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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How Similar are Spanish and Portuguese? (UPDATED!!)

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mmm today I think I'll compare

Portuguese with a special dialect of

Portuguese called Spanish



hello everyone welcome to the Laing

focused Channel and my name is Paul

today's topic is how similar or Spanish

and Portuguese as you probably know

Spanish and Portuguese are both Ibero

Romance languages that share a common

origin they are different enough that

they are definitely considered different

languages but they're also closely

related and quite similar in many ways

on paper the two languages look very

similar and speakers of either language

can generally read the other language

without too much trouble

the spoken languages however are more

different from each other and less

mutually intelligible than the written

forms and Portuguese speakers typically

understand spoken Spanish better than

Spanish speakers understand Portuguese

well actually it's mostly because of the

difference in pronunciation between the

two languages but we'll get into that a

little later Spanish and Portuguese

share about 89% lexical similarity

meaning that 89% of the words have a

cognate or an equivalent in the other

language now that doesn't always mean

that 89% of the words will be the same

because some of the different words are

very basic and common words and even

though cognate words often look and

sound quite similar there are other

cognates that have developed quite

differently and now sound and look quite

different for instance this pair of

cognates clearly resemble each other in

Spanish mundo and in Portuguese mood and

these words mean earth or world now

here's a less obvious pair of cognates

in Spanish Beth and in Portuguese but

these words mean fish so you can see the

connection but it's not quite so obvious

there are some very common everyday

words that are different in the two

languages for example in Spanish there's

yo piensa from the verb been sorry

and yo creo from the verb gray which

both mean I think these words have

cognates in Portuguese but it's also

very common to say you wash from the

verb Ishod there is a Spanish cognate of

this word I yet but it only means to

find not to think in Spanish there's the

verb meeteth meaning to look at or to

watch in Portuguese the common verb is

we learn there is a Portuguese for

me Tod but it's not commonly used

personal pronouns the personal pronouns

in the two languages are generally

similar but with slightly different

forms for example yo ill nosotros no sh

but also the formal way of saying you is

normally different in Spanish it's

instead in Portuguese there's a word for

C but instead people generally say who

stood and isnora which is like saying

sir or madam these are equivalent of

Senor and Senora in Spanish but in

Spanish they're not used as pronouns

false friends you will constantly

encounter cognates in Spanish and

Portuguese but you'll also encounter

lots of false friends words that look

and sound the same and might share a

common origin but their meaning is

actually different and some of these

could potentially cause some crazy

misunderstandings pelado in Spanish it

means skinned or peeled but colloquially

it also means someone with a shaved head

or a new haircut glove in Portuguese it

has the same basic meaning of skinned or

peeled but in Brazilian Portuguese

it also means naked in Portuguese the

word for octopus is both in Spanish the

word for octopus is full book and

Porterville means dust but it also means

something sexual and kids don't Google

it in Spanish una senex casita means a

delicious dinner in Portuguese maecenas

Zita means a weird scene and sena

is also a slang word for thing so this

could mean a weird thing Robina

in spanish means tip like a tip for a

waiter poopie mu means tuition fees like

for University and in Brazilian

Portuguese it means bribe so even though

lots of words are pretty much the same

in either language it might be a little

dangerous to assume that they mean the

same thing

pronunciation the main reason that the

spoken forms of the two languages are

less intelligible than the written forms

is because they differ significantly in

phonology Portuguese has much more

complex phonology than Spanish with many

extra sounds and this is one reason that

Portuguese speakers have an easier time

understanding spoken Spanish than

vice-versa consonants in Spanish the B D

and G consonants have soft

pronunciations that occur for example

between vowels the way those soft sounds

work is different in Portuguese European

Portuguese has the soft D sound while

some Brazilian accents don't for example

in Spanish nada in Portuguese Nava and

in Brazilian Portuguese nada Portuguese

doesn't have the soft B in Spanish

solare in Portuguese Seville next the

rolled R sound of Spanish corresponds to

a rather different sound in Portuguese

when it's at the beginning of a word or

if it's doubled in Spanish rapido in

Portuguese choppy

in Spanish da-rae in Portuguese - next

the sound represented by a double L in

Spanish has a corresponding sound in

Portuguese represented by LH for example

in Spanish there's saya and in

Portuguese there's fuller meaning fail

and Portuguese has some consonants that

don't have an equivalent in Spanish

first a sure sound

spelled with ch or with X so in Spanish

we have yella

but in Portuguese chigger meaning

arrives a sure sound in Spanish we have

a hence eeeh and in Portuguese we have

this is assumed this is another example

of a difference in soft consonants in

both languages the letter G represents a

soft G sound rather than a go when it's

followed by an e or an i but the soft

sound is different in either language

listen again hence eeeh this is here

next of sound Spanish doesn't really

have a V sound it does have the soft B

which kind of sounds similar to a V but

Portuguese has a distinct V sound so in

Spanish we have BC tap and in Portuguese

we have visited in Spanish we have Libra

and in Portuguese we have leave and one

more as sound the sound zip is not found

in many Spanish words but in Portuguese

it's very common

so in Spanish we have precisa and in

Portuguese we have season this sound is

often found between vowels and at the

beginning of words vowels there are

quite a few more vowel sounds in

Portuguese than there are in Spanish

Spanish has five pure vowels while

Portuguese has all of those plus seven

additional ones Spanish has just one a

sound which sounds like a Portuguese has

this and an additional one like the app

inset in Portuguese it's difficult to

predict which one to use in any given

word these ones are different in Spanish


in Portuguese mil but these ones are the

same in Spanish Missa and in Portuguese

Missa when a word has the diphthong ei

in Spanish it usually corresponds to an

open e in Portuguese for example in

Spanish siete and in Portuguese sit

Spanish also has just one o sound like

in the word go but shorter but

Portuguese has an additional open o

which sounds like the O and pot in

Spanish a bill in Portuguese of view and

sometimes the diphthong web in Spanish

corresponds to the open o in Portuguese

so in Spanish we have escuela and at

Portuguese we have Cola now this might

not seem like major differences so far

but there are lots of differences like

that reduced vowels vowels in Spanish

are quite clearly pronounced in their

full form but vowels and Portuguese

often become reduced especially when

they are unstressed at the end of a word

so in Spanish we have casa

but in Portuguese we have Gaza in

Spanish we have leave it

and in portuguese we have leave in

spanish we have a bidet

which means it opens and in portuguese

we have up nasal vowels portuguese also

has five nasal vowels that don't occur

in spanish a nasal vowel means that some

air is released through your nose which

creates a distinct sound vowels become

nasalized when they are followed by a

nasal consonant an EMA or an N in

Spanish can't add and in Portuguese can

tell in Spanish in Suunto and in

Portuguese immigrant this also happens

when there is a tilde over a vowel like

in this Portuguese word Alma meaning

sister because of the extra vowels in

Portuguese there are also more diphthong

meaning two vowels that blend together

in one syllable this includes some nasal

diphthongs for example in Spanish we

have sexy own but in Portuguese it's six

so in Spanish we have lemonis and in

Portuguese lamu ish little differences

like these add up to make Portuguese and

Spanish sound rather different grammar

Spanish and Portuguese grammar are

generally very similar but they do have

numerous differences as well gender both

languages basically have two genders

masculine and feminine but sometimes the

gender of cognate words is different for

example words in Spanish ending with FA

are masculine and their equivalents in

Portuguese ending in Audrey are feminine

so in Spanish we have el viaje which is

masculine but in Portuguese we have a

Viagem which is feminine both languages

have for definite articles for the two

genders in singular and plural but

notice that Spanish also has the neuter

singular definite article though it's

not used with nouns but with adjectives

or possessive pronouns in order to use

them like nouns for example lo

importante es el amor which means the

important thing is love in Portuguese it

would be we pretend our mood with all

being the masculine singular definite

article verbs the wave verb tenses work

in the two languages is very similar

almost all verb tenses have an exact

equivalent in the other language just

with slightly too

rent conjugations so in Spanish we have

nosotros comemos pescado which means we

eat fish and in Portuguese that would be

north rim space so the present tense

form is the same and next the past tense

sentence in Spanish a uske Miren pescado

they ate fish and in Portuguese ill

squirrel fish in this case the

conjugations aren't exactly the same but

they are equivalent now a future

sentence in Spanish yo chlamydia biscuit

which means I will eat fish and in

Portuguese it's ill Cumbre page but

without any context given for the simple

future tense here this might sound kind

of stiff and people often use the going

to future form instead in Portuguese it

would be ill vocal push and in Spanish

it would be

yo voy a comer pescado one difference in

the verb system is that the perfect

tense is formed with a different

auxiliary verb Spanish uses of F as the

auxiliary verb which means to have but

only as an auxiliary verb the main verb

for to have in Spanish is tener

Portuguese has a verb oval but instead

the verb did is used as the auxiliary

verb which means to have it is a cognate

of Spanish tener in Spanish we have yo

la the liberal which means I have read

the book and in Portuguese we have LLL

tell you leave leave which means I have

been reading the book so notice that the

auxiliary verbs are different and notice

that the past participle of the verb

meaning read is almost the same but more

importantly note that this type of

sentence means something different in

either language in Spanish it means I

have read the book in Portuguese it

means I have been reading the book in

other words the past action is still

continuing in order to say I have read

the book in Portuguese you would use the

preterite tense instead like this le

livre I believe that Latin American

Spanish is more like Portuguese in this

regard and that difference is only in

the present perfect the past perfect

doesn't have that kind of difference so

if we want to express they had read the

book in Spanish we would say a VN later

liberal and in Portuguese we would say

ill stimuli

the main difference between these two is

just the auxiliary verb word order the

word order is generally quite similar

between the two languages as you've

probably noticed already but there are

some differences too in yes-or-no

questions in Spanish the subject can

come either before or after the verb

like this habla English or a Java

English but in Portuguese it must come

before the verb like this LF a linguist

the placement of object pronouns in

Spanish the object pronoun normally

comes before the verb for example el

Musa which means he helped me in

Portuguese it comes after the verb like

this llll is doomed another example in

Spanish let's say you that okay which

means are you gonna help me or what and

in Portuguese

buzz wrists are okay or visors dharm


actually the location of the pronoun in

the first sentence is something that

comes from Brazilian Portuguese but it's

sometimes used in Portugal too because

of the influence of Brazilian Portuguese

through Brazilian TV shows and the like

some people consider the second sentence

to be more proper in European Portuguese

contractions with prepositions in

Spanish prepositions mostly function as

individual units with just these

exceptions the preposition de plus the

definite article L becomes del meaning

from that the preposition a plus L

becomes L meaning to the there are just

those two in Spanish but in Portuguese

prepositions form all sorts of

contractions so in Spanish we have an

elevator which means in the book but in

Portuguese we have new leave in Spanish

we have de una Senora which means from a

lady but in Portuguese we have Dumas


in Spanish we have de aqui meaning from

here but in Portuguese we have the key

these sentences mean Portuguese is a

sister language of Spanish in Spanish el

/ - this is my language man Adela

spaniel and in Portuguese put Kish

emmeline will match panel word for words

the Portuguese is a language sister of

the Spanish these sentences consists

entirely of cognates and have identical

grammar the main difference is the

different definite articles and the

words for sister take a somewhat

different form and mana ilmu this pair

of words is a good example of how

Spanish and Portuguese cognates can

sometimes look and sound quite different

let's look at one more sentence and see

what we find these mean very few

countries in the world take pride in

having so many different styles of music

and dance in Spanish muy poco spices en

el mundo estรกn algunos de tener tanto

sestinas diferentes de musica a ballet

word-for-word it's very few countries in

the world are proud of having so many

styles different of music and dance and

then there's the Portuguese sentence

wind box Paisley moon stones their

intent steals differenced musica dancer

word-for-word very few countries in the

world are proud of having so many styles

different of music and dance again these

sentences are similar but there are a

few differences the way of expressing

very few is slightly different but the

words are cognates next notice that in

Portuguese the preposition and definite

article contract together into one word

while in Spanish there are separate

words next we see the verb corresponding

to to be in each language a staff in

Spanish and also star in Portuguese they

are both conjugated in the third-person

plural present tense but you can see

that the conjugated forms are different

in either language next the words here

are a bit different the Spanish word is

an infinitive form while the Portuguese

is a personal infinitive the infinitive

by itself is tit and also notice that

the word for dance is different but also

notice that it sounds like the English


balle viley hmm there's also a cognate

word in Portuguese bile but in

Portuguese it refers to an event like a

ball or a prom and in Spanish there's

also the word danfa which refers to

specific types of artistic dance as

opposed to dancing in general very often

there are possible cognates for every

word in a sentence but they sometimes

have a somewhat different usage or

frequency of use in either language in

these two similar sentences we see how

similar the two languages can be with

the biggest difference simply lying in

pronunciation but things are often said

more differently for example a somewhat

more natural sentence in Portuguese

might be wint box please remand spotty

or large tent stills differenced musica

des in this variation rather than to be

plus an adjective here we have can plus

the infinitive of a verb meaning to be

proud so as you can see Spanish and

Portuguese are indeed sister languages

that have a lot in common they do have a

lot of little differences that

altogether make them distinct languages

but knowing either language would

definitely help you learn the other one

relatively quickly so the question of

the day for speakers of either Spanish

or Portuguese who have studied the other

language did you find it easy to learn

what was easy and what was challenging

also feel free to share other examples

of their similarities and differences in

the comments down below be sure to

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The Description of How Similar are Spanish and Portuguese? (UPDATED!!)