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Portuguese Language


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.

General characteristics.

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
be interested

Rosetta Stone
Lean Portuguese through image association.

Portuguese BYKI
A software program to learn Portuguese words and phrases.

Audio-only program designed to learn conversational Portuguese.











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