To some, Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese are the same language, while to others, they are two very distinct languages.
If your client or target audience is Portuguese, a European Portuguese translation is required. If your client or target audience is Brazilian, then Brazilian Portuguese is the best choice. If you wish to have your documents translated for both countries, however, here is some information on the differences between the two languages.
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Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese differ in vocabulary, pronunciation and syntax, particularly in colloquial speech and among working classes. However, at a higher level of language, these differences decrease and pronunciation, syntax and grammatical simplification become more similar.
Brazil’s independence in 1822 marked the beginning of the distinction between Brazilian and European Portuguese. Brazilian Portuguese was influenced by oral and Amerindian languages.
Since 1990, many scientific and technical cooperation agreements have been signed between Portugal and Brazil, and this has given way to a number of committees dedicated to creating common terminologies. The 1990 orthographic agreement — Acordo Ortográfico da língua Portuguesa — aims to reduce the number of difficulties related to linguistic differences and to preserve the interests of the Portuguese languages and Portuguese-speaking countries.
Differences between Brazilian and Portugal Portuguese
Today, it is important to note that the language has evolved: Brazilian Portuguese is, in fact, a modernized Portuguese.
There are many differences between Brazilian and European Portuguese:
In terms of writing, there were formerly two distinctly different writing codes. However, Brazil and Portugal recently implemented a Portuguese language standardization project. Today, the alphabet has 26 letters (the letters k, w and y having been added). Like the Brazilians, the Portuguese removed written silent consonants (for instance, although they used to say acto (act), they now write ato).
The situation, however, is very different when it comes to spoken Portuguese, mainly because there are many Brazilianisms (newly created words that do not yet exist in Portugal) in the Brazilian Portuguese vocabulary. The major differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese are of a lexical nature.