The world is getting progressively more diverse and our need to be included and not just be inclusive increases with it. More and more people are open to exploring new countries and cultures, vastly different from their own. National boundaries are easy enough to cross but the biggest cultural challenge that needs to be surpassed, is that of language.
Language and Culture
Language goes beyond the simple understanding of prose and grammar. Most often in everyday speaking, colloquial or local speech overrides the rules of grammar. But this should not limit a person learning the language. Speaking the local language while travelling can also ensure open conversation and a deeper understanding of their culture.
Why Learn Portuguese?
If you’re keen to pick up a new language, starting with popular dialects is the way to go. Spanish leads the pack, with Portuguese coming close behind with an estimated 230million speakers. A language like Spanish, Portuguese finds its roots in common Latin, spoken mainly during the reign of the Roman Empire. Portuguese is the sixth most popular language in the world and is the main language in eight countries. This makes it more widely spoken than German, French, Italian or even Japanese.
History of Portuguese
Portuguese is a roman language that finds its roots in Latin. It was used by roman soldiers and colonists in the Western Iberian Peninsula back in the 216 BCE. As the Roman Empire declined, so did the refinement of the language and ‘vulgar Latin’, came into use. This vulgar Latin modified further into the Galician-Portuguese language along the Atlantic Coast. The language further branched out after merging into Spain, where it became a popular choice for lyric poetry, and further developed into the modern-day Portuguese spoken today. By the 16th century, their expansion had colonized many parts of Asia, Africa and The Americas, Portuguese went on to become more widespread and common by the 19th century.
Interesting Facts About Portuguese
- Given that the language is native to populous countries like Brazil and Mozambique, most Portuguese speakers are not from Portugal.
- UNESCO has termed Portuguese as the fastest growing international communication language as it is spoken in Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe due to colonization.
- Portuguese derives a lot of influence from Islamic conquerors that came from North Africa and the Middle East in between the 8th and 13th Centuries. There are some words that have not changed to this day.
- English too makes use of a number of words for the Portuguese language, such as – cobra, fetish, and embarrass, to name a few.
- Initially the Portuguese language only had 23 letters, with K, W, and Y missing. A petition was signed in 2009 by all the Portuguese speaking people in favor of introducing the missing alphabets.
Learning Language Through Books
Besides engaging in conversations with the native tongue, another trusted way of learning a different language is by reading books. It is much easier for children to pick up a new language as their minds are much more adaptable to knowledge and learning. Translations of popular books are the best place to start, where familiarity meets comprehension. Gradually, one can move on to more advanced reading with books that are entirely new. A new language will also help inspire children and open them up to absorbing new cultures through local folklore.
The Portuguese foreign language books available on Language Lizard include a collection of Portuguese folktales, fables, multicultural stories, myths, legends, board books, and a beautifully illustrated Portuguese picture dictionary which comes with an Audio Recorder Pen.
With these beautifully drawn picture books and their bilingual copies (which are translated by professionals), it is much easier for children to learn a brand-new language. To make things even more engaging for your children, you can choose a set of commonly known stories in any native language, not just english. This customization helps with creating personalization and makes learning easier for the children.
Here are 5 ways your child benefits from learning a new language via illustrations:
1. They are shorter in length making it manageable to learn and practice.
2. Images have the propensity to unite readers with universal themes, making it easier to explore new topics.
3. Familiar fairytales and fables that are similar across the world helps the children make quick connections through pictures.
4. Visual representation for new words helps in their engagement and enhances the learning experience.
5. The aid of images helps build strong readers which ultimately enables them to navigate more complex text.
With skillfully set tools and a myriad of stories to explore both familiar and deeply cultural understandings via picture books, learning Portuguese for kids need not be a daunting affair.