Portuguese language is nowadays the second
most spoken Latin language in the world. 170 million people have it as their native
language, and it is, without a doubt, one of the softest and more melodic languages in
existence. Not surprising, if you consider that a dancing and sensual person such as a
Brazilian needs a language that reflects its spirit.
The Portuguese language achieves this purpose fully.
But Portuguese is much more than the expression of samba and lambada. It's a beautiful
language full of nuances and softness, which is the expression of an enterprising and
dynamic culture, a people of explorers and sailors, and a multicolor people. Portugal and
Brazil have a lot of history to tell and many things to say, and there's no better way to
listen to them than by learning its beautiful language.
The Portuguese today:
|Portuguese language, with 170
million native speakers, presents itself as one of the most important languages in the
world. It is the second most spoken Romance language after Spanish. It is estimated that
at least 150 million people live in Brazil, about 10 million in Portugal, close to 2.5
million are Galician that speak Galician-Portuguese as their native language (which is a
Portuguese dialect even though it is settled in Northern Spain). Besides, there are about
4.6 million Portuguese speakers in Africa, which also use Creole.
In the United States there are at least 500 000 Portuguese
native speakers, and there are also Portuguese colonies in some areas of Indochina and
Oceania, making it one of the few languages spoken in the five continents. The cultural
and commercial presence of Portuguese is undeniable. Today it goes hand in hand with the
strength that Brazil is showing in the world's economy.
History and Growth.
Portuguese is a Romance language derived from Latin, which
formed a linguistic unity with Galician until the XV Century. Some Latin texts from the IX
until the XII Centuries already show some touches of Portuguese language, but it cannot be
called Portuguese language literature until the XIII to XIV, when Galician-Portuguese
became the language of the lyric poetry of all the Iberian Peninsula, except for
Catalonia. During the XVI Century, Portuguese reached its maximum splendor and growth
period. At the same time it separated from the Galician dialect and consolidated itself as
the standard language of the Portuguese territory. Galician-Portuguese use declined in the
far corner of Galicia facing the powerful ravages of Castilian-Spanish. It didn't
experience resurgence as a culture and language until the XIX Century. Nowadays it is one
of the official languages of the autonomous community of Galicia, along with Portuguese.
Portuguese is a Latin language that abandoned the
declensions and became an analytical language, as many other Latin languages did.
Generally, the main characteristics of Portuguese language
include the retention of Latin grammar forms that are already lost in other Romance
languages (such as future and subjunctive perfect future). It also presents the unique
feature among Romance languages of the personification or inflexion of the infinitive.
Other characteristics are the addition of a simple past perfect (amara means yo
te amaba as well as yo te había amado) and two genders (male and female).
Portuguese has a complex phonetic system that covers 11 different vocalic sounds (for
example, vowels a, e and o are pronounced differently if they are
closed or open, and the five basic vowels and the diphthongs are nasalized with an accent
or with the letters m or n behind). Consonants own similar values to other
Romance languages, with a few differences in specific consonants.
Portuguese in the world
You may also
Lean Portuguese through image association.
A software program to learn Portuguese words and phrases.
Audio-only program designed to learn conversational