Portuguese language


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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.
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). 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).
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) 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.

Bibliography

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 ?
"There are estimates that by 2060, the Portuguese language could be spoken by 380 million people and by the end of the century, the number will increase to 500 million," said Jose Lus Carneiro, adding that "there are very strong indicators.
"Portuguese language results announcement for the third quarter 2018"
SIS logo CAIRO, May 7 (MENA) - The State Information Service (SIS) launched a new website in the Portuguese language as part of its portal (Egypt-Africa) which was launched to communicate with the African nations to support Egypt's presidency of the African Union during the current year.
The written reasons show that the FA instructed Pedro Xavier, an expert in the translation and interpretation of lip reading of colloquial Portuguese language, to provide his opinion on Mourinho's touchline utterances.
He noted that they have been regularly participating in the European Jazz Festival and recently, the Portuguese Language Day, as well as in several cultural events in the country.
The University of Nairobi recently introduced Portuguese language studies a Portuguese firm, JP Sa Cuoto, is participating in the implementation of Kenyas school laptops programme while Mota Engil, a contractor from the same country, is building Rwandas new, Sh80 billion international airport, to be completed in 2020.Mrs Ribeiro sees these as good indicators that East Africa is opening a new page of linkages with Vasco da Gamas country.She believes that at a time when the world is experiencing so much hatred and extremism, countries with historical ties can help provide solutions to global problems through cultural tolerance.
Ailyn Agonia DOHA THE Embassy of Portugal and the Embassy of Brazil celebrated the International Day of Portuguese Language and Culture with recitation of Portuguese literature by students and showcase of Portuguese music and food at Ipanema Restaurant in Marriott Marquis Doha on Saturday.
The Tunisian Premier also said the meeting focused on cultural exchange, including the teaching of the Portuguese language in Tunisia.
It will also include translation of Pakistani literature in Portuguese language and exchange of literature between the two countries.
Through this partnership, Brazilian customers will be treated to the complete GOG.com experience, with full Portuguese language support.
Camoes was a lyricist of rare perfection and is considered the greatest poet of the Portuguese language hence making it the sixth largest spoken language of the world.
A large fire engulfed the Museum of the Portuguese Language in SAaAaAe Paulo, Brazil, Monday afternoon, officials said.

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