Portal:Language

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The Language portal

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A language is a system of symbols, generally known as words, and the grammatical and other rules by which they are manipulated. The word language is also used to refer to the whole phenomenon of language, and in this sense language is one of several forms of human communication. The scientific study of language and languages, including their historical development, characteristics, and use in society, is the field of linguistics.

Human language is a natural phenomenon, and language learning is instinctive in childhood. In using language, people use patterns of sound or gesture to convey the words and rules of language, or they represent these patterns in codes such as writing. There are thousands of languages, historically related to each other in many language families, and they share a number of common properties. Besides using naturally acquired language, people have consciously crafted languages such as Esperanto and Klingon.

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Cantonese written in traditional Chinese (left) and simplified Chinese (right) characters
Cantonese (Chinese: 广州话), is a language spoken by Cantonese people that originated in the vicinity of Canton (i.e., Guangzhou) in southern China.

Inside mainland China, it is a lingua franca in Guangdong Province and some neighbouring areas. Outside mainland China, it is spoken by the majority population of Hong Kong and Macau in everyday life. It is also spoken by overseas Chinese communities, and it is the third most common language in the United States .

While the term Cantonese refers narrowly to the prestige dialect of Yue, it is often used in a broader sense for the entire Yue branch of Chinese, including related dialects such as Taishanese.

The Cantonese language is also viewed as part of the cultural identity for the native speakers across large swathes of southern China, Hong Kong and Macau. Although Cantonese shares much vocabulary with Mandarin Chinese, the two languages are not mutually intelligible because of pronunciation, grammatical, and also lexical differences. The two languages have been described as "roughly as similar only as English is to Dutch."

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Credit: Public domain

Seal script, also called small seal script, is an archaic style of Chinese calligraphy.

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Interactive totems in the museum allow access to multimedia information about the languages that influenced the formation of the present day Portuguese language.
The Museum of the Portuguese Language (Portuguese: Museu da Língua Portuguesa; Brazilian Portuguese: [muˈzew dɐ ˈlĩgwɐ puʁtuˈgezɐ]) is an interactive Portuguese language — and Linguistics/Language Development in general — museum in São Paulo, Brazil. It is housed in the Estação da Luz railway station, in the urban district of the same name. The choice of the building for the launching of the museum is connected to the fact that it was mainly here that thousands of non-Portuguese speaking immigrants arriving from Europe and Asia into São Paulo via the Port of Santos got acquainted with the language for the first time. The idea of a museum-monument to the language was conceived by the São Paulo Secretary of Culture in conjunction with the Roberto Marinho Foundation, at a cost of around 37 million reais.

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. Secondly, the caretakers of the museum, as expressed on the official website, "desire that, in this museum, the public has access to new knowledge and reflection in an intense and pleasurable manner," as it notices the relationship of the language with others, as well as its proto-languages. The museum targets the Portuguese speaking population, made up of peoples from many regions and social backgrounds, but who still have not had the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of the origins, the history and the continuous evolution of the language.

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Languages of the world
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Languages of Africa: Arabic, Komering, Chadic, Cushitic, Kanuri, Maasai, Setswana, Swahili, Turkana, Xhosa, Yoruba, Zulu, more...

Languages of the Americas: Aleut, Carib, Cherokee, Inuktitut, Iroquois, Kootenai, Mayan, Nahuatl, Navajo, Quechuan, Salish, American Sign Language, more...

Languages of Asia: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Hindustani, Kannada, Marathi, Korean, Kurdish, Malayalam, Mongolian, Persian, Sanskrit, Tamil, Tanchangya, Telugu, Tibetan, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, Khowar, more...

Languages of Austronesia: Austric, Fijian, Hawaiian, Javanese, Malagasy, Malay, Maori, Marshallese, Samoan, Tahitian, Tagalog, Tongan, Auslan, more...

Languages of Europe: Basque, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (book), French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, Leonese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, more...

Constructed languages: Esperanto, Ido, Volapük, more...


Language types

Agglutinative language, Analytic language, Constructed language, Creole, Context-free language, Extinct language, Dialect, Fusional language, Inflectional language, International language, Isolating language, Language isolate, National language, Natural language, Pidgin, Pluricentric language, Polysynthetic language, Proto-language, Sign language, Spoken language, Synthetic language, Variety (linguistics)


Linguistics (Outline, Portal, Book)
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Applied linguistics, Cognitive linguistics, Accent (dialect), Computational linguistics, Descriptive linguistics, Eurolinguistics, Generative linguistics, Historical linguistics, Lexicology, Lexical semantics, Morphology, Onomasiology, Phonetics, Phonology, Pragmatics, Prescription, Prototype semantics, Psycholinguistics, Semantics, Stylistics, Sociolinguistics, Syntax

See also: List of linguists


Writing systems
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Alphabets: Arabic alphabet, Cyrillic alphabet, Hebrew alphabet, Latin alphabet, more...

Other writing systems: Abjad, Abugida, Braille, Hieroglyphics, Logogram, Syllabary, SignWriting, more..

See also: History of the alphabet, Script

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