The Future of Portuguese: Is it dying out?

Tagarela

Senior Member
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.:
 
  • 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.
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    e.ma

    Senior Member
    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)
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    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."
     

    funnyhat

    Senior Member
    American English
    Sorry for not responding, guys; I didn't mean to offend anyone, and these certainly aren't my opinions. The woman was an associate professor of Indo-European studies, and she does a lot of research about the growth of languages. She cited the fact that American schools do not teach Portuguese as a reason why Portuguese as a secondary language will not survive.

    I will send her a link to WR and see what she says. Until next time, my friends.
    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:

    palomnik

    Senior Member
    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:

    More od Solzi

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    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.
    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.
     

    Fernando

    Senior Member
    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. ???
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    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!
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    gentilhom

    Senior Member
    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...
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    Português/ Brasil
    Languages may have lots of users but have no cultural or political influence at all.
    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:
    As language departments are downsized, or cut altogether in U.S. universities, the demand for Portuguese is growing. Although Portuguese has always been an important world language, it has only recently been recognized as an important language for business and international relations.
    http://languagemagazine.com/?page_id=3630

    So, nothing like money to make a language important Gentilhom!
     

    Guajara-Mirim

    Senior Member
    Français
    I was talking to a language professor who told me that Portuguese no longer serves any purpose, that it is an "archaic" language, and it is destined to serve no purpose in the future. She also said that it is not in a person's best interest to learn it since it is hardly used, except in Brazil and Portugal. Realistically, she mentioned that Portuguese has no distinct advantage that will make it a language that will survive for years to come.

    What is your opinion on this topic? Is Portuguese one of the world's leading language, or could it be forgotten with little impact on the globe?
    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.

    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!
    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:

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    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.
    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?
     

    gentilhom

    Senior Member
    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:

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    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.
    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:

    Guajara-Mirim

    Senior Member
    Français
    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.
    Sono d'accordo, Nino. :thumbsup:
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    Português/ Brasil
    Português é a língua da moda e do emprego na China
    Português já é a segunda nota mais alta de entrada em algumas universidades chinesas. Dentro de cinco anos, depois dos países Lusófonos, será a China quem mais fala português.

    "A China olha para o longo prazo. Ao perceber que havia mudanças na geopolítica começou a apostar no ensino do português, porque tem muita população jovem", disse ao Expresso, Ana Paula Laborinho, presidente do Instituto Camões.
    Carlos André confirma a "ideia de que aprender português é uma garantia de empregabilidade. Os estudantes chineses acham que lhes abre portas no jornalismo, na diplomacia e nas empresas".


    Chinese people have vision of the future.


     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    I would very much disagree. Portugese is the most spoken language in South America and with Brazil having a population of approaching 200 million it will be a major language in years to come (if it isn't already). It also has a rich literary tradition, and to me is a very nice language, definitely worth learning.
    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:

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    ...
    1. English
    2. Chinese
    3. Spanish?
    4. Arabic (all varieties)?
    5. French?
    6. Hindi/Urdu?
    7. ???
    8. ???
    9. ???
    10. ???
    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.
     

    almostfreebird

    Senior Member
    Born and raised in Japón, soy japonés
    I think if many people thought like your teacher, the world would be a sad place.

    I don't understand how someone can say that Portuguese is not a language worth learning, not only due to the large quantity of people who speak it (not only in Brazil and Portugal, let's not forget Madeira, Cabo Verde, Angola, Mozambique...) but because if she thinks this way about Portuguese, what does she think of languages such as Dutch or Rumantsch (to say two random languages spoken by minor populations?.)


    I can't understand the logics behind your teacher's diatribe.

    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
     

    ESustad

    Senior Member
    English - (Minnesota)
    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.
    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:

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    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.
    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.
     

    Nanon

    Senior Member
    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.
    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.
    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 think that all languages are in danger of dying out because of English-Globish. <...> 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.
    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:

    Inglés y español, los idiomas del futuro.
    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:

    EDIT for relevance: In the case of Portuguese, its future lies in Brazil. The language's geographic reach and diversity should guarantee its survival.
    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.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (US Northeast)
    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.
    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?
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    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?

    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.
     

    Stoggler

    Senior Member
    UK English
    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.
    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.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (US Northeast)
    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.
    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..... ;)
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    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)
     

    XiaoRoel

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    XiaoRoel

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    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?
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    ... Is Portuguese one of the world's leading language, or could it be forgotten with little impact on the globe?
    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:

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    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..
    Third most spoken European language (after English and Spanish), fastest growing language of Europe (with Spanish). source
    Universities admit that they are having difficulty keeping up with the increased interest in Portuguese. Last fall, Yale Daily News reported: “With Brazil becoming a global economic power, more and more students are signing up for ‘Elementary Portuguese,’ but Yale’s tiny Portuguese program does not have enough teachers to go around — or the means to hire new ones.”
    source
     

    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.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    Darth Nihilus

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    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.
    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
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    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.
    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.
     

    mexerica feliz

    Senior Member
    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...
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (US Northeast)
    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...
    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:

    ..... a maioria dos jovens em idade escolar já só fala português e não domina nenhuma língua nativa.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top