Galician language

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RegionGalicia and adjacent areas in Asturias and Castile and León
Native speakers
2.4 million (2012)[1]
58% of the population of Galicia (c. 1.56 million) are L1 speakers (2007)[2]
Early form
Galician alphabet (Latin script)
Galician Braille
Official status
Official language in
Galicia (Spain) Official regional language. Decades of development as language of literature, including poetry and essays for all levels of education. Growing sense of ethnic identity.[3]
Regulated byRoyal Galician Academy
Language codes
ISO 639-1gl
ISO 639-2glg
ISO 639-3glg
Idioma gallego bloques y áreas lingüísticas.png
Distribution of the various dialects of Galician in Spain and the extreme north of Portugal.
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Galician (Galician: Galego) is a modern language that is spoken in the Spanish region of Galicia, in the north west of the Iberian Peninsula. Galician is closely related to Portuguese because it has the same medieval ancestor language called today by language scholars Galician-Portuguese or Medieval Galician. Some even say that Galician and Portuguese are two dialects of the same language but with different accents but most scholars say that the differences are now so great since the two languages seperated in the middle ages that they are now truly different languages and not two dialects of the same language. Galician is also very similar to the Leonese language.

Galician is a Romance language that evolved from common or vulgar Latin in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia in the north west of the Iberian Pennisula after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. This area now belongs to the Spanish regions of Galicia, the western parts of Asturias and Castile-Leon and the Norte region in northern Portugal.

Galician took most of its words from Latin, many from Spanish, and some from Germanic and Celtic.

The Galician of today comes from the Galician-Portuguese language spoken during the Middle Ages in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia. Today, Galician is spoken only in Galicia and by some people in North America, South America and Western Europe. In Jalisco, Mexico used to be Nueva Galicia and still carrying Galician accent and words in Jalisco.

Dialect or language?[change | change source]

Some people say Galician and Portuguese are too simillar to be called seperate languages and are really two dialects of the same language because there are not a lot differences between them but they are officially two separate languages. Most language scholars say they have become so different over hundreds of years that they are now really two different languages.

People that speak Portuguese from northen Portugal which is close to Galicia and people who speak Galician in Galicia can understand a lot each other says but this gets less and less the further south you go in Portugal.

References[change | change source]

  1. Galician at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. "Observatorio da Lingua Galega". Observatorio da Lingua Galega. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  3. "Ethnologue report for language code: glg". Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  4. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Galician". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.