|Brazil Research Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
Description[edit | edit source]
The first wave of Portuguese speaking immigrants settled in Brazil in the 16th century, but was not widely used. Portuguese coexisted with Língua Geral—a lingua franca based on Amerindian languages that was used by the Jesuit missionaries—as well as with the slaves brought over from Africa. There was swift change with the expansion of colonization to the Brazilian interior, and the growing numbers of Portuguese settlers, who brought their language and it became the most important ethnic group in Brazil.
As time went by there were many immigrants from other countries flooding into Brazil, such languages as French, German, Italian, Spain, Japan, Slavs and American. Many of the groups settled in the South and Southeast, but they all learn Portuguese for the purpose of communication, television, and radio.
Words from various languages have became borrowed, for example from Americans came words involving Technology and science, Commerce and finance, Miscellaneous cultural concepts. French has contributed to Portuguese words for foods, furniture, and luxurious fabrics, as well as for various abstract concepts, From German, besides strudel, pretzel, bratwurst, from marshal Friedrich Hermann Von Schönberg, and xote (musical style and dance) from schottisch, From Italian loan words and expressions, in addition to those that are related to food or music. For a more complete list of Loanwords click here. Words of influence in Brazil (about half way down)
Brazilian Portuguese is a set of dialects of the Portuguese language used in Brazil. But Brazilian Portuguese differs, particularly in the sound patterns and their meanings in speech, as well as in the use of tone, stress or rhythms, from dialects spoken in Portugal and Portuguese speaking African countries. In these latter countries, the language has a closer connection to contemporary European Portuguese because the Portuguese rule ended much earlier in Brazil. Despite the differences between spoken varieties, they differ very little in formal writing.
Most materials used in Brazilian research are written in Portuguese, because of the importance of the Roman Catholic Church to Brazil’s history, you may find several other languages in Brazilian records. These include Latin, German, Italian, Polish, and other languages of European ethnic immigrants, such as Japanese.
Portuguese grammar may affect the way names appear in genealogical records. For help in understanding name variations, see Brazil Names, Personal. You do not need to speak or read Portuguese to do research in Brazilian records. However, you will need to know some key words and phrases to understand the records.
In 1990 the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP, included representatives from all countries with Portuguese as the official Language, to reach an agreement on a reform to the Portuguese spelling of the langurage,in all Portuguese speaking countries. The reform went into effect in Brazil th 1st of January, 2009.
Word List[edit | edit source]
For a complete word list and help researching in Brazilian records, see:
But for a quick list:
|Given name and surname||Nome e sobrenome|
|Date of birth (approximate)||Data de nascimento (aproximada)|
|Place of birth||Lugar de nascimento|
|Date of baptism||Data de batismo|
|Place of baptism||Lugar de batismo|
|Full name of father||Nome completo do pai|
|Full maiden name of mother||Nome de solteira da mãe|
|Full name of husband||Nome completo do esposo|
|Full maiden name of wife:||Nome de solteira da esposa|
|Date of marriage||Data de casamento|
|Place of marriage||Lugar de casamento|
|Date of death||Data de morte|
|Place of death||Lugar de morte|
|Date of emigration||Data de emigração|
|Date of immigration||Data de imigração|
In some genealogical records, numbers are written out, especially true with dates. The following list gives the cardinal (1, 2, 3) and the ordinal (1st, 2nd, 3rd) versions of each number. In Portuguese, days of the month are written in ordinal form. 
|Cardinal #||Cardinal (word)||Ordinal #||Ordinal (word)|
|21||vinte e um||21st||vigésimo primeiro|
|22||vinte e dois||22nd||vigésimo segundo|
|23||vinte e três||23rd||vigésimo terceiro|
|24||vinte e quatro||24th||vigésimo quarto|
|25||vinte e cinco||25th||vigésimo quinto|
|26||vinte e seis||26th||vigésimo sexto|
|27||vinte e sete||27th||vigésimo sétimo|
|28||vinte e oito||28th||vigésimo oitavo|
|29||vinte e nove||29th||vigésimo nono|
|31||trinta e um||31st||trigésimo primero|
Alphabet and Pronunciation[edit | edit source]
Portuguese uses the same 26 letters, but he K and W are used only in words that are not of Portuguese origin. However, some letters in Portuguese can carry accent marks that indicate how to pronounce the letter, or which syllable in a word is stressed. The accent marks include: (agudo á, é, í, ó, ú); (cedilha ç); (circunflexo ê, ô); (grave à, è); (til ã, ẽ, õ, ũ); (trema ü)
Language Aids and Dictionaries[edit | edit source]
Additional Resources[edit | edit source]
See the FamilySearch tutorials on "Reading Portuguese Handwritten Records"
The following books and English-Portuguese dictionaries can also aid you in your research. You can find these and similar material at many research libraries.
Vieyra, Anthony. Dictionary of Portuguese and English languages. London: 1827. FHL 1181694 item 5 The Family History Library has only part two, English- Portuguese.