The Brazilian language is one of the few countries in the world where Portuguese is the dominant language. Meanwhile, Spanish is spoken all over the worldwide, but both remain similar. 

Across the globe, nearly twice as many people speak Spanish.

With the two incredibly similar to one another, if you’re familiar with just one of the languages, you’ll probably be able to understand the other.

“Hola” is ‘hello’ in Spanish. “Ola” is hello in Portuguese. It’s no surprise the two languages come from similar roots. Perhaps it’s their similarities that attracted Kathleen Doyle to the Portuguese language in the first place.

The associate professor of spanish at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, fell in love with the language while in graduate school, studying under Brazilian teachers.

“They were from Sao Paulo, Rio. Brazil was a colony of Portugal for about 320 years, so Portuguese is the main language spoken there because of that. There is quite a big difference between the Portuguese spoken in Portugal and in Brazil,” Doyle explained. “There are a number of structures and a lot of words that are shared between the two languages. One of the good reasons for that is simply traveling back and forth on the peninsula.”

She’s referring to the Iberian Peninsula , comprised of the neighboring countries Spain and Portugal.

Latin was the language brought to the Iberian Peninsula by Roman colonizers. It’s the root of most of the languages of Europe, including Spanish and Portuguese, which are called “west Iberian romance languages.”