“Some of the more important topics today and throughout the twenty-first century, related to social issues, development, the economy and the environment, will be central to the geographical areas in which the Portuguese language is spoken,” said Paulo Mendes Pinto.
The researcher and a professor at the University of Luvona spoke to the Lusa agency, waiting for the conference “Portuguese as a language of science and culture”, to be held in Lisbon, next Wednesday, as UNESCO celebrates the International Day of the Portuguese Language, in 2019..
He explained, “The biggest challenge that our species faces in the coming years in the field of environment is the Amazon, and in development issues it is South America and Africa.”
In this context, he added, “Portuguese can become a language of science” in regions where it appears as a “possibility for dialogue.”
Paulo Mendes Pinto noted the strong growth of the scientific community in Portuguese-speaking countries, believing that Portuguese could gain a space in a region where the common language is English.
“As a language of culture, it has been fully established and the biggest challenge now is to confirm Portuguese as the language of science,” he said.
For the researcher, “the question is to understand how Portuguese can be converted into a scientific language without being a struggle against the English language.”
“The Portuguese, Brazilian, Angolan or Mozambican scientific communities are growing and we can create increasingly strong links and knowledge network between universities and academics,” he said, communicating and publishing in Portuguese.
For the professor at the University of Lucerne, in this way “it will be possible to emphasize the Portuguese language as a scientific language” that unites the scientific community and which, being marginal, “the Portuguese language can be used as a distinction and as an element that unites the different parts”.
Regarding the dedication of May 5th as the International Day of the Portuguese Language, Paulo Mendes Pinto considered the distinction to be “symbolic above all,” which is now up to countries to promote it.
“Creating this day is to recognize the place of Portuguese in the world of the future. It is a language that grows frankly, whether in Africa or in South America, in immigrant communities around the world. It is one of the languages with greater potential in the future, especially in the southern hemisphere.”
He added, “It is a language that can be very important in cultural dialogue between countries. This world day represents a challenge for Portuguese speakers to occupy this space, which is located in an ideal location from a geostrategic, geopolitical, geo-economic and cultural geo-cultural point of view.”
Paulo Mendes Pinto, on the other hand, noted that the “extremely negative” view that existed 20 or 30 years ago about the loss of Portuguese to local languages or English in Portuguese-speaking countries such as Angola or Mozambique did not. Come true.
He said, “It has been found that in these countries Portuguese has established itself as a common language between societies, geography and ethnicities,” ensuring that “Portuguese is the language of the future” in these countries.
World Portuguese Language Day is celebrated for the second time, hybrid, in person and “online”, and the program includes more than 150 activities in 44 countries on all continents, in addition to an official ceremony from Lisbon.
In 2019, UNESCO declared May 5 International Day of the Portuguese Language, at the suggestion of all Portuguese-speaking countries, with the support of 24 other countries, including countries such as Argentina, Chile, Georgia, Luxembourg or Uruguay.
Portuguese is spoken by more than 260 million people on five continents, and it is estimated that in 2050 that number will increase to nearly 400 million, and in 2100, to more than 500 million, according to United Nations estimates.
Projections for the end of the century indicate that the largest increase in the number of speakers will be recorded on the African continent, specifically in Angola, which should have a population of more than 170 million, and Mozambique, which has more than 130 people. Million people.
It is the most widely spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere and the fourth most spoken language in the world as a mother tongue, after Mandarin, English and Spanish, according to the Portuguese Language Monitor.
It is also the fifth language used on the Internet.
Globally, 3.7% of the world’s population speaks Portuguese, which is the official language of the nine countries in the Group of Countries (CPLP) and in Macau.
The value of the Portuguese-speaking economies combined is around 2,700 million euros, which would make this group the sixth largest in the world, if it were a country, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Portuguese-speaking countries account for 3.6% of the world’s wealth, 5.48% of global offshore platforms, 16.3% of global availability of freshwater reserves, 10.8 million km2.
Portuguese is also the official or working language of about 20 international organizations, including the European Union, African Union, UNESCO, CPLP, World Health Organization (WHO), Mercosur, Organization of American States (OAS), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Or the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
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