Portuguese and spanish: same language?

PORTUGUESE AND SPANISH – IS IT THE SAME LANGUAGE?

Many people believe they are the same language. But is this true? Not really.
There are similarities but in reality we are talking about two completely different languages, such as   the way Portuguese people use vowels being very different to the way Spanish speakers do.

In Spanish vowels are much more open than in Portuguese. In fact, this
issue represents a key obstacle for learners. Yet, there are more differences; if you would like to know some of them, check there information in the following paragraphs:

Both languages evolved from Latin.

  • In the past, Iberian countries shared the same language, but over time this mutual language evolved into many different ones. Despite this, it is not hard for a Portuguese speaker to understand a Spanish person and vice versa. Though, speaking more honestly, we do have to say that Spanish citizens aren’t able understand Portuguese people at times.

There is a famous language that is well known among Iberians , it is called “Portunhol”! It is a mixture between the two languages; we very often use this to make ourselves understandable. This funny language is Portuguese with a Spanish accent. The question is: Is it effective? The answer is yes! It usually works quite well! Sometimes false friends represent a problem though.

Check the following examples:

  • Polvo. In Lisbon this word means “octopus”. However, in Madrid it has a sexual connotation. So, be very careful if you want to use this word in Spain.
  • Embaraçada/Embarazada. In Portuguese “embaraçada” means “embarrassed”. However, in Spanish, “embarazada” means “pregnant”. If you confuse these two words you will definitely have a problema!
  • Borracha. In Lisbon this word means “eraser”. Yet, people in Madrid use this word to refer to someone who is drunk. It is very easy for Iberian people to learn Spanish (for the Portuguese) or Portuguese (for the Spanish). However, speaking either of them, as a new language, without a strong accent is very hard!

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