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Portuguese – A West Romance Language

The Portuguese is a West Romance language. Its roots are based in the community of Galicia which is at the north of Portugal and northwest of Spain. However, due to the Islamic Moors’ conquer of both Portugal and Spain in the eighth century, Portuguese is heavily influenced by the Arabic language. In fact, a form of Arabic was still the country’s official language, until the 13th century. Till now, many of the Portuguese words of Arabic origin still remain.

In terms of number of speakers worldwide, Portuguese is next to English and Spanish with an estimated 200-220 million native speakers and a total of 260 million speakers. That makes Portuguese the 7th most spoken languages in the world. It is also the sole official language of countries such as Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola, Sao Tome and Principe.

With the wide distribution of Portuguese speakers around the world, Portuguese has the potential to be an ‘international communication language’. Portugal is currently the sixth largest economy in the world, and is a ideal market for new products. The rapid growth of E-commerce in the country, coupled with strong backing of the European Union, also ascertain the importance of the Portuguese economy and the Portuguese language.

Apart from Portugal, Portuguese is also spoken in Brazil and several Africa nations including Angola. Do you know also that the majority of Portuguese speakers are not from Portugal? Brazil has the most number of native speaker of the Portuguese language in the world. Portuguese has 4 main dialect groups: Central, Southern, Insular and Brazilian. A standardized form of Portuguese was developed in the 16th century, from dialects spoken from Lisbon to Coimbra.

Here is a fun fact about the Portuguese language: With English’s ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ as the longest word, Portuguese goes one letter more with ‘anticonstitucionalíssimamente’, which means in a very constitutional way. This is the longest non-technical word in the language, with 29 letters in total. The worldwide spread of the Portuguese language also led to some of its words making their way into the English language. Some include ‘embarrass’ and ‘fetish’, which come from the Portuguese ‘embaraçar’ and ‘feitiço’ respectively.

As with translation of any languages, translating from Portuguese or into Portuguese is no easy task. There is a notable difference between Brazilian and European Portuguese, which includes sound changes, verb conjugation and syntax. With the mutually intelligible relationship between Portuguese and Spanish, this also pose a huge challenge for linguists translating either one of the languages. An example will be the usage of the definite article, which will be for gender. One slight error and it could cause much embarrassment!

All of those mentioned above are merely a drop in the bucket.

There are much more things to consider than just getting someone who knows Portuguese to handle translation into English and from Portuguese.

Hence, it is very essential to get the right quality people with enough training and professional experience to produce translations that are fit for its purpose.

With more than 2 decades of experience in providing English to Portuguese, Portuguese to English and Portuguese related language pairs translation services, we can share this valuable experience with you.

With our ISO 17100 certification, you know your translations are in good hands. You can now leave the tedious task of translation to our professional team of linguists and project managers, while leaving you with more time to do what matters most to you.

Contact us now at +65 6576 0138 or fill up our web inquiry form immediately. We are ready to share our experience with you.




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