What are the Portuguese like?

We took a gamble and asked our The Movers a difficult question. Now that they have settled in Portugal, what do they think of the Portuguese?

The Portuguese are… complete the sentence. That was the challenge we set some of our The Movers. Let’s see what they said.


Different from other Latins

“They are not exactly like the other people of Southern Europe, who are normally seen as loud, tenacious and very energetic”, says Britain’s Graeme Eaves, adding: “On the contrary, they don’t fit that mold. 

Instead, when describing the generic temperament of the Portuguese, Graeme goes so far as to say that they are more like the British. “Calm, reserved and even formal on some occasions.”

He does note some differences from the British, though, especially regarding the working culture. “In the United Kingdom we are used to a more intensive work pace – you eat at our desk, you have your coffee on the way to work”, he says.

“The Portuguese population seems to take some formalities more seriously, such as having a break for lunch, sitting down for coffee. It may seem old-fashioned, but in a way it is better.” 


Always willing to help

Helpful and sympathetic – that is how Deborah Guest, from France, sees the Portuguese. “They are always willing to help”, she stresses. Stephenie Lengelé, a Belgian who spent most of her life in France, agrees and says that she felt welcomed by the Portuguese from the moment she arrived.

“They were super helpful at the beginning, and helped me in my move to Portugal”, she compliments. “They are generous and warm. I don’t know if it’s the climate, but I generally like the Portuguese mentality and I have made many friends”, she adds, saying that their knack for languages has helped build bridges. “I feel that the fact that the Portuguese speak such good English – they speak it much better than the French – has helped make a connection”. 


Friendly, but reserved and upfront

Brazilian Flávia Motta sees the Portuguese as “welcoming and friendly”, although she has not found it as easy to make friends as she initially thought. “The Brazilians come with expectations that we will make friends easily, because we share the language, but that doesn’t happen”, she explains. “On one hand, when we arrive we discover that the language isn’t as similar as we expected. On the other, although the Portuguese are quite friendly, they are also quite reserved”. 

Vanessa Paço, on the other hand, also from Brazil, but has dual Portuguese nationality and describes the Portuguese as “honest, law-abiding and with respect for customs, helpful and friendly, though also upfront and outspoken, when necessary”. That is how she sees the Portuguese people, and that is how she saw her own father, also Portuguese. 

The fact that they have such a rich history, says Vanessa, explains why they are a people that “values its forebears and its culture”.

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