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Origin of the Galician Language
The Galician language began its existence in the eighth century in the Roman province of Gallaecia, located in today's Northwestern Spain. Researchers suspect that the language evolved from the Latin language as a result of the Roman occupation. Until the mid-twelfth century, the Galician-Portuguese was a very important and particularly highly respected regional literary language. The Iberian Peninsula troubadour lyric, for example, which is among the most important literature of this period, was written in Galician-Portuguese. During the political secession of Portugal, the linguistic unit broke up and two separate languages began to evolve. When in the sixteenth century many impoverished immigrants came from the economically weak Galicia in the South and the center of the Iberian Peninsula, their language was quickly associated with lack of education and poverty and lost its high status. The Castilian became the principal language of literature while Galician lost its significance as a written language.
It wasn't until toward the end of the eighteenth century when Galicians became more interested in their culture and language and many poets again began trying to write poetry in the Galician language. In the beginning of the twentieth century Galician was used for a variety of literary genres. The Galician language had to suffer another set back during the Franco dictatorship as its national aspirations lead to a ban on all non-Castilian languages. It was only in the late seventies, after Franco's death and the adoption of a new constitution when the linguistic diversity of Spain was recognized as an important cultural heritage and the Galician gradually reached an official equality along with the Castilian as the language of public life, local administration, and instruction. Since the eighties, Galician is now, along with Spanish, the official language of Galicia and is spoken by about three and a half million people. If you are looking for fast high quality translations from English into Galician, call us or send us your order by email or by using the quote request form on the right. We look forward to hearing from you!
Nicolette van Neer
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