What are some Portuguese slang words

Portuguese In Brazil Vs. In Portugal: 10 Differences In Language

If you don't understand a syllable of Portuguese, there may be little or no chance you will catch up on the differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese. Anyone with a basic understanding of both languages, on the other hand, can immediately notice a distinction, similar to the differences between American and British English. Here are some of the key differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese.

When Portuguese settled in Brazil, the Portuguese language was spoken in conjunction with Tupinambá, the language of native Brazilians. As time passed and more immigrants settled in the South American country, Brazilian Portuguese transformed and became the language spoken today.

Tu and Voce

Formal and informal speech can stumble a Portuguese European in Brazil or a Brazilian in Portugal. Take the word "you" for example. When speaking informally in Portugal (to a friend, sibling or peer) the word "tu" is used. "Voce" is the word used when addressing an elder, stranger, or someone in the work environment, especially a supervisor. In Brazil, on the other hand, the word "voce" is used informally and sometimes in formal situations. When Brazilians want to sound particularly formal, address the person they are speaking to with "Senhor" or "Senhora", which means "sir" or "woman". Confusing "tu" and "voce" can refer to someone as a foreigner, being silly or even rude.

Be sure to use the correct word when addressing someone formally or informally | © Pixabay


Even if your Portuguese isn't very strong, and at best a word or two, the accent can indicate that someone is Brazilian or Portuguese. Brazilian Portuguese flows off the tongue like music, while European Portuguese can be a bit soft or mumbled. In some cases, the sounds in European Portuguese have been compared to those in Russian.

Mouth open and mouth closed

One of the reasons the accents are so different could be because of the way speakers use their mouths. In general, Brazilians speak with their mouths open, while the Portuguese speak with their mouths a little more closed.

Speak Brazilian Portuguese with your mouth open, but maybe not that wide open © Pixabay

Gerund verbs

When a verb is expressed in motion (running, speaking, driving), Brazilian-Portuguese speakers have their version of -ing, i.e. -ndo. For example, if you say "I'm running", a Brazilian will say "Estou corendo". The word for run is "correr" and a Brazilian will drop the last "r" and add the "ndo" to change the word from run to run. On the other hand, European Portuguese does not use -ndo. If you say "I'm running", a Portuguese will say "Estou a correr".

Do you want to accuse me of something?

European Portuguese speakers often sound like they are pronouncing the letter "s" at the end of a word. Brazilians pronounce their "s" as the English do when they say the word "sound" or "proverb". However, there are a few exceptions to the rule on both sides:

Portuguese pronounces their Ts.

While European Portuguese speakers don't usually pronounce their "s" sounds, they pronounce their "t" sounds like English. The speaker does it when he says "Tom". A Brazilian speaker usually speaks his "t" as "ch". The word milk in Portuguese is "leite" and a Portuguese speaker will speak the word phonetically while a Brazilian speaker will say "corpse", even though the word is spelled the same in both languages.

spelling, orthography

Some words are spelled like milk while others are spelled differently, and the difference can be as little as the addition of a single letter or other suffix. For example, when describing something as small or cute, European Portuguese speakers add -ita to the end of the noun. Brazilians add -inha to the end of their nouns when denoting a small size or sweet nature. If she tries to describe Nina as cute, a European Portuguese speaker can call her Ninita while a Brazilian can call her Nininha.

Vocabulary differences

At the end of the day, Portugal and Brazil are two completely different countries, and as such, they sometimes use different words when mentioning the same thing. Take the word "bus" for example. In Portugal ask for the bus with the word "autocarro", but in Brazil ask for the bus with the word "ônibus".

When asking about the bus, be sure to use the correct word | to be used © Pixabay


Slang appears in every country and even in different regions of the same country, so it should come as no surprise that Brazilians and Portuguese have their own slang words.

Do you speak? to me (in the third person)?

Do you remember the formal and informal language differences mentioned? Sometimes, if you try to be a little more polite, European Portuguese speakers will ask someone to address them in the third person. For example, someone would ask Nina if she would like more food by saying, "Does Nina want to eat more?" Or "Nina que mais comida?" The Brazilians stick to calling someone "Voce" or "Senhor / a".

Portuguese language | © Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Author: Joshua Nash

Joshua Nash is a 37-year-old journalist. Friendly beer specialist. Incurable Twitter evangelist. Bacon fanatic. TV ninja.