Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Braden: Bom Dia and hello from Brazil. Braden here. This is all about lesson 1 - The History of Portuguese.
Thássia: Olá! I’m Thássia.
Braden: Together, we’ll be your guides to everything Brazil.
Thássia: That’s right. This first lesson is all about my native country.
Braden: And I’ve grown very fond of Brazil through my years of study and contact with Brazil.
Thássia: And what have you learned?
Braden: Tons! In every region of Brazil I’ve lived, it felt like a different country.
Thássia: Brazil is diverse and very different from other South American countries. For example, a few Brazilians know what a tortilha is and Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas.
Braden: Most people are surprised at how unique Brazil is.
Thássia: So Braden, give me some statistics about Portuguese, some hard numbers about Brazil our listeners can impress people with.
Braden: You know, I wish I could, but I can’t.
Thássia: Well, that wasn’t the answer I was expecting. Why not?
Braden: Well, it’s because until recently, Brazilian Portuguese wasn’t considered its own dialect to Portuguese. For that reason, most of the academic information about Brazilian Portuguese is really just guesswork.
Thássia: Oh really?
Braden: Yep. For example, estimates on how many Brazilian Portuguese speakers there are varies anywhere from 165 million to over 210 million.
Thássia: That’s over 50 million people.
Braden: Exactly! That’s a lot of people to not be sure about. Brazil is boasts to explode in worldwide importance in the next 6 years and so little is known about it. There is so much work that needs to be done.
Thássia: Which means there’s a lot of work for people who know Portuguese.
Braden: Exactly! It’s said that Brazil has been so ignored over the years, but for us, it’s great, because there are tons of options right now and the faster you learn Portuguese, the more opportunities you’ll have.
Thássia: With so much changing in the world economy right now, knowing Portuguese is a skill that will help you get and keep a job as well as give you an edge in the workplace.
Braden: That’s very true. Well, since we can’t do statistics, we can at least do a little bit of linguistic background and then a touch of history. How does that sound?
Thássia: Sounds great! Did you know Brazil used to be a colony of the Portuguese Empire?
Braden: Yes, I did, actually. That’s why the national language of Brazil is Portuguese.
Thássia: Yes. Brazil was a colony of Portugal from 1500 to 1822.
Braden: So, how are Brazil and Portugal different?
Thássia: Everything! Brazil is in a different continent with a different culture, climate, and political system. The language has also changed a lot.
Braden: So, is it kind of like the difference between England and the United States?
Thássia: Pretty much, except much more. For example, many Americans act as if British pronunciation and grammar were more correct.
Braden: And Brazilians don’t do that?
Thássia: No. Today, for some Brazilian, it can be difficult to understand people from Portugal.
Braden: Interesting! Now, I find the historical aspect of linguistics, fascinating, but I won’t go into too many details.
Thássia: Thank you!
Braden: You’re very welcome. Basically, Portuguese is a Latin-based language just like French or Italian. Portuguese in particular, is kind of the middle ground among all the other Latin-based languages.
Thássia: That’s true. It is a typical other Latin-based language if you start with Portuguese first.
Braden: That’s right. The Romans pulled out of Portugal in about 400 A.D., and Portugal was quickly settled by a Germanic tribe called the Suebi.
Thássia: Aren’t they the ancestors of Portuguese?
Braden: Yes, they are. The Suebi learned the local Latin dialect, explored the oceans, and developed a unique identity, language, and culture, and Brazilian Portuguese developed from that.
Thássia: Interesting! I didn’t know all of that.
Braden: Yeah, it’s basically the same story with Spanish and French, just with different tribes.
Thássia: Today, Brazil is now home to at least 180 million Brazilian Portuguese speakers and about half of the native Portuguese speakers.
Braden: I like that “at least.” Thank you for putting that in there. That sounds about right, but don’t think that all the other Portuguese speakers are from Portugal.
Thássia: That’s right. Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cabo Verde, Timor-Leste, Giunea-Bissau, São Tomé e Príncipe, the Goa and Kerala states in India, Macau in mainland China, and the Malacca State in Malaysia all list Portuguese as one of their official languages.
Braden: But they don’t all speak Brazilian Portuguese, right?
Thássia: No. There are two main divisions in Portuguese language family; Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese.
Braden: Brazilian Portuguese has the most number of speakers, over 180 million, mostly located in Brazil.
Thássia: That’s right. It has spread to the United States, Japan, Canada, Uruguay, and many African countries.
Braden: And European Portuguese is spoken in Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Cabo Verde, often incorrectly called Cape Verde, Timor-Leste, Giunea-Bissau, São Tomé e Príncipe, and several regions in India, China, and several other parts of Africa.
Thássia: You should also know that Portuguese changed its writing system or orthography in 2008, according to an international agreement with several other Portuguese-speaking countries.
Braden: That’s right! Over the past 50 years or so, there has been an international movement to unify the spoken and the written language. Many updates, changes, and alterations culminated in 2008 with this new official orthography. These changes made Portuguese much easier to read, speak, and learn.
Thássia: Even with these major changes, pronunciation among the many native Portuguese dialects can vary a lot.
Braden: That’s why, we have a pronunciation series that will guide you through the basics of Portuguese. So, where did Brazilian Portuguese come from?
Thássia: Well, Portugal is the furthermost west country in Europe. The Portuguese were always a sea-loving people and you can even hear that Portuguese word for seaport (Porto) in their name - Portugal.
Braden: From the 15th to the 18th centuries, Portugal was very rich and for a time, had the most advance navy in the world.
Thássia: That’s right! The explorers had trading relations with many countries and established a worldwide empire.
Braden: And Brazil was the crown jewel of that empire. Brazil was discovered in April of 1500 and in 1808, Brazil even became the seat of the Portuguese Empire and the home of the entire royal family. So, the top 5 reasons to learn Portuguese are:
Thássia: No.5…
Braden: The Amazon Rainforest! The largest repository of plant, animal, and insect species on the planet is the Amazon Rainforest, in Brazil. Billions and billions of dollars are spent every year on biological and pharmaceutical research, as well as preservation of this natural wonder. No.4…
Thássia: If you like farming and ranching, you need to learn Portuguese. Brazil is sometimes referred to as The World's Farm. Much of the food for the European Union, the United States, and China comes from Brazil. American farmers purchase hundreds of millions of dollars worth of land in Brazil in 2009. Some of the largest purchases of food items in history were from Brazilian farms. Farmers in Brazil are typically very rich and pay very well to bilingual people who can negotiate international deals for them. No.3…
Braden: If you're into investing, Brazil is the place. Lots of money is being invested in Brazil right now. Because of their already rich economy, the 2014 World Cup, and the 2016 Olympics, hundreds of billions of dollars will be invested into Brazil over the next seven years. Brazil's fiscal policy is very different from the United States, which has protected it from the 2008-2009 recession and almost all of its effects. Learn Portuguese and you could have a high-paying job in a tropical paradise for the rest of your life. No.2…
Thássia: Make powerful friends from all over the world. Speakers of Portuguese are spread throughout the world and have many powerful social, political, and business positions. Portuguese-speaking nations are also increasingly more powerful and influential in important international roles. Portugal was the chair of the European Union in 2007, and Brazil is the most powerful member of Mercosur, the largest and most powerful South American trade organization. No.1…
Braden: Business is booming! Brazil currently boasts the fifth largest number of Internet users in the world. Proficient speakers of Portuguese find jobs in various fields such as business, government, international relations, information technology, tourism, education, research, real estate, translation, linguistics and much, much more.
Thássia: Be sure to check out the PDF for more great information about this lesson.
Braden: Okay, everybody, are you ready? Get out your pen and paper.
Thássia: Grab your iPods.
Braden: Fire up your computer.
Thássia: Or whatever else you use to study.
Braden: And get ready for some Portuguese lessons from…
Braden and Thássia: PortuguesePod101.com.
Braden: Bye-bye.
Thássia: Até mais!