Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Our European Portuguese vs Brazilian Portuguese article will shed some light on a very common mistake in content marketing: Portuguese is all the same. As you may have noticed from our introduction, it clearly isn’t. There are many differences in grammar, style, and construction. Even wording should lead any business to think twice.

We spotted this issue over the years. As a team of content professionals, we are frequently approached by businesses of all sizes asking us to write, translate or even advertise on social media. They know what they want: to reach a Portuguese-speaking audience. So far, so good, right? Except there are indeed huge differences depending on the geo of your audience.

Brazilian Portuguese is indeed derived from European Portuguese. Still, we must consider the centuries of linguistic evolution, add the incredible cultural complexity of Brazil itself, and, you’ve guessed it, an Atlantic Ocean in-between. One of the most interesting curiosities of this linguistic brotherhood is as follows:

Most European Portuguese nationals will understand a Brazilian, but you don’t observe the same from the other end. Why? We’ll let you know over the next few lines, along with some funny and interesting considerations if you’re after Portuguese Content of any nature.

Understanding Both Sides of the Atlantic

Sunset by the Atlantic Ocean

Over the previous lines in our European Portuguese vs Brazilian Portuguese article, we made a bold claim. European Portuguese speakers will have very little difficulty understanding most Brazilian speakers. However, most Brazilians find it difficult to understand their European brothers. There are several answers to this issue, but one is by far the most relevant.

Portuguese Generations Z (1996-2015), Y (1977-1995) and X (1965-1976) were exposed to considerable cultural assets from Brazil. Soap operas (telenovelas) and music hugely impacted the European Portuguese society, especially those who lived in a dictatorship – which Brazil also experienced. The soft rhythms of Bossa Nova and the soap’s romantic, free characters were, simply put, too hard to resist.

Fast-forward to the Present, and you’ll still find a huge cultural influence of Brazil in the ancient European nation. The reason is mainly due to the dimension of the South American country, but also its cost-effective cultural products. Its soap opera factories are well-known worldwide. To this day, many generalist TV channels in Portugal will still fit several of these stories across their schedule.

Children are now also exposed to a new generation of Brazilian content. Influencers on YouTube and translated materials on YouTube Kids are shaping the future of European Portuguese. Some see it as a problem, while others consider it a natural evolution of culture and national identity. After all, the Brazilian community in Portugal keeps growing at a steady pace.

Portuguese Content vs Brazilian

Is there a difference between Portuguese and Brazilian content? Well, yes. Even though they are, in general terms, both considered Portuguese, there are thousands of words and expressions that only fit in one language. We’ll share a few examples:

  • Bus is Autocarro (EU PT) and Ônibus (BR PT)
  • Butcher is Talho (EU PT) and Açougue (BR PT)
  • Bullet is Rebuçado (EU PT) and Bala (BR PT). However, Bala can literally mean Bullet in both countries.
  • Mobile Phone is Telemóvel (EU PT) and Celular (BR PT)
  • Ice Cream is Gelado (EU PT) and Sorvete (BR PT)

The list goes on forever, and as far as expressions go, the complexity rises considerably. It’s no wonder that businesses that fail to understand there are differences between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese risk having their content misplaced. As far as localization practices go, that’s one crucial mistake that is extremely hard to repair.

One of the main issues we find regarding this topic comes from services that want to save money by addressing poorly adapted Brazilian Content on European soil. The level of engagement drops considerably as audiences resist the poorly localized content. As we always claim, it’s hard to build trust when you fail to understand the very core of the people you want to connect with.

When in doubt, ask our team. We take pride in helping businesses understand their needs, and even the simplest queries get a reply – for no cost, rest assured. We aim to level up on the vast Portuguese Content panorama. Whether or not we’ll be your partner is a different conversation.

What are the Challenges When Crafting Portuguese Content?

The European Portuguese content market is quite appealing. It’s mature enough, yet small. A great place to experiment, where SEO metrics are still underdeveloped and steady growth in online services and businesses is showing. There is still resistance, mostly due to the lack of ability to create confidence. It seems that the European Portuguese vs Brazilian Portuguese challenge has several solutions.

Portuguese nationals are among the world’s earliest adopters of new technology but are also great fans of mobile devices. However, content investment is yet shy; therefore, we have a long road to explore ahead. Brazil paints a different picture. With over 200 Million people, it offers huge diversity derived from cultural heritage. As a result, content deployment must be carefully planned unless you’re aiming for a general topic.

We have developed efficient systems for all our content services as a multi-national team. We rely on native language speakers to craft content, editors from the other side of the Atlantic with strong product knowledge and then ensure another native speaker makes the final checks. As a result, our content goes through a few hands and improves over the process.

Is it Worth Investing in Portuguese Content?

Seriously, it depends. We can give you endless examples of companies that are yet to do it and huge brands that already do. Some opt only for Brazilian Portuguese and still deploy that content on European soil, while others prefer to play it safe and build for each market separately. Depending on your budget and expectations, there are several solutions to each problem.

The most important thing to consider is whether your service or product is relevant for these audiences. What competitors are there, what engagement rate exists, and whether you’ve actually been missing out on these 250+ Million users. We can’t answer these questions until we meet your needs, but there are surely great advantages to owning Portuguese Content online:

  • Communicate with an extremely wide audience
  • Becoming a pioneer in your niche
  • Expand your branding and influence
  • Increase sales, and users and build a solid community
  • Fast growth due to lack of competition in several niches

Content Marketing is booming. The misconception that Brazil is a poor nation and Portugal too small in size to bother leads many brands to look elsewhere. They are, however, missing out on huge opportunities due to a lack of cultural knowledge. Both sides of the Atlantic love to engage with brands, influencers, and early adopters of trends.

A great content team can help you get there faster and leave a more solid presence throughout the next few years. Naturally, our opinion is that Portuguese Content has a bright future ahead. It’s far more than European Portuguese vs Brazilian Portuguese. With such a rich background, we position ourselves as partners to adapt and deploy content over these key markets.

If you’d like to join us, get in touch. Our team will advise you on the best course of action and whether you can benefit from engaging with Portuguese-speaking audiences worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How many Portuguese speakers are there in the world?

Statistics differ, but Native Portuguese speakers are placed in the 250 – 270 million worldwide. It is the 9th most spoken language in the world and the official language in 9 States: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome & Principe and Timor-Leste. It is still considered one of the official languages in Macau SAR, which belonged to Portugal until December 20, 1999.

How many online users do Portugal and Brazil have?

Stats claim that 78,3% of European Portuguese have access to the internet (2020). Brazil’s figure isn’t too far behind, with 73,9% (2019). This steady growth is an interesting factor for those wishing to enter any of the Portuguese-speaking markets. Even if we reach only 1% of the total, we’re still present in millions of households.

How can I adapt my content to Portuguese?

That’s the easy part. Suppose you already have most of your content in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian or other languages. In that case, we can ensure it crosses the borders towards our European or South American experts. Over the years, we’ve successfully adapted content for global brands and small businesses.

How long does it take to convert my content to Portuguese?

The process of adapting content to the Portuguese language is often faster than building it from zero. Mainly because we have a prior discussion regarding your branding and whether you want to retain all the features. The less localization content requires, the faster you’ll have it online. Regardless of the option, we aim for a fast delivery every single time.

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