ArticlesBlog Why Does Portuguese Sound Like Russian?! (or Polish) January 19, 2020100 Related tags : Are Portuguese and Russian related? European Portuguese pronunciation linguist linguistics phonetics phonology Polish language Polish nasal vowels Portuguese and Russian similar sounds Portuguese language Portuguese nasal vowels Portuguese phonology Portuguese pronunciation pronunciation Russian language Russian phonology Russian pronunciation Russian soft consonants sibilant consonants Stress-timed language syllable-timed language vocabulary Post navigation Previous Article Community in mourning after man, daughter killed in house fire Next Article The Royal Family Explained: What Are Its Modern Powers & Roles?! Comments (100) January 7, 2020 at 12:00 am I first heard this long ago from a teacher. She was on a school field trip ages before telling me this and she was at a small store in London with a colleague buying food (breakfast for the kids – when I was little it was usual for teachers to buy our food on field trips with a part of our payment – or their dinner, I don't remember). They were talking Portuguese, as there was no need to talk English with a friend, at night, in a store discussing produce.The store clerk went out of his way to ask if they were Russian with a smile. She said they both burst laughing and explained that no, they weren't. It's easy to know of Russia, but up to 2015 I firmly believed that no one knew my country outside of it. We were called Spanish, Brazilian, whatever the heck they wanted. I never heard of my country on the news. I never even knew other kids learned of the Discoveries, even if for just a couple of paragraphs. I was astounded when she told me. I had never really heard Russian, only Moldavian as I had kids who moved from Moldavia in my class. I have no idea if it's even a Slavic language, it just sounded foreign. I grew up with kids with mixed backgrounds – from Poland, Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, China, Mozambique, Angola, many countries that I had no idea where they were. At a point in my childhood, any non-Portuguese or Spanish language just sounded like jibberish and they told us every kid was equal and the same, so I focussed on my friends, not where they were from. So, after she told me that, I started to look for more content on other languages and tried to learn about their distinctions. Although I'm not very good at French, non-French speakers have told me I have a great French accent so far, and my French teacher (whose 2nd language was French) never complained. I even scared an English teacher once! As for Russian, even though I have yet to experience this phenomenon, I can tell you that, whenever I'm very tired and don't make any effort to correct my Portuguese accent when speaking English (where I usually have a soft British-y accent or a strange but clearer more "American-TV" accent), I sound a bit like those Russian characters in movies. It's very timed and I go much lower with my voice. It's weird. So, yes, I agree. Portuguese can very much sound like Russian if we focus on sound, rather then content, even when our countries and cultures are so far apart. Reply January 7, 2020 at 6:11 pm Pulled an owl on a globe Reply January 7, 2020 at 6:50 pm It does sound like Russian, at least for foreigners.Two friends of mine (Brazilians like me) took a cab in New Your and the driver said: you're speaking Russian. They laughed. From that moment on we used to say: let's speak Russian? Ah! I love Russian.We still have fun with that.. Reply January 7, 2020 at 11:14 pm It sounds similar, becauce the people have the same roots. People from slawic lands moved to italy, france, spain and to port u gal (Harbour near GAL, Galiza (same in Ukraine, Galizia). Later the language mixed with some others, but the sound still has been kept. Reply January 8, 2020 at 5:02 am 3:15 lingua romântica ? Reply January 8, 2020 at 5:31 am Эпичный бред! Reply January 8, 2020 at 7:51 am So I speak Spanish and I can understand some Portuguese also speak Russian and they only sound alike when hearing far aside in a conversation but songs, texts, any other expression is just no, anyway this is a great explanation… Reply January 8, 2020 at 12:58 pm A a German I say: yes its the same!!!!!!!!!!! 😱😵😳 Reply January 8, 2020 at 4:40 pm Oxente, sabia disso não, isso é de português de Portugal né? Pq Brasil acho difícil Reply January 8, 2020 at 9:41 pm I live in russia and i think that portuguese and russian language is semilar xd Reply January 8, 2020 at 9:55 pm (🇪🇸 Spain) Que pasó. Ese Bundio Yo no conozco Tú sabes es en Burdeo? (Yes,) Si Que pasó ese mundillo yo no 12 they gusto to do thousand 2019 Reply January 9, 2020 at 12:57 am I'm from Portugal and I spent a year in Poland. One time, at Amsterdam airport on the way to Warsaw, I heard a woman talking on the phone some 7-8 metres away from me and at that distance, it definitely sounded like Portuguese, it was only when I got closer that I realized she was speaking Polish. Words like "mexilhões" (mussles), where the "x" is pronounced like a "sh" sound, will most likely give European Portuguese an even more Slavic semblance. I would be curious to see what others would say of the Portuguese accent from the islands, namely from the Azores, which can in some cases be tricky for 'mainlanders'. Reply January 9, 2020 at 6:59 am Is very funny see other people of diffrent countries, ,See our language as a language that looks like a Spanish or Russian Language. 😂😂😂Will always be welcome to our countryAnd the interesting thing is that I think English people have are more attractive accent than any other language.I love English people, and i am a portuguese Who is starting speak English, And I'm really enjoying her,😍❤️🇵🇹Edit:I'll hook with my english accent any Pretty english Girl 😘, ehehehehe!😂😂 Reply January 9, 2020 at 7:24 am It's the way the "j" and "g" sounds are pronounced, but Portuguese sounds more similar to Hungarian to me. Reply January 9, 2020 at 10:26 am It's funny how portuguese sound more similar to Russian than it does to the Spanish language. Reply January 9, 2020 at 8:34 pm O bot do portugues é o demonio disfarçado Reply January 10, 2020 at 3:35 am Só se parecem mais ninguém entendi nada o que um ou outro fala kkk Reply January 10, 2020 at 3:38 am O português Europeu é o mais bonito de todos,o brasileiro é bem diferente mesmo falando o mesmo idioma Reply January 10, 2020 at 9:23 am I haven't ever paid attention to this topic, but now I'm thinking that that's actually true. Also some african may sound russian-like sometimes. I don't know why. When african talking English, I mostly can't understand them, so obviously their accent is not like russian. It's strange, i guess. P.s. yep, I'm russian Reply January 10, 2020 at 3:24 pm I'm an European Portuguese native speaker and I don't find even the pronounce similar, maybe some aspects but we have way different sounds Reply January 10, 2020 at 6:02 pm Não se parece nada >:^ Reply January 10, 2020 at 7:53 pm Well, considering that all of our languages have come from one single language (the language mother) hundred of years ago, this don't surprise me Reply January 10, 2020 at 11:19 pm Жааа! Reply January 11, 2020 at 12:01 am Yeah it's so true! Reply January 11, 2020 at 2:22 am wait untill you hear the açores pronunciation Reply January 11, 2020 at 4:22 am It's so weird learning Portuguese when you grew up speaking a language that does not swallow any letters.Like you have to break your jaw or something. Reply January 11, 2020 at 4:50 am i saw the title.. and I wanna confirm: yes i made that error or connection b4.. I felt it was cos of the vhhh or shh? or sjeee or whatever sounds? but youl iuess say in the vid Reply January 11, 2020 at 10:15 am I'm a Polish speaker and I also think that Portuguese sounds like Russian Reply January 11, 2020 at 11:03 am Ambulance is a good idea for you to be proud to have your business experience with the kids that have been away from you for a few days Danielle date will be. Reply January 11, 2020 at 11:56 am Both languages have much influence from Greek which was a language that was spoken in both territories due to the Roman Empire and after Byzantium- Reply January 11, 2020 at 2:08 pm As a Russian native I have heard portoguese quite a while but I never thought it sounded like Russian, cause it reminded me a strange dialect closer to Romanian, I was surprised to hear that this language was Portuguese and not Romanian. Something else both of the Latin base languages are incredibly beautiful. Reply January 11, 2020 at 5:00 pm All Russians I've heard speaking Portuguese-Brazil, 90% have a very good pronunciation, without an accent, looks like a Brazilian. mainly russian children. (google trasnlate) Reply January 11, 2020 at 5:43 pm I think that E.P. sounds the way it does because of Swabian German and Frankish French having a presence in Portugal and Galicia in ancient times Reply January 12, 2020 at 3:52 am One time I was in a hostel talking to two israeli girls (in english) and I asked how portuguese sounded to them. Funny enough they said "like russian, very agressive" Reply January 12, 2020 at 4:17 am Just noticed that "também" is pronounced very close to "давай" in Portugal — the nasal vowels appear to be much weaker in Portugal than in Brazil Reply January 12, 2020 at 6:56 am O quê é parecido é o sotaque , vcs podem comprovar isso vendo russo que são fluentes em português quase não tem sotaque Reply January 12, 2020 at 11:02 am Well in russia saying kolbaser is exactly the same as ele vai ser witch means he will be… man portuguese is hard Reply January 12, 2020 at 11:40 pm I'm Russian and for me Portuguese is sooooo Italian Reply January 13, 2020 at 6:14 am I’m Brazilian, the first European Portuguese thing if I’m not reading sounds like French to me xD (probably cuz of the dead of of google translator) Reply January 13, 2020 at 10:10 am So that's why when we dub a russian they sound like real russians lul Reply January 13, 2020 at 1:21 pm 7:45 nya:3 Reply January 13, 2020 at 2:49 pm To all my portuguese fellas…just listen some russian rap and you'll be surprised how many non russian words sound like portuguese words despite having a different meaning… I remember this song called Колибри (colibrí in portuguese). There's a part where the singer seems like he's saying "balofa, pois a tua irmã é gorda" 😂I die of laughter everytime I ear a misleading word in those songs ahah Maybe our russian friends can listen to some portuguese songs and get the same effect Reply January 13, 2020 at 2:57 pm Oh i am russian and my mother sang me a song when I was a child. It was classical russian song, I don't remember it right but it was something: "Eu não sou daqui marinheiro sou eu não tenho amor marinheiro sou…" i don't remember what was next…Besides, she has that weird musical instrument in her hand with one string, very funny sound. Reply January 13, 2020 at 3:15 pm Nossa, to chocada! Verdade! Eu entendi exatamente o que quis dizer com serem parecidas, a sonoridade realmente lembra possíveis palavras em português. Muito interessante. Reply January 13, 2020 at 9:26 pm Жааааа, ёпта:) Reply January 13, 2020 at 10:53 pm First time I’ve heard Portuguese I was confused. It sounded like Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, German and French all in one. Reply January 13, 2020 at 11:09 pm Qual a fonte que você usou para dizer que Português Brasileiro se assemelha ao Espanhol ?Portugal fica do lado da Espanha e não se parece?Sempre pensei que o Português Brasileiro, mais o de São Paulo, fosse influenciada pelos Italianos, se você consultar a historia vai ver que em São paulo ouve forte influencia dos italianos Reply January 13, 2020 at 11:42 pm Yes, although, Brasilian Portuguese sounds like french, Spanish and Italian mixed. Reply January 14, 2020 at 6:31 am This is probably very wrong but I will preface with:– My Family is Ukrainian– I was only taught Russian as a child so the little bit of Ukrainian I do know is very broken/accidentally spritzed into my Russian. So when I tell people this and then they ask me what the differences are between the two languages I:A – Refer them to your Russian vs Ukrainian VideoB – Tell them the differences between the two are comparable to the differences between Spanish & Portuguese Reply January 14, 2020 at 3:59 pm Contrarily to what you say (9:03 to ca. 9:08) not all features of Russian carry over to Polish. Polish is a syllable-timed language, i.e. it doesn't reduce vowels. Russian, German, French, English are stress-timed. In fact, learning how to reduce one's unstressed vowels in these languages is a major difficulty for Polish learners. Then, Polish does not (anymore) have the "dark l". To me, as native speaker of Polish with some exposure to Russian, Portuguese, as heard from a distance does sound a bit like Polish, sometimes even like Russian, but then the nasal vowels, which Russian hasn't, bring me back to Polish. I am talking of Brazilian Portuguese, though, where there is little vowel reduction and where "-de" and "-te" are pronounced very much like our "-dzi", "-ci". European Portuguese doesn't have such sounds. As an aside: it is not the case that all Slavic languages sound the same. And still less that they all sound like Russian. Just listen to Czechs, Slovenes, Bulgarians speaking in their native languages. Reply January 14, 2020 at 4:34 pm Полнейший бред , в русском языке не редуцируются гласные , как раз ударные и безударные гласные звучат примерно одинаковое время , в отличие от того же итальянского , где пулемётная очередь из безударных гласных, пусть и чётких , а потом длинный ударный слог , как в словах lentamente , fortunatamente А в русском ударные и безударные гласные длятся примерно одинаковое время. Shit ! Shit ! And shit! In Russian stressed and non-stressed vowel have almost the same duration , unlike in Italian for example where there is several short vowels and then a long stressed vowel. and we don't reduce anything , just the pronunciation of unstressed vowels is deeper and not very clear Just the phonetic of consonants and vowels is similar without any exhalation before every letter (I mean in Portuguese and Slavic languages ) Reply January 14, 2020 at 4:40 pm By the way , I once heard a song in Portuguese and I thought it was in Chinese , so I don't think that Russian and Portuguese are very similar in fact Reply January 14, 2020 at 10:15 pm I don't know about these languages you mentioned but as a speaker of Hungarian whenever I hear Finnish from a distance I think it's Hungarian until I get close enough to realize it's not! Reply January 15, 2020 at 2:52 am I believe there's another feature that contributes to this linguistic phenomenon, which is how the letter R is pronounced in both languages. Reply January 15, 2020 at 11:36 am I am a UK English speaker and when I was in Lisbon a few years ago I commented to my daughter that it sounds like the local people are speaking a Slavic language. Reply January 15, 2020 at 5:45 pm Eu sou brasileiro Não sei se vocês vão entender…"Mas ó linguá desgraçada está…"Eu queria muito que o Brasil tivesse sido colonizado pela Espanha.. Reply January 15, 2020 at 6:10 pm Yass, that's true. I'm Polish but live in Portugal from few months and my portuguese language teacher always say that Polish people usually don't have a problem with learn this language. Also when I come to this country first time and heard Portuguese people speaking it was like french+italian+(maybe little english) but with slavic accent haha. I thought it was because a lot of this sss, zzzz, sh sounds what you called sibilants Reply January 15, 2020 at 7:37 pm I am russian and i sometimes confuse portugues with polish Reply January 15, 2020 at 8:26 pm I'm russian and for me portuguese=spanish+german Reply January 15, 2020 at 9:04 pm bastante interessante Reply January 15, 2020 at 9:06 pm só esqueceu que muita gente da Mãe Rússia estava andando naquelas partes de Portugal na hora da queda romana Reply January 16, 2020 at 12:46 am Hi! I'm from Poland, native speaker. And also I've been learning Russian and Portuguese. I noticed the same – to me these languages sounds very similar but it's only the sound. Grammar and vocabulary are totally different. But I love the sound of these both languages and I think they are the most beautiful of all I've been learning during my life (Polish, English, French, Spanish, Latin and of course Russian and Portuguese). 🙂 Reply January 16, 2020 at 3:35 am European Portuguese DOES sound like Russian. When I lived in London I used to pay attention to passengers' conversations on the bus and try to guess their nationalities. In one occasion the bus was full and there were many people talking. I focused on a couple of people sitting close to me and I tried hard to hear what they were saying. Due to the sounds around me, I struggled to hear their voices, but I could swear they were Russians or from another Eastern European country. After about 30 minutes I could finally clearly hear some words they spoke and to my amazement, that weird language was European Portuguese! Although I am a native speaker of Portuguese, people in Brazil sound completely different than people in Portugal. Reply January 16, 2020 at 4:20 am As a Ukrainian speaker I used to think that the famous song Lambada was in Czech or some other Slavic language until I learned that it’s in Portuguese lol. Reply January 16, 2020 at 4:21 am Seamănă ca și cum ar fi un dialect românesc limba portugheză din Brazilia. Reply January 16, 2020 at 4:23 am Impotant seamănă cu cuvântul important din limba română . Reply January 16, 2020 at 4:33 am The Portuguese accent sounds like Russian, but the Brazilian one doesn't. Reply January 16, 2020 at 12:55 pm Thats only from Portuguese from Portugal, it doesnt happen with Brazillian Portuguese… Reply January 16, 2020 at 1:53 pm All unknown languages indeed sounds like Portuguese Reply January 16, 2020 at 4:46 pm I am Russian speaker/ do thik Portugese and Russian sound similaryou named very good reasons, + plus tempo and rythm is similar too i guess,Thank you for wonderfull explanation Reply January 16, 2020 at 8:01 pm привет меня зовут не мое имя. Olá, meu nome é notmyname Reply January 16, 2020 at 9:27 pm Thank you. Reply January 16, 2020 at 11:04 pm i am Portuguese native speaker (Brazilian ) i never thought Russian is closer even in sound aspects , really is to strange to me , even in romance languages i think Romanian is more close, i dont know why think that even before to watch this, i dont know kkkk Reply January 16, 2020 at 11:39 pm European Portuguese is terrible.. and rly sounds like Russian. Brazilian Portuguese sounds like a mixture between Spanish and French.. That's interesting 'cause I think Brazilian accent really beautiful and that's the same language (Portuguese) Reply January 17, 2020 at 12:21 am Wtf? I got heard someone speaking russian. Reply January 17, 2020 at 1:01 am Sou brasileiro e casado com uma Russa, realmente acho o português parecido com o russo. Diversas vezes escutei russo sendo falado sem prestar atenção de longe e eu pensei em ser português, na hora que começo a prestar atenção eu percebo que era russo e não português. Reply January 17, 2020 at 4:55 am Besides the s and the z, the x can make a lot of different sounds , like in peixe (sh) , or executar (z) Reply January 17, 2020 at 6:55 am I have often thought that Portugese sounds like a Russian speaking Spanish Reply January 17, 2020 at 7:45 am Parece mesmo! Tava vendo porno, do nada eu escuto "ok" com aquele sutaque típico brasileiro. Reply January 17, 2020 at 8:10 am No, I'm Polish and Portuguese sounds nothing like Polish. It does sound some indefinite Slavic, nothing obvious. Reply January 17, 2020 at 3:04 pm Доя славян смешно сравнение русского и польского. Мне как русскому кажется что португальский ближе по звучанию к польскому. Племянница учит португальский, она говорит – очень легкое произношение для русского (она знает английский немецкий и … латынь) Reply January 17, 2020 at 5:14 pm Tabom então francês parece japones Reply January 17, 2020 at 5:35 pm Onde o Português pareçe com Russo??? Reply January 17, 2020 at 7:15 pm We both drink vodka that's y Reply January 18, 2020 at 1:10 am 2:30 as únicas vogais que os portugueses pronunciam são as tônicas (stressed vowels). Reply January 18, 2020 at 1:26 am I am Brazilian. My roommate in college was Russian. Her friends said I have a Russian accent. Reply January 18, 2020 at 2:07 am Tem algum brasileiro aí comenta Reply January 18, 2020 at 4:25 am i knew guy who was born in ukraine but grew up in portugal. he spoke russian, ukrainian, portuguese, english and was learning spanish. Reply January 18, 2020 at 4:55 am really? REALLY? to any NATIVE English speaker, please open any video of mine and come here and tell me if I sound freaking russian?? Reply January 18, 2020 at 12:59 pm A Romanian work colleague overheard me speaking to my wife in Portuguese on the phone. He said it sounded "very familiar" to him, though he couldn't describe why. He informed me that this was because Romanian and Portuguese had a common ancestor language. However, from Paul's explanation I guess this was not correct. Reply January 18, 2020 at 1:09 pm Hi everyone! If you're currently learning Russian, visit RussianPod101 ( https://bit.ly/2v1iPw1 ) for LOTS of great Russian lessons for students of all levels. A free account gives you access to hundreds of audio and video lessons with transcripts. It's a great resource. And for those learning Portuguese, check out PortuguesePod101 ( https://bit.ly/362krSP ). (Full disclosure: if you sign up for a premium account, Langfocus receives a small referral fee. But the free account is great too!) Reply January 18, 2020 at 4:38 pm I'm Brazilian, and I do think that Portuguese from Portugal sounds Russian. I've met a friend of mine who's Israeli here, and we were talking about this. He had the same impression. Anyway, congrats! The video was amazing, I loved the job you did: complete and very interesting going to every single details of each language. Perfect explanation, and now I understand that makes a lot of sense. Reply January 18, 2020 at 5:02 pm I'm Brazilian and I never have listened Russian or Polish, but once a time a Portuguese said that a Brazilian imitating the Portuguese accent looked like a Ucranian that spoke Portuguese. XD Reply January 18, 2020 at 8:23 pm Greetings from Poland 🇵🇱As a Polish native, it really works. I didn't know why Portugese 🇵🇹 seemed to me much better and easier than Spanish 🇪🇸 (which is said as a easy language for foreigners). I need to admit, I don't know both of these Iberical languages. Ą + Ę -> this is it! Reply January 18, 2020 at 10:57 pm Não entendi nada jkk Reply January 18, 2020 at 11:20 pm I speak Brazilian Portuguese, and I really think Portuguese Portuguese is very similar to Russian Reply January 19, 2020 at 12:09 am Why Japanese sounds like Portuguese. Thanks to Vasco de Gama Reply January 19, 2020 at 12:14 am When I was In Portugal for first time, I sat at restaurant and had to look over my shoulder a lot of times coz I thought people where speaking Lithuanian, and this is like the first time I heard them speak. Reply January 19, 2020 at 12:39 am Sound line romanian(Moldavian accent)! Reply January 19, 2020 at 1:25 am Senti isso no trem de Moscou a São Petsburgo, estava meio desligado e achava que tinha gente falando português no trem! E falo português brasileiro! Reply Comment here Cancel reply Comment Name * Email * Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.