Difference between Galician and Portuguese

According to different linguists, Portuguese and Galician are the same language. In Portugal it had a free evolution while in Galicia it was prohibited. The differences between Galician and Portuguese can be found in phonetics, syntax, morphology, vocabulary and spelling. This is due to the Castilianization of Galician throughout the centuries that was prohibited as a cultured language, these centuries were called “Dark Centuries”.


Being similar languages, a great variety of opinions is generated about the classification as separate languages. Some linguists point to Portuguese and Galician as the same languages ​​while others consider them to be different. The inhabitants north and south of the Miño River began to distance themselves in the fifteenth century, the official language of the south became the national language of Portugal from where it was exported to Brazil while that of the northern region was relegated to a regional language since the official language was Spanish.

In Galician there are seven vowels, Portuguese has more. Portuguese differentiates B and V. Galician also preserves the tonema Z in part of its territory, while in Portuguese we have S.

Differences between Galician and Portuguese: Phonetics

In the Galician language there are sonorous sibilants such as z and j, although they exist in external areas and in the common speech of Extremadura. There are, however, similarities with the northern Portuguese dialects: the ‘ch’ is pronounced as ‘tch’, the consonants ‘b‘ and ‘v’ were unified, and the diphthongs oi/ou are clearer.

The nasalization between oral and nasal vowels is normal in Galician, giving rise to different evolutions, while in Portuguese a nasal diphthong ão was preserved, while Galician underwent different evolutions:

In Galician you can find:

ão > -án /-ao irmán (= irmão). ãa > -á / -án irmá (= irmã). am > -an/-a ra (= rã).

In Galician it is located in the Indo-European diphthong: ‘ui’ or ‘oi’ which is used to replace the Latin tonic ‘u’ in Brazilian Portuguese.


  • Froito (fruit).
  • Loitar, Loita (fight, fight).

In Galician, the archaic pronoun ‘che’ is maintained, which is alternated with ‘te’, depending on whether it refers to a direct or indirect object or object. It also retains the plural ‘llelos’ (lles+os) and not the Portuguese form (lhos).

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