We are talking about one of the major languages of the world. It is the sixth most spoken language worldwide, spoken by more than 240 million people – Portuguese! Portugal, Brazil, and former Portuguese colonial territories (Angola, Moçambique, Cabo Verde, São Tomé e Príncipe, Goa, Macau, Timor Leste) – all speak PORTUGUESE! To understand a little bit about this so musical and charming language, we must travel back in time.
Portuguese is one of the so-called Romance languages or Romanic languages which evolved from Latin – the language of Latium in ancient Italy, more specifically in Rome. It spread through Galicia, in Spain, and northern Portugal – the Romanized Celts about two thousand years ago. The language was later influenced by both the Germans and then the Arabs after the fall of the Roman Empire.
The Portuguese language was spread worldwide in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries when Portugal set up its colonial and commercial empire which extended from Brazil in South America to Goa in India and Macau in China. During that period, many Creole languages based on the Portuguese language also appeared in other parts of the world including the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.
Nowadays, Portuguese is one of the major languages in the world. It is spoken by more than fifty-one per cent of the South American continent’s population and it is also a major dialect in Africa. It is the official language of nine countries and the co-official language in four nations. The Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes once referred to Portuguese as “the sweet language” while the Brazilian author Olavo Bilac depicted it as “the last flower of Latium, wild and beautiful”.
Portuguese is also an official language of the European Union, the Organization of American States, the African Union, and Lusophone countries. Because Brazil has been on the rise and is now the world‘s seventh-largest economy and the seventh-largest by purchasing power parity, learning Portuguese became a must for those who want to negotiate with us.
Speaking of Portuguese, shall we take a visit to the Museu da Língua Portuguesa?
It can be not only interesting, but above all very exciting and motivating.
Praça da Luz – São Paulo
Celisa is a private Portuguese teacher and translator to/from English, Spanish and Danish.
This article was originally featured on gringoes.com
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