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PORTUGUESE


It is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Portuguese has co-official status (alongside the indigenous language) in Macau in East Asia, East Timor in Southeast Asia and in Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa; out of the expansion of the language in colonial times, Portuguese speakers are also found in Goa, Daman and Diu in India.

 

Table of Contents

 

History

Portuguese is one of the major languages of the world (the sixth most spoken language worldwide), spoken by about 200 million people on four continents. It belongs to a group of languages called "Romance" or "Neo-Latin" that evolved from Latin, the language of Latium in Ancient Italy, or more specifically, the city of Rome.

 

Dialects

The four major dialect groups of Portuguese are Northern Portuguese, or Galician, Central Portuguese, Southern Portuguese (including the dialect of Lisbon), and Insular Portuguese (including Brazilian and Madeiran). Portuguese is often mutually intelligible with Spanish despite differences in phonology, grammar, and vocabulary.

 

Regulatory body

International Portuguese Language Institute
Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazil)
Academia das Ciências de Lisboa, Classe de Letras (Portugal)
Community of Portuguese Language Countries

 

Influence on other languages

Portuguese has provided loan words to many languages, such as Indonesian, Manado, Malay, Sri Lankan Tamil and Sinhalese, Malay, Bengali, English, Hindi, Swahili, Afrikaans, Konkani, Marathi, Tetum, Xitsonga, Papiamentu, Japanese, Lanc-Patuá (spoken in northern Brazil), Esan and Sranan Tongo (spoken in Suriname). It left a strong influence on the língua brasílica, a Tupi–Guarani language, which was the most widely spoken in Brazil until the 18th century, and on the language spoken around Sikka in Flores Island, Indonesia.

 

Number of Speakers

It has about 220 million speakers in the world including native and other countries.

 

References

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/471644/Portuguese-language

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