9 countries speak Portuguese
speak portuguese

9 countries speak Portuguese

Portuguese is the official language of nine countries spanning five continents. Over 260 million people speak it every day. According to the American institute SIL International, Portuguese is the seventh most spoken language out of the world’s 7,000 recognized dialects.

A romance language, like French, Spanish, and Italian, Portuguese originated from Latin – which spread over Europe as the Roman Empire extended its borders. The Roman language made it to the Iberic Peninsula (where Portugal and Spain are located) around the 3rd and 2nd centuries, BC.

</p> <p>Celtic had been the region’s most spoken language upon the arrival of Latin. But as the new language prevailed, it incorporated many elements of these other languages and dialects. When Rome fell, Visigoth invasions – and later Arab vagues – also contributed to changes in the language.</p> <p><a href="https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/cotidiano/2018/04/derivada-do-latim-lingua-portuguesa-e-a-setima-mais-falada-no-mundo.shtml">According to Evanildo Bechara</a>, a member of Brazil’s Academy of Letters, “Portuguese has more traces of Archaic Latin, as opposed to a modernized version of Latin, which originated French and Italian.”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/embed?mid=14hcZRhxLqbn2PGcqn-oYS1AKhQaHSpX-" width="640" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Portuguese discoveries</h3> <p>In the 15th century, as <a href="https://brazilian.report/2017/09/25/colonial-brazil/">Portuguese explorers</a> colonized dozens of domains across South America (Brazil), Africa, and Asia, the language spread through four continents – including Europe.</p> <p>According to Inês Nadais, from Portuguese outlet <a href="https://www.publico.pt/2018/04/30/culturaipsilon/noticia/a-quarta-lingua-mais-falada-do-mundo-nao-tem-problemas-de-relacionamento-1815726">Publico</a>, “Portuguese was once the language of colonial oppression, but nowadays has no problem connecting with the Cape Verdean Creole, the Angolan national languages, or Galician.”</p> <h3>Brazilian Portuguese</h3> <p>While Brazil may feature Portuguese as its official language, the structure of the language we speak evolved differently than it did in Portugal.</p> <p>These differences are so striking that many linguists argue that Brazilian Portuguese should be classified as a language of its own. “The struggle for the recognition of our linguistic autonomy is, above all, a political issue,” Marcos Bagno, a linguist of the University of Brasília, told <strong>The Brazilian Report</strong> in October 2017.</p> <p>“The Brazilian way of speaking and writing remains to be seen as a ‘deviation’ or a ‘misuse’ of proper Portuguese. While they are similar, they are by no means the same.”

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SocietyMay 05, 2018

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BY Gustavo Ribeiro

An award-winning journalist with experience covering Brazilian politics and international affairs. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets.