Portuguese is the sixth most spoken European language, also the third most spoken European language after Spanish and English. It was added as one of the official languages of the European Union in 1986.
1. Portugal’s official language is 1290
Portuguese language was developed from the Latin, it was introduced in Portugal about 200 BC. However, it was not until 1290 that the Portuguese became the national language of Portugal after King Dennis was declared the state language of Portugal. Also, it is the official language of seven countries other than Portugal, which are – Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and Sao Tomeo Principe.
2. Only 5% of Portuguese speakers are in Portugal
Of the more than 200 million native Portuguese speakers, about 10 million of them live in Portugal. Although it is the official language of Portuguese, there are more Portuguese speakers in Brazil than any other country using the Portuguese language! In addition, Portuguese is spoken in Europe, South America, and even Africa.
3. Widely spoken on four continents
Portuguese is widely spoken on 4 continents: in Europe (Portugal and Portuguese islands – Madeiras and Azores), in South America (Brazil), Africa (Angola, Moçambique, Guiné-Bissau, São Tomé e Príncipe), and in Asia (East Timor, Macau, Goa).
4. Additions of K, W, and Y in Portuguese language
Prior to 25, the letters k, y, and w were not part of the Portuguese alphabet, but they had to be added to the alphabet on January 28, due to the recent wordings from English.
5. To be or not to be!
In Portuguese, there are two different meanings for the verb “to be”. So, you have to be really careful about its usage. “Ser” means “to be” in the sense of your existence, your quintessential characteristic and “Estar” means “to be” for transient situations.
For example – “estar esquecido” means “to be forgotten”, but “ser esquecido” means “to be forgetful”. Another such example is – “estar morto” – to be dead and “ser morto” – to be killed.
6. One of the five languages of romance
Portuguese language is one of the five main Romance languages, including French, Italian, Romanian and Spanish. Romance languages are mainly modern languages that were developed in Latin from the sixth to the ninth centuries.
7. Effects from different languages
Hundreds of words from the Portuguese language are derived from Arabic. It has also absorbed words from Italian, French, and English. The most common ones include – televisão, estudante, universidade, mapa, problema and bicicleta.
English also, has adopted some words from Portuguese language like cobra, flamingo Piranha and the Brazilian cocktail – caipirinha.
8. The longest Portuguese word
The longest Portuguese word is an otorrinolaringologista, which means an ear, nose and throat doctor. Wonder how the longest words in most languages come from the medical side.
9. Very similar to Spanish
Although the Portuguese language has a fine resemblance to Spanish, it is more closely associated with the Galician spoken by about 3 million people in the northwest corner of Spain. Portuguese-speaking people can easily understand Spanish.