A recent report has revealed that Portuguese is now the third most commonly used language on Facebook. Not only is Portuguese the third-most used language on the social media website, it also growing rapidly. Portuguese has overtaken English as the fastest-growing language used on Facebook. Facebook is now a truly globally interconnected and multi-cultural social network, and the spread of different major languages on the site reflects that – although other developments indicate that small languages and dialects are suffering online as people turn to more commonly spoken languages in order to communicate internationally.
The widespread use of Portuguese has led to (and partly been caused by) increased interactions and trade with China. As both China and Brazil in particular develop and grow into more significant world powers, their economies are finding more room to do business with each other. However, there have at times been tensions within China itself, with regular complaints from Portuguese media in Macau that the Chinese government does not provide them with the same information it releases to Chinese media reporters. Signatures are being collected for a petition encouraging the Chinese government to offer translations of all the source information they provide in Chinese.
It’s often forgotten that the Portuguese Empire was at one time the most powerful in the world and spread across Asia, Africa and the Americas. In the US recently, George Washington University held a celebration of the Portuguese language to which the Angolan ambassador was invited. Ambassador Alberto Ribeiro gave a speech highlighting the achievements of Portuguese language literature from all Portuguese-speaking countries around the world, and also gave encouragement to organizations planning similar events for the future to encourage the learning of Portuguese language and fostering of diverse Portuguese-influenced cultures.
In other international news, Pakistani students with a knowledge of Portuguese are being encouraged to take up scholarships being offered by the Brazilian government. Brazilian Ambassador Alfredo Leoni is actively encouraging the Pakistani National University of Modern Languages to establish a department for Portuguese in order to encourage and facilitate a more widespread knowledge and use of the language amongst Pakistanis.