Portuguese is the official language of ten countries across the entire globe. Brazil is the one with the most Portuguese speakers. In Europe, Portugal is the only country of which the official language is Portuguese. Is the Portuguese spoken in Brazil the same as that which is spoken in Portugal? Let us explain to you why it is essential to adapt the translations to the target market.
One language, a lot of difference
Portuguese is a very varied language. Even if the reform of the Portuguese language in 2009 has reduced the dissimilarities between the Portuguese of Brazil and that of Portugal, the gaps are real from a phonetic, lexical and syntax point of view. And these dissimilarities can sometimes render communication between the two countries difficult.
This is no surprise as it is known that the two variations of Portuguese have evolved independently… and continue to evolve. Being under the influence of different cultures throughout the centuries, Brazilian Portuguese has mutated and adapted by adopting words of a foreign origin. This phenomenon is at the origin of some differences in terms of spelling and vocabulary. Certain words are not written in the same way and others are completely distinct from one country to another.
With regards to the language habits, the Brazilians use “você” to address others, whether it be in a formal or informal situation, whereas the Portuguese make the difference between “tu” (informal) and “você” (formal).
Adapt your communication
Of course, whatever variety of Portuguese you choose, the text will be understood as a whole by all Portuguese-speakers. However, if you want your translation to bring a real return on investment, go a little further.
All business that wishes to launch internationally must take into account these dissimilarities. To sell internationally, you must gain the trust of your target audience. And in order to win their trust, you must address them in their language, taking into account the regional specificities.
Do not address a Portuguese as a Brazilian. Study the habits of each culture in detail, because it is essential to localize your words based upon these. A rule that equally applies within the same country: although the similarities are close, the North Brazilians may not perceive things in the same way as those in the South. Think about it!