Galego – Galician

  • Region:

    Galicia - Spain
  • Origin:

  • Speakers:

    ca. 2,5 million

What is the origin of Galician (galego)?
Galician (galego) is derived from the Latin spoken in the northwest of Hispania; as a Romance language it is part of the same family as Castilian (Spanish), Catalan, French, Italian and other Romance languages. It is a language closely related to Portuguese, both of which had virtually the same history until the middle of the 16th century. Despite a divergent history since the Middle Ages, even today Galician and Portuguese are mutually intelligible almost without effort.

Where is Galician (galego) spoken and how many people speak it?
Galician (galego) is spoken in the Autonomous Community of Galicia (Spain), located in the northwest of the Iberian peninsula, and neighboring regions of the provinces of Asturias, León and Zamora. It is also spoken by emigrant communities in America, Europe an Spain. In all, around two and a half million people speak it, being the first language of around one and a half million of these, who use it regulary in their daily lives.

What is the current situation of Galician (galego)?
Two languages are spoken in Galicia. Galician (galego), the land’s own language and Castilian (or Spanish, spoken all over Spain). Historically, Castilian was the dominant social and cultural language. Today Galician (galego) is recognized with the status of oficial language of Galicia, and increasingly present in the educational system, the mass media and public life. It is the first language of the majority of the habitants of Galicia. It is also the most used in daily life.

What is the level of development of Galician (galego)?
Although it had a brilliant literary past in the Middle Ages, Galician (galego) was reduced to a spoken language for centuries. In the 19th century, a shining poetic cultivation began, in the early 20th century an important literary production was developed and in the last few decades an important editorial (1,500 new titles in Galician each year on average) and audiovisual production has grown up. Galician also has a notable presence on the internet.

Where is Galician (galego) studied?
The study of Galician language (galego) and literature is compulsory in Galicia in all levels of pre-university education. The three Galician universities (A Coruña, Santiago and Vigo) offer degrees in Galician language and literature. There are also chairs and departments of Galician (galego) studies in more than forty universities around the world.

  • Post category:Languages