Barranquenho (Barranquenhu; English: Barranquian[2]) is a Romance linguistic variety spoken in the Portuguese town of Barrancos, near the Spanish border. It is a mixed language, and can be considered either a variety of Portuguese (Alentejan Portuguese) heavily influenced by the Spanish dialects of neighbouring areas in Spain in Extremadura and Andalusia (especially those from Encinasola and Rosal de la Frontera),[3] or a Spanish dialect (Extremaduran / Andalusian) heavily influenced by Portuguese.

Native toPortugal
Native speakers
(undated figure of 1,500)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)

Barranquian speakers say that they speak neither Spanish nor Portuguese but a third language altogether different. Although contrary to certain claims, Barranquenho is intelligible by speakers of both Portuguese and Spanish, as it is very close to both, and especially similar to the Andalusian dialect. Ethnologue lists Barranquian as a dialect of Extremaduran, perhaps because Barrancos was populated by settlers from Badajoz, a city in Extremadura, though not in an Extremaduran language speaking area.[4]

The development of Barranquenho seems to be relatively recent (in the past 200 years), unlike other minority linguistic varieties in the Iberian Peninsula which have medieval roots.


The Portuguese base of this dialect is extremely hidden behind the Spanish dialects that mold it. The most characteristic aspect of this dialect is the aspiration of the 's' and 'z' in the end of the words, like in the Extremaduran and Andalusian dialects: 'cruh' (Portuguese/Spanish: cruz; English: cross), 'buhcá' (Portuguese/Spanish: buscar; English: search) ... Sometimes the letters can be completely muted: 'uma bê' (Portuguese: uma vez; English: once). The Portuguese 'j', 'ge' and 'gi' are pronounced like the Spanish [x].

The 'l' and 'r' in the end of the words are not pronounced: 'Manué' (Manuel), 'olivá' (olivar). But they appear again in the plural form: 'olivareh' (olivares). If the 'l' is at the end of a syllable it turns into 'r': 'argo' (algo). Like in Spanish, there is no differentiation between 'b' and 'v': vaca ['baka']. Just like in Extremaduran (or Brazilian Portuguese), the '-e' (English 'eh') in the end is pronounced like '-i' (English 'ee'): 'pobri' (pobre).

The Portuguese form of the first person of the plural 'nós' is replaced by 'nusotrus' - a variation of the Spanish 'nosotros'. The placing of the pronouns is closer to the Spanish norm than to the Portuguese: 'se lavô' (Portuguese: lavou-se; Spanish: se lavó; English: has been washed).

It also contains many verbal forms of clearly Spanish conjugation: 'andubi' (Portuguese: andei, Spanish: anduve); 'supimos' (Portuguese: soubemos; Spanish: supimos).


The Portuguese government does not recognize nor protect the use of Barranquenho.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Extremaduran (Portugal) at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
  2. ^ Ethnologue report for Portugal
  3. ^ José Leite de Vasconcelos, Filologia Barranquenha - apontamentos para o seu estudo, 1940.
  4. ^ José Ignacio Hualde, Antxon Olarrea, Erin O'Rourke (2012) The Handbook of Hispanic Linguistics, p. 60