Number of people speaking Portuguese: Approximately 273 Million.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT LANGUAGES FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS
As with most other Romance Languages, Portuguese began as the Vulgar (spoken) Latin brought to the Western Iberian Peninsula by Roman armies and settlers in the 3rd century BC.
When Roman influence waned in the 4th and 5th centuries, the region was repeatedly invaded by barbarian tribes and the language evolved away from Latin and the other Romance Languages developing in the region, appearing as a distinct language known as Old Portuguese as early as the 5th century and appearing in written form in the 9th century.
By the 13th century Portugal stabilized as a distinct cultural and political region, and the Portuguese language had attained its modern form. Portugal once enjoyed a vast worldwide empire of colonies and as a result the language has spread all over the world.
Portuguese, the ‘sweet language’ according to Cervantes, is an official language of the European Union and has around 273 million speakers. It is the fifth-most spoken language in the world and the most spoken in the Southern Hemisphere. As well as Portugal itself, Portuguese is the first language of Brazil, the fifth-largest and populous country in the world and a significant emerging nation economically.
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