 2008 (UTC)




Macau (China)[edit]

Damão and Goa (Índia)[edit]


I would like to add a recommendation of a place to visit in Brazil: -- Tiradentes, a small town in Minas Gerais where everything is kept as it was in the XVIII century. Good typical food, craftwork. Suntuous churches all covered in gold. Nicest in winter, with mild temperature. A really quiet place, though a bit expensive and far from major places. Not that much accessible, come with a friend to help you. If you ever come to Minas Gerais, don't forget to try vaca atolada (cow meat cooked in a manioc soup).


Hi! I'm glad to see an English speaker keen on learning Portuguese! Well, in fact I'm trying to improve my English, so we might help each other... Next time please use my Portuguese user talk page - I seldom log in to en.wikipedia. Cumprimentos, Gil (talk) 17:59, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Easter in the Portuguese-speaking world[edit]

So what is Easter like in the Portuguese-speaking world? I know it is Páscoa in Portuguese. learnportuguese (talk) 01:00, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Feliz Páscoa to everybody! :-) learnportuguese (talk) 09:45, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

English vs. Portuguese: which is more difficult?[edit]

You said me in a e-mail that people from Portugal says that English is easier than Portuguese. As a matter of fact, many people in the world would say that English is an easier language than their own. It deals on the way languages are taught and the conception of grammar most non-English speakers have. The foreign language teaching usually hide the difficulty of a language. Non-native students don't have to understand the reasons for the way the sentences are built. They don't have to study the theory of grammar but only what they use. Nonetheless, they will have to spell only the words they learn instead of all the words you as a native have to spell. Also, they learn the words in conjunction with its spelling. For explain the issue with conception of grammar, I will experimentally split the grammar in fundamental grammar and "extended" grammar. The idea of fundamental grammar comes to me from the Fundamenta Gramatiko of Esperanto. The Fundamenta Gramatiko consists in spelling, morphology rules and structural words (pronouns, linking words etc.). If you disregards spelling, as much of foreign students do, and compare languages by their fundamental grammar, English will ever looks like a bare language. By example, as the English verbs have only four simple distinct forms (the second singular person is never taught for foreigners) or five, for irregulars, the Portuguese ones have fifty-nine, or sixty-five or sixty-six if the verb is irregular. Of course this kind of comparison is a mistake: shortage of word forms affects directly word placement and English in its "extended" grammar has a lot of rules that would not exist if there was agreement as in Portuguese. If I had to study English the same way a native does I would give up. FlavianusEP (talk) 01:26, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I believe different languages are each difficult in different ways. English is easier in verb conjugation, but harder in verbal agreement. Portuguese spelling is easier than English, but sentence structure in English, while allowing more complexity, is more obscure. jggouvea (talk) 14:33, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Hi. I just saw your message today. My area is biology then something about this or other things I can help you. Hugs

Hellen Perrone (talk) 21:40, 4 April 2008 (UTC)Hellen Perrone

I've once been told that if to learn English you would spent 1 day, Japanese would take 6 days and Portuguese 26 days! Of course it is just a metaphore, but it says it all! :>)
In brazilian portuguese -> Uma vez me disseram que se para aprender Inglês demorasse 1 dia, Japonês demoraria 6 dias e Português 26 dias! É claro que é apenas uma metáfora, mas já diz tudo!
Khullah (talk) 02:44, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
As a native speaker of German I can assure you that English is much more easier than Portuguese, because English is very simple and Portuguese demanding - according to a friend of mine who is learning it - but chin up! At the moment I (unfortunately) don´t speak any Portuguese, but this might change in the near future... Hopefuly I will have an advantage due to my spanish skills.

Another point: Your Portuguese aims are within reach, but you have to find an opportunity to use it. Your planned travels are for sure a help!

Dagadt (talk) 18:31, 25 September 2008 (UTC)


Olá Beth! Vou começar escrevendo em português e depois traduzo para inglês, ok? Em primeiro lugar queria dizer que estou à disposição para te ajudar em quaisquer dúvidas que tiver. Li que está ouvindo português nos sites da BBC? Um lugar bom para ver também seria o São vídeos da Rede Globo, a maior emissora do Brasil. Lá você vai encontrar todos principais sotaques que falamos. Queria também corrigir uma frase que tem na sua página:

Bom dia. / Muito bom dia. (Good morning. / A very good morning to you.)

Na verdade "Muito bom dia" = "A very good morning". "A very good morning to you" = "Muito bom dia para você", mas nós falaríamos como "Um ótimo dia para você", com "ótimo" equivalendo "muito bom".

Não entro muito na wikipedia, mas sempre que precisar, me escreva! Abraços.

Hello Beth! I'll start writing in portuguese and then i'll translate it to english, ok? To start with I would like to say that I'm willing to help you in any doubt that you may have. I read you are listening portuguese in the websites of BBC? A good place (=site) to see too (to check also) would be It has videos from Rede Globo (Globe Net), the biggest TV station of Brazil. There you'll find all the main accents we speak. I would like also to correct a phrase in your page:

Bom dia. / Muito bom dia. (Good morning. / A very good morning to you.)

Actually "Muito bom dia" = "A very good morning". "A very good morning to you" = "Muito bom dia para você", but we'd talk like "Um ótimo dia para você", with "ótimo" being equivalent to "muito bom".

I don't get to enter wikipedia much, but every time you need me, write me! Hugs (=regards, I think).
Khullah (talk) 04:21, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

the movie Lisbon Story[edit]

User Galf recommended this movie to me. If anyone has seen it let me know what you think. I am going to watch it tonight 'cause I found it online a few days ago and it has arrived just today. Luckily there is a lot of sound in it so it is not necessarily visually dependent. :D I have this feeling that after seeing it I will want to catch the next flight to Lisboa! :D learnportuguese (talk) 21:54, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Ha ha, maybe there are several versions of the movie 'cause I wound up with a version that was all German with English subtitles--a total nightmare for a blind person! :D learnportuguese (talk) 21:34, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Potential superpowers[edit]

Hello Learnportuguese! Can you say your opinion in Talk:Potential superpowers#Removal of Brazil? Thank you! Felipe C.S ( talk ) 00:20, 17 May 2008 (UTC)


Hi, I'm surprised by your effort to learn Portuguese, few people in USA would make this effort. I'm a Brazilian guy, but I see you have a lot of contributions here. My two cents:

  • You will progress much more if you have the opportunity to attend to language classes where you live. Certainly travelling and studying Portuguese abroad is the best way of learning, but the investment is much higher.
  • Contrarily to what is stated in your user page, Vancouver is located in Canada, not United States.

Good luck! Flavio Costa (talk) 00:37, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Hello! I found a note from you on my page dating back February. Sorry for not replying early, as I haven't used my Wikipedia account in a long while. I'm really surprised by your enthusiasm in learning Portuguese. I'm a native speaker from the North of Portugal. Fun fact about the accent here in the north: we frequently (if not ever) use the sound of a "B" instead of the "V". --Orta (talk) 21:56, 6 July 2008 (UTC)


I'd like to help you to learn Brazillian Portuguese, if you want. I confess I don't know much about European portuguese either... (But I'm learning something about it here in wikipedia now). Well, I just wanted to say that I'm here if you wanna practice. Take care, and forgive my bad english... I'm Brazilian, so please correct my mistakes if I commit any. C ya! Tarsila (talk) 14:27, 10 July 2008 (UTC)


I'm very sorry I didn't reply your message before. I use the Wikipedia a lot, but I always forget to log in. I'm not really a native speaker of Portuguese, but I speak Galician, which is very close to Portuguese. They're mutually understandable, but there are a little more differences than between American and British English. I think what you're doing is fine. Just bear in mind that the names of languages, and names or adjectives of nationalities are written normally in lower case in Romance languages, opposed to English. I wish you good luck learning Portuguese and enjoy it! Arroaz 00:22, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Analogica @ Portugal[edit]

Hello Learnportuguese. Sorry for taking so long to answer, but I'm here now! just to tell you that if you need help with the Portuguese language, I can be of use. I'm a linguist + translator + occasional Portuguese teacher. so feel free to ask :-) Analogica (talk) 08:33, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

You maybe interested in the Article Rescue Squadron[edit]

Barnstar search rescue.png Hello, Learnportuguese. Based on the templates on your talk page, I would like you to consider joining the Article Rescue Squadron. Rescue Squadron members are focused on rescuing articles for deletion, that might otherwise be lost forever. I think you will find our project matches your vision of Wikipedia. Note:Keep in mind that Squadron members officially state they are not inclusionists. ~~~~

Re: your picture[edit]

You may want to consider posting it at Wikipedia:Facebook. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 22:11, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

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