What happened to the Portuguese Empire

What I learned about the Portuguese

The characteristics of the Portuguese from my point of view

Very polite. The term 'com licença' is used in almost every situation. It means "excuse me" and they really use it a lot in Portugal: when they enter a house, when they want to go somewhere, but someone stands in the way, when you take money from someone (for example as a cashier in a shop). I think that's a very good quality of the Portuguese!


you work really, really hard. People in Portugal spend many hours of their day working, e.g. B. the shops and restaurants in the shopping center do not close until 10 p.m. or even midnight on certain days of the week. They work really hard to get paid so little.

Many of them speak English (which I wasn't expecting when I first came here!). Sometimes even older generations speak English. This is a great advantage as a lot of international people come to Portugal to study and not all of them will learn Portuguese within the six or twelve months they spend there.

The Portuguese are very hospitable. They are also very nice people. It has often happened to me that I was lost and that some Portuguese came up to me to ask if I was lost and if they could help.

You speak one beautiful language. At first, the Portuguese language may sound a little harsh, it sometimes has some similarities with Russian. But when I started learning the language, I started to appreciate it and to like it too. All Romance languages ​​are beautiful to me. Portuguese shares some similarities with Spanish and Italian. Since I am fluent in Italian, it is easier for me to learn the language, or at least understanding it wasn't a big deal for me from the start of my stay. They don't like their language compared to Brazilian. Or: You want people to know that Portuguese from Portugal is NOT the same as what they speak in Brazil.


They are very proud of their country and their culture. I remember on the first day of my PhD that someone said to me, “It's great that you chose our country to study and live in!” I also remember how my Portuguese friends liked it, about the history of their country and talking about their delicious dishes ("Have you tried francesinha? Did you like it? And have you tried tripas?").

Portuguese give you two kisses when they greet youeven if you meet her for the first time. For me, as a Dutch woman, that was strange at first. When we first meet in the Netherlands, we usually shake hands. Only when we know people well are we used to giving three kisses as a greeting.

The family is very important. It must be number 1 on the relationship list. You can always rely on them and the family offers stability. That is why many young people live with their parents for a very long time. In the Netherlands, we live alone as soon as we start our academic life, around the age of 18.

Despite the courtesy people show to one another, many formal relationships are actually informal. That has both advantages and disadvantages. I was invited to my supervisor's birthday (I didn't have time that day, but if I had the chance I would certainly have gone!), We are Facebook friends and we text each other. A few weeks ago I had lunch with a lecturer with whom I had previously attended a class. The downside is that if you don't get along so well with someone (a teacher) who is in a higher position than you (the students), you may get a lower grade on a paper just because the lecturer doesn't like you.


The word 'saudade'is a very important word. It describes a kind of intense feeling that you miss someone or something. You can say "saudades de ti" to someone if you miss them. There is not a single word in English for this word.

The Portuguese are modest. You can be famous, you can be rich, but as Portuguese, whatever position you may be in, you will always be down to earth and treat everyone equally. If you're famous and have fans, dedicate time to them taking pictures or talking to your fans.

you are not very creative about names and their last names are not very original either. If you've just met someone nice in a bar and their name is João Costa, don't be surprised if you find a million options on Facebook. In other words, there are few names and surnames in this country. At least, it would appear that way; -).

There is a clear one Difference between rich and poor. Unfortunately, the gap between the two groups is huge. Nonetheless, people who live in a good position are always very open to helping those who live in bad conditions. Portugal has a lot of volunteer projects and I often see people giving money or food to beggars or the homeless on the street.


The Portuguese like Animals (Or at least dogs, I noticed that since I own a dog myself). It takes me forever to get to the dog park because everyone always wants to play with my dog ​​Gigi. They also like to stop to talk about their own dogs, that dogs are man's best friends, and that they are more trustworthy and loyal than humans.

So ... for me the Portuguese are a very lovely people. If you are going to be a visitor to Portugal or maybe an ERASMUS student, you don't have to worry about these nice people. They will always be there to help!


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