The Portuguese language

Friday the 15th of April, professor Ricardo F. Reis from Universidade Católica de Lisboa gave a lecture at Brazilian Studies at Aarhus University about the importance of the Portuguese language economically today. Back in Portugal he teaches financial accounting at the MBA in Lisbon, and has previously taught both Cost, Financial Accounting and other courses in Economics and Business.

He started out by asking the audience if they know which 9 countries are Portuguese-speaking. A student helped him out: Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea-Bisseau, East Timer, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Cape Verde and São Tomé and Principe. Hereof the largest economy is Brazil, which is the 8th largest in the world. He continued by telling us there are 250 million Portuguese speakers worldwide, where 200 of them come from Brazil. It is, however, a bit uncertain whether the Portuguese is the 4th most spoken language, while some sources says otherwise.
On the internet Portuguese is the 2nd most used language, taken in consideration that Chinese language is not found on social media. “Social media is very close to Portuguese culture! It is extremely popular”, Ricardo added. In addition, he focused on topics like the ecology in languages, world trade and GDP, the economic relevance and how countries connect with languages.

Ricardo tell his own Portuguese students: “If you go to Brazil; Continue speaking Portuguese the way you do. You can adapt to the Brazilian way of speaking... Change the grammar, because the Portuguese grammar is wrong, but do not change your accent. That’s offensive and sounds wrong although you’re doing your best”.

He ended his lecture with a cheerful comment: “Hopefully i was entertaining!”, and afterwards the audience was able to ask him questions.

Thank you for your time, professor Reis!

Written by Juul van de Voort


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