Portuguese trivia

While we wait for my pictures, here are some trivia on the Portuguese’s contribution to the world:

  • the Louvre pyramide was built by a Portuguese construction company
  • Portuguese is the second language of Johannesburg in South Africa, of Newark, NJ, of Luxembourg, and of Caracas, Venezuela
  • The Portuguese were in Japan trading and discussing theology with Buddhist monks generations before other European countries even knew of its existence. Some words still current in Japanese come from Portuguese, like “orrigato”, from “obrigado”, meaning “thank you”
  • they introduced tempura into Japan
  • they taught the Japanese how to construct buildings that would withstand both artillery attack and earthquake – the Portuguese-built city of Nagasaki withstood the atomic bomb of 1945 a lot better than Hiroshima
  • the Portuguese brought the chili plant to India, allowing for the invention of “curry”
  • Portuguese is by far the most difficult of the Latin languages to master
  • it is also the third most spoken European language after English and Spanish, and before French and German
  • most “Italian” trattorias in London are run by Portuguese, as well as many “French” restaurants in Paris
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Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

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