Galego

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Ibero-Romance language spoken in Galicia. It is the ancestor language of Portuguese. However, Portuguese is more conservative than Galego, which e.g. lost /Z/.

The phonemes of Galego:

/i/        /u/
 /e/      /o/
  /E/   /O/
     /a/


/p, b/

/t, d/

/k, g/

/tS/

/m/

/n/

/n_j/

/f/

/s/

/S/

/r/

/R/ as in Spanish perro

/l/

/l_j/

/k/

/w/

It was considered provincial and was not widely used for literary or academic purposes until the mid 1800s, and during the Franco regime in Spain it was heavily repressed. However, Galicia's current government, the Xunta de Galicia, promotes its use heavily, and requires it to be taught in public schools. While it is a minority language, it is heavily used by its people (according to some estimates, by over 95% of its population), which may be due to the strong pride in Galician culture.

Its orthography, regularized in the "Ortografía Normalizada" introduced in 1982 (and made law in 1983) by the "Instituto da Lengua Galega" (Institute for the Galician Language) is strongly based on Castilian, both representing the Castilian influence in its pronunciation and aiding the citizens of Galicia, who prior to this were almost strictly literate in Spanish. It remains a source of contention, however, as many citizens would rather recognize Galician's strong relation to Portuguese through the use of a Portuguese-based writing system, similar to that used by Galician writers in medieval times.

Its status as a separate language, once imperiled, is almost certainly assured, due to its status as official language and to the strong movement to protect Galician culture and language. The Spanish government recognized Galician as one of Spain's five official languages (the others being Castilian, Catalan, Valencian, and Basque.)