Galician is a Romance language spoken by about 3 million people in Galicia, in the north-west corner of Spain. Galician is more or less mutually intelligible with Portuguese but uses Spanish spelling conventions. In fact, whether Galician and Portuguese are separate languages or dialects of the same language, is a question that has been hotly debated for decades, and is loaded with political and cultural implications.
Galician emerged as a standardised literary language during the 19th century when there was a revival (rexurdimento) in the language and culture of Galicia. One person who was particularly active in the revival movement was Frei Martín Sarmiento. The publication in 1863 of Rosalía de Castro's poem Cantares Gallegos, which was written entirely in Galician, marked the beginning of the revival in the fortunes of Galician.
During early 20th century, an organisation known as the Irmandades da Fala (Brotherhoods of the Language) was set up to defend, promote and dignify the Galician language and a number of Galician language journals began to appear. An attempt in the 1930s to give autonomy to Galicia and official status to Galician was never promulgated due to the Civil War (1936-1939), and speaking of Galician in public was banned during Franco's dictatorship (1939-1975).
Galician gained official status in 1978 and is recognised as one of Spain's five official languages (lenguas españolas), along with Spanish (Castilian), Catalan, Basque and Aranese. Primary and secondary schools in Galicia teach bilingually in Galician and Spanish, and Galician is the main medium of instruction in universities in Galicia.
Some one thousand or so books are published in Galician each year and there is a Galician TV channel, established in 1985, a Galician radio station (set up in 1996), and a daily Galician language newspaper, O Correo Galego.
In cities in Galicia more Spanish than Galician tends to be spoken, however Galician is widely-spoken in rural areas.
|A a||B b||C c||D d||E e||F f||G g||H h||I i||L l||M m||N n|
|Ñ ñ||O o||P p||Q q||R r||S s||T t||U u||V v||X x||Z z|
The letters J (iota), K (ca), W (uve dobre) and Y (i grego) are also used but only in loan words. There are also six digraphs: CH, GU, LL, NH, QU and RR. QU and GU are used only before the vowels E and I.
Tódolos seres humanos nacen libres e iguais en dignidade e dereitos e, dotados como están de razón e conciencia, díbense comportar fraternalmente uns cos outros.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about the Galician Language
Compañía de Radio- Televisión de Galicia (includes live streams)
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