Portuguese (português or, in full, língua portuguesa) is a Romance language. It is the official language of Portugal, Brazil,Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guiné-Bissau and São Tomé e Príncipe. Portuguese has co-official status (alongside the indigenous language) in Macau, and in East Timor in South East Asia; Portuguese speakers are also found in Goa, Daman and Diu in India.
Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes once called Portuguese "the sweet language" and Spanish playwright Lope de Vega referred to it as "sweet", while the Brazilian writer Olavo Bilac poetically described it as a última flor do Lácio, inculta e bela (the last flower of Latium, wild and beautiful). Portuguese is also termed "the language of Camões", after one of Portugal's greatest literary figures, Luís Vaz de Camões.
In March 2006, the Museum of the Portuguese Language, an interactive museum about the Portuguese language, was founded in São Paulo, Brazil, the city with the greatest number of Portuguese-language speakers in the world.
With a total of 236 million native speakers, Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world, the 3rd most spoken language in the western hemisphere, and the most spoken language in the southern hemisphere. This will rise by millions in the future as Brazil's and Angola's/Mozambique's population boom.
Portuguese English Frequency Dictionary Edit
This Portuguese frequency dictionary covers about 95% of all spoken Portuguese, and 85% of all written Portuguese you encounter on a daily basis. In the book you will find
- 2500 most used Portuguese words listed by frequency and alphabet
- Both Brazilian and European Portuguese entries included
- frequency rankings as part of speech (most used nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc..)
- 2500 Portuguese to English example sentences showing word usage
- phonetic spelling of Portuguese words with the International Phonetic Alphabet
- Recommended in conjunction with an audiomethod (Michel Thomas or Pimsleur)
- Great for building vocabulary fast
- No grammar
- 3 levels available.
- Recommended as a beginning tool.
- Strongly not recommended to be used as the only tool.
- Covers pronounciation, reading, listening, vocabulary, writing.
- Very poor for grammar.
- Easy to use. Shouldn't take more than an hour to set up and begin using.
- More expensive than it's worth. Thank you based internet!
- Brazillian Portuguese, 3 phases with 90 total lessons.
- European Portuguese, 1 phase with 10 total lessons.
- Recommended as a learning tool.
- Strongly not recomended to be used as the only tool.
- Covers mainly speaking and being able to hold a conversation.
- Easy to use, just open the audio file and repeat.
- Much more expensive than it's worth. Thank you based internet!
- Full version available.
Books and PDF filesEdit
- Recommended authors: José Luís Peixoto ('Morreste-me' in .pdf format), José Rodrigues dos Santos, Miguel Sousa Tavares, Jorge Amado (Brazilian writer), António Lobo Antunes, Valter Hugo Mãe, António Gedeão
- Classical Portuguese writers (not very modern writing, I assume it might be hard to understand if you don't have at least an intermediate knowledge of the language): Luís Vaz de Camões, Eça de Queirós, Fernando Pessoa, Gil Vicente, Cesário Verde, José Saramago (not classic but his stuff can be difficult to read as he purposefully misused grammar and punctuation... he won a Nobel Prize though, so whatever)
- Collection of 83 poems by Fernando Pessoa
- [Hell Mode] Os Lusíadas by Luís Vaz de Camões
Learning Portuguese onlineEdit
Instituto Camões has some interesting exercises and games for practising grammar and reading.
Memrise is a great way to learn vocab and it's free. Sections for either european portuguese or brazilian portuguese.
Good online reading material in PortugueseEdit
- Recommended readings (regularly updated):
Movies and TVEdit
- Sublearning - learn languages from movie subtitles. Flash cards of movie lines in 62 languages
- (add more if you know them)
- City of God
- Elite Squad
- Elite Squad 2
- Antonio Carlos Jobim (Sample)
- Astrud Gilberto (Sample)
- Banda do Mar (Sample)
- Chico Buarque (Sample )
- Caetano Veloso (Sample )
- Cartola (Sample)
- Gal Costa (Sample)
- Gustavo Lima (Sample)
- João Gilberto (Sample)
- Jorge Ben Jor (Sample)
- Los Hermanos (Sample)
- Nara Leão (Sample)
- Madredeus (Sample)
- Michel Teló (Sample)
- Amália Rodrigues (Sample)
- Dulce Pontes (Sample)
- Deolinda (Sample)
- GNR (Sample)
- Xutos & Pontapés (Sample)
- Da Weasel (Sample)
- Rui Veloso (Sample)
- Sérgio Mendes (Sample)
- Toquinho (Sample)
- Os Golpes (Sample)
- Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese are different. One can easily understand the other but the way each speaker conveys words and uses some nouns, pronouns, verbs and the other stuff might be a bit different, even more than American English and British English. So, FIRST OF ALL: be specific, try and search exactly for the kind of Portuguese you're interested in.
- Pay attention to the diacritics (<a class="free" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diacritic">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diacritic</a>), but don't be intimidated by them. There was a recent ortographic reform in both written Portuguese varieties, so diacritics were removed from a lot of words. But do focus on learning how to use the tilde ("~" - called "til" in Portuguese), it's very useful in superlatives, verbs in the future and some Amerindian words.
- Portuguese uses ONLY the following diacritics: acute (á, é, í, ó, ú), grave (à), tilde (ã, õ) and circumflex (â, ê, ô). Since the reform, umlaut (ü) became obsolete.
- Also, pay attention to words that use cedilha (ç) instead of double-s (ss). They sound exactly the same and there are no apparent rule on which words use those. There aren't that many words with ç though (and it can only be used before a, o and u: ça, ço or çu).
- Portuguese has a shitload of tenses, and quite a few of them are rarely used in writing and speaking. So, unless you absolutely need to write something in a VERY formal way (for instance, if you're a lawyer here) or read old poetry, there is no need to concern yourself with those. Really, no one in Brazil will ever say "Falar-te-ei" (a very
obnoxiouseuropean way of saying "I'll tell you"), but you'll definitely hear "Vou te falar", which means exactly the same but sounds less pretentious.
- As you study the grammar and tenses, go search for phrases in brazilian websites (blogs and news sites are great for this) and you'll figure out which of that stuff I mentioned above is rarely used. I can't just list them here because it depends on what you need the language for.
BrazilianPortuguese is also known to have a healthy regional diversity. For instance, lots of people from the South of Brazil and Portugal itself use 'tu' (you) instead of 'você' (you, less formal), and this also causes the language to have a ridiculous amount of slangs and weird uses. To learn that, you absolutely must speak to a local and learn from him, but it's actually very funny when you start to understand it.
- When chatting on the web or texting, we tend to use a LOT of contraction in words (think of using 'u' instead of 'you'). Words like 'vc' (você, you) or 'pq' (porque, why/because) are easy to spot but there are uglier stuff that's also common, such as using 'aum' instead of 'ão' ('não' becoming 'naum') or using just the phonetic consonants of the words (sdds = saudades, pfvr = por favor). It is good to learn this stuff if you want to browse brazilian communites but please, don't EVER write like this or you'll look like a stupid teenager.
- Scared of that? Don't be. Portuguese may look tough but I'd say the learning curve is not that steep. Take it easy and don't worry about trying to sound natural, that's almost impossible. I'm a native and if I set foot out of my state (or into the suburbs / favelas, or into the countryside, or trying to talk to someone from some group or urban tribe), people WILL know that I'm an outsider and usually make fun of my accent (in a good way, that's not so insulting here, just relax).
- Just for curiosity's sake: most Amerindian words in Portuguese came from languages in Tupi-Guarani language family. Some of them are still spoken in Amazon (Nhe'engatu) and nearby countries (like Guarani in Paraguay). Brazilian Portuguese borrowed a lot of words from them, and most, if not all of those aren't used in Europe.
- Uz-translations (a very useful website that you should definitely check out)
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