The Most Common Language Down South

What's the most commonly spoken language in the Southern hemisphere?

And the answer is: Portuguese

The Southern hemisphere contains about a third of the Earth's land, with about 11% of the world's population. The most spoken language is Portuguese, which is an official language in Brazil, followed by Spanish and Javanese.

Portuguese is an ancient language. It initially developed in Portugal after Roman settlers introduced Latin to Portugal in third century BCE. It wasn't until 1290 that the language became distinct from an evolution of Latin and assumed the title "Portuguese". Nowadays, Portugal occupies only a small fraction of the world's Portuguese speakers. The majority reside in Brazil: 99% of the 207 million residents speak Portuguese. There are more Portuguese speakers in Brazil than all other Portuguese speaking countries combined!

Fun fact:

Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese didn't share spelling conventions until 1990. When Brazil declared their independence from Portugal in 1822, the geological distance ultimately led to two different systems of grammatical convention. It wasn't until 1990 that both countries signed the Orthographic Agreement of 1990, agreeing to standardize and therefore better organize the language. In 2009, however, another amendment was passed to the unified language that added three letters (K, W, and Y) to the Portuguese alphabet. That means the language is still evolving, and has been for thousands of years!

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