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I was told Portuguese is just Spanish spoken poorly.

Not true! It is amazing the number of Romance languages spoken in the Iberian peninsula and around the Mediterranean Sea. There are lots of similarities but they are languages, not dialects. While I speak Spanish fluently I don't understand these languages and I even find strange words in non-Venezuelan Spanish.

English Venezuela Elsewhere

Avocado Aguacate Palta
Corn Maiz Choclo
Orange Naranja China
Banana Cambur Banano, Guineo, etc.
Tamale Hayaca Tamale
Papaya Lechosa Papaya, Fruta bomba

Denny Schlesinger
 

PS: Portuguese spoken in Portugal (unlike Brazilian) does sound like Spanish with sore throat. ;)

PPS: Venezuelan pronunciation is similar to the Canary Islands, not like in Spain proper.
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