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Portuguese language


Portuguese (português or, in full, língua portuguesa) is a Romance language and the sole official language of Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Galicia, and São Tomé and Príncipe.[4] It also has co-official language status in Macau (China), Equatorial Guinea and East Timor. As the result of expansion during colonial times, Portuguese speakers are also found in Goa, Daman and Diu in India; in Batticaloa on the east coast of Sri Lanka; and in Malacca in Malaysia. History When the Romans arrived in the Iberian Peninsula in 216 BCE, they brought the Latin language with them, from which all Romance languages descend. The language was spread by arriving Roman soldiers, settlers, and merchants, who built Roman cities mostly near the settlements of previous Celtic or Celtiberian civilizations established long before the Roman arrivals Geographical distribution Portuguese is the language of the majority of people in Brazil, Portugal, and São Tomé and Príncipe (95%). Portuguese is quickly becoming the predominant native language of Angola. According to figures from 1983, roughly 70%, perhaps more, of Angolans speak Portuguese natively, and 85% profess fluency in Portuguese. Although only just over 10 percent of the population are native speakers of Portuguese in Mozambique, the language is spoken by about 50.4% of Mozambicans according to the 2007 census. It is also spoken by 11.5% of the population in Guinea-Bissau.[18] No data is available for Cape Verde, but almost all the population is bilingual, and the monolingual population speaks Cape Verdean Creole. Dialects Modern Standard European Portuguese (português padrão or português continental) is based on the Portuguese spoken in the area including and surrounding the cities of Coimbra and Lisbon, in central Portugal, while modern Standard Brazilian Portuguese (português neutro) is based on the Portuguese spoken in the area including and surrounding the city of São Paulo, in southeastern Brazil, which if vanished from its stereotypical traits i.e. its strong European flavor in phonology and prosody, is linguistically a halfway between Brazilian dialects and accents.