Learn Galician

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About Galician

Galician is an official language of the region of Galicia, where 56% of the population speak it as their first language. It is more commonly a first language of the older generation than the younger. Its vocabulary predominantly comes from Latin, with a few Germanic and Celtic influences. Galician is closely related to Portuguese: they are about 85% mutually understandable. There are some linguists who argue that Galician is a dialect of Portuguese, although most agree that they both developed separately from a common ancestral language.

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Fun facts — Galician

  • If you meet a Galician abroad, you may hear them complain of 'morriña', a sense of homesickness and nostalgia for their native land.
  • The Galician words for 'the' are single vowels - 'o' for masculine nouns and 'a' for feminine nouns'. So 'o coche' is 'the car' and 'a estación' is 'the station'.
  • Galician was banned under Franco's reign and all official communication had to take place in Spanish. In 1983, the language made it back into schools in the region.

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