Is it rude to assume a Portuguese speaking person would understand spanish? | SpanishDict Answers
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2 Vote

May go to Portugal in near future I don't want to insult anyone.

9 Answers

4 Vote

Well, Portuguese is not the same as Spanish, but most Portuguese will understand Spanish, whereas not all Spanish people can understand Portuguese.wink

I don't think they will find this rude, they are quite used to being spoken to in Spanish, I suppose, jeje

2 Vote

If you already speak Spanish then build some basic vocabulary and sentences in Portuguese, you know, greetings and basic questions. You'll find it easy and funny.

  • Ya puedo hablar Poartugues de Brazil porque tengo una amiga especial en Brazil con quien hablo Portugues y español - FELIZ77 Jan 3, 2011 flag
2 Vote

I find I can understand quite a bit of spoken Brazilian Portuguese, while Peninsular Portuguese has a very different accent. On the other hand, Portugal is right next to Spain, and there is a lot of travel back and forth, so it's quite likely that someone in Portugal also speaks Spanish. When in doubt you can just ask if they speak Spanish, just like you would anyone else.

2 Vote

They vary: many Brazillians do understand Spanish and some of those who do ...can also speak reasonable Spanish too. I met a lawyer two years ago in Barcelona who came from Brazil and we spoke some Spanish together and some Portuguese too and then some English so as to include an English friend of mine with whom I was sitting while we were waiting to be served lunch at the 'Café Brasil' in the famous 'la Rambla', Barcelona.

However, it is wise and well-manered not to assume anything especially of people you do not know! If you are not sure you can always ask:

¿Desculpa, habla Español?

They may reply that they speak it or instead simply mention that although they do not speak it ....they do understand it. You can then take it from there

As Heidi rightly said, many Portuguese speaking people, (especially I have found from from Brazil) do understand Spanish more easily than Spanish people understand Portuguese but some level of mutual understanding is often there, nevertheless!

I hope this helps as a starting point grin

1 Vote

Well I would not say ''easy"' but I think even though words and pronunciations differ ,it is very much like spanish speakers in Italy , we manage and laugh at our errors!

0 Vote

There are some differences but I think I can understand about 70% when I listen to Portuguese language. In my experience Brazilian have been happy to realize how similar are Spanish and Portuguese when we started talking.

0 Vote

As Heidi rightly said, many Portuguese speaking people, (especially I have found from from Brazil) do understand Spanish more easily than Spanish people understand Portuguese but some level of mutual understanding is often there, nevertheless!

I wonder is this because of how much more nasal Portuguese is in comparison to Spanish.

I once went to school with a girl from Angola and a guy from Chile who used to speak to each other in Portuguese and Spanish, respectively, and I remember the guy saying something about having a lot more trouble understanding Brazilian Portuguese. In any case, they seemed to understand one another well enough to have fairly extended conversations.

0 Vote

I concur. I dropped in on a Portuguese class at my sister's college and found I could understand most of what was in print but could not understand hardly any of the spoken due to the stark differences in pronunciation. Then again, I'm not a native speaker. Nevertheless, I'm not sure it's accurate to assume all Spanish speakers could easily understand Portuguese speakers, or even vice versa. That's cool, though!

0 Vote

One of my daughter's college friends grew up in South America with ex-pat parents. He was born in Brazil but his mom moved to Bolivia shortly after his sister was born. He spoke Portuguese and his sister spoke Spanish. He says when they were little they couldn't understand each other.

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