A language remarkable by its great historical background

Portuguese (português) is a language belonging to the Romance branch of the Indo-European language family. It belongs to the Ibero-Romance group of Romance languages. Its ancestor is Galician-Portuguese which also gave birth to Galician and Fala languages.

Two standards for one language

It ranks as the sixth most widely spoken language in the world by number of native speakers. It amounts over 250 million speakers worldwide, from Portugal to Brazil, all throughout Mozambique or Angola.

Portuguese has two official standards: the Portuguese standard and the Brazilian standard. Each official standard has its particularities of pronunciation (in Brazil it is more open than in Portugal), vocabulary and some syntactic structures. Portuguese is written with the Latin alphabet supplemented by diacritics and digraphs. There are some differences between the spelling of Brazil and that of other Portuguese-speaking countries.

The Portuguese of Portugal had never used the letters k, w and y until the reform of 1990. Most of the Portuguese lexicon comes from Latin. However, there are words borrowed of Arabic origin as a consequence of five centuries of Moorish rule, as well as words of African and Asian origin adopted during the Portuguese discoveries. Grammatically, Portuguese differs from most other Romance languages by presence of the subjunctive future tense, used to express a possible future, and the conjugation of the infinitive together with the subject in infinitive clauses.

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