I came across an interesting report in the New York Times today in which they talk about the recent opening of The Museum of the Portuguese Language (Museu da Língua Portuguesa) in São Paulo, Brazil. The objective of the museum is to create a living representation of the Portuguese language, where visitors may be surprised and educated by unusual and unfamiliar aspects of their own native language. The report also mentions that inspite of having more native speakers than French, German, Italian or Japanese, the Portuguese language is often overlooked by the rest of the world.
On a related matter, I’ve noticed that quite a few of the Brazilians I know think their version of Portuguese is inferior to the Portuguese spoken in Portugal. This quite surprised me as I personally prefer the sounds of Brazilian Portuguese, and it was the singing of Astrud Gilberto on a Stan Getz album that first attracted me to the language.
In case you’re wondering, lusophilia is the love of Portugal or the Portuguese language. The Luso- part comes from the Roman province of Lusitania, which occupied the same area as modern Portugal and part of Spain.