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Portugal in Jan./Feb. and Spanish in Portugal

Portugal in Jan./Feb. and Spanish in Portugal

Old Nov 28th, 2000, 03:10 PM
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Portugal in Jan./Feb. and Spanish in Portugal

Just wondering what the weather is like in Portugal in the early winter months. Anyone been there then? Also, one of my travel party is fluent in Spanish, however, none of us speak Portugese. Would we be able to communicate with Spanish/English? Any other overall thoughts on Portugal appreciated re: food, sites, driving and accomodations would be appreciated.
Old Nov 28th, 2000, 03:19 PM
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It was my experience that Portugese are more likely to speak good English than Spanish. We were also told that they sometimes resent being treated as if Portugal were a part of Spain, and don't like tourists assuming that they must be able to speak Spanish since Spain is so close.
Old Nov 28th, 2000, 04:21 PM
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Im Spanish and I can make myself understand in Portugal but I have noticed that young people usually speak English well there. So with both lenguages I guess you will not have problems to be unterstood.
Old Nov 28th, 2000, 04:25 PM
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I had a very similar experience as Patrick. I speak Spanish so I could understand a little bit of Portuguese, specially the written part. However, English was actually more widespread and it was obvious to me, the preferred second language. Besides the historically adversarial relationship with Spain, many of Portugal's coastal towns had for centuries a flourishing and strong commerce of wines (porto) with England, thus contributing to the familiarity.

I was there in early May 1998. Weather was gorgeous (80's). Try to get to Viana Do Castelo, Oporto, and Sintra. Beautiful, medieval cities.
Old Nov 28th, 2000, 07:27 PM
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Hey Troy,
Copied this piece I'd written on another thread...

"I'm a Spanish lit major (originally, picked up Spanish while living in Mexico City for a couple years when I was a kid...) and thought I'd have no problem when I moved to Lisbon 3yrs ago. (I was there for a year)

Portuguese is a very different animal!
Though I could understand some/much of what I read, It is a very unusual spoken language!
Basically, I used Spanish, threw in a few "shhhshhhhs" and tried to learn key words. I think most people got the gist of what I would say...of course throw in any other languages you know, including English, and sign language, and one can ALWAYS cope.
In most areas, people will know some English, but much more so, in the tourist and metropolitan areas.
Also, please keep in mind that if you DO speak Spanish, don't Assume the Portuguese will appreciate this... It can, at times, be a sensitive situation. Seems "many" people do not differentiate between Spain and Portugal, and I think the (rightly so) proud Portuguese people don't like feeling like a step-child to the larger Spain. I would certainly use it if it helps, but it's good to be aware of the feelings that abound in a probably very small percentage.
So, whew! With all that said, you'll get along fine. Bring a phrase book and try your best!"

You might do a search under Portugal/Spain for more info, or feel free to email me

Old Nov 29th, 2000, 12:10 PM
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Thanks all for your responses. The info. re: Spanish in Portugal makes perfect sense. Anyone know what the weather is like throughout the country in Jan./Feb. Also, how different is the culture and diet from that of Spain?
Old Nov 29th, 2000, 03:04 PM
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Jan/Feb is usually fairly cold. I'd expect 5-10 centigrades in Lisbon and South and 0-5 centigrades in the North.

The weather is likelly to be fair, but bringing a umbrella and a raincoat while packing seems highly advisable.

About differences between Portugal and Spain, I'm sure I'm too biased to give an opinion. That exercise is better for thied parties.
Old Dec 11th, 2000, 10:02 PM
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In Portugal I think the languages work in the following order:
Portuguese --> French --> German --> Spanish/ English
Old Dec 12th, 2000, 03:43 AM
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The people are different.The Portugese seem a little more laid back than the Spanish (IMO).
They also used to suffer from a lack of assertiveness which was a hangover from the Salazar days (recent heavy repression).The gov. recognised this & ran a program to increase self-worth.
They are certainly prickly about being addressed in Spanish!Better with phrasebook Portugese.
Read a few paragraphs at least of their recent history, eg fighting in Angola.It really helps to put things in perspective.
Old Dec 13th, 2000, 08:19 PM
Betty Ann
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In Portugal you won't have to wait till 11PM to have dinner as in Spain (unless you want to). Restaurants start serving dinner about 7PM. Driving in Portugal is not bad at all. They drive fast though, so on two lane roads, pull over when you can to avoid a backup behind you.
Old Dec 13th, 2000, 08:31 PM
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I would always ask: Fala castellano? (do you speak Spanish) and was usually told: Everyone speaks Spanish. Even if they couldn't, I was spoken to v-e-r-y slowly and responed in kind.

A word of warning though, I'm Latin and can understand Brazilians just fine, it wasn't that easy in Portugal - I think the Portugese there is more gutteral or throaty, it took some getting used to.

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