Difference Between Spanish and Portuguese (With Table)

Spanish and Portuguese are the two most widely spoken languages in the world. Both the languages fall under the branch of Romance Languages. Also, both languages are originated from the Indo-European languages. Both Spanish and Portuguese have multiple variants and dialects, that are easily understood by the people who fall under this branch. Even though there are many similarities between both the languages but at the same time there are some distinct differences between them.

Spanish vs Portuguese

The main difference between Spanish and Portuguese languages is that both languages differ in the section of pronunciation. Especially the pronunciation of the vowel sounds. Also, the phonology, grammar, and vocabulary of both languages differ from each other. For instance, if a person wants to learn any of these languages, he/she will find the Spanish language easier as compared to the Portuguese language. But, at the same time, it would not be hard to learn the opposite language if a person knows any one of them.

Spanish is regarded as the world’s 2nd most-spoken indigenous language, in respect of people who speak it as their first language. There are approximately 489 million native speakers of Spanish. Spanish is considered the official language of about 20 countries all over the world. Also, in around 79 countries we can find Spanish Speakers. The written script of Spanish is in Latin.

On the other hand, Portuguese also belongs to the branch of the Romance languages. There are about 250 million indigenous speakers of Portuguese. The Portuguese language also originates from the Indo-European family. It is considered the official language of about 9 countries. Also, it is ranked as the sixth most-spoken language in the world.

Comparison Table Between Spanish and Portuguese

Parameters of ComparisonSpanishPortuguese
Native SpeakersThere are about 489 million native speakers of Spanish.There are about 250 million native speakers of Portuguese.
Official languageIn 20 countries Spanish is considered the official language. In 9 countries Portuguese is considered the official language.
Ranking of language Spanish ranks second position as the world’s most-spoken indigenous language. Portuguese ranks sixth position as the world’s most-spoken indigenous language.
AlphabetsThere are about 27 letters in the Spanish alphabet.There are about 23 letters in the Portuguese alphabet.
Learning ProcessThe learning process of Spanish is easier.The learning process of Portuguese is a bit harder as compared to Spanish.

What is Spanish?

Spanish is a language that belongs to the branch of Romance languages. It is derived from the Indo-European languages. During the beginning of the 11th century, the dictionary of the Spanish language was enhanced with some French words and expressions by some priests and pilgrims. It has a lot of influence from both Latin and Arabic languages. Also, it is a widely spoken language, and also the national language of twenty countries. It is one of the main official languages of the United Nations.

In about twenty countries, Spanish is considered the official language of the respective countries. These countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Also, Spanish is spoken in other countries as well.

The writings or the Script of the Spanish language is written in Latin. More speakers speak Spanish as their first language as well as a foreign language. The Spanish language is comprised of 27 letters. Generally, Spanish is considered easy to learn as compared to Portuguese. But at the same time, if a person knows any of these languages, it becomes easier to learn both the languages as they are almost the same.

What is Portuguese?

Portuguese is a language the belongs to Portugal. The Portuguese language is also considered one of the most popular languages in the world. It too has many speakers but comparatively lesser than the Spanish speakers. It is considered the sixth most indigenous language in the world. It also belongs to the branch of Romance Language. And it is originated from the Indo-European languages. About 250 million native speakers of Portuguese can be found. It is a widely spoken European language after Spanish.

In about nine countries, Portuguese is considered the official language of the respective countries. These countries include Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Timor Leste, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and Sao Tome and Principle. The Portuguese language is also spoken in different parts of the world but there it is not counted as an official language.

The main difference between Spanish and Portuguese is the pronunciation, grammar, etc of their respective words. The writings of the Portuguese language are also written in the Latin language. The Portuguese alphabet is comprised of 23 letters. The difference between the Spanish and Portuguese languages is about four alphabets. The term alphabet is pronounced as alfabeto. The letters that have been missing are K, W, and, Y.

Main Differences Between Spanish and Portuguese

  1. There are about 489 million native speakers of the Spanish language. On the other hand, there are about 250 million native speakers of the Portuguese language.
  2. In 20 countries Spanish is considered the official language. On the other hand, in 9 countries Portuguese is considered the official language.
  3. Spanish ranks second position as the world’s most-spoken language. On the other hand, Portuguese ranks sixth position as the world’s most-spoken language.
  4. There are about 27 alphabets in Spanish. On the other hand, there are about 23 alphabets in Portuguese.
  5. The learning process of Spanish is easier. On the other hand, the learning process of Portuguese is a bit harder as compared to Spanish.

Conclusion

Spanish and Portuguese are the two languages that are widely spoken all over the world. There are about 20 countries where the Spanish language is regarded as the official language, whereas, there are 9 countries where Portuguese is regarded as the official language. Both languages mainly differ in pronunciation and grammar. Both the countries share the common Peninsula. Also, there are differences in the count of alphabets between the languages. Spanish is comparatively easier to learn than Portuguese. But, if a person knows to speak any of these languages, it becomes easier to learn the other language as it involves a lot of similarities between them. Also, both Languages share the common writing script, that is Latin. Comparatively, there are more Spanish speakers as compared to Portuguese.

References

  1. https://www.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=aPcQY1CeW4IC&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=spanish+vs+portuguese&ots=xNty4KMsD9&sig=-GwOJX3gM-_SiRVasS5qgIOLhHQ
  2. https://www.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ausuAAAAYAAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP14&dq=spanish+vs+portuguese&ots=H07-ELQpMj&sig=JmBN0kCHu2d6K4e2Iwh880HgYFE
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