1. Grammar and Spelling
Section One – Grammar and Spelling
1. Accents: Acute and grave accents can be found over any letter; vowels 'a' and 'o' have another accent mark called til (~). Portuguese has four accents: ´`~ and ^. They can be used on any vowel, except for ~, which is only used in ã and õ. In Portugal “ü” or “trema” is no longer in use, but it is still used in Brazil.
2. Case and Gender: There are no cases in Brazilian Portuguese, but there are two genders: masculine and feminine. As a general rule, nouns ending in a, ade, and ção are feminine and all others are masculine. Please bear in mind that there are a few exceptions, e.g. o mapa = the map, o coração = the heart.
3. Plural forms: These will always have a final 's', regardless of how the plural is formed from the singular. As well as this, another way of identifying the plural of nouns is by the articles or pronouns preceding it, which will also have a final 's' (os meus pais = my parents).
4. One-letter words: Words such as a ('the' feminine), o ('the' masculine) and e ('and') may cause typographical misinterpretation.
5. Capitalisation: General capitalisation rules are similar to English in headings/titles/bullet points, but nouns and adjectives referring to places/nationality are not capitalised as in English, e.g. English is written inglês with lower case 'i'. Months and seasons of the year do not use a capital, e.g. janeiro = January, verão = summer.
Section Two – Punctuation
Punctuation is similar to English, apart from the heading of letters, where instead of the usual comma as in 'Dear Sir,' a semi-colon is used as in Caro Senhor;.
1. Full stops: These are not normally used in headings/titles but may or may not be used in bullet points.
2. Speech marks: The following sentences would be translated as:
“Give me more work!”, shouted Chloe. “Me dê mais trabalho!”, disse Chloe.
“Would anyone like some tea?” asked George. “Alguém quer mais chá?”, perguntou George.
“I’m bored – can I go home now?”, Michala said. “Estou cansada, posso ir para casa?”, disse Michala.
PLEASE NOTE: The full stop always comes inside quotation marks “.” The only exception is if it is used in the phrase: Ele disse: “xxxxxxxxxx”. (He said “xxxxxxxxxx”)
3. Apostrophes: Normally apostrophes are avoided in Portuguese.
4. Colons, Semi-colons and Ellipsis: Colons, semi-colons and the ellipsis (…) are used in the same way as English.
Section Three – Measurements and Abbreviations
1. Measurement: Metric measurement is the official system except when referring to screen sizes, where inches (polegadas) are used. However, Imperial measurements such as miles (milhas) and lbs (libras) are also recognised and used in a foreign text context.
Time: 10am = 10h; 4pm = 16h.
Decimals: a comma is used to separate decimals from units, e.g. 3.7 = 3,7.
Numbers: a point is used to separate thousands from hundreds, e.g. 3,000 = 3.000. Numbers over 9999 are separated by either a space or a dot, e.g. 16,000 units = 16 000/16.000.
A space is normally left between numbers and measurement abbreviations such as 25 cm, 48 g, 34 °C.
N/a = N/a
Other abbreviations: (unfamiliar to non-Portuguese speakers)
PLV = Point-of-sale material
Section Four – Hyphenation
Hyphenation is widely used, mainly because of the way verbs are formed, with pronouns linked to the verb by a hyphen: tenho-o, levá-lo, diz-me.
It is rarely used for linking different words together apart from as in the above example.
It is used to split words over a line.
The rule to hyphenate between two consonants does not always apply in Portuguese, e.g. fe-cha-mos, cri-ar, Lon-dres.
If a word which is already hyphenated, such as deixe-me, occurs at the
end of a line, it retains its original hyphen
and gains a line split hyphen in addition:
Section Five – Miscellaneous Peculiarities
Currency: the currency in Brazil is the Real, e.g. R$50.000. Due to fluctuation in Brazilian currency, the international way is normally expressed in American dollars, i.e. US$.
Section Six – Geographic Distribution
Portuguese is the national language of both Portugal and Brazil. With about 10 million speakers in the former and some 160 million in the latter, coupled with speakers in Portuguese colonies in Africa, in the Atlantic, and in Asia, its total number of speakers is over 170 million.
In Brazil, Portuguese is spoken by the vast majority of the population. However, there are sizable colonies of speakers of German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, and Japanese. Indians number less than 200,000. Of their languages the most important are Tupi and Arawak, both spoken in the valley of the Amazon. Carib is spoken in the north, Ge in the east, Guarani in the south, and Panoan in the west.
In North Western Spain, about 3 million people speak a dialect of Portuguese known as Galician. Portuguese is a Romance language, closely related to, and yet distinctly different from, Spanish. There are a number of words from Arabic in both languages. Many words are identical in the two languages, but others are completely different.
The Portuguese of Brazil is slower and more measured than that of Portugal, but the Brazilians and Portuguese communicate with each other without theslightest difficulty. As in British and American English there are occasional differences in vocabulary.
Portuguese is spoken/used in the following countries: Angola, Azores (Portugal), Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde (Republic of), GuineaBissau, Macao (Portuguese), Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome & Principe,United States of America.
Source: http://www.worldlanguage.com/Languages/Portuguese - Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.
Section Seven – Character Set
[ ] = Alt key codes
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