Brazilian Portuguese is a diglossic language

Jessy Dawn   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 00:42 GMT

Diglossia is a term in linguistics, used to describe a situation where,
in a given society, there are 2 (often) closely-related languages, one
of high-prestige (H), which is generally used by the government and in
formal texts, and one of low-prestige (L), which is usually the spoken
vernacular tongue. The high-prestige language tends to be the more
formalized, and its forms and vocabulary often 'filter down' into the
vernacular, though often in a changed form.

According to many Brazilian linguists (Bortoni, Kato, Mattos e Silva,
Bagno, Perini), Brazilian Portuguese is a highly diglossic language.
L-variant (also known as Brazilian vernacular) is the mother tongue of
all Brazilians, and H-variant (standard Brazilian Portuguese) is
acquired through schooling. L-variant is a simplified form of archaic
Portuguese, influenced by Amerindian and African languages, while
H-variant is a form based on 19th-century European Portuguese (and it
is very similar to Standard European Portuguese, with only orthography
being a little different). Mário A. Perini (Brazilian linguist)
compares the diff
Jessy Dawn   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 00:46 GMT
According to many Brazilian linguists (Bortoni, Kato, Mattos e Silva,
Bagno, Perini), Brazilian Portuguese is a highly diglossic language.
L-variant (also known as Brazilian vernacular) is the mother tongue of
all Brazilians, and H-variant (standard Brazilian Portuguese) is
acquired through schooling. L-variant is a simplified form of archaic
Portuguese, influenced by Amerindian and African languages, while
H-variant is a form based on 19th-century European Portuguese (and it
is very similar to Standard European Portuguese, with only orthography
being a little different). Mário A. Perini (Brazilian linguist)
compares the differences between L- and H- variants of Brazilian
Portuguese with those between Standard Spanish and Standard Portuguese.

L-variant is the spoken form of Brazilian Portuguese, avoided only in
very formal speech (court interrogation, political debate) while
H-variant is the written form of Brazilian Portuguese, avoided only in
informal writing (such as songs lyrics, love letters, intimate friends
correspondence). Even language professors many times use L-variant
while explaining students the structure and usage of H-variant. But, in
essays, all students are expected to use H-variant.

L-variant is used in songs, movies, soap operas, sitcoms and other
television shows, although, at times, H-variant is used in historic
films or soap operas to make the language used sound more
''elegant'' and/or ''archaic''. H-variant used to be
preferred in dubbing of foreign films and series into Brazilian
Portuguese, but nowadays L-variant is preferred. Movies subtitles
normally use a mixture of L- and H-variants, but remain closer to

Most literal works are written in H-variant. They have been attempts at
writing in L-variant (masterpiece Macunaíma, written by Brazilian
modernist Mário de Andrade), but, presently, L-variant is used only in
dialogs. Still, many contemporary writers like using H-variant even in
informal dialogs. This is also true of translated books, which never
use L-variant, only the H-one. Children books seem to be more
L-friendly, but, again, if they are translated from another language
(Little Prince, for instance) they will use the H-variant only.

As Brazilian linguist Mário A. Perini has said: '' There are two
languages in Brazil. The one we write (and which is called
''Portuguese''), and another one that we speak (which is so
despised that there is not a name to call it). The latter is the mother
tongue of Brazilians, the former has to be learned in school, and a
majority of population does not manage to master it appropriately.
[...] Personally, I do not object to us writing Portuguese, but I think
it is important to make clear that Portuguese is (at least in Brazil)
only a written language. Our mother tongue is not Portuguese, but
Brazilian Vernacular. This is not a slogan, nor a political statement,
it is simply recognition of a fact. [...] There are linguistic teams
working hard in order to give us the full description of the structure of
the Vernacular. So, there are hopes, that within some years, we will
have appropriate grammars of our mother tongue, the language that has
been ignored, denied and despised for such a long time.''

Most linguist use the term ''Brazilian Portuguese'' to describe
the mesolect of Brazilian Vernacular, not the Standard Brazilian
Portuguese which is almost identical to Standard European Portuguese.
This idiom is characterized by simplification in verbal and pronominal
systems and many changes in prepositional system, but the most striking differences are those affecting syntax. Brazilian linguist Fernando
Tarallo claims that ''the portuguese language variety used in
Brazil has developed quite a reasonable number of syntactic features
different from the European system. These differences are large enough
to allow for a description of the Brazilian variety in the sense of a
Brazilian grammar''. The same was confirmed later, by
Brazilian-based French linguist Galves.

The mesolect form of Brazilian Vernacular (that is, the one used in the
speech of middle class Brazilians) is the form of Brazilian Portuguese
language taught at American universities. H-varieties are explained
later after students have mastered the L-variant.
Brennus   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 06:14 GMT
Portuguese and Brazilians speak broadly the same language but when I look at phrase books or listen to the Travlang web site, I notice that there are more differences between Portugal and Brazil than I originally thought. For example, Brazilians I've met pronounce dente "tooth" as den-chee but the phrasebooks I've thumbed through claim that the European Portuguese pronunciation is den-tuh. A significant amount of vocabulary differs too. Travlang mentions that "What is your name?" is
Como é que ele se chama? in Portugal but Como você se chama? in Brazil; "Bus" is Autocarro in Portugal but Ônibus in Brazil.

The Quebec government has been trying to bring the official French language of the province more in line with the French of France since the 1950's as well as the literary standard. Yet, spoken Canadian French still uses archaic and regional forms. It also has links to Cajun French and Haitian Creole French which European French doesn't have. Based on what you say, it sounds like the situation is very similar in Brazil vis-a-vis the native form and the Europeanized forms.
mjd   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 06:28 GMT
While the two variants differ, I always think all attempts by some Brazilian linguists to prove that there is a "Brazilian language" (yes, there is Brazilian Portuguese, but to say it's a different language isn't accurate in my opinion) are never very convincing.

I've read "Macunaíma" in Portuguese several times and while it is written to be rather vernacular, it's definitely Portuguese.

The fact that Brazilians tend to always place the pronoun before the verb, always use "você," have a different accent and have a lot of Tupi and African-influenced words is not a good enough argument to prove that the language spoken in Brazil isn't Portuguese.

People from Portugal have no trouble understanding the vast majority of Brazilians. Why? Because they speak Portuguese....plain and simple.
Vitaminada   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 14:22 GMT
Yeah, but we Brazilians do not understand Portuguese from Portugal, therefore, all Portuguese movies and soap operas must be dubbed into Brazilian Portuguese and/or subtitled when shown in Brazil.

a) Spoken Brazilian Portuguese does not use clitics O, A, OS, AS (him, her, them), subject pronouns are preferred:

I see him

1. Vi-o (in European Portuguese)
2. Eu vi ele (in spoken Brazilian Portuguese)

(No Brazilian will say Vi-o (or O vi) no matter how educated he/she is...EU VI ELE is as acceptable as IT'S ME (instead of IT IS I) in spoken English)

b) Spoken Brazilian Portuguese prefers EM (=into, in) with verbs of moment, while European Portuguese uses A (=to) only)

I came home:

1. Cheguei a casa (in European Portuguese)
2. Eu cheguei em casa (in spoken Brazilian Portuguese)

I arrived in Canada

1. Cheguei ao Canadá (in European Portuguese)
2. Eu cheguei no Canadá (in spoken Brazilian Portuguese)

(CHEGAR A is used in Brazilian Portuguese as well, but only when it means TO REACH, not to mean TO ARRIVE).

c) Spoken Brazilian Portuguese uses only the verb TER for existing purposes (THERE IS/ THERE ARE In English):

there is

1. há (in European Portuguese)
2. tem (in spoken Brazilian Portuguese)

there are cool girls on this bus:

1. há raparigas giras neste autocarro (in European Portuguese)
2. tem garotas legais nesse ônibus (in Brazilian Portuguese)

d) spoken Brazilian Portuguese is not a pro-drop language, unlike European Portuguese, Italian and Spanish, that is,we ALWAYS (or in 99 % of cases) use subject pronouns with the verb:

Eu sei = I know.
Eu vi ela. = I saw her.
Nós conhecemos ele. = We got to meeet him.
A gente está cansado. = We're tired.
Ela ama ele. = She loves him.

e) spoken Brazilian Portuguese does not uses clitic LHE or LHES, we
use analitic forms like: pra você (=to you), pra ele (= to him), pra ela
(=to her), pra eles (= to them), pra você (= to you all):

I called her, I phoned her:

Telefonei-lhe (European Portuguese)
Eu liguei pra ela, Eu telefonei pra ela (spoken European Portuguese)

I gave you that:

Dei-to (European Portuguese).
Eu dei isso pra você (Spoken Brazilian Portuguese)

They called her and told her everything:

Chamaram-na e disseram-lhe tudo (European Portuguese).
(Eles) chamaram ela e falaram tudo pra ela. (Spoken Brazilian

I will help you, if you tell me the truth:

Ajudar-te-ei, se me disseres a verdade. (European Portuguese)
Eu vou ajudar você, se você falar verdade pra mim (Spoken Brazilian

Speak up:

Diz lá! or Diz-mo! (European Portuguese)
Diga aí or Fale logo! (Brazilian Portuguese)

f) Brazilian portuguese likes using conditional where European Portugueses prefers past simple:

I would like to know:

Gostava de saber. (European Portuguese: Literally: WANTED TO KNOW)

Eu gostaria de saber. (Brazilian Portuguese: Literally: I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW)

g) Brazilian Portuguese uses -ing form, while European does not:

Eu estou cantando = I am singing. (Brazilian)
Estou a cantar. = I am singing. (Literally: I am to sing) (European Portuguese)

h) Word order is different:

What is your name?

Como te chamas tu? (European Portuguese)

Como você (se) chama?(Brazilian Portuguese)

Do you always go to this beach?

Vais a esta praia sempre? (European Portuguese)

Você sempre vai nessa praia? (Brazilian Portuguese)

g) European Portuguese has three demonstrative pronouns (like Spanish): ISTO, ISSO, AQUILO, but Spoken Brazilian POrtuguese have only two (like English): ISSO (this) and AQUILO (that)

This thing here:

Isto cá. or Isto aqui. (European Portuguese).
Isso aqui. (Brazilian Portuguese).

h) Brazilian Portuguese has ESTAR COM for TO HAVE (right now) and TER for TO HAVE (usually, normally). European Portugueses uses TER ONLY:

Usually, I am not afraid of rats, but I am now.

Normalmente, eu não tenho medo de ratos, mas agora eu estou com
medo deles. (Brazilian Portuguese)

Normalmente, não tenho medo de ratazanas, mas tenho agora. (European Portuguese)

g) most Brazilians don't understand strange syntax of European Portuguese, thus, a European Portuguese dialog like:

Fá-lo porque falo. (Do it beacuse I say so)
- Far-to-ei. ( I will do it for you)

Will not be understood in Brazil, since in Brazil we will say it like this:

Cê faz isso porque eu tô te falando. (Do it because I say so).
- Eu vou fazer isso pra você. (I will do it for you)

h) Subject pronouns

in European Portuguese:

eu (I), tu (you), ele/ela (he/she), nós (we), vocês (you all), eles/elas (they)

in Brazilian Portuguese:

VOCÊ (you) is used instead of TU and

A GENTE (one, like French ON) is used instead of NÓS

VÓS, VOSSO, VOS, CONVOSCO are obsolete in Brazil.

i) we don't use the word CUJO (whose):

She is the actress whose movie I watched:

É actriz cujo filme vi. (European Portuguese)

Ela é atriz que eu assisti o filme dela. (spoken Brazilian Portuguese)

j) We ommit prepositions:

This is the house we live (in):

Esta é a casa em que moramos. (European Portuguese).

Essa é a casa que a gente mora. (spoken Brazilian Portuguese).

Overall, Spoken languages of Brazil and Portugal are so different...and EVERYTHING FROM PORTUGAL (movies, soap operas) must be dubbed or subtitled into Brazilian in order to be able to be shown on Brazilian TVs. And Portuguese music is practically unknown in Brazil since we don't understand Continental Portuguese.

From Encyclopaedia Britannica:

''Brazil - Language

Portuguese has undergone many transformations, both in the mother country and in its former colony, since the language was first introduced into Brazil in the 16th century. Although the two countries have, from time to time, standardized their spelling so that the written word remains mutually intelligible, pronunciations, vocabularies, and the meanings of words have diverged so widely that, it has been said, it is easier for some Brazilians to understand films in Spanish from other Latin-American countries than those from Portugal. New words and expressions in Brazilian Portuguese have been introduced by Italians, Germans, Japanese, and other immigrants and from across the borders with Spanish-speaking countries. One notable example is the universal use in Brazil of tchau, for farewell, adopted from the Italian ciao. Other words have entered through contact with foreign products and technologies.''
Ed   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 16:01 GMT
Wow, that's very interesting, Vitaminada
mjd   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 16:18 GMT
Many have trouble understanding Portuguese from Portugal because of the lack of exposure to the Portuguese accent. The Portuguese have been exposed to the Brazilian accent (via their Brazilian soap operas) for quite some time now. If Globo had done the same in Brazil, I don't think there would be the need for the dubbing.

"Tchau" is used in Portugal as well.
mjd   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 16:21 GMT
Vitaminada wrote:

"g) most Brazilians don't understand strange syntax of European Portuguese, thus, a European Portuguese dialog like:

Fá-lo porque falo. (Do it beacuse I say so)
- Far-to-ei. ( I will do it for you)"

The mesoclisis does not really occur in spoken Portuguese from Portugal.

"I will do it for you" (I'd wager that it'd be: 'Eu vou fazer isso para ti/si' in EP).

You might want to check out this site:
Vitaminada   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 19:16 GMT
Jordi   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 19:29 GMT
It would be interesting to know how many Brazilians live and study in Portugal and hown many Portuguese live and study in Brazil. Do all Brazilians master both varieties (Higher and Lower) and how much is the H. variety influencing the L. variety in the speech of the Middle Classes.
Are the two brands or Portuguese closer now than they were 50 or 100 years ago. Are they converging amongst the more educated classes?
mjd   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 20:00 GMT
As an American who speaks Portuguese, I can say that I can understand both variants of Portuguese (that of Portugal and Brazil). While some dialects are more difficult than others (for example, the street children in "Cidade de Deus"), with time and the training of your ear, they become less difficult.

Now I'm not accusing Vitaminada of doing this, but as someone who has studied Portuguese for many years, I've noticed that some Brazilians really try and play up the differences between their Portuguese and that of Portugal. To tell you the truth, I've never really understood this mentality. While most Brazilians I've met in my life are proud to speak Portuguese, there seems to be a group of rather vocal linguists whose desire is to try to prove that "Brazilian" is a different language altogether. As I said, I've never really found any of their arguments very convincing. In fact, Brazilian Portuguese actually reflects some of the archaic features of the time of Pedro Cabral, Vasco da Gama and Camões.

In my opinion, if one wanted to call a language Brazilian (not Brazilian Portuguese), a more worthy candidate would be Nheengatu, also known as the Língua Geral...the Tupi language spoken by Anchieta and the Jesuits during the early colonial years and I believe is still spoken in some remote parts of Brazil today.

Eça de Queirós, the great Portuguese novelist, once described Brazilian Portuguese as "português com açúcar," or Portuguese with sugar.
Vitaminada   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 21:02 GMT
The name of Brazil's language it is not important (Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese or Brazilian)! It is thefact WE DON'T UNDERSTAND
the spoken form of Standard European Portuguese (based on Lisbon speech) because Portuguese people speak too fast and do not pronounce vowels at all. Too us, European Portuguese is as understanable as Arabic or Russian! We understand Latin American Spanish much better than Continental Portuguese.

Therefore, all Portuguese-made products (movies, sitcoms, soap-operas) are dubbed or subtitled into Brazilian Portuguese. The same is done with books. Let's see:

1. Brazilian books (like Paulo Coelho) are translated from Brazilian Portuguese into Continental Portuguese for Portuguese market (they call it ''an adaptation'' but many times words and expressions are translated and not only spelling is changed)
2. Portuguese books are translated from Continental Portuguese into Brazilian Portuguese for Brazilian market

As I said, the name of Brazil's language itself it is not important.
What is important is the fact that most Brazilians DO NOT understand spoken Continental Portuguese, so Tv-companies MUST dub or subtitle Portuguese films or soap operas before they can be shown on Brazilian TVstations.

Portuguese people may understand us ''perfectly'' but many times their knowledge of our Brazilian tongue is limited to 2000-words vocabulary used in soap operas they watch.


Many times, Portuguese people will refuse to read an English techical book translated into Brazilian Portuguese, saying that ''there are too many errors'' in it, so they will opt for the English original.
Jordi   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 21:08 GMT
What do you suggest? Do you feel there should be more contact between Portugal and Brazil? After all, the Portuguese norm (and not the Brazilian) is used in all Portuguese former colonies and that really makes you a world language spoken in 4 continents.

Do you study both Portuguese and Brazilian writers in High School? Would it be a good idea to have more Continental Portuguese programmes in Brazil and more Brazilian programmes in Portugal?
International French, English and Spanish are getting closer and closer. Isn't that also the case with younger generations of continental Portuguese and Brazilians? If not, why isn't it so?

I think it's in you interest to keep the international unity of the Portuguese language but, of course, it's up to the Brazilians, Portuguese and the other countries who speak the language to decide.
Do you have an international academy of the language?
Vitaminada   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 21:11 GMT

A great site on LIVING IN PORTUGAL (written by an American who is married to a Brazilian)


''A personal experience

As an American married to a Brazilian, with two Brazilian children, and with 17 years experience with Brazilian Portuguese (BP), coming to Portugal and trying to adapt to the European variety of Portuguese (EP) was not easy at first. I think that if I had not known any other variety of the language, in effect coming with a clean slate, the period of linguistic adaptation would have been smoother.

When we first arrived in Porto it was very difficult to understand the people. They could understand us but the opposite was not true. Now that we have been here for nine years, going on ten, the language presents less of a problem, and communication is not so labored. As in most language learning situations we tend to struggle with the less educated. This of course is because as teachers we have most of our contact with middle-class people with some schooling, who speak a standard form of the language.

Knowing BP was help and a hindrance when we arrived in Portugal. On the one hand, most of the arduous process of learning the local language was facilitated and we could communicate from the first day on. On the other hand, the knowledge of the other linguistic variety impeded the learning process in many ways. Prejudices about the supposed attractiveness and even superiority of BP made it harder to accept EP. Many Portuguese themselves say that the sounds of BP are more melodious and softer than EP.

Another problem is that the BP speaker has no, or almost no contact with EP. Outside the restricted world of the Portuguese colony in Rio and São Paulo, with its clubs and codfish dinners, Brazilians have no experience of what EP sounds like. Even the Portuguese who have lived in Brazil for a certain period of time soon lose their accent and do their best to blend in with the local culture. This rarely occurs with the Brazilian in Portugal. Perhaps this blending in in Brazil was because the Portuguese immigrants were looked upon as ignorant and backward, despite their economic success.

The historical idea of what a Portuguese was like has never been a positive one in Brazil. In fact, most of the jokes told are about the Portuguese. The prejudice and ignorance about Portugal can be shocking at times, if one is Portuguese. One student of mine who visited Brazil was told he had such an interesting way of speaking (read comprehensible accent) that he didn’t even seem to be Portuguese.

In a situation in which no cultural input from Portugal enters Brazil there is almost a total ignorance about the mother nation. Portuguese singers have never even tried to penetrate the Brazilian market. Recently a Portuguese rock group performed live at a rock concert in Rio. The Portuguese television reporter interviewed several young people and asked them what they thought about the music. The first comment was that it sounded ok but they couldn’t understand a word.

Portuguese television and films have likewise never been shown in Brazil, outside a few art cinemas in Rio or São Paulo. A recent package of Portuguese films was sent to be shown during the celebrations commemorating the discovery of Brazil. It was decided that the films could only be shown with subtitles.

The EP variety of the language is almost never heard in Brazil, especially in the interior. A student of mine, when visiting a small town in Brazil, was asked if she was speaking Italian. Brazilian women who went to a women’s congress in Moscow in the early sixties, before the revolution of 1964, said that when the delegates words were being translated into EP on their headphones, they had to switch to a Spanish translation to understand. Surely the same would not happen with Spanish from Spain and Mexican Spanish, or even with American and British English—although dialects like Geordie or Scouse can be unintelligible for Americans. But they are dialects; here we are talking about standard varieties.

When the Brazilian arrives in Portugal he encounters two types of reactions to his Portuguese. There are those who think he has a “nice” accent and enjoy listening to it. There are also those who seem to resent the fact that a different type of Portuguese is being spoken, and more so in Brazil—a country that most people in the world today identify with the Portuguese language. A Portuguese student of mine resented the fact that in Paris, on a sightseeing bus, the symbol for the Portuguese language was the Brazilian flag and the narration of the tour was in BP. Ironically this is in a city with close to half a million Portuguese immigrants. Obviously they don’t go on sightseeing tours.

Children, adolescents, and simple working people, be they villagers or city folk, are very accepting of BP. They watch soap operas from Brazil, listen to Brazilian singers like Daniela Mercury, Gal Costa etc. and generally accept the different accent and vocabulary. The problem arises with more educated older people, usually those who have gone to university or are at university. We have seen that negative language attitudes towards BP come from the middle class. An example can be seen below:

You say that the Portuguese say that all the Brazilians speak an incorrect Portuguese. Many do! And no, I am not even talking about such inventions as verbs like "Parabenizar" [Dar os Parabéns] (congratulate), or expressions like "Deu bandeira" [deu para o torto] (it is screwed up). No sir. I am talking about how Brazilians can't conjugate the second person of the plural [you - Vós]. There are a great deal of other unbelievable mistakes. If you wish, I can start to watch soap operas once again and take note of all the tons of spelling and gramatical mistakes they make. I advise watching "Os quintos dos Infernos". The older the time when the soap is supposed to be, the more numerous is the number of "stabs" that Portuguese has to endure.


Most Brazilians can't speak Portuguese. I don't use "vós" and I can conjugate it. We don't use the gerund in Portugal (we use the infinitive), and we can still use it correctly. Some can't even use "tu" [you] correctly, let alone vós. Not all Brazilians all under this category. I was pleased to notice that the Brazilian comedian Jô Soares can speak correctly the Portuguese. Famous Brazilian actors like Lima Duarte or Tony Ramos can't. Once again: I am not talking about vocabulary. I am talking about not being able to conjugate verbs, to show it on national television and no one giving a damn.
Most Brazilians actors conjugate the verbs as correctly as my Cape Verdean housekeeper than is illiterate. Remember that in Portugal we are exposed daily to a massive amount of Brazilian culture.

As a University student, I might tell you that in veterinary Medicine a large portion of our books are Brazilian translations. Some of the translations are so lame, that many students chose to buy the original English versions.

Not surprisingly the person who wrote the above is not even aware that in Brazil "vós" has not been used for centuries and that "tu" is used by very few Brazilians. A lot of what some Portuguese say about Brazilian Portuguese is the same as what some British have said about American English.

The comments made about BP are always the same. The mother tongue is EP and BP speakers should not persist in their linguistic rebellion. Centuries of separation from the mother country are not taken into consideration. Brazilian children who enter the Portuguese school system see their writing covered with red marks, with every BP word or spelling singled out for correction. They either learn the Portuguese way or fail. There is no such thing as linguistic diversity or multicultural education in Portugal. All immigrants must adapt to the standard or risk failure.

As most of the articles or books required for university studies are written in foreign languages—nine times out of ten in English-- and not in EP (the market is too small for translation) the students either have to read in the foreign language, pay someone to translate it, or heaven forbid, read a translation made in BP. The negative reaction to the reading of these academic articles and books in BP is almost pathological. “The Brazilians don’t know how to translate.” “The Portuguese is all wrong.” “We prefer to struggle with English than have to read in a Brazilian translation.”

Ignorance? Yes, a lot of it does stem from total ignorance of linguistics. But there is also the possibility of nationalistic pride and that same inferiority complex that makes the Portuguese so negative about Spain. “Spanish food is terrible,” or “the Spanish language is harsh and ugly.” The fact that Brazilians have translated such articles and books, and the Portuguese haven’t, wounds their nationalistic pride. They forget that the Brazilian market is so much larger—with hundreds of universities compared to Portugal’s dozens—and it is logical that the publishers would have a translation in BP.

The solution for all of this is of course for Portugal to try to make Brazilians more aware of their modern culture, including the language. I don’t think the two languages will come closer together in the near future though. Certainly it won’t occur by way of government fiat. As long as Brazil remains so far away, with much more in common with its Latin American neighbors, and with the United States, Portugal and Brazil will not be close linguistically or culturally. The force of Brazilian culture is much stronger because it comes with economic clout and the reality of having over one hundred and sixty million people versus ten million. In the future there will be much more infiltration of Brazilian Portuguese because of music, television, and immigration. Perhaps with a strong Portuguese presence in the Brazilian economy—supermarkets, electricity, banks, and cellular telephones—there might be an accompanying cultural and linguistic input, but this is yet to be seen. The Portuguese companies that have acquired a position in the Brazilian economy will most likely do everything they can to blend in and appear to be Brazilian.

For a discussion of the thesis that Brazil and Portugal already speak two different languages see these articles by Brazilian sociolinguist Marcos Bagno, Brasil e Portugal já falam duas línguas diferentes and Ensinar português e estudar o brasileiro. This highly respected author and professor of Linguistics has an extremely interesting site, , which is a treasure trove of information for anyone interested in the Portuguese language.''
Vitaminada   Sunday, February 06, 2005, 21:14 GMT
A nice article:

Brazilian Spoken Here

According to many Portuguese people 160 million Brazilians speak the language wrongly. Are all Brazilians illiterate? Would they all be bilingual if they had to learn Portuguese?

A. Fabres ( Brazilian linguist who lives in London)