Friday, February 25, 2011

Celebrating Angola's Mother Tongue

The Portuguese language is the national language of Angola.  Spoken by more than 200 million people around the world and often described as the 'fatherland' or 'motherland' in the Portugese-speaking world, commemorations of the language were celebrated recently on February 21, International Mother Language Day.

Portuguese is the official language of eight countries - Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor - in four continents - Africa, America, Asia and Europe. Thus, the language covers a vast area of the Earth's surface (7.2% of the planet), encompassing an extraordinary diversity of lives which is reflected in the variety of dialects. It is also the fifth most spoken language on the Internet, according to Internet World Stats, with around 82.5 million internet users.



Deceased in June 2010, José Saramago, the only Portuguese-speaking winner of the Nobel prize for Literature, said that “there is no Portuguese language, but rather languages in Portuguese ”

"The Portuguese language is a combination of all the people who speak Portuguese and it is this which makes it such an interesting language, with such great elegance, elasticity and plasticity."  (Global Voices, 2011)

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