The ten languages of Portugal

1 - Portuguese. Official language for a long time (although not as long as you think) and some people call it Galician.

2 - Portuguese Sign Language. The relations between the sign languages are several and each one has a vocabulary, a grammar and even regionalisms and even dictionaries and norms. Behold now: this language is referred to by name in our constitution.

3 - Mirandese, that language spoken by a few thousand people over there, in a corner of the country… I know there are many who don’t understand what the point is of forcibly preserving an ancient language, but it is part of the history of our nation.

4 - Cape Verdean (or “kabuverdianu”). One of the Portuguese’s descendants. In day-to-day life, we call it Creole (which, in fact, is not the name of the language, but rather the type of language). Cape Verdean has rules like any other language, its own vocabulary, and is already starting to have some dictionaries and grammars - however, it is not yet official in Cape Verde. In Portugal, it is spoken by immigrants and Portuguese of Cape Verdean origin.

5 - Barranquenho. This Alentejan language, stuck almost in the middle of Andalusia, has even been studied by a great linguist: José Leite de Vasconcelos.

6 - Minderico. This is a curious language, spoken there in the middle of the Aire and Candeeiros Mountains. It began as a secret code for merchants to communicate without anyone noticing. Over the years, it has become a language used by many people, in all social contexts, in these mountain communities. Many will find it unreasonable to include this in a list of languages.

7 - Caló Português. This is the language of many gypsies, which will have a Portuguese base and much vocabulary from Romani.

8 - Romani. This is the Indo-Iranian language of many European Gypsies. If most Portuguese gypsies will speak Chaloo (when they are not speaking in Portuguese, of course), that is: we have Portuguese people who speak a language related to Persian. Curious, isn’t it?

9 - Galician. Proof that the division between Galician and Portuguese has a lot to live up to, there are areas of Portugal, just over the border, that speak Galician. The linguistic border between Portugal and Galicia is very porous. Much more than some Portuguese imagine.

10- Asturian. Asturian has its own name around here: it is Mirandese, considered one of the dialects of Mirandese as “standard Mirandese” and another, Sendinense, as Asturian.

How many languages does your country have?