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Speak Portuguese in Spain – Observer



Speak Portuguese in Spain - Observer

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On Sunday, May 8th, I finished my first tour of Seville. I was lucky to be recommended at this time of the year, during a big fair – a kind of Goleg – that takes place in the Triana area. Wandering the streets of this beautiful city, I could not help thinking how lucky Seville was not to suffer from the catastrophe that befell Lisbon in November 1755. According to Mark Molesky, we can conclude that Lisbon in 1754, known as “little Rome”, would have equaled or surpassed it in grandeur.

It was fun to speak Portuguese in Seville, as it was in Barcelona, ​​Madrid. and in the Basque Country. The truth is that if we make an effort, the Spanish will accept and understand Portuguese if we speak slowly, clearly saying what we want to say. After all, if we don’t speak Portuguese to the Spaniards, who will do it for us? I am not criticizing our tendency to speak “Portuguese” – indeed, many words are similar. I regard this inclination of ours as a courtesy on our part.

Spaniards have reason to be proud of their culture. A person can only be blinded by looking at the gigantic cathedral and its Giralda, the palace of the House of Telmo, the contents of the palace of the Countess Lebrija, the Real Alcazar of Pedro I of Castile and the beautiful and dangerous spectacle of a bullfight. on foot with wild bulls without filed horns – although sometimes the slaughter of a bull in the arena, when it is done imperfectly, reveals obvious suffering on the part of the bull, already with a sword stuck in it.

However, a significant part of Spain’s national pride is associated with quicksands, almost mythological. The Spaniards like to think they were great maritime discoverers – they talk about the “race” of maritime discovery between Portugal and Spain in the 16th century, saying they were the ones who discovered Brazil – they even change the name of one of our somewhat great ones, Fernand de Magalhaes, emphasizing that from 1518 he became a subject of Charles V, as if this had anything to do with the feat he had accomplished.


Everything Magalhães knew about navigation, he learned in Portugal. It could only, given that in 1519, when they began their circumnavigation, the Portuguese had already reached Brazil, West Africa, East Africa, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, India, Southeast Asia and China, and the Spaniards were still only able to move between Europe and America. The only sea we did not cross was the Pacific Ocean.

In fact, according to Pigafetta, it can be concluded that Magellan’s circumnavigation was more difficult because it was made in the service of the crown of Castile, since not only the ships entrusted to him were of lower quality than those used for sailing in service. Portuguese crown, since the start of the voyage was delayed because the neighboring kingdom did not have enough capable navigators for a voyage of this magnitude and, therefore, had to resort to hiring foreigners. Without Magellan, as well as without the luck of the Genoese Columbus, who knocked on their door after our Perfect Prince sent him for a walk, the Spaniards would not have reached America and would not have participated in the first circumnavigation of the world.

Columbus himself, as Rebecca Katz wrote, learned everything he knew about navigation in Portugal. I could only because when Cristovan started visiting his cartographer brother Bartolomeu in Lisbon in the 70s of the 15th century, we had already arrived in Angola, and before 1492, more precisely in 1488, Dias had already crossed the Cape of Good Hope. In fact, as Roger Crowley wrote, it was the return of Dias that made João II definitively reject Cristovan, who had meanwhile married a Madeiran noblewoman Filipa Perestrelo in 1479 and took part in the mission to build a fort. San Jorge da Mina in 1482. It was in these wanderings that he came up with the idea of ​​finding an alternative route to “India”, which he first proposed to the Portuguese monarch in 1483.

One of our mistakes was that we killed our king and his eldest son, in 1908. The end of the monarchy two years later led to a clean attitude towards our past. Today the Portuguese is asked to whom he owes his freedom, and the answer is April 25th. We forget that we owe our freedom to a series of outstanding personalities that began even before Afonso Henriquez. First of all, the freedom to speak our language and not be forced to speak Castilian like all other peoples in the Iberian Peninsula, be they Catalans, Galicians, Valencians or Basques.

Even the much publicized Iberian Union, which our neighbors never forgot, to the point of continuing to think they were the “owners” of Portugal, is a poorly told story. Anyone looking on the Internet can find a map of the “Spanish Empire”, which includes, since 1580, Portugal and the Portuguese Empire. But, as J. H. Elliot explained, even after we were conquered by the Duke of Alba – and it is true that our elites who were present in the Regency Council, although they did not publicly admit it, were already in favor of the Iberian Union. before Alba came to Lisbon – the draft was passed only after the ratification of 25 articles, a series of concessions that kept Portugal as a de facto autonomous state.

Philip I of Portugal should spend as much time as possible in the kingdom and, if forced to leave, he must hand over the viceroy to a member of the royal family or to a Portuguese. A council of Portugal shall be appointed to conduct all its business in Portuguese. Positions in Portugal and its colonies should only be granted to the Portuguese, and the Portuguese should be appointed to royal houses. Although customs barriers between Portugal and Castile were abolished, Portugal retained its own currency. And trade with his empire would remain solely in the hands of the Portuguese.

The Spaniards “controlled”, so to speak, the Netherlands (1506-1581) and Belgium (1506-1714) longer than Portugal. And Portugal, unlike those countries that are more advanced today than we are, became an independent kingdom in 1128 (the Netherlands in 1581, Belgium in 1830). If we exclude 60 years of Filipe’s reign, we get 834 years of independence. It is a privilege for which the scale of the necessary effort eludes us today. As Anthony Disney said, without the empire, Portugal would not exist today. And the empire was nothing more than a huge effort to preserve our sovereignty. We had Spanish kings, and the Spaniards in the eighteenth century had French kings. However, during the later Napoleonic invasions, we did not lose our sovereignty, unlike the Spaniards.

For about 100 years, between the mid-1480s and 1580s, Portugal dominated the seas of the world. It is unlikely that, especially after the reign of Manuel I (r. 1495-1521), there was a force on the globe capable of challenging the power of our fleet. In total, Portugal will eventually finance about 50 offshore discoveries. Spain will end up funding only about 10. The numbers for establishing maritime trade routes are also unprecedented. The Dutch also became a maritime power thanks to the knowledge they acquired with us, both in cartography and in shipbuilding techniques. Jan Huygen van Linschoten, a Dutch spy, traveled through the East Indies under Portuguese control and published in Europe important information about Asiatic trade and shipping, which was supported secretly by the Portuguese.

Ever since our academy was purged in 1975 when power moved to the street, it has become fashionable in Portugal to be ashamed of our history. Spinola has already warned of the danger posed to our sovereignty by replacing patriotism with internationalist Marxism. In his pamphlet Portugal and the Future, General de Abril also mentions the dangers of an increasingly ubiquitous state that will make us childish. Today the Belgians and the Dutch, as well as the French and Spaniards, not to mention the British, are immensely proud of their history. With the exception of France, itself a form of presidential republican monarchy, all of these countries are constitutional monarchies. It is imperative, without neglecting the less pure sides of our past, to realize that we were great and that we can still be, if we recognize that we had and that we continue to have this ability, as a free and independent nation-state, where Portuguese is still spoken.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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