Although Portugal’s official language is Portuguese, a significant portion of its population also speaks English, Spanish, or French. The native alphabet consists of twenty four letters. As one of the Romance languages Portuguese follows the Latin alphabet with a total of six special characters. The vocabulary also includes three accents; the acute, circumflex, and grave. The language also has numerous dialects throughout the country which vary from region to region. Examples of these variations include the southern and central Alentejano and Madeirense as well as the northern dialects of Nortenho and Transmontano.

Portuguese, the language spoken by most citizens in Portugal, can be traced back to the country’s northern area as well as the region of Galicia. Other languages spoken in the nation include English which is spoken by 27% of the population and French, spoken by 24%. Spanish, a language linguistically very similar to Portuguese, is spoken by approximately 10% of the Portugal’s residents.

Some common phrases in Portuguese include the morning greeting, “Bom dia” and “Boa noite” which translates to a wish for a good night. A welcoming greeting depends on the gender of the person being addressed. For a male the correct term is, “Bem-vindo” while if addressing a female the correct term would be, “Bem-vinda”.

Among the minority languages spoken in the European nation of Portugal are English, French, and Spanish. In a variety of municipalities located in the north eastern portion of the country the Mirandese language shares the distinction of being the co-official regional language along with Portuguese. A recent estimate cites that approximately six to seven thousand residents of Portugal speak Mirandese.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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