[JPL] Q for Manuel Jorge Veloso

Manuel Jorge Veloso mjveloso at netcabo.pt
Fri Mar 18 11:18:50 EST 2005

Dear Arturo,

Well, you see, most Portuguese speaking countries (like the ex-african
colonies) are not really surrounded by Spanish speaking neighbors. In
Europe, yes, we are surrounded by Spain. But we have other possibilities,
like... the Atlantic Ocean!

Saying that, I think that your last point is the right one.

In fact, the Portuguese (european) language is «closer» to archaic Castilian
(Spanish) language, although very different.

And yes!, the regional Galician dialect is even closer to standard
Portuguese. In fact (whispering «between us»... nobody is reading this...)
they would like to be Portuguese, instead of Spanish. Just kiddin'!!!

About the differences between Portuguese and Spanish people's capability in
speaking each others languages, this is probably due to several reasons:

1) - Portugal is, of course, a much smaller country than Spain and, although
the Portuguese language is the fifth most spoken language in the world, the
Spaniards don't usually do much effort to speak other peoples' languages.
[They are, problably, right!] And when they do, they can't get entirely rid
of their accent, which is very strong indeed.

2) - In proportion, there are much more Portuguese emigrants all over the
world than Spanish ones. In proportion, I mean. So, our need to speak other
languages is by far greater.

3) - And then, of course (I know this is very subjective) I think it is also
a question of personality: we are a very open people, a very easy people to
contact with.

4) - The Portuguese pronunciation (european and, in a certain measure,
african) has a lot of differences in comparison with the Spanish language
and most of the sounds (like vowels) are mute and sound, in general, more
sad, more like slavic languages than like latin ones, especially Spanish and
Italian. That's why, I think, good spoken Spanish is easier than good spoken

5) - On the contrary, brazilian Portuguese is much open, bright and so
beautiful! And it swings! Just like (in general) the latin-american Spanish,
which is (no doubt about it!) much more beautiful than the european Spanish.

'Hope to have been of any help!

Ciao! (as in... Italian!)

Manuel Jorge Veloso

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Arturo" <arturo893 at qwest.net>
To: "jazzproglist at jazzweek. com" <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 5:20 PM
Subject: [JPL] Q for Manuel Jorge Veloso

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> Thanks for clearing up the confusion I had about the pronunciation of Bola
> Sete. I have always known about the difference of Portuguese by region,
> Portugal, Brasil, Cape Verde and other Portuguese speaking countries. This
> is similar to other languages e.g., Spanish where it varies country to
> country and closer to members of the JPL, English. We can communicate with
> folks from the UK, Australia, Canada et al yet terms, words and of course
> pronunciations vary country to country and even in region to region within
> nation.
> Here's my jackpot question, why is it that Portuguese speakers have it
> to understand and speak Spanish with proper pronunciations, yet Spanish
> speakers have a devil of the time pronouncing Portuguese properly? Is it
> because most Portuguese speaking countries are surrounded by Spanish
> speaking neighbors? I know Portuguese is closer to archaic Spanish and the
> regional Galician dialect of Spain is closer to Portuguese than Castilian
> Spanish. Please share some of your obvious expertise with us.
> Arturo Gómez
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