Guinean Portuguese

Guinean Portuguese

Guinean Portuguese (Português Guineense in Portuguese) is a Portuguese dialect spoken in Guinea-Bissau. It is the official language and one of the national languages of Guinea-Bissau.

Portuguese was used as a communication between Portuguese settlers and different black tribes (most are Fulas, Mandingos, Mandyakos, and Balante) before the nation became a permanent Portuguese overseas territory. Portuguese speakers were large during Portuguese rule, although mestiços and most blacks speak Portuguese Creole called Guinea-Bissau Creole, which is a more widely spoken lingua franca of the nation. After independence, when most Portuguese left, Portuguese speakers were reduced to less than 10% because of civil war that affected education, although it remained the official language of the country. When Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries was founded in 1996, it helped Guinea-Bissau in education aside from peace talks there. Many Portuguese and PALOP (mostly Angolan) teachers entered to increase Portuguese fluency among blacks. In 2005, to increase Portuguese fluency more, there was an agreement between Guinean officials and Instituto Camões, which has a center first in the capital, Bissau, to open centers in other towns of the country: Canchungo, Ongoré, Mansoa, Bafatá, Gabú, Buba, Catió, Bolama, Bubaque, and Quinhamel. The Portuguese speakers increased to 14%.

Guinean dialect was an Old Portuguese similar to Brazilian Portuguese, but even it is understandable to Brazilian dialect when it is heard from Brazilian TV stations, government and schools require students to learn modern Standard European Portuguese, like people of Portugal, Macau, East Timor, and the rest of PALOP do. So Guinean accent is more similar to European than Brazilian dialects. Spelling and grammar are also European.

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