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Spanish vs. Portuguese: Why the Language Barrier?

Joana Rants

Was Venezuelan comedian Joanna Hausmann right when she called Portuguese, “Spanish on Xanax?” The two languages, both derived from Latin, share 89% of their lexicon, and yet, somehow Portuguese sounds v. different to so many Spanish speakers.

What’s up with that?

Joanna called in her Brazilian reinforcement, actor Michael Marlons, to break it down by consonants. Check out the video. I’ve been practicing my accent all day.

Jessica Hoppe

Jessica Hoppe is a New York-based writer and social media strategist who founded her blog, Nueva Yorka, in 2015. She has been featured in Vogue, Yahoo, HuffPost, PopSugar, Who What Wear, Ravishly and worked as Lifestyle Editor for StyleCaster. Jessica has been passionate about writing, diversity and Latin American culture from an early age. Having grown up in a Spanish speaking home, her father is Ecuadorian and her mother is from Honduras.

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  1. Anna April 4, 2019

    Brazilian Portuguese sounds different from European Portuguese. Many non Portuguese speakers confuse European Portuguese for Russian or Polish languages. Even Spanish language in Spain sound so different from each other, let’s take for instance Catalan and Galician. They are different, like 2 different languages. Did you know that English language is a Latin based language. 29% is Latin, 29% French (Latin based), 26% Germanic and the remaining Gaelic and other local languages.


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