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  • A Romance language spoken in Portugal and most of its former colonies, including Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and East Timor.

  • With 199 million native speakers, Portuguese is the sixth most popular mother-tongue language in the world, and the second Romance language, outnumbered only by Spanish.

  • Portuguese is nicknamed A língua de Camões (after Luís de Camões, the author of The Lusiad); and A última flor do Lácio ("The last flower of Latium").

  • The Portuguese language was spread worldwide in the 15th and 16th centuries as Portugal created the first and the longest lived modern-world colonial and commercial empire (1415 - 1975), spanning from Brazil in the Americas to Macau in China and Japan. As a result of that expansion, Portuguese is now the official language of several independent countries, and is widely spoken or studied as a second language in many others. There are still more than 20 Portuguese Creole languages. It is an important minority language in Andorra, Luxembourg, Namibia and South Africa. Large Portuguese-speaking immigrant communities exist in many cities around the world, e.g. Paris in France, Boston, New Jersey, California and Miami in the USA.

  • Portuguese developed in the Western Iberian Peninsula from the spoken Latin language brought there by Roman soldiers and colonist starting in the 3rd century BC. The language began to differentiate itself from other Romance languages after the fall of the Roman Empire and the barbarian invasions in the 5th century. It started to be used in written documents around the 9th century, and by the 15th century it had become a mature language with a rich literature.

  • The Romans conquered the Western Iberian Peninsula, later the Roman province of Lusitania, currently Portugal and Galicia (region of Spain) in 218 BC, and brought with them a popular version of Latin, the Vulgar Latin from which all Romance languages descend. Almost 90% of the Portuguese lexicon comes from Latin. although the Iberian Peninsula was inhabited since well before the Roman colonization, very few traces of the native languages persist in modern Portuguese.

  • Portuguese has obvious similaries also with Catalan, Italian and with other Romance languages. Speakers of other Romance languages may find a peculiarity in the conjugating of certain apparently infinitive verbs. In particular, when constructing a future tense or conditional tense expression involving an indirect object pronoun, the pronoun is placed between the verb stem and the verb ending. For example, Dupondt said trazer-vos-emos o vosso ceptro. Translating as literally as possible, this is "bring (stem)-to you (formal)-we (future) the your sceptre". In English we would say, "We will bring you your sceptre." The form Nós vos traremos o vosso ceptro. is also correct, although less common in Portugal, but more common in Brazil.

  • The CPLP or Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries is an international organization consisting of the eight independent countries which have Portuguese as an official language. Portuguese is also an official language of the European Union, Mercosul and the African Union (bwing one of the working languages) and a one of the official languages of other organizations. Except for the Asian territories (East Timor and Macau), Portuguese is the sole official language in each country.

  • The differences between Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese varieties are in vocabulary, pronunciation and syntax, especially in popular varieties, while between upper-class Brazilians these differences ease largely. The differences are less than those between American English and British English. Both varieties are undoubtedly dialects of the same language and speakers from both varieties can easily understand each other.

  • Portuguese is written using the Latin alphabet with 26 letters. Three of them (K, W and Y) are only used for non-Portuguese origin words, in terms like Darwinismo (Darwinism, from English "Darwin").

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