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Costa verdeMadeira


Language map PortugueseLanguage map PortuguesePhoto: Public domain

The official language in Madeira is of course Portuguese. Portuguese is a Romance language, closely related to Spanish. However, the pronunciation is very different. Portuguese has a unique sound and is immediately recognizable. Anyone who has ever listened to Fado music will recognize both the raw and melancholic of this language. Portuguese is a global language and is spoken by more than 160 million people.

Portuguese spoken in Madeira is laced with South American words due to its close contact with Brazil. Returned Madeirese emigrants from Venezuela contribute to a Spanish accent. The British presence on the island is also reflected in the language.

The letter s and z are pronounced softly like sj, as in "carros" (carrosj = cars) and "faz favor" (fasj favor = please).

So-called double sounds are indicated by a tilde above the letters a and o, as in limão (= lemon).

Some words and phrases:


Catling, C. / Madeira

Lipps, S. / Madeira

APA Publications

Schetar, D. / Madeira
Het Spectrum

Stiller, R. / Madeira
Van Reemst

Underwood, J. / Het Madeira-boek
Sunflower Books

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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