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A Question About Gallego

kstaylor

Member
How similar to Portuguese is Gallego? I'll be walking to Santiago from Porto starting mid-April and hoping I can get by without lugging a Spanish-English dictionary with me. By the time I get to Tui my ears should certainly have adjusted to the differences between the Portuguese I learned in Brazil many years ago and the way it is spoken in Portugal. Will I be able to understand Gallego, at least enough for a basic conversation?

I've looked at the online newspaper, Galicia Hoxe, and find I can read most of it -- the main stumbling blocks are political names, acronyms, local organizations, etc. But that is not the same as hearing it. Is the Gallego 'x' pronounced like the Portuguese 'j'? Would 'hoxe' in Galicia be pronounced the same as 'hoje' in Portugal?

Thank you,
Kit Taylor
http://www.arovingvision.com
kst@arovingvision.com
 
Galician is a sort of half-way house between Portuguese and Castilian. Back in the times of the Cantigas de Sta Maria, Galicians and Portuguese used the same language, but the Portuguese deliberately accentuated the differences with Spain, so they drifted apart. Galician has the same definite articles for instance, and, yes, the 'x' is as in Portuguese, though Galician has the Castilian lisp. But it doesn't have the peculiarities of Portuguese like final 's' as 'sh' which makes Portuguese harder to understand (at least for me :) ) than Castilian. Personally, I find spoken Galician much easier to understand than Portuguese - tho I'm afraid I know nothing about the Brazilian version. And no doubt if I spent any great time in Portugal, I would soon get used to the lingo.

As Ivar suggests, try the TV or radio, tho I suspect if they think you're a foreigner Galicians will address you in Castilian anyway, not Galician

Topographically and climatically, Galicia belongs with N Portugal, not Spain. I suspect if it hadn't been for the cult of Santiago making Galicia central to the Spanish identity, Galicia might well be part of Portugal today :)

Oh, and in Galician it's Galego - Gallego is the Castilian spelling :)
 

kstaylor

Member
Ivar & Peter,

Thank you, I'll check out the TV.

",,,it doesn't have the peculiarities of Portuguese like final 's' as 'sh' which makes Portuguese harder to understand (at least for me :) ) than Castilian."

In Brazil it is just pronounced as a final 's' -- one of the most notable differences between the two versions of Portuguese. It threw me for a while when I was in Portugal in 1980. It took me about three days to tune my ears to understand it well, although the Portuguese understood me right off.

"...I suspect if they think you're a foreigner Galicians will address you in Castilian anyway, not Galician" -- until they hear my clumsy attempts at Castilian, :)


"Oh, and in Galician it's Galego - Gallego is the Castilian spelling" Thank you -- that explains why I was confused about the spelling.

Kit Taylor
http://www.arovingvision.com
kst@arovingvision.com
 

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