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The Brazilian Portuguese Language for Property and Land Investors

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By : Article Distribution    29 or more times read
Submitted 2010-04-07 00:00:00

This article is a short introduction to the Brazilian Portuguese language aimed at real estate and land investors. We also provide a link to our dictionary which provides thousands of definitions of terms, phrases and words a property and land investor is likely to come across when doing business in the country (including accountancy, legal, estate agency, developer terminology, banking and other technical terms).


Spoken by over 200 million people internationally, Brazilian Portguese (português do Brasil or português brasileiro) was born out of the colonisation of Southern America's largest country in the 16th century. For well over 200 years it co-existed with various African languages spoken by the slaves bought to the country and it was only in the latter part of the 18th century where it became the full vernacular.

Whilst the majority of the vocabulary is predominantly of European Portuguese origin, many traces of African language still stand - particularly of Yoruba and Tupi-Guarani roots (the African accent also still remains, particularly in the north of the country). There are, additionally, several borrowings from other European languages including German, Italian and English. According to linguistic experts, many words connected to finance and trade are of English decent (examples include layout, forward, commodities, telemarketing, franchise and merchandise).

It should be noted that there are several differences in spelling and pronunciation between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese (the free Google Translate service, which we often refer our clients to, applies European Portuguese which is why confusion does sometimes arise). The differences are often compared to USA English and UK English (in terms of usage) - one notable example is the widespread usage of ô or ê in many words where European Portguese uses ó or é, resulting in an alternative pronunciation.

Whilst most European Portguese speakers tend to adapt and understand Brazilians quite easily, the reverse is occasionally is not the case - many state that this is because Brazilian culture (such as television, literature and music) is particularly popular in Portugal. Indeed, the cultural, political, economic and social influence that Brazil is having is resulting in a more widespread use of the language. Brazilian soap operas are watched in several South American countries, Europe and even as far as India and the Phillipenes. Since Brazil joined Mercosul, Portuguese is now taught in schools throughout South America - particularly in its neigbouring countries (there are several linguistic overlaps between Spanish and Portguese).

It should also be noted that several regional accents and dialects are apparent throughout Brazil - for example in the country areas, the accent (known as 'caipira') can appear confusing (even for Brazilians) particularly with regards to the pronunciation of the letters 'r' and 'l'. Cariocas (residents of Rio de Janeiro) tend to add the 'sh' sound as they communicate as well as increase their usage of prolonged dipthongs. South of the country, several German and Italian idiosyncracies are apparent due to the large amount of immigrants to areas such as Porto Alegre and Santa Catarina from the end of the 19th century. The accents of Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso and the Tocantins regions are also easily recognisable. Due to its sheer size and location of much of the wealth of the country, São Paulo is a melting pot of accents from throughout the country, as well as being influenced by the large number of Italians, Japanese, Armenian and Lebanese descendants that reside there.


The Brazil Real Estate and Land Investor Dictionary (free membership is required) has been created as a result of the lack of definitive translations available for many of the terms that we have been coming across. We will be updating the dictionary on a regular basis - particularly with words and definitions of a technical nature as well as with legalese, accountancy and taxation terminology. We particularly be interested from input and suggestions from business, real estate and land experts working in the country.
Author Resource:- The Dictionary for Brazil Real Estate and Land Investors can be accessed by clicking on the following link: (note you will have to be a free member which can be undertaken quickly and easily). We would very much appreciate suggestions of words and terms to be added to the dictionary - please email us at
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