María Palomares Tarí
THE PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE AND ITS FUTURE POTENTIAL
Did you know Portuguese is the most widely spoken language in the southern hemisphere?
Yes, that’s right, the Portuguese language is one of the most widespread languages… it has a presence in almost all of the continents!
Thanks to this strong geographical projection, Portuguese is destined to increase. In fact, there’s a demand for Portuguese Language Experts in various sectors such as accounts, technology, technical support, finance, exports, tourism and education.
Here some quick facts about the history, current situation and future potential of this beautiful language.
Where does Portuguese come from?
The roots of the Portuguese language are based in the autonomous community of Galicia, in the northwest of Spain. Portuguese evolved from a variety of local Galician dialects and Latin until it emerged as its own distinct language centuries later descendant language.
Quick fact! Galician is a co-official language in Spain, but it is not a dialect of Spanish, nor is it badly-spoken Castilian. It was one of many languages that developed from the Latin once spoken in northern Spain.
Why is Portuguese important?
#1 Official language in ten countries
It is a common misconception that Portuguese is only spoken in Portugal and Brazil. Well, nothing further from reality! It is the official language in ten countries and territories: Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Timor-Leste, Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Principe. Additionally, the Chinese autonomous territory of Macau uses Portuguese and Chinese as their official language.
Quick fact! A Portuguese-speaking person or nation is referred to as "Lusophone" (lusófono).
#2 Fastest-growing European language after English
Portuguese is nothing less than the sixth most spoken language in the world. Due to the huge numbers of Portuguese speakers and its distribution across South America, Europe, Africa and Asia, Portuguese is growing fast and, according to UNESCO, it has the potential to be an “international communication language” at this rate.
Quick fact! Just two years ago, in 2019, the 40th session of UNESCO's General Conference decided to proclaim 5 May of each year as "World Portuguese Language Day".