There are 40 million European Portuguese speakers. Portugal's wealthiest colony, Brazil, got it's independence in 1822. A 1910 revolution in Portugal said bye-bye to the monarchy, and for the next six decades, repressive governments ran the country. Until 1974, when a left-wing military coup installed broad democratic reforms, and the following year, 1975, Portugal granted independence to all of its African colonies.
The language is also known as Lusitanian Portuguese (português lusitano), Iberian Portuguese (português ibérico) and Portuguese of Portugal (português de Portugal) in Brazil, or even “Old World Portuguese” refers to the Portuguese language spoken in Portugal. Standard Portuguese pronunciation, the prestige norm based on European Portuguese, is the reference for Portugal, the Portuguese-speaking African countries, East Timor and Macau. The word “European” was chosen to avoid the clash of “Portuguese Portuguese” (“português português”) as opposed to Brazilian Portuguese.
The language is the same with different accents in many countries. It is a Latin based language, with Gaelic, Germanic, Greek and Arabic influence. It was spoken in the Iberian Peninsula before as Galician-Portuguese. With the formation of Portugal as a country in the 12th century, the language evolved into Portuguese. In the Spanish province of Galicia, Northern border of Portugal, the native language is Galician. Both Portuguese and Galician are very similar and natives can understand each other as they share the same recent common ancestor. Portuguese and Spanish are different languages, although they share 89% of their lexicon.
Following its heyday as a global maritime power during the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal lost much of its wealth and status with the destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence of Brazil, its wealthiest colony, in 1822. A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy; for most of the next six decades, repressive governments ran the country. In 1974, a left-wing military coup installed broad democratic reforms. The following year, Portugal granted independence to all of its African colonies. Portugal is a founding member of NATO and entered the EC (now the EU) in 1986.
Portugal does not recognize Spanish sovereignty over the territory of Olivenza based on a difference of interpretation of the 1815 Congress of Vienna and the 1801 Treaty of Badajoz.
(End of text/excerpt from the CIA World FactBook. You can download the book via a CIA-post on our frontpage.)
European Portuguese Language Learning Pack (Updated).
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