However, the Portuguese language did not always sound like it is heard today on television, in music or conversations in cafes. For several centuries the language has evolved, a process that still happens today.
Difficult to learn
Generally speaking, the language can be considered difficult to learn. Unlike English, the Portuguese language is binary, meaning that it only contains masculine and feminine gender in the words. Adjectives vary in gender, as do the articles that precede them. The verbs conjugations in Portuguese are usually classified as irregular, and for each person, different verb conjugation is used. However, there are several words that, despite the same phonetics and spelling, in certain contexts have different meanings. The same applies to the different accents spoken in Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking nations.
Similar to the other languages of Southern Europe, Portuguese derives essentially from the Latin spoken in the Roman Empire. This derivation confers a similarity between the different languages spoken in this European region.
When the Romans invaded the Iberian Peninsula, those who populated the region spoke other languages and dialects. One of the policies of the Roman emperors was to make Latin the only language spoken in the empire. The population spoke Vulgar Latin, which over the years was mixed with the existing languages, creating new dialects, named “romanços.” With the advance of time and with the future Arab invasions, the Romance changed due to contact with the Arabic language. Even today this contact is evident in the Portuguese language and can be seen in the words that begin with “al”, most of which are of Arabic origin.
Only from the 11th century onwards, after the Arabs left the space that is currently Portuguese, Galician-Portuguese began to be officially spoken and written in Lusitania. Currently, Galician is an existing language and is spoken in the area of Galicia, which belongs to Spain, however, it has many similarities with the Portuguese language.
The Portuguese language can be divided into three key phases. The Proto-historical phase, in the period before the twelfth century, where texts were written in Latin. The second phase, Old Portuguese, is divided into two periods: from the 12th to the 14th century when Galician-Portuguese was written and the second period, from the 14th to the 16th century when Portuguese and Galician became two distinct languages. Finally, the last phase, which begins in the 16th century, is called Modern Portuguese. During this phase, the language becomes more uniform, and the role of Renaissance literature stands out, written for example by Luís de Camões.
The way of writing the language currently has undergone some changes, the last orthographic agreement, despite the strong controversy, was consolidated and made mandatory, in 2010. The new orthographic agreement aimed to unify the way of writing Portuguese in all countries where the official language is Portuguese.
Portuguese is a language full of history and with a very distinct sound that, when sung, for example, can please anyone's ear.