September 15th, 2015

Ricky Martin's Portuguese Etc.

I ran across this video of Ricky Martin being interviewed in Portuguese:

I'm a Spanish speaker and have had a lot of interaction with Portuguese speakers, but really don't know much about the language. For the most part, in my experience, if I speak reasonably paced Spanish to Portuguese speakers, they understand me well. However, native Spanish speakers have expressed to me that it is not the same vice versa, and they have considerable trouble understanding all but the slowest, simplest Portuguese.

So I guess I have a couple questions about this video in particular and about the Spanish–Portuguese relationship in general. First of all, is Ricky Martin speaking real Portuguese, or simply "lusophoning" his Spanish, if that's even a thing? I wonder because I understand about 90% of what he says in the video, and have minimal experience with Portuguese.

Secondly, can native Spanish and Portuguese speakers please comment on their ability to understand the other language? Is it a thing for linguistically inclined Hispanophones or Lusophones to simply alter patterns in their own language to make themselves more readily understood to the other group?

Thanks for sharing!