- Posted by Stephen Whiteley
- On 22/02/2018
Every Portuguese knows that the English language has greatly influenced their language. There are a number of English words that have been inherited by the Portuguese language. These words are used in everyday Portuguese and though many people who speak Portuguese don’t realize it, there are quite a few words that have been imported from the English language.
Examples of English words imported into the Portuguese language
For example, the Portuguese word bife is actually derived from the English word beef. Similarly, the English word blackout has made its way to the Portuguese language in the form of the word Blecaute. The list of Portuguese words that came from the English language is quite long. When we say coquetel in Portuguese, we are using a word that has been borrowed from the English language. Coquetel is the Portuguese word for the English word cocktail.
Influence of missionaries
One of the reasons why so many English words have made their way into the Portuguese language is because missionaries used these words, which later were integrated into Portuguese.
Portuguese is a Romance language that has close relations with the Spanish language. About 180 million people worldwide speak this language. It is also a language that is different than English, which is why when trying to learn the language, English speaking people are going to find it difficult to get the right intonation.
Similar verb systems
The good news is that the verb system from English is quite similar to the one used by the Portuguese. Even so, there are some real differences which can cause people to make mistakes. The two languages however share some Latin roots and there are quite a few English and Portuguese cognates.
English however remains the main language for those who want to be considered globalized citizens. The English word folklore has also made its way into the Portuguese language where it is called folclore. When we hear a Portuguese person say the word nailon, we may not know it but this word is the translation of the English word nylon.
Assimilation of English words
When English words are assimilated into the Portuguese language, they are not adapted though some exceptions do creep up from time to time. Most of the English words that are included in the Portuguese language are limited to modern subjects. Even so, the English language does not influence Portuguese as far as pronunciation of the words is concerned. The main assimilation to the Portuguese language of English words relates mostly to vocabulary.
Hard to translate
The bottom line is Portuguese is a language that has been extensively influenced by a number of foreign languages. English has given the Portuguese many words that are widely used even today. English happens to be not so strong when it comes to verb tenses and its syntax is also very plain. This makes it hard to translate Portuguese words into English. The English language however has allowed many indirect compositions to creep into the Portuguese language. English words like volleyball have been adopted in the Portuguese language where it is known as voleibol. The English word team has also been adopted and in Portuguese it is called Time.