Language is a communication tool that has evolved over time and enables people to talk with each other. Two of the most used languages are Spanish and Portuguese. However, there are those who still mistakenly consider the two languages as one and the same. Therefore, Pruf Ritz will discuss the differences between Spanish and Portuguese.
History of Spanish and Portuguese
Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Spanish is derived from Latin brought by the Romans in the Iberian Peninsula.
After Spain had gained independence from the Moors, Spanish spread to various regions, including Madrid and Toledo. In the 15th century, Spanish became the official language of Spain.
Today, Spanish is spoken by more than 500 million people. Spanish has become an official language in twenty Latin American countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Chili, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Spain, and Venezuela. The development of Spanish has been observed by the Association of Spanish Language Academies since 1951.
On the other hand, Portuguese started to spread in the world in the 15th and 16th centuries. Portugal established its trading colonies in 1415-1975, specifically in Brazil and Macau. As a result, Portuguese became popular and is spoken by more than 200 million people.
Currently, Portuguese is the official language of a number of countries such as Angola, Brazil, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, as well as Timor Leste. Portuguese is also a cultural language of Uruguay.
Differences between Spanish and Portuguese
People who are proficient in Spanish tend to be able to learn Portuguese quickly, and vice versa. This is because Spanish and Portuguese are very similar. Nevertheless, there are significant differences between the two. The following are the differences between Spanish and Portuguese.
- There are 27 letters in Spanish, but there are only 26 in Portuguese.
- Some vocabularies are spelled the same way but pronounced differently. In addition, some vocabularies are similar yet the pronunciation differs greatly. For example, the letter “f” can still be heard in Portuguese, but it is pronounced as “h” in Spanish.
- Spanish is heavily influenced by Arabic, while Portuguese is influenced by French. Thus, Portuguese sounds more like French compared to Spanish.
- Spanish has two diacritical marks (signs added to certain letters that can change the phonetic values of the letters), namely acute accent (á, é, í, ó, ú) and diaeresis or trema (ü). Meanwhile, there are four diacritical marks in Portuguese, namely acute accent (á, é, í, ó, ú), grave accent (à), circumflex (â, ê, ô), and tilde (ã and õ).
- Indonesian adopt more words from Portuguese rather than Spanish. Examples of Spanish words adopted into Indonesian are camisa, matador, mestizo, and plaza. On the other hand, Indonesian words like algojo, akta, bangku, batako, beranda, bendera, biola, bola, botol, dadu, garpu, and others are adopted from Portuguese.
- Spanish is easier to learn compared with Portuguese. This is due to differences in pronunciation, spelling, and syntax.
- There are more movies, telenovelas, and music in Spanish compared with Portuguese.
Those are the differences between Spanish and Portuguese. So what do you think? Are you interested in learning the two languages? If you are not familiar with Spanish and Portuguese, now you can steadily work your way to mastering them. Try to make the best of your experience in learning Spanish and Portuguese, as you might become a bilingual or even a polyglot.