Stranslations.com is a translation agency providing global language translation services including Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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Portuguese Language Primer

History and development
Portuguese is a Romance language that grew out of "Vulgar Latin". It initially developed in the late first millennium amongst the Romanised Celts in modern-day Galicia (Spain) and northern Portugal. Its influence spread southwards along the Atlantic fringe during the 11th-13th centuries following the "reconquest" of the Iberian peninsula from the Arab inhabitants. As with Spanish, the language was influenced by Arabic during this period.

In 1290 it was renamed Portuguese and recognised as the official language of the relevantly recent Kingdom of Portugal (only established in 1143). As Portuguese economic and naval power came to the fore in the 15th and 16th century, the language spread across Africa, the Caribbean, South America and parts of Asia. In more recent times, as the empire declined, the geographic spread of the language has meant that it has split into a series of dialects that are generally classed into African, Brazilian, Asian and Portuguese subgroups. Whilst mutually intelligible to varying degrees they can, nevertheless, be highly divergent in terms of language use. For example, when localising products, such are the differences, it is general practice to develop completely separate versions for the Brazilian and Portuguese markets. In comparison UK and US products would only need to be lightly reviewed (spell checking mainly), if at all.

Related languages
Portuguese is most closely related to the other west-Iberian languages, Galician, spoken to the North of Portugal in the Spanish region of Galicia, and Fala, spoken by around 10,000 people in pockets of Extremadura (Spain) near the Portuguese border. In fact, all languages were once a single language, now called Galician-Portuguese by linguists, but have diverged somewhat over the centuries largely as a result of the political separation.

In terms of vocabulary and grammar, Galician and Portuguese are still much closer than Spanish with mutual intelligibility very high. Indeed, such are the similarities, that not everybody agrees that Galician should be classed as a separate language and there is a minority movement in Galicia, known as Reintegracionismo, that is looking to have Galician recognised as a variant of Portuguese. There is little doubt that a person from Northern Portugal would find it easier to understand a Galician speaker than they would some of the Portuguese dialects spoken around the world.

Portuguese is also close to other Iberian languages, and lexical similarity between it and Spanish is estimated to be 89% with only pronunciation differences complicating mutual intelligibility. Outside the Iberian peninsula, Portuguese also has significant lexical similarities with Italian, French and Romanian.

Status today
Portuguese is an official language of the European Union, Mercosul, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Ibero-American States and the Union of South American Nations as well as being a working language of the African Union. In addition to Portugal, Portuguese is the official language of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe and Mozambique. It also has official status in Equatorial Guinea (alongside French and Spanish), Timor-Leste (alongside Tetum) and in Macau (alongside Chinese).

Pockets of Portuguese and related Creoles are spoken in various parts of Africa, Asia and the Americas although from a linguistic perspective the latter are generally treated as independent languages. In total, there are an estimated 220 million native speakers putting Portuguese in 7th place worldwide. Of this total, some 188 million are in South America (i.e. primarily Brazil – population: 183 million), where it is spoken by over half of the continent's inhabitants.



 
 
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Our comprehensive offering (ranging from machine translation to 5-star professional translation) gives clients complete control over cost and desired quality.

Our roster of happy clients includes some very prestigious companies. Yet no matter how big or small your job, we will give it and you the utmost attention. What we offer is the translation quality you desire coupled with prompt and professional service.

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Translation Agency. Language Translation. Translation Services. Document Translation. Stranslations offers language translation services and document translation for all major global languages including Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Some common language pairs: English to Spanish Translation. Spanish to English Translation. French to English Translation. German to English Translation.

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