There are two varieties of Portuguese: Brazilian and European. As with American and European English the differences between the two versions of the language are subtle, but significant. When targeting a specific market it is vital that you select the version of the language which will be most pertinent to your audience. The formal standard of the Brazilian language, as used by government bodies and in international communications, is largely the same as European Portuguese. However, there are differences in spelling and grammar. If you are uncertain about which version of Portuguese you should translate your document into, The Translation People would be happy to advise you.
Portuguese arrived in Brazil in the 16th Century when the Portuguese colonised the Americas. In 1500, the Portuguese explorer Cabral was the first European to ‘discover’ Brazil. Other explorers followed in Cabral’s footsteps in search of valuable goods and unfarmed land. At this time Portugal was fairly poor and so some fled simply to escape poverty. Initially these explorers were poor sailors who were not interested in conquering a country, but rather in finding land and the means from which they could personally profit. In 1807 when Napoleon closed in on Lisbon the Prince Regent of Portugal escaped to Brazil where he established the colony as an empire. Once the situation in Portugal had calmed down, Dom Joao, the Prince Regent, returned and left his son Dom Pedro I in charge of Brazil. When Dom Joao tried to return to Brazil a year later Dom Pedro I turned against his father and declared Brazil as independent from Portugal. Unlike the Spaniards in the rest of Latin America, the Portuguese integrated with the Indians and slaves and even married them; it is this integration that has made Brazilian Portuguese slightly different to its continental cousin and is perhaps why it spread so quickly throughout Brazil. However, it wasn’t until the end of the 18th century, that Portuguese became the official, national language of Brazil. It was at this time that the Marquis of Pombal forbid the use of Nhengatu, the commonly used language and insisted on the use of Portuguese.
Initially the written language taught in schools across Brazil was standard European Portuguese, as many writers and teachers regarded this as the ideal form and the language to aspire to. However, with the rise of a nationalist literature movement in the 20th century a more Brazilian identity was formed and written Portuguese became less influenced by its European cousin. Unlike the written form, the spoken language evolved more organically with little if any European influence. Today as the language continues to evolve, and with improved communication, European Portuguese, English, French and Spanish continue to influence the language.
The Translation People regularly translate both from and into Brazilian and European Portuguese. For a fully comprehensive estimate please contact us.