Portuguese Translation Services

Portuguese is one of the official languages of various international bodies. Portuguese communities, both big and small, are found today across all the continents.

Portuguese Around the World

Portuguese clearly refers to the native language of Portugal, with nearly 10 million Portuguese speakers. The Portuguese territory extends to the Atlantic Ocean, including the island of Madeira and the Azores, which by themselves account for a population of approximately 500,000 native Portuguese speakers.

Much like France and Spain in days past, Portugal has historically set out to conquer the world. It’s how Brazil, among other countries, became Portuguese-speaking. Brazil is also the second country, and the largest one, for which Portuguese is the official language. This vast Latin American territory has some 164 million inhabitants, a large majority of whom are Portuguese speakers as well.Portuguese is also the official language of five African countries, namely Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe and the Cap-Vert.

Portuguese is also the official language of five African countries, namely Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, and the Cap-Vert.

In Asia only a few islands are still Portuguese speaking, but there is also a Portuguese language presence. There is Macao and its casinos in China; Timor and Malacca in Indonesia, and finally the Portuguese colony of Daman and Diu of Goa in India.

In total around the world, there are approximately a staggering 200 million Portuguese-speakers. Not bad for a mother nation with just 10 million nationals!

Portuguese in the Professional Sphere

Spoken across all five continents and in countries with strong development potential, Portuguese has become a language of political and commercial exchange. As a result, several organizations in these areas have included it in their official languages. This is the case in Europe, where Portuguese is actually the third official language and a language of international communication, similar to English, French and Spanish.

The Southern African Development Community, or SADC, has even institutionalized two official languages: English and Portuguese. This decision results from the fact that some of its founding members are English-speaking, that is Lesotho, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi and Swaziland. The two others, Angola and Mozambique are Portuguese-speaking.

Mercosur, or Southern Common Market, is an economic community with Latin American countries as its members. Portuguese along with Spanish are both used as the official working languages.

The Subtleties of the Portuguese Language

Due to Brazil’s proximity to the United States, the Portuguese spoken there is sometimes influenced by English. Media for example is “midia” in Brazil, and maintains the original Latin spelling in Portugal. In general, the European version of Portuguese is less likely to take words from other languages.

To highlight some Portuguese differences in vocabulary,bunda” means “bottom” in Brazilian Portuguese, whereas in European Portuguese, the translation is somewhat more vulgar, translated as: “ass”. To give another (less embarrassing) example, “fato” can mean both “costume” and “fact”. In order to have an accurate translation of documents from or into Portuguese, it’s best to rely on a professional translator who is familiar with all aspects of this language.
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