Portuguese Language History

The language that added three new letters in 2009

English loanwords are saturating languages worldwide. Until recently, the Portuguese language did not have the letters “k,” “y,” and “w” in their language. That was until words like “W-Fi,” “workshop,” and “whiskey” became more and more popular around the world. Keep reading to learn more about Portuguese language and how professional Portuguese language translation services have become essential for businesses working in Portugal, Brazil and even Africa. The article will also discuss how this language has become an official language in Brazil as well as in other parts of the world.


The Official Language in Brazil and Portugal

The Portuguese language ranks seventh in the world’s league table of languages. It’s a romance language spoken by about 240 million people. It is the primary language in Brazil and Portugal. However, there are also large Portuguese-speaking populations in other countries in the world. Some examples of these countries are Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, and Macau. Don’t forget that there are also communities of Portuguese speakers in the US, Canada, and several other countries. It no wonder why Portuguese translations have become essential for many businesses worldwide.

Lusophones are what people who speak Portuguese are called. Similarly, a community of Lusosphere or Lusophony are also Portuguese speakers. The word “Luso-” derived from the name that the Romans gave the area that eventually became Portugal. The Romans called the area “Lusitania,” a name that is still sometimes used to this day. As a matter of fact, when settlers landed in present-day Brazil, they initially called it “New Lusitania.”

Like other languages, the Portuguese language has experienced an evolution throughout its history. It influenced many other languages and vice versa before it reached the form we know today. It has also provided loanwords to many languages. Today, it is one of the world’s major languages. It is also one of the 23 official languages of the European Union. The Portuguese language uses 23 or 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, depending on if they include “k,” “y,” and “w.”

Many people assume that most people who speak Portuguese live in Portugal, but that is actually false. Only about 5% of the world’s Portuguese speakers live in Portugal. Portuguese speakers can also easily understand the Spanish language, even though the reverse is not true.


Origins & Roots of the Portuguese Language

Portuguese was originally brought to the Iberian Peninsula by Roman soldiers, settlers, and merchants around 218 BC. The Romance languages, derived from Vulgar Latin, really emerged during the invasions between the 5th and 8th centuries. The fall of the Roman Empire also played a significant role in the spread of these languages.

The Arab conquest of the Iberian Peninsula also affected the Portuguese and Spanish languages in several ways. The Portuguese language has several words with Arabic roots, such as “azul,” “beliz,” and “cafe.” There are some cities and territories in Portugal whose names are also based on Arabic words.

The first Lusophone University was established in 1290 by King Diniz. This university, and others that followed, have contributed greatly to the popularity of the language. After the University, the name “Portuguese” became the official language, and the language replaced Latin at this time.

The peak of the Portuguese Empire during the 15th and 16th centuries was a great time for the Portuguese language. Explorers and historians became immensely interested in the language during this time. Kings and officials of other countries also began learning the language around this time. This was to help maintain strong trading and diplomatic relationships with Portugal.

A reformed orthography came about in Portugal in 1916. A slightly changed form happened to the language in Brazil in 1943 and again revised in 1970.


Portuguese Translation Services

At Renaissance Translations, we have a large pool of translators providing high quality Portuguese translations. Our translators have the needed skill and experience to provide a wide range of language services including translation, localisation, proofreading, subtitling, voiceover, transcription and more. Yet we are able to provide professional translations for a variety of industries such as business, banking, energy and mining, advertising, charity and more.

If you are looking for a professional translation agency to help you with your translation needs, contact us today to discuss your specific project requirements. One of our friendly project managers will be happy to help.