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Brazil Gotoarrow.png Language and Languages

Most materials used in Brazilian research are written in Portuguese, but you do not need to speak or read Portuguese to do research in Brazilian records. However, you will need to know some key words and phrases to understand the records.

Because of the importance of the Roman Catholic Church to Brazil’s history, you may find several other languages in Brazilian records. These include Latin, German, Italian, Polish, and other languages of European ethnic immigrants. Also, some records may be in Japanese.

Portuguese grammar may affect the way names appear in genealogical records. For help in understanding name variations, see Brazil Names, Personal.

Language Aids

The FamilySearch Wiki has genealogical word lists for Portuguese, [[German Word List|German], Latin, Polish), and Spanish. There is also a Portuguese Letter-writing Guide to help write to Brazil.

See the FamilySearch tutorials on "Reading Portuguese Handwritten Records"

The following books and English-Portuguese dictionaries can also aid you in your research. You can find these and similar material at many research libraries.

Ferreira, Júlio Albino. Dicionário Inglês- português, Português-inglês. Porto, Portugal: Edit. Domingos Barreira, 1979. (FHL book 469.321 F413d; film 1181702 item 1)

Vieyra, Anthony. Dictionary of Portuguese and English languages. London: 1827. (FHL book 469.321 V679d; film 1181694 item 5) The Family History Library has only part two, English- Portuguese.

Additional language aids, including dictionaries of various dialects and time periods, are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog in the "Locality Search" or "Subject Search" sections under:





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  • This page was last modified on 2 February 2015, at 17:06.
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