Portuguese Language Day

Today is Portuguese Language Day. We would like to use this occasion to take a closer look at that language.

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Estimated reading time:2minutes

Portuguese, like French, Spanish, Italian or Romanian, is another Romance language, i.e. a language that developed from Vulgar Latin. In Europe, it is the most westerly Romance language. We have several articles on Portuguese at alugha, including one that looks at the history of this language in a little more detail.

Portuguese - a few facts and figures

A total of about 240 million people speak this language. Accordingly, Portuguese is one of the six most spoken languages in the world. It is also the official language of eight countries:

  • Portugal 

  • Brazil

  • Angola

  • Guinea Bissau

  • Cape Verde

  • Mozambique

  • East Timor

  • São Tomé and Príncipe

In addition, there are approximately 5 million migrant Portuguese speakers living in many different countries around the world. 

The differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese are phonetically very large, but the written language is relatively uniform. Nevertheless, one can find numerous translations of novels in European and Brazilian Portuguese. 

A Closely Related Language and the "Cradle of Portuguese"

There is another language that is closely related to Portuguese and is often referred to in linguistics as "the cradle of Portuguese" (Schlösser 2001:44). We are talking about Galician. At that time, this medieval language, like Occitan, was mainly used for poetry. This language is still spoken in the autonomous region of Galicia, where today it has a co-official status alongside Spanish.

However, as a distinct Portuguese kingdom emerged as early as the 12th century, the two languages became increasingly distant from each other. In the meantime, Galician and Portuguese are considered two independent languages. 

Which Portuguese variety do you speak? Would you say your variety is a language or a dialect? Would you like to give a Portuguese voice to a video? Then start your project here.

Your alugha team





Gabriel, Christoph & Meisenburg, Trudel (2007): Romanische Sprachwissenschaft, Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink

Schlösser, Rainer (2001): Die romanischen Sprachen, München: Beck

https://www.uni-due.de/imperia/md/content/prodaz/sprachbeschreibung_portugiesisch.pdf (05.05.2022, 09:33)


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