Portuguese language

Also found in: Wikipedia.

Portuguese language,

member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languagesRomance languages,
group of languages belonging to the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Italic languages). Also called Romanic, they are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
..... Click the link for more information.
). It is the mother tongue of about 170 million people, chiefly in Portugal and the Portuguese islands in the Atlantic (11 million speakers); in Brazil (154 million speakers); and in Portugal's former overseas provinces in Africa and Asia—Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Principe—(about 5 million speakers). (These nations are members of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, which was founded 1996.) Although the Portuguese spoken in Portugal differs to some extent from the Portuguese current in Brazil, with reference to pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary, the differences are not major. The Portuguese spelling reform agreed to in 1990 simplifies the spelling of both Brazilian and European/African Portuguese, and greatly reduces the differences in orthography between the two forms. A distinctive phonetic feature of Portuguese is the nasalization of certain vowels and diphthongs, which can be indicated by a tilde (˜) placed above the appropriate vowel. The acute (´) and circumflex (ˆ) accents serve to make clear both stress and pronunciation and also to distinguish homonyms (for example, e "and," but é "is"). The grave accent (`) is a guide to pronunciation. It can also indicate a contraction, as in às, which is a combination of a "to" and as "the" (feminine plural). A c with a cedilla (ç) is pronounced like c in English place when used before the vowels a, o, and u. As in Spanish, there are two forms of the verb "to be": ser, which denotes a comparatively permanent state and which also precedes a predicate noun, and estar, which denotes a comparatively temporary condition. Again like Spanish, Portuguese tends to use reflexive verbs instead of the passive voice. Historically, Portuguese, which developed from the Vulgar Latin (see Latin languageLatin language,
member of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Latin was first encountered in ancient times as the language of Latium, the region of central Italy in which Rome is located (see Italic languages).
..... Click the link for more information.
) brought to the Iberian Peninsula by its Roman conquerors, could be distinguished from the parent tongue before the 11th cent. The Portuguese spoken in Lisbon and Coimbra gave rise to the Standard Portuguese of today. Although the greater part of the Portuguese vocabulary comes from Latin, a number of words have also been absorbed from Arabic, French, and Italian, and also from some of the indigenous South American and African languages.


See W. J. Entwistle, The Spanish Language, Together with Portuguese, Catalan and Basque (2d ed. 1962); E. B. Williams, From Latin to Portuguese (2d ed. 1962); M. E. de Alvelos Naar, Colloquial Portuguese (1968); J. M. Câmara, The Portuguese Language (tr. 1972).

References in periodicals archive ?
ISLAMABAD -- The Embassy of Brazil in Islamabad has announced admissions for a free Portuguese language course.
Jannati voiced Tehran's readiness to help translate Persian books into Portuguese language and vice versa.
According to him, the workshop will open doors to create big businesses among nations as Portuguese language will facilitate the interaction among CPLP states and thus divulge tourist actions of all member states.
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, July 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Republic of Equatorial Guinea officially joined the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) at the 10[sup.
ProofHub account owners can now opt for Portuguese language from the settings tab.
This is the second oversight meeting of central banks from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).
Travel Business Review-August 17, 2012--Hawker Beechcraft Launches Portuguese Language Website(C)2012] ENPublishing - http://www.
Voice and language solutions provider Nuance Communications Inc (Nasdaq:NUAN) announced on Thursday that its Dragon Dictation and Dragon Search apps for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are now available in Portugal, supporting the European Portuguese language.
Second language acquisition theorists have yet to conceptualize an understanding of undergraduate students' attitudes and experiences when studying the two different versions of Portuguese language most often encountered in experimental literature, European Portuguese (EP) and Brazilian Portuguese (BP).
of California at Los Angeles School of Law and Loyola Law School) analyzes the institutional interaction between choice of language, particularly government-enforced choice of language, and the law of cross-border secured lending and commercial dispute resolution, drawing on investigations of English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish language national jurisdictions, as well as the European Union, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.
AaAa It was also an opportunity to discuss issues relating to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, he added.
Furtado, who shot to fame in 2000 with her hit single I'm Like a Bird, also announced a Portuguese language album via her Myspace blog.