The Future of Portuguese: Is it dying out?

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Bienvenidos, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Tagarela Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
    Português - Brasil
    Olá,

    Answer to the original issue: I think that this professor only thought in economic reasons and international power - but, if it is the point, as some have said something simmilar, why should Dutch, Icelandic, Czech, Lithuanian, Quechua etc survive?

    It is very much like as if English and some four or five traditional languages such as French and German, and now rising Mandarin, would be enough to one communicates to everyworld.

    But even this would not be very well, since Portugal has ruled the world once.

    Tchau.:
     
  2. e.ma Senior Member

    Spain
    Spain, Spanish
  3. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you, E.ma. A major ingredient of prestige is indeed money.

    Why is English so important and influential today, to the point where some think it might become the single language of the world in the future? One of the explanations I often see is "because it's the language of business". In other words, the language of money.
     
  4. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    The only way I see Portuguese dying out is if the Brazilian and European variants eventually seperate into different languages, although one would probably still be called Portuguese.
     
  5. e.ma Senior Member

    Spain
    Spain, Spanish
    quoting Outsider: I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you, E.ma. A major ingredient of prestige is indeed money.

    :confused: How cuold it be so? I can't agree. (If WR's dictionary is true and prestige really means prestigio in Spanish)

    Why is English so important and influential today, to the point where some think it might become the single language of the world in the future? One of the explanations I often see is "because it's the language of business". In other words, the language of money.

    Well, what does this all have to do with prestige? (And who might be thinking that?)


    (This is what I wrote, but after Outsider's answer I've changed my mind. If you want to know why, you can look here: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=849568)
     
  6. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    There might well be languages in the world on their death bed but Portuguese is not one of them. Perhaps it lacks the prestige of English, but in the countries it is official it won't die out, and people moving there will have to learn Portuguese.
    The only Portuguese-speaking place I think might be lost is Macau, just because it will be drowned in Chinese now that it has reverted to China. "O português é só dominado por cerca de 2,4% da população e falado correntemente por cerca de 0,6% da população."

    Otherwise it is still growing in the former Portuguese colonies in Africa where it is currently replacing the native African languages. Such is the case of Angola where the "younger urban generations are moving towards the dominant or exclusive use of Portuguese."
     
  7. funnyhat Senior Member

    Michigan, USA
    American English
    Sigh . . . I can't say I'm surprised that an American would say this. I love my country, but my countrymen can be pretty ignorant when it comes to the subject of languages and linguistic acquisition.

    Americans are generally mystified by the notion that a person can speak more than one language at a time. We are one of the world's most monolingual societies; around 80% of the U.S. population speaks only English. What's more, of the remaining 20%, most are either immigrants or the children of immigrants, some of whom don't speak English well, so we tend to mistakenly believe that bilingualism is a sign of linguistic weakness, when it's just the opposite. Many people in this country literally believe that foreign-language instruction hurts students' ability to speak English, despite countless studies to the contrary. (Speaking for myself, I found that studying French helped me understand English grammar much more thoroughly, and also enlarged my English vocabulary considerably.)

    We also have a very hard time understanding that it's possible for a person to want to use one language for one purpose (such as doing business) and another for other purposes (like chatting with friends/family), even though this is exactly the case in many, many parts of the world. When we hear that a Swedish person uses English when doing business and then speaks Swedish with friends, it just doesn't register in our minds; we don't understand how such a thing can be possible.

    So, when we hear that English is increasingly studied around the world as a second (or third) language, we assume that it must be causing people around the world to actually lose their native languages. Americans generally assume that most of the world's languages are thus in decline, not just Portuguese (there is a widespread belief here that French is "dying" as well).
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  8. palomnik Senior Member

    Vietnam
    English
    A large number of cultural reasons have been cited in the posts. Let's not neglect the economic reasons.

    I am a professional legal and financial translator working in Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. I have seen the amount of work coming my way in Portuguese almost triple in the last year, and I am being offered twice as much work in Portuguese as in the other two languages combined.

    Brazil has been experiencing major economic growth for fifteen years. It is not perceived any longer as a sick man with astronomical inflation. It has become a dominant economic force in several South American countries. Paraguay has practically become a province of Brazil, and its economy has never done better. Countries with relatively sophisticated economic infrastructures as Mexico and Venezuela are hiring Brazilian technicians and consulting companies instead of Americans to work on major projects. To turn around the old joke, maybe Brazil won't be the "land of the future" any more.

    And in case you don't read the trade pulps, the world's largest deposit of natural gas has been discovered off the coast of Mozambique. It won't be a backwater much longer. It could end up as economically crucial as Saudi Arabia and Iran. And this, in turn, will only be to the benefit of those Brazilian consulting firms, which can provide, and are providing, technical assistance there and in Angola, with its rich mineral deposits.

    Portuguese is on a roll! I expect that in another 50 years it will be the most important language in the world, after English - or maybe even ahead of English.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  9. More od Solzi

    More od Solzi Senior Member

    Norway
    Macedonian
    I think Portuguese will be out of the top 10 most spoken languages in the next 30 years, unfortunately.
    In Europe more people study Mandarin (and even Japanese) than Portuguese.
     
  10. Fernando Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain, Spanish
    I am making a list of the foresable '10 most spoke kanguages in the next 30 years' which have better perspective than Portuguese. To me, only Chinese and English are out of the question. Please complete:

    1. English
    2. Chinese
    3. Spanish?
    4. Arabic (all varieties)?
    5. French?
    6. Hindi/Urdu?
    7. ???
    8. ???
    9. ???
    10. ???
     
  11. Fernando Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain, Spanish
    So, do you mean that more than 10 million Europeans can speak Mandarin or Japanese? Everybody can 'study'. Learning is other thing.
     
  12. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    I don't agree, Portuguese survived centuries with just a minority population of natives speaking it in eras without internet, globalization and so on. Now with a nation with more than 200 millions inhabitants in my country that keeps growing and being the 2nd language most used in internet, the chances grow as never before!
     
  13. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    According to this site, Portuguese would be the 7th most influential language in the world, Japanese is 9th, and the Mandarin form of Chinese is 5th. It's absurd to think Portuguese will die out soon.
     
  14. gentilhom

    gentilhom Senior Member

    Girona Espagne
    français
    Languages may have lots of users but have no cultural or political influence at all. Today only English as the language of International Money and Business has influence. Just see what happens with Chinese or Hindi : so many users but no political or cultural influence worth mentioning...
     
  15. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    REally? One of the languages increasing in number of students in Europe and USA is Portuguese. The influence is called ''money'' because one of the few countries with lot of jobs and many opportunities to earn money today - considering Europe and USA that are all undergoing an economic crisis - is Brazil- where they speak Portuguese!

    Where the jobs are: Brazil (http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/30/news/economy/brazil-jobs/)

    This year, Brazil overtook the United Kingdom as the world's sixth largest economy, fueled in part by big growth in domestic consumption as millions of people climbed out of poverty into the middle class.

    And in a language magazine:
    http://languagemagazine.com/?page_id=3630

    So, nothing like money to make a language important Gentilhom!
     
  16. Guajara-Mirim Senior Member

    Français
    I think your teacher is stupid, but it does not surprise me... I guess your teacher does not know that in 2030 in your "beautiful" america, almost half of the people will speak spanish. Latin languages are more and more presents hehehe.

    Você sabe! Eles vêm no Brasil somente para sobreviver fugir a crise porque o Brasil se tornou um país em desenvolvimento. O que me irrita o mais é que não prestam atenção em falar bem português (porque a maioria já fala castelhano ou inglês), quê vergonha!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2013
  17. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    The teacher is undoubtedly a fool, but I'm afraid the figure you've cited there is nonsense. Where are you getting such a figure from?
     
  18. gentilhom

    gentilhom Senior Member

    Girona Espagne
    français
    I think I was wrong in assuming that influence is only related to money. I think the decisive thing is cultural influence. Hollywood and cars is probably the key to the success story of English. The Romans were powerful, rich and arrogant, but they took the culture of the Greek, who had nothing but their brilliant ideas and civilization.

    Brazil is now plunging into a crisis. I'd rather look to Angola and Mozambique for new capitalist 'miracles'.

    I studied Portuguese for many years. It is a wonderful language, but sorely lacks good dictionaries and treatises on language. In this respect, French has a big advantage, there is such an abundance of books on grammar, spelling, history of the language, etc. It shows that people in general are rather indifferent to matters of language. Let us have three or four dictionaries like the Aurelio Buarque, and Portuguese will get a new breath.

    I think that all languages are in danger of dying out because of English-Globish. It is not a question of counting the people who speak one language. If they keep borrowing words and concepts (which is even worse) from Globalized English, that will not guarantee the vitalty and future of the language. In French things have gotten to the point that the only new things that appear in the language are all related to English in some way or other. Let one Frenchman invent something, he will give it some fancy English name and I am pretty sure the same happens in Brazil or elsewhere. When people stop doing that, well, this world will become different.

    Let one nation say 'I will wage a war against English and promote my language at all costs' (as the Anglo-Saxons have done) and there will be hope. I am waiting to see Brazil or China ban English in schools, airports and business contracts to begin to feel optimistic about the future of linguistic diversity.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  19. Guajara-Mirim Senior Member

    Français
    Haga algunas investigaciones, va a encontrar muchas cosas.
     
  20. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    You just made it up then, as I suspected. I'll know what to expect from you in future.
     
  21. Nino83 Senior Member

    Italian
    I think that Portuguese (Brazilian Portuguese, in particular) has a great cultural influence among musicians.
    After A. C. Jobim and J. Gilberto started playing Bossa Nova Portuguese language spread in Europe and North America, through Elis Regina's voice.
    All major American and European artists sang their version of A Garota de Ipanema, Chega de Saudade and so on.
    Every language has a specific cultural influence in some field. French in cooking, perfume, cosmetics, Italian in music notation, Opera, arts and cooking and so on.

    Yes, if we speak about work, business, English leads but I shouldn't go too far saying that these languages don't have future. Another fact is that Romance languages have about 800 million native speaker and that they share a lot of vocabulary with English language, the actual lingua franca.

    I think that although Portuguese (and other Romance languages) won't be the lingua franca, it can have some cultural influence in specific fields.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  22. Guajara-Mirim Senior Member

    Français
    This is the truth, english will be dethroned.
     
  23. Guajara-Mirim Senior Member

    Français
    Sono d'accordo, Nino. :thumbsup:
     
  24. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    Português é a língua da moda e do emprego na China


    Chinese people have vision of the future.


     
  25. Hector9

    Hector9 Senior Member

    Inglés y español, los idiomas del futuro.
     
  26. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Must agree with Pedro,
    Anyone who wishes to run a building site here in Basel Switzerland, would do well to understand Portuguese, since the entire work force (appears) to be either Portuguese (193,000 individuals) or Albanian (350,000 ethnic Albanians here). Less than 100,000 people speak Irish on a daily basis back home, yet none of us have written off the Irish language just yet. An less than 1.5 million (Irish) speakers with some fluency worldwide. But even the Irish language will still be alive and well long after I (and your professor) are dead and gone. Though I suspect the same person most likely would talk you out of trying to learn Irish too. Writing off a language with 220 million speakers is just down-right plain silly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  27. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Vast question : Not sure how to measure prestige. The list in terms of numbers of Native speakers is the only one that makes any sense to me.
    Native speakers (in millions)

    1. Mandarin 845
    2. Spanish 329
    3. English 328
    4. Arabic languages 221
    5. Hindi 182
    6. Bengali 181
    7. Portuguese 178
    8. Russian 144
    9. Japanese 122
    10. German 90.3

    Source : Lewis, M. Paul (ed.) (2009). "Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition". Dallas, Tex.: SIL International.

    Portuguese is right up there. German figures rather than French, that's bound to get up a few noses.
     
  28. almostfreebird

    almostfreebird Senior Member

    Japón
    Born and raised in Japón, soy japonés

    I second that.

    By the way,

    This Japanese lady is famous as a Bossa Nova singer in Japan.
    She is good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6nSPW3kLjM
     
  29. ESustad Senior Member

    Washington, DC
    English - (Minnesota)
    A language's prestige is obviously somewhat subjective. I'd consider how many people use it is a lingua franca, how widely it is studied as a foreign language, in how many countries it has official status, literature, among other factors. French still has enormous, although dwindling, prestige. It has official status in several countries, and even more are members of Francophonie. Persian isn't in the top ten in terms of native speakers, yet it has a vast and ancient literature which has heavily influenced languages from Turkish to Urdu and beyond.

    On the other hand, a language like Bengali may have 181 million native speakers, but little range outside of Bangladesh and West Bengal or immigrant communities in Britain. Russian has been in steep decline too, since losing what was de facto imperial status in the USSR.

    EDIT for relevance: In the case of Portuguese, its future lies in Brazil. The language's geographic reach and diversity should guarantee its survival.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  30. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    That English figure seems suspiciously low. At least 250 million Americans are native English speakers, throw in 65 million odd Brits, 4.5 million Irish, 20 million Aussies, 4.3 million New Zealanders, a few million white South Africans, 24 million English Canadians and you've well over 350 million native Anglophones, not to mention second language speakers, which makes English, by some distance, the most spoken language on Earth.

    Come to think of it, French's second language speakers are substantial too and would pull it well ahead of German or, indeed, Portuguese.
     
  31. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    Such a recurrent topic... Every so often, we hear about the death of Portuguese, French, and... well, pretty much any language except English, Spanish and maybe Mandarin (?). Yet none of them are endangered languages.
    Are Portuguese speakers more indifferent to matters of language than other people? I am not certain about that. Sure, I may be biased by seeing things through the prism of the WR community :p. Besides, Gentilhom, you mention numerous publications about French, but many of them are very prescriptive. I am not sure there is a direct link between such publications and the vitality of a language. Besides, I feel, and fear, that indifference to language is general. And if indifference accelerates the death of a language, then English, for one, is doomed to die... :rolleyes:

    I fear that wars and bans are inefficient and maybe counterproductive, but I would certainly put things into positive terms (promotion of a given local language). Let us not forget the importance of second language speakers. If we decide to go for other second languages rather than limiting ourselves to English (Globish), we certainly will contribute to linguistic diversity. Sure, that requires some efforts. Sure, we can't speak all languages: we are but human beings and we have limits. Yet I do not believe that we will be limited just to this:

    Ya esto me entristece... Por más que me guste el castellano, no y mil veces no. Idiomas del futuro hay más de dos, o no hay futuro. Spanish turning into a second Globish? :eek:

    Numerically, that is more than likely. But does the 'strength' of a language mean the extinction of its variants? Quoting from Saramago: "Quase me apetece dizer que não há uma língua portuguesa, há línguas em português". Aliás, eu não teria que ter escrito este post em inglês, começando por aí. Mas tratando-se de um assunto como este, eu sou suspeita :D.
     
  32. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    In this one point I agree with you. Recently I had to catch a connecting flight at Heathrow airport in London. Not one sign anywhere was in another language but English, really not one. All announcements were in English, a localized version usually too, far from Globish. And, by the way, this is a particularly difficult airport to manever about.
    I wondered if there was not a kind of war being waged against people who didn't speak English (particularly the Estuary type) as a mother tongue. I was surprised because I had never seen such a monolingual policy before, especially in a world airport.

    Anyway back to Portuguese... what does one find in Lisbon, Rio, Sao Paolo and Luanda airports?
     
  33. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)

    That's the norm in all British airports. It's assumed that a foreigner can understand enough to get around.
    Irish airports likewise only contain signs in Irish and English, sometimes in English only.

    The notion of a war against English is silly, English won that battle long ago. The best other languages can do is to stay relevant.
     
  34. Stoggler

    Stoggler Senior Member

    Sussex, GBR
    UK English
    I'm sure in my younger days when airports were still places of excitement for me that I often saw French alongside English at Gatwick and Heathrow airports - as a child it added to the interest of the place, seeing another language.

    Such signs disappeared a while ago now though (along with my youthful exuberance at airports. Or at anything!). You still see French and sometimes German at the cross-Channel ports like Dover and Newhaven.
     
  35. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    I thought it would have been a requirement to add French (at least) at Heathrow for the London Olympics.
    I'm going back there today actually. I'm going to really search out foreign languages and might speak to some people wearing uniforms in French or Spanish just to test..... ;)
     
  36. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    Oh, I like this article on future languages:
    The Languages for the Future report identifies Spanish, Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Turkish and Japanese as the languages most vital to the UK over the next 20 years. (British council)
     
  37. XiaoRoel

    XiaoRoel Senior Member

    Vigo (Galiza)
    galego, español
    Hay una obsesión (que no es precisamente moderno) por lograr un imposible: la lengua única. Los motivos han sido muy variados, el ideal de una humanidad igual, libre y con una lengua (esperanto, por ejemplo), la necesidad de unificar el lenguaje de la ciencia (latín), la superioridad cultural (español, francés), etc.
    Ahora es el business y la globalización informática. Pero el hecho es que las lenguas de la lista que se está manejando están vivas y bien vivas en lo oral y en lo escrito. Todas esas lenguas cuentan con una literatura y otro productos culturales de gran altura y en producción incesante. El que se está erosionando en su hinchazón descontrolada es el inglés (sólo hay que leer las intervenciones en inglés de estos foros. En muchos casos se agradecería que los foreros redactasen, bien, en su lengua. Incluso llegan a ser ininteligibles o anfibológicos en grado sumo.
    Yo no veo la muerte del portugués, para nada. Incluso dentro del tronco lingüístico del portugués, el gallego mi lengua materna sobrevive con unos 2.000.000 de hablantes al ahogamiento que intenta la lengua y el mundo cultural oficial en español. Nuestra literatura es brillante (especialmente la lírica, a la altura de cualquier lírica en otras lenguas), en plena producción, y también la usamos en la ciencia, en la fiesta, en la vida cotidiana, en las aulas y, en la medida que permite el españolismo del Estado Español, en la justicia y en la vida oficial. Si llevamos miles de años siendo nación (cohesionada e interrelacionaada por la lengua que todos sentimos como lo nuestro, como el núcleo de nuestra identidad social) y resistimos una colonización cultural de 400 años, no creo que lenguas de brillante producción escrita y plenamente aceptadas en sus respectivos lugares como lenguas oficiales, lenguas que tienen una vida creativa en constante evolución en lo oral, en la vida de todos los días vayan a desaparecer. Incluso lo que veo es un retroceso del inglés, substituido por un pidgin para la comunicación por vía informática que ya no es inglés propiamente dicho.
    Es imposible la lengua mundial, ya que si existiese acabaría desmoronándose y diferenciándose en nuevas lenguas o dialectos cada vez más divergentes, como sucedión con el latín y las lenguas romances.
    Los que hablamos gallego y portugués no vamos a dejar de usarla para estar en el mundo y para contribuír con nuestras producciones literarias, musicales, fílmicas, teatrales, etc.
    Decía uno de nuestros grandes prosistas, Álvaro Cunqueiro, mil primaveras mais para a língua galega. Y esto es una profecía que creo será cumpliada.
    Las lenguas que son oficiales y están normalizadas para su uso culto y que hablen pueblos o naciones que no están en riesgo de desaparición física no tienen ningún riesgo de desaparición.
    El problema que plantea este hilo es un pseudoproblema. No tiene como base datos que lo avalen, ni paradigmas científicos que lo contemplen. Es una especie de leyenda urbana: en unos años todos hablaremos inglés y chino (mandarín). Una afirmación absolutamente gratuíta.
     
  38. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    E eu amo o galego, por ser a ''mãe" do português. Me identifico muito com ele.
     
  39. XiaoRoel

    XiaoRoel Senior Member

    Vigo (Galiza)
    galego, español
    Tá certa a Vanda. Os que Vasconcelos chamava co-dialectos, o galego e o português (e semelha que também a fala dos três lugaris de Cáceres), os dois (ou três) vêm do galego medieval e nascem ambos os dois na velha Galiza, o que logo será galego é o dialecto do Conventus lucensis e o que logo será português é o dialecto do Conventus bracarensis, a norte do Douro, de onde se há expandir para a Lusitânia e depois a América, a Ásia e a África. Desde o 1380 começam as derivas que virão dar nos modernos galego e português, deriva cumprida antes de 1550.
    Dizia Castelao: a língua galega floresce em Portugal.
    Beijinhos com saudade do foro português que agora visito pouco.
     
  40. Dymn

    Dymn Senior Member

    A language with 200 million speakers? Dying out? Are you joking?

    Nowadays, it isn't as popular among foreign language learners as Spanish or French, but that doesn't mean it is dying out! Do you know what "die out" means?
     
  41. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Could your language professor possibly be a monolingual English-speaker?

    I honestly can't think of any other reason why they might hold such an opinion, other than “Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiss nichts von seiner eigenen.”
    (To paraphrase He doesn't know any foreign languages​​, knows nothing of his own mother-tongue.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  42. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    About the growing of the language, we are now more than 200 millions only Brazil, (202, 7 millions in July 2014) let aside the other countries that speak PT. And..
    source
     
  43. Nino83 Senior Member

    Italian
    O português é a língua do futuro (do subjuntivo) :D

    Joking apart, if one has to work in Europe, one has to know one of these languages: German, French (yes, before English), English, Italian, Spanish, Polish (all having more than 40 million of native speakers) while if one has to work in Latin America, one has to know Spanish or Portuguese.
     
  44. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    I think if the "masses" don't go for Portuguese they think of distribution and number of countries. They say to themselves English (58 official countries), all North America, England, Ireland, Scotland, London, New York, LA, Australia! etc. = yes, learn it now. Then French (33 countries) present on every continent, very chic indeed... continental western Europe Paris, Brussels, Geneva, Montreal, Monaco = yes learn it. Then Spanish (26 countries) millions and millions and millions of speakers... almost all Latin America is Spanish, even parts of the US and then Spain too, of course = yes, definitely better learn that one. But when these people get to Portuguese they think wow just 2 countries and a couple other islands and third world places infrequent on the agenda. Well, it's kind of like Spanish and they clearly learn English and or French too in school, so we'll just wing it with them. No need for Portuguese.
    Unfortunately this thought has made it so that Portuguese is not on the school program in most places. Pitiful and simplistic. That's clearly the thought behind the original poster, except he acquaints this to eventually dying out.
     
  45. Darth Nihilus

    Darth Nihilus Senior Member

    Santa Catarina
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Your last sentences sum up nicely the whole thread. You nailed it. :)

    I beg to differ though, on two things:

    - The masses don't go for English because it's the official language of 58 countries, but rather because it has become a global language; if you go to Thailand, for example, and you don't speak Thai, you could simply use English at any hotel. I don't suppose most hotel employees in Thailand could speak Portuguese though. Or Russian. Or Norwegian.
    - Only women find French "chic". Among men, French has a much less..erm...positive reputation. :D
     
  46. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    French is still the global language of refined high culture.
     
  47. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Germany
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Once again, EU and Europe aren't the same thing. The language with the most native speakers in Europe is Russian, even before German.
    You need Polish only if your work involves frequent contact with Poles (and even so, not always, nowadays) or if you have to go on trips to Poland. The Scandinavians (the Swedes, at least) pay full wages for several months to immigrants who are specialists in sought-after professions just so that they learn the national language before they start to work properly. Otherwise, as a tourist you get very well along with English.
    Eastern Europe: if you don't know the local language, English might not be of any help to you when speaking to elder peope, so you might try (and succeed) with Russian. With the younger, go for English mostly, except maybe Bulgaria and the Baltic states.
     
  48. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    Uai, Aninha, deu pra defender o português europeu agora?! Num tô entendendo...
     
  49. mexerica feliz

    mexerica feliz Senior Member

    Vestlandet
    português nordestino
    Portuguese is not dying out, except maybe in Cape Verde.
    Cape Verde emigrants I met while in Holland didn't speak any Portuguese, only Cape Verde creole (it's because they were born in Holland or came as small children there,
    and Portuguese is not native to Cape Verde, children need to learn it at school in order to speak it). It's even difficult to find a popular Cape Verdean song in Portuguese,
    they're all in creole...Only Capeverdean immigrants in Portugal speak Portuguese, Capeverdean immigrants in other countries (like Holland, France, US) can speak only the creole.
    So, the future of Portuguese is not bright in Cape Verde, if people need to learn it almost like a foreign language in order to know it. So, in a way, Portuguese in Cape Verde,
    is like English in India...
     
  50. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    On the other hand the future is bright for Portuguese in Angola. Modern Angolan identity is linked to Portuguese, not at all to native languages. Progress, urban life, a cohesive multi-ethnic national identity, literacy all demand Portuguese. It's now becoming the true mother tongue of Angolans of all horizons. The youth especially are Portuguese-speaking:

     

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