Language Journey



9 Questions

What is the largest component of Portuguese vocabulary aside from Latin?

Which language is believed to have influenced Portuguese through Spanish because of Basque lineage?

Which Germanic language influenced Portuguese vocabulary, especially in toponyms and derivations, such as Aldão, Alderete, and Albergaria-a-Velha?

What is the usual onomastic system of the Galicians-Portuguese?

Which language was the elite language during the 8th to mid-13th centuries in Portugal?

How has Portuguese language been influenced by African languages?

Which Asian languages have influenced Portuguese language?

Which language spoken by indigenous Brazilians has influenced Portuguese language?

During which period was Arabic the elite language in Portugal?


Vocabulary of the Portuguese Language: Influences and Origins

  • Portuguese is a Romance language with a vocabulary mainly derived from Latin.

  • Besides Latin, Portuguese has words of Gallaecian, Celtiberian, Germanic, Greek, and Arabic origin.

  • The pre-Roman Gallaecian and Celtiberian languages left traces in Portuguese, especially in placenames and rivers.

  • The Basque influence in Portuguese, mainly through Spanish, is believed to have entered Portugal because of Basque lineage.

  • Portuguese has over 1,500 words of Celtic origin, the second largest component in the language after Latin.

  • Germanic languages, such as Suebi and Visigoths, influenced Portuguese vocabulary, especially in toponyms and derivations, such as Aldão, Alderete, and Albergaria-a-Velha.

  • There are over 600 Germanic words in Portuguese, with a tendency to increase due to modern influences.

  • Germanic names were the most common personal names in Portugal-Galicia during the early and high Middle Ages, surpassing Christian and Roman names in number and popularity.

  • The Galicians-Portuguese inherited the Germanic onomastic system from the Suevi, with a person using one name, sometimes a nickname or alias, with no surname, occasionally adding a patronymic.

  • Many Germanic names were composite, with the second element usually a noun with the same gender as the bearer.

  • Many Germanic names were transmitted to the Suevi with the usual Germanic rules of inheritance, which were variations and alliteration.

  • Many Germanic names underwent Western Romance and Galician changes from Latin, such as consonant lenition and palatalization, contributing to a large number of variants in recorded names.Toponymy and Language Influences in Portuguese History

  • Many toponyms in northern Portugal, Galicia, western Asturias and other territories were part of the Suebi kingdom.

  • The Suebi kingdom influenced several thousand toponyms such as Gondomar, Arganil, Adães e Adufe, Hildis, Tagilde, Tresmonde, Trasmil, Ermesinde and Esposende.

  • The Germanic personal names were highly influenced by the Suebi kingdom.

  • The Galician-Portuguese Medieval onomastics also included Germanic names.

  • Germanic toponymy in Galicia and Portugal is evident.

  • Arabic was the elite language during the 8th to mid-13th centuries in Portugal, while the local population continued speaking Western Romance and Mozarabic dialects.

  • Portuguese language has borrowed many words from Arabic.

  • There is a list of Portuguese words of Arabic origin.

  • Portuguese language has also been influenced by languages outside of Europe.

  • The Portuguese language has been influenced by African languages due to the slave trade.

  • The Portuguese language has also been influenced by Asian languages such as Japanese and Chinese.

  • The Portuguese language also has influences from the Tupi language spoken by indigenous Brazilians.


Test your knowledge on the origins and influences of Portuguese vocabulary with this informative quiz! Explore the various languages that have contributed to the Portuguese language, including Latin, Gallaecian, Celtiberian, Germanic, Arabic, African, and even Asian languages. Discover the impact of these languages on Portuguese toponymy and onomastics, and learn about the fascinating history of the Portuguese language. Put your language skills to the test and take this quiz now!

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