10 things I love about Brazilian Portuguese

I find Brazilian Portuguese to be so unique and different from any other language, even other romance languages (and for all those who think that Portuguese is the same as Spanish, well, you need to have your head examined!).  Here are some of the reasons why I love this language more than any other:

1) Its beautiful melodic, singing sound.

Picture the most beautiful song you have ever heard. That’s what I hear each time I listen to Brazilian Portuguese. To say that Brazilian Portuguese is music to my ears is no exaggeration…don’t believe me? Take a look at this video and you will see what I mean…

2) how “a gente” (direct translation: “the people”) means “we”

Example: A gente vai marcar uma parada a semana que vem? (Are we going to do something next week?)

3) the way that Brazilians use “no” multiple times in a negative sentence

Example: Eu não me importa dessas coisas, não (I don’t care about those things)

4) the unique way that Brazilians say “yes” 

5) the many palavrões (swear words).

No other language (that I have studied at least) seems to match up. Portuguese swear words are just the best – they are strong and there are so many of them!

6) The way that you can add “inho/inha” to any adjective  or noun

The use of “inho/inha” in Portuguese means that something is smaller or cuter.  For example, you can say fofo (which means “cute”) or fofinho (which means “very cute”).  It can also add a likeness to the word, meaning that that thing means something to you and there is some relationship there.  For instance, one could say casa (which means “house”) or casinha (which means “small house” or adds an affinity to the word).

7) How the word “dar” can be used with pretty much anything. 

8) The way that “beautiful” is used.

Beleza is the word for “beautiful” in Portuguese.  Brazilians will use this word to ask someone how they are doing. For instance, one might say to another, “Beleza?” (Like “Tudo bem?” this means “Is everything good?”).  The person can also respond “Beleza” (“Everything’s great.”)

9) The word “saudade,” for which there is no translation in English.

10) The use of falar (to speak)

I love the way that Brazilians use this word. When speaking with someone new for instance, if the other person wants to know more about you, they might say “Me fala” (“Speak to me”).  When answering the phone, if the receiver knows who is calling, he or she might say something like”Fala comigo, Mary” (“Speak to me, Mary”).  When you want to say “What’s up?” to someone, one might say “Fala aì!” (literally translated to “Speak there!”).

I could go on and on…but I will restrain myself and leave it at that. So tell me…what do you like about Brazilian Portuguese?

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9 thoughts on “10 things I love about Brazilian Portuguese

  1. Evan says:

    Great piece explaining a few of the idiosyncrasies of this amazing language. I’m also pretty obsessed with Brazilian language and culture!

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