Will spanish help?

Old Jul 4th, 2005, 09:58 AM
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Will spanish help?

We are planning a trip to Brazil and I am wondering how formidable the language barrier will be. Will the fact that I speak spanish help at all? I will, of course, learn some phrases in Portugese before we go. Would Brazilians be likely to be annoyed if my fumbling attempts to communicate have some spanish words thrown in?
We are in the early, information-gathering stage of planning a trip, so I am not sure yet where in Brazil we will go. There are so many places that sound amazing, it is going to be hard to narrow it down!
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Old Jul 4th, 2005, 11:05 AM
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I have found that most people that speak Portugese understand me just fine when I speak to them in Spanish. Unfortunately I have not found it to work the other way around. I am hard pressed to understand Portugese and can only catch a little bit. I would learn all you can in Portugese.
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Old Jul 5th, 2005, 08:11 AM
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Many words are the same just pronounced differently, if you are just a tourist and doing tourist things you should be ok. Most of the Brasilians I know speak Spanish or at least understand it somewhat, you should have no problems.
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Old Jul 5th, 2005, 10:08 AM
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My younger son lived and worked in Rio for 3 1/2 years and was forced to learn Portugese as many speak little Spanish.
In Portugal, most are far more comfortable speaking Enlish vz Spanish, but I suspect there is cultural and national bias.
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Old Jul 5th, 2005, 09:14 PM
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Many thanks for the helpful replies.
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 12:38 PM
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If your going to be living in Rio for 3 1/2 years then of course you are going to be forced to learn Portuguese. This person is only going for a weeks vacation and Spanish is about as close as you are going to get and it will help.
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Old Jul 14th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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Spanish does help in Brazil, specially for reading. You have however to speak slower as accent is considerable different even on same spelling words. Also very true that Brazilians can understand Spanish and Spanish speaking people cannot understand Portuguese. Akward but very true.
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Old Jul 14th, 2005, 12:32 PM
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I am a Spanish-English translator who works in Brazil quite often and I can corroborate what mot, duke and mikemo say. Brazilians can understand Spanish much more easily than the other way around because Spanish has very few phonemes (meaning-distinguishing sounds) while Portuguese has a huge number of them. While the the great majority of words in the two languages are similar, many of the day-to-day kinds of words (food names, furniture, common verbs) are very different, so you should probably concentrate on those. Examples: pollo/frango; piña/abacaxi; cenar/jantar.
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Old Jul 27th, 2005, 08:23 PM
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you do not say when are you planning to go.
1. Try to go in the internet and read about brazilian culture or get a book from the library. It is important because there are words in spanish that you can not even mention because they sound like something bad in portuguese; also learn about dos and don'ts. Maybe brasil.com or so....
Also go the book store and ask for a portuguese course. They are not too expensive.
Make sure it says PORTUGUESE SPOKEN IN BRAZIL. NOT PORTUGAL ...They are different.
The ones in the library are not as good.
If the trip is not too soon; subscribe to "DISH" cable company and ask for the
GLOBO CHANNEL.
I have it and the first couple of days I was kind of lost After a few weeks I understand 90%.
I was in Brazil twice and they are very fiendly and do not mind when we speak "portoñol" .
You have to be a little bit more careful than when you go to other countries; that is refering to safety.
Of course that will not stop me from going back.
Also a suggestion if you have summer clothes in good condition no matter the size also toys, teddy bears etc.., mac donalds toys ...no matter how simple . you could find somebody to give it to. Is a lot of poverty.
Good luck
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Old Aug 27th, 2005, 03:26 PM
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I speak Spanish fluently as a second language (learned in Mexico as a little girl). I dated a guy from Brazil for a while and visited Brazil. They understood my Spanish just fine. I actually didn't have any problems understanding Portuguese, as long as it was before midnight. After midnight, my brain shut down and I couldn’t understand anything. I learned to speak pretty well after two weeks there. Of course, it helps when you aren't around anyone who speaks English! That's the best way to learn a language.

On a funny note…I flew to Vitoria, Brazil, by myself, before learning to speak. Unbeknownst to me, my flight from Sao Paulo to Vitoria actually stopped in Belo Horizonte. I almost got off the plane in the wrong city! Luckily, a sweet flight attendant was smart enough to stop me and check my ticket.
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