European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese Are Almost Two Different Languages by Now

PB: The Portuguese Royalty set up shop in Brazil during Napoleonic Wars. Other former colonies of Portugal understand European Portuguese better than Brazilian Portuguese. Brazil likely received Portuguese from Royals as earlier settlers spoke Tupi or Tupi-Portuguese blend.

Indeed the Portuguese made the same mistake as the Spanish. They didn’t bring any chicks over! Nothing but a sausage fest on those boats to Brazil. It was another story when they landed of course, as the place was full of horny Indian women for the taking, and take them they did. There was a famous case of a Portuguese man who had ~10-15 Tupi Indian wives and maybe ~50 kids between them all. People wonder how Brazil got so race-mixed. Well, there ya go.

Later they brought Black slaves over, and the country was darkening up awful fast. Not that that matters really, but the rulers thought this was an catastrophe. In the 1800’s, they implemented an emergency project called Blanquimiento or the Whitening  Project. This involved mass encouragement and importation of as many White settlers from Europe to Brazil as possible.

The goal? To Whiten the place up, dammit! I always chuckle when I think of this project. Like Hell you could get away with that anywhere in the Current Year. The UN would probably drop a nuclear bomb on anyone who did.

PB: Was this just a romantic Brazilian fantasy or is Brazilian Portuguese more for Lords and Ladies? Basically, what’s the Portuguese equivalent of Castilian Spanish?

Oh Eu Portuguese is absolutely the gold standard lol. Br Portuguese is considered to be much more slangy. A lot of the older tense and mood inflections that have gone out of Br Portuguese are still present in Eu Portuguese. E

u Portuguese can understand Br Portuguese just fine. I mean Brazil has, what? 15-20X as many speakers as Portugal? Portuguese people watch Brazilian movies and news all the time. Their TV is flooded with that stuff.

On the other hand, with a speaker base maybe 7% of the size of Brazil’s, Brazilians don’t get exposed to much Eu Portuguese. This may be more of a problem in written material. I have heard that Br Portuguese can only understand ~50% of Eu Portuguese written material, and it’s a big problem.

The language is written differently in both places. In terms of written language, Brazil would be the equivalent of Castilian Spanish because they continue to write Portuguese based on Portuguese from the 1600’s! The time of the Jamestown, the Mayflower, and Shakespeare.

Imagine if we spoke English like we do now but we still wrote it in Shakespearean Middle English? Crazy or what? By the way, I can only understand 27% of Shakespearean Middle English, and I understand exactly 0% of the Old English of Beowulf.

So there is this huge diglossia issue between the spoken language and the written language, similar to the case of Western Punjabi, spoken in Pakistan, more or less intelligible with Eastern Punjabi spoken in India but written in a completely different way. Indian written Punjabi is more like Sanskrit or Hindi with all sorts of Indianisms. Written Eastern Punjabi is full of Arab and Persian borrowings, and it is very hard for Western Punjabi speakers to read.

Czech also has two languages – a spoken language and a written language. I believe that the written language is an archaic Czech frozen in the 1700’s.

I believe there are some other languages that are written differently from how they are spoken, but they elude me now.

So the way Br Portuguese is written, it is indeed a language for Lords and Ladies, correct. But for spoken Portuguese, Eu Portuguese would be the more archaic and classic form.

Portuguese is actually a rather complex language if you wish to speak it correctly, which few Portuguese speakers bother to do.

I knew a Brazilian woman who proudly told me that her written Portuguese (the 1600’s) was superb, as she used to be a Portuguese teacher. This took me aback a bit, as I thought this was an easy language. The spoken language also has a lot of complex verbal forms, some of which have gone out of the rest of Romance, like the Future Subjunctive.

They are having all sorts of problems in Brazil nowadays but maybe not in Portugal, with Br Portuguese speakers neither writing nor speaking the language properly.

That’s prescriptivist, but so what? Languages have rules. Are you going to speak the language properly or you going to ignore all the rules and botch it up? I can’t believe that linguists actually think that is a stupid question and think it’s real groovy to go ahead and botch up any spoken or written language any way you wish.

“It’s all just nonstandard, dude,” they say, taking another hit on the bong.

Yeah right.

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16 thoughts on “European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese Are Almost Two Different Languages by Now”

  1. I can only understand 27% of Shakespearean Middle English

    That’s not true. You can clearly understand the King James Bible, Othello, King Lear, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice. It takes a while but is perfectly legible to a modern, literate person.

    “Hath not a Goy eyes?” 😂😂

    What you really meant is Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Now that’s difficult, I’ve never even attempted it.

    1. No, I mean they had a guy on Youtube speaking in precise and exact Shakespearean Middle English. I got 27%. But yeah, I can read most of Shakespeare.

      Screw Chaucer. That’s the real Middle English. The Middle English in Shakespeare’s time was turning into Early Modern English, so it’s a lot more understandable, especially when written.

      1. Some method Hollywood actors have experience in Shakespeare theatre. Al Pacino nailed it as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Watch this scene; it really killed the anti-Semite in me for good. Powerful and moving performance.

        Thing is it took a Gentile to cure me of my anti-Semitism. Al Pacino is as goy as it gets. When I think of Shylock, it’s Al Pacino I recollect. He has been the best performer of this role.

        1. See, what made you not antisemitic is seen by some as antisemitic. Portuguese seemed fairly Jew friendly. I think Spain made them get rid of their Jews.

          Dutch got a lot and they were Jew friendly. I believe Sephardi were more elite in the Dutch Empire. They may have been a model minority back then.

  2. I heard Castilian Spanish was a midway point between Catalan and Portuguese. The gentle poets tongue in Iberia. Thank for answering Robert. I’ve been captivated by Brazil since puberty. As I get older it’s the culture and the women.

    1. The language of the Troubadours was actually a form of Occitan, probably Limousin.

      Brazil’s an interesting place, that’s for damn sure.

        1. I thought Galician-Portuguese lyric was used in Castilian court.

          Perhaps it was. The language still exists. It’s spoken on the northern border of Portugal’s border with Spain. Sounds a lot like Portuguese. Portuguese speakers can understand it almost perfectly.

      1. Brazil’s an interesting place

        True that. I can’t forget one of the comments that was made here on the topic of Brazil…something along the lines of Negro infusion.

        Negro infusion, indeed. That made my day LOL 😊😊😁. Who said that anyway?

        I can imagine a lab technician using a dropper or test tube to transfer a Negro DNA sample into my own. My dick size isn’t what it used to be.

        1. Polar Bear said that. I really enjoy most of his comments! I hope he sticks around. I’m worried though because people say he’s going extinct. Anyway, I hope he waits til after I die before he goes extinct.

          1. Is your “Designated Shitting Streets” still up? Can you republish it entirely with edited commentary?

            I want to share it widely to annoy a large number of trolls at the same time.

            You’ll get all the traffic you want with time.

          2. Don’t die off just like that. I want to give you the party of your life with all hot babes. I always keep my word, so hang on and stay young at heart.


          3. Yep, Indians may be lowly streetshitters, but they’re downright adaptive streetshitters, so let’s give em some credit, dammit!

  3. Later they brought Black slaves over, and the country was darkening up awful fast.

    It never worked out anywhere. As late as the early Twentieth Century, the Omanis would import African slaves from Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

    Living conditions were quite bad in Southern and Eastern Africa back then, so the rival tribes would often wage wars and sell the defeated to slavery. Some of the slaves even volunteered to leave as otherwise they would be murdered or worse (Cannibalism!). The British and the European colonizers turned a blind eye to the Arab slave trade.

    Long story short, the African slaves made it to Muscat and Salalah. The boys were usually castrated and turned into eunuchs (unlike some posters suggested, most did survive the operation). These eunuchs guarded the harems all over the Orient. The Black girls were used for sexual pleasure.

    Unlike the US South, there was no segregation or racial discrimination because of Islam, so over a period of time, the Black African descendants integrated well within Omani society. Unfortunately, it led to a lowering of the IQ levels. Oman is a basket case economy run by foreign workers, mostly from South Asia. The locals are indolent and unambitious but are sitting on plenty of oil wealth.

    1. Would this be like Romans using Greek slaves to educate their children?

      Anyway, the environment is never so great in the Arab world. We have to take that into account. It’s kind of like why @Robert’s idea of low-level integration works well in the USA but not Brazil.

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