Is it easier for a Portuguese speaking person to speak Spanish or vice versa?

Is it easier for a Portuguese speaking person to speak Spanish or vice versa?
I am a Spanish speaking person and I am watching a Brazilian soap opera and so far I can get maybe 80% of what’s going on.
thanks to all that are replying!
yeah sometimes I watch soap operas from Italy if I have time.


  1. There is a reason why it is easier for a Portuguese speaker to understand Spanish, than vice versa.

    Portuguese has 9 vowel sounds + 5 nasal vowel.

    Spanish has only 5 vowel sounds, which in fact is one of the most basic phonetic system in any language in the world.

    As you can see, because Portuguese has several sounds spanish does not have, it is more difficult for a spanish speaker to understand Portuguese.

  2. All my Portuguese-speaking friends tell me that they have no problem understanding Spanish interlocutors, but not vice versa. I am glad you are an example of the opposite.

    Andrea M
  3. Portuguese is a little harder to master than spanish, so it’s an advantage for them to know the harder language beforehand.

    As a side note, the language closest to spanish is italian, try that.

    Bunny Mr
  4. I’m also spanish and I have lots or portuguese speaking friends. For some reason that I don’t understand, I know that it is easier for a portuguese to speak spanish than for a spanish to speak portuguese. It is also true that a spanish speaking person will understand Portuguese fairly good. Both of then are Latin languages.

  5. Both my friend and I speak Spanish, but not Portuguese.

    However, when she sees or hears anything in Portuguese, she can understand it.

    I am sort of the same way. The reason I don’t understand it so well, though, is because English is my first language and I learned Spanish at a really late age.

    Maybe being an hispanohablante helps immensely with understanding Portuguese.


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