Galaico-Portuguese was a prestigious literary language whose richness and refinement was particularly appreciated by Alphonse X, king of Castille. His grandson Dom Denis 'the Poet-King' introduced Portuguese, which replaced Latin as the official language and vessel of knowledge represented by the new University of Coimbra. Literary Portuguese is the fruit of a subtle mixture which took place in the 14th century between Galaico-Portuguese and the dialects of Coimbra and Lisbon. The language of major explorers (Dias, Cabral, Vasco da Gama and Magellan), Portuguese went around the world and became a language of exchange in the 15th century, then a diplomatic and commercial language in the 16th and 17th centuries, also becoming literary with the "Luisadas" of Camoens - particularly open to overseas influence.
The first European language spoken in the world and present on all five continents for centuries, with 200 million speakers Portuguese is still the most important geolinguistic group in the world today along with English and Spanish (according to the geographic dispersion of speakers in the world). Following Brazil's lead, the Portuguese-speaking world is in full demographic and economic expansion, making Portuguese a language full of promise.
Official language of the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries) (8 member states, 5 of which are in Africa)
Classification by family:
Indo-European>Latin>Western Roman>Northern Ibero-Romance>Portuguese