Portuguese ranges 6th among the 10 most-spoken languages in the world, following Chinese, which occupies the top position, Spanish, English, Hindi and Arabic. Some argue that Bengali language comes before Portuguese, but the numbers are not precise.

The largest Portuguese-speaking country is Brazil with 207.7 million people, while in Portugal there are “just” 10.3 million people speaking and writing in it. About 220 million natives communicate daily in the language in its two dialects – European Portuguese (also called Continental) and Brazilian Portuguese.

We all know that Brazilian Portuguese developed from the European one back in the 1500s. However, the two varieties of the language diverged severely over time – according to experts – much more than the British and the American English. The differences between both can be witnessed in all aspects of the everyday use – the choice of words, grammar, spelling… And although not necessarily mutually unintelligible, the differences are evident and will point to bad user-experience if your site is not localized properly.

Here are some examples:

The word used for cell phone /mobile:
Brazilian variant: telemóvel
European variant: celular

The word goal, i.e. when a football player scores a point:
Brazilian: gol
European: golo

The word goalkeeper, which is one of the major positions in the football game:
Brazilian: goleiro
European: guarda-redes

The widely used word for a website user:
Brazilian: usuário
European: utilizador

The use of the personal pronoun you, as well as the choice for log in, as in the sentence: You are not logged-in as that user.
Brazilian: Você não está logado como esse usuário.
European: Não tens sessão iniciada como esse utilizador.

The differences between the two varieties are not just easily noticeable, but they may affect the understanding of the text and bring out confusion to the targeted audience. What is the solution? The key is consistency. Choose your audience and their language – Brazilian or European Portuguese bettors, and stick to it.

The language and the wording used throughout the user flow, together with the overall tone that conveys the message, are crucial to any business success. This is valid in full force and effect for translation and localization. When requesting a translation, please provide as much helpful background information as possible. This will ensure consistency and your readers will not get confused by different terminology, used to represent one and the same thing.

Contact us today with your Brazilian or European Portuguese localization request and we will make sure your content appear local and sound local.