Portuguese: A Romance Language
Portuguese is a Romance language, which does not mean that it is full of loving words, but simply that it originated from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. Along with other Romance languages, Portuguese came from Vulgar Latin, which simply meant that it was the “common,” everyday speech of soldiers, farmers, settlers, and slaves of the Roman Empire.
Romance languages include Italian, French, Spanish, Galician, Romanian, and Catalan. There are also minority languages such as Occitan, Provençal, Friulian, and Ladin among many other tongues whose origins can be traced back to Latin. With the decline of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, Vulgar Latin began to change slowly, taking on the diverse features and styles of the localities where it was spoken, thus generating the incredible array of Romance languages. The Visigoths, a group of barbaric tribes that invaded the Iberian Peninsula, added to the development of Portuguese and Spanish.
Portuguese is becoming more and more popular in Asia. The number of Portuguese speakers has grown in particular in Macau, China, due to the region's increase in diplomatic and economic relations with Portugal and other Lusophone countries. Similarly, there have been reports of an increase in East Timor's Portuguese-speaking population in recent years.
In the seventh century, the Moors, an Arabic ethnic group of northern Africa, invaded the south of Spain and Portugal. The effect of the Arabic language is still found today in Portuguese and Spanish words, such as