Funny story about defending the Portuguese Language

I thought I would share this funny story from my dentist’s appointment this morning (in Florida). I asked the hygienist if she could email me my dental x-rays as my husband and I are planning to move to Portugal in the Spring. She asked me, “oh, do you speak Portuguese?” to which I replied, “a little”. (You guys, especially Joseph and Molly can confirm that, right? ) Then she said, “well, it’s basically broken Spanish, right?”

I looked at her like she had just spat on my shirt. “Eu tive de morder a língua!”

I just replied, “we’ll, they DO have a common origin” and I just kept my eye rolling to myself. :grinning:


Oh, she’d be deported straight back to the US if she said that here, probably right along with everyone who tries to be nice and then says Gracias instead of Obrigado/a :sweat_smile:

You’re totally fluent by now!


My spouse, who is a periodontist, teaches and practices at the Dental School connected with the University of North Carolina. Although his native language is Portuguese, he very often is called upon to speak “Portañol” (as he calls it) with his Spanish-speaking patients, who are always grateful for his ability to communicate with them so that they can understand! The overlap of the two languages is interesting! :slightly_smiling_face:


That’s funny, but I get it! Here in South Florida, many people grew up speaking Spanish and some still don’t speak English either. I used to be very good at it, having learned it in school for years, growing up in NYC, but now when I try to speak Spanish to my patients, it comes out as Portañol. Plus if I put on my Lisboeta accent, they think I’m speaking Russian :blush:


I’ve watched several discussion programs on RTP, both while in the Azores and in California. Quite frequently, someone speaking European Spanish raises a question or makes a comment. The entire audience listens politely and then the response is given in European Portuguese. From the facial expressions, I assume everyone completely understood everything that was said. Also, in addition to learning English early in school years, many Portuguese students opt to learn Spanish–thinking it might be easier that, say, French or German–so it may be that more educated adults do in fact understand Spanish well enough to comprehend. After our years of studying European Portuguese, we are completely able to comprehend a tour guide in European Spanish, should that be the only option that fits our schedule. When I’ve asked a question or responded to something the guide say, I’ve used Portuguese. No problem.


P.S. The interchange of the two languages works for me only in Europe. When I hear Latin American Spanish spoken in California, I pick up somewhere between a third and half of what is said and never enough to get the full statement.

Yes! Generally speaking, well-articulated Spanish is rather easy for us to understand, at least on a basic level :slight_smile:

I feel the same with Latin American vs European Spanish. :slight_smile: