The Portguese version. No, the other Portuguese version...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/08/18 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

The question came up just the other day:

One of our clients needs Windows Server 2003 x64 in PT-PT.

We have found the PT CD but it is PT-BRA and not PT-PT.

Do we have a PT-PT MUI?


It reminded me of my recent About that Portuguese localization question, redux..., and about the limited number of languages that both Windows Server 2003 x64 and Windows XP x64 were localized into.

It may be surprising how the decisions are made when fewer languages are included, but they aren't that surprising if we think about it very carefully....

Alas, there is no European Portuguese version of either of these products.

Though the 64-bit versions of Vista, Server 2008, Windows 7, and Server 2008 R2 are all available in pt-PT for both SKU and MUI....

Antonio Marques on 18 Aug 2010 8:28 AM:

Contrary to what happens in Brazil, where there is a strong tradition of translation (of books, TV shows, Films, business software, videogames...), in Portugal people are used to be stuck to the English versions of everything. If you go to a Portuguese newsstand you'll find plenty of English magazines (and also Spanish and... Brazilian!) and 100% of foreign movies and TV shows are subtitled (except for animation and kids’ stuff - although we do have a choice to watch Shrek 4 or ToyStory 3 in localized or original versions at theatres).

Also, regarding software, Brazil is a huge market, and Portugal a very small one. So if you want to develop a Portuguese language version, you normally go for the Brazilian flavor first.

The first ever Windows version to be translated to Portuguese (European Portuguese) was Windows 95. Up until that moment, you could choose between Brazilian Portuguese and English.

Because of that, most Portuguese IT managers (and most geeks) still prefer to use English versions, especially when it comes to server versions. The reason is that sometimes patches are released first for English SKUs and only after that for other languages.

Greetings from Portugal,

António Eduardo Marques

Michael S. Kaplan on 18 Aug 2010 8:47 AM:

You saw the link I gave in the blog, right? :-)

Antonio Marques on 18 Aug 2010 9:31 AM:

Yes, I did. :-) And a nice article it is! :-D

I just tried to point out some other cultural differences, such as the fact that Portuguese people are used to foreign films with subtitles, for instance.

There are actually to main (and other minor) differences between the two variants of Portuguese. The first one is related to orthography - and this one is being address right now through a new Orthographic Agreement that will merge most of the several different ways to write current words in Portugal, Brasil and Portuguese speaking African countries (aka PALOPs).

Another problem (that you address in your other article) is more complicated and, probably, unsolvable: the vocabulary. It is not only words like train or bus that are different. Much more recent neologisms related to IT were already adapted differently by both countries. Some rough and unrelated examples:  computer mouse is “mouse” in Brazil (go figure…) and “rato” (Portuguese for “mouse”) in Portugal.; in Brazil you use “tela” for “screen” (which is actually the correct Portuguese word for that) but in Portugal you use “ecrã”, from the French word “ecran”; “file” becomes “arquivo” in Brazil and “ficheiro” in Portugal…

So, in Portugal one can read a good book from a Brazilian author (no need for translation!) but to use a computer program translated for the Brazilian market becomes a pain…



Miguel Sousa on 30 Aug 2010 4:27 PM:

This is one of the reasons why I, an European Portuguese, prefer to use the English versions. They are easier to use and find support for than the Brazilian Portuguese.

Michael S. Kaplan on 30 Aug 2010 5:24 PM:

How about in the cases whre we ship a pt-PT version? You still prefer English then?

António Marques on 6 Sep 2010 11:39 AM:

Hi Michael.

Nowadays, I use mainly Portuguese (pt-PT) versions of Microsoft software, the exceptions being the SBS2008 in my office and a WHS at my home (alas, there are no pt-PT version of WHS, which is a shame...).

In the bad old times, some technical problems would arise with using non English versions of Windows - specially when you then use English versions of applications over it.

But I think is safe to assume that since the release of Windows XP these kind of problems don't exist anymore. Also, it is very rare now to have to wait much longer for patchs just because you don't use an English version of the OS. Even so, in the case of service packs, you do have to wait longer - 2-3 weeks longer for Vista SP1 and SP2, if memory serves me well.

Regarding Office, there are also good reasons to use the portuguese version, because the English one does not include Portuguese proofing tools.

One thing I hate is when I use an English version of the OS but a driver, for instance, detects that my regional settings are Portuguese (PT) and installs a Portuguese (sometimes of BR flavour...) version of itself. Sometimes (Intel and nVidia comes to mind) one can choose an English only version of a driver, but some vendors only give you multilanguage files and then don't give you the opportunity to choose what language you want to install.

referenced by

2011/07/07 The Locales of Windows 7, divvied up further

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