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How's Portugese taken in Macau? Maybe I haven't heard much but so far, I haven't heard any usage of Portugese language in Macau as of yet (maybe from foreigners from Portugal or Brazil or portugese-speaking territories).

Which reminds, is Portugese taken seriously in Macau? I mean most signage has it........but do Chinese in Macau speak Portugese?

Describe to me the presence and proliferation of Portugese in Macau?

So I assume a Chinese policeman can speak Portugese? Yes? No? (hehe come to think of it, it would be something to see a Chinese person speak a European language like Portugese.......hehe just saying :p)

Btw:
Most names of streets and roads are in Portugese, right? If so, does every name of street or road or place that is in Portugese have a Cantonese or Chinese name???

For instance (here's a hard example):
Estrada Governador Albano de Oliveira

Let's see how the Cantonese can make a name out of that hehe :lol:
 

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I doubt if anyone you confront someone at random on the street can speak Portuguese. Even before the handover, I doubt the chances would be high either. The Portuguese were rather low-profile in this part of the Far East, and their colony survived quite well in good relations with China compared to the British in Hong Kong.





I believe all streets should have Portuguese names. For those who live in Macau, is that also the case for the new roads in the reclaimed lands (ie. Venetian & area)?
 

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There is only 1 Portuguese school in Macau, and I think all Portuguese, Macanese speaks near perfect Cantonese.

No, Portuguese isn't taken seriously in Macau, the Portuguese signs etc, will probably go away soon.
 

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Yeah, when i went to macau, I saw some portugese people living there. Its quite interesting actually. I wonder what they think of the place they are living in, since it wasn't exactly theirs to start with, yet their culture is evident in road signs and the buildings
 

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Yeah, when i went to macau, I saw some portugese people living there. Its quite interesting actually. I wonder what they think of the place they are living in, since it wasn't exactly theirs to start with, yet their culture is evident in road signs and the buildings
The Portugese in Macau are probably 2nd or 3rd generation Portugese, and besides their looks, are very much a Chinese now.
 

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Unbelievable the quantity of mistakes I read in this topic! Most of you guys or you don't live in Macau, or you are far very far to know what is the reality of the territory.

First and foremost, Portuguese is part of the identity of Macau, and no matter it hurts you, if you don't understand that, you don't understand this place identity (remove the signs in Portuguese, translate it to English and this city will look in the pictures as Hong Kong).

Blackraven, the Portuguese is the official language of Macau. If the Chinese can speak it or not, the ones working in public services have to. Of course the proliferation is not great, never been (the colonial government never obligate the Chinese to speak the language), but you've more people speaking Portuguese in Macau today compared to ten years ago. Be reminded that Macau was chosen by Central Government to be the platform between China and Portuguese speaking countries. This year you had 5,000 new Chinese students learning Portuguese. The interest is not going down.

Of course with the Casino booming the English quickly became the automatic second language in the local casino world and soon there were calls for it to gain an even more important footing in Macau. Outside legal firms eying the increasingly lucrative local market as well as expatriate businessmen (the yanks, the aussies and a few brits) continue to lobby the Government to translate local legislation into English.

Others go as far as claiming that the territory should have just gone with English as its second official-language, right from the start – conveniently ignoring the fact that most local residents still don’t speak a word of it.
We all know too that we have many cowboys in town!

mrfusion, your signature says a lot about your comments. No offense mate. There is just one Portuguese school in Macau, you're right (!), but you have 5 others teaching you in Portuguese. You have 8 others teaching you in English... not too bad!

Anyway your comments remind many I heard before. But we all know that Beijing people can see the importance of the Portuguese language more clearly than the Macau people...

Let me remind you at the Macau Legislative Assembly, Portuguese language was repeatedly used as scapegoat by lawmakers for all the juridical problems MSAR faced. It all changed with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s visit, last November, in what was a clear signal of Beijing’s support for the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, known as Macau Forum. Two weeks later, several lawmakers rushed to jump on the bandwagon, urging that the Government promote Portuguese language and cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries. This U-turn shows a frightening narrow-mindedness and cue-taking.

Let's never forget that the law in Macau is based in the Portuguese law. Let's not be invaded by the common law, Macau has an identity and although it might not be visible Portuguese is still important for Macau and Chinese foreign policy.

jlvillalba, if you try your Portuguese skills with the bus driver or in a casino, yes you won't be successful (probably if you try in English, or even in Mother language Mandarin you wont be successful too!). Try a public service for example! And yes, a policeman has to speak Portuguese, or else, how can he read your rights?

The Portuguese will stay in Macau until the day Beijing says is enough. And knowing the Central Government respect for the agreements they done in the past, the Portuguese will stay till 2049 and beyond (as a cultural object). Anyway the Cantonese and the Traditional Chinese are in no different situation (better shape I agree). Sooner or later they will also disappear to give room to Mandarin and simplified Chinese...

E agora, em português, me despeço de todos, esperando que agora estejam mais esclarecidos.
 

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Unbelievable the quantity of mistakes I read in this topic!
You should have join the forum 3 months ago.

Most of you guys or you don't live in Macau, or you are far very far to know what is the reality of the territory.
that is true.

Blackraven, the Portuguese is the official language of Macau.
no body challenge that, but challenged its importance.

If the Chinese can speak it or not, the ones working in public services have to.
jlvillalba, if you try your Portuguese skills with the bus driver or in a casino, yes you won't be successful (probably if you try in English, or even in Mother language Mandarin you wont be successful too!). Try a public service for example! And yes, a policeman has to speak Portuguese, or else, how can he read your rights?
It is actually quite interesting to know all police has to speaks Portuguese, I going have to ask some when I visit Macau later this year.

So are you saying the police is going to read your right to the Chinese in Portuguese? No.

How often does the police need to use Portuguese? How often do they perhaps need to know English.

I really do question, can anyone can claim a police can not prefom its duty because he can not communicate in Portuguese.

Of course the proliferation is not great, never been (the colonial government never obligate the Chinese to speak the language), but you've more people speaking Portuguese in Macau today compared to ten years ago. Be reminded that Macau was chosen by Central Government to be the platform between China and Portuguese speaking countries. This year you had 5,000 new Chinese students learning Portuguese.
and what about the number of people that learn English, or Japanese, or anything else. Most students learns a second language, and since Macau official language is still Portugese, it is a natural first choice, to widen its careeer path.

there are probably more people speaks Japanese/Korean in Macau then Portuguese.

mrfusion, your signature says a lot about your comments. No offense mate. There is just one Portuguese school in Macau, you're right (!), but you have 5 others teaching you in Portuguese. You have 8 others teaching you in English... not too bad!

Anyway your comments remind many I heard before. But we all know that Beijing people can see the importance of the Portuguese language more clearly than the Macau people...

Let me remind you at the Macau Legislative Assembly, Portuguese language was repeatedly used as scapegoat by lawmakers for all the juridical problems MSAR faced. It all changed with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s visit, last November, in what was a clear signal of Beijing’s support for the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, known as Macau Forum. Two weeks later, several lawmakers rushed to jump on the bandwagon, urging that the Government promote Portuguese language and cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries. This U-turn shows a frightening narrow-mindedness and cue-taking.
This is really interesting to know ...

How does these Portuguese speaking countries cooperate with rest of the world, I am sure they speak English.


Let's never forget that the law in Macau is based in the Portuguese law. Let's not be invaded by the common law, Macau has an identity and although it might not be visible Portuguese is still important for Macau and Chinese foreign policy.

The Portuguese will stay in Macau until the day Beijing says is enough. And knowing the Central Government respect for the agreements they done in the past, the Portuguese will stay till 2049 and beyond (as a cultural object).

E agora, em português, me despeço de todos, esperando que agora estejam mais esclarecidos.
Thanks for enlightening us with these useful information, but In my view, and just my view, this is only a preceive importance, China will continue to have foreign relations with Portuguese speaking countries no matter what Macau decide, people use it, police need to know, all the street sign has it, only because it is still recognised as the official language, I do believe most people that know it will have very limited situations where they must use it.

Portuguese importance will always comes behind English, no matter if English ever becomes the 2nd or 3rd official launguage of Macau.
 

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Oh meu amigo, you didn't get the point. I am not here to discuss with you what is the importance or what roles plays the English in Macau. I tried to make you understand that the Portuguese is alive and well alive in Macau. Of course there more English speakers in Macau than Portuguese speakers. If you like it or not English is the World's language, and Macau, being a city of tourism, can't run away from it. Swedish is an official language of Finland but I am pretty sure in Finland you will find more people speaking English than Swedish...
 

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I think nowadays it's more whether simplified Chinese is around rather than English. Generally, I think Macau's English signage is very poor - much worse than Portuguese.
 

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Oh meu amigo, you didn't get the point. I am not here to discuss with you what is the importance or what roles plays the English in Macau.
We are here to discuss the importance of Portuguese in Macau.

I tried to make you understand that the Portuguese is alive and well alive in Macau.
Ok, that may be the case, but as I said earlier, it is only a perceive importance, Macau will continue to function if the government ever decided no more portuguese, you can't say the same thing to English.

Yes, it is alive, but only to a very minor group in Macau, and it will stay that way.
 

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I think nowadays it's more whether simplified Chinese is around rather than English. Generally, I think Macau's English signage is very poor - much worse than Portuguese.
Simplified Chinese was invented 50 years ago in an attempt to increase literacy.

Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are very proud that they can read and understand Traditional Chinese, and demonstrated its superior as its literacy remain ahead of China. SC really serve them no benefit. Our increase usage of computer where interchanging SC/TC is automated means it is even less likely for them to switch. A likely direction is Chinese will be able to use both, we may see more TC in printed media (looks better), while people prefer to use SC in writing (faster).

SC/TC, Cantonese/Mandarin is not going to replace English, English is easier to learn, and lots of English speaking people are very pride and to refuse to learn Chinese, while Chinese are usually a little more humble and often learn a second or third language if they are given the chance.

I think Mandarin / English will be equally dominate within 2 - 3 generations.
 

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Simplified Chinese was invented 50 years ago in an attempt to increase literacy.

Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are very proud that they can read and understand Traditional Chinese, and demonstrated its superior as its literacy remain ahead of China. SC really serve them no benefit. Our increase usage of computer where interchanging SC/TC is automated means it is even less likely for them to switch. A likely direction is Chinese will be able to use both, we may see more TC in printed media (looks better), while people prefer to use SC in writing (faster).

SC/TC, Cantonese/Mandarin is not going to replace English, English is easier to learn, and lots of English speaking people are very pride and to refuse to learn Chinese, while Chinese are usually a little more humble and often learn a second or third language if they are given the chance.

I think Mandarin / English will be equally dominate within 2 - 3 generations.
I think your expectation of English's role in Macau to be too high, as I have noticed in the past few years the quick move to simplified Chinese and Mandarin usage. If you walk into the local restaurants, people readily speak Mandarin to you, and it's not unusual to bump into Mandarin-speaking tourists. Even the Venetian has signs in simplified Chinese. As to whether mainlanders are keen on learning Traditional Chinese and English, I won't be surprised if they do, but ultimately they will use Simplified and Mandarin, and the tourism industry in Macau will need to adapt to that.
 

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Definitely hkskyline is right and said everything. I can't agree more.


Macau will continue to function if the government ever decided no more portuguese, you can't say the same thing to English.
You couldn't be wronger...
If today you remove the Portuguese from Macau map, you will have the chaos. The Macau law is based in Portuguese law (and not easy to translate straight way to Chinese), and the Portuguese still predominant in the courts. On top of that, you still have the most of the public services in same situation. This little territory was ruled five centuries under Portuguese language. Do you think they can delete the Portuguese in 10 years? or even 20? Be smart. If the Portuguese language was not valuable and useful for Macau, Beijing would take it way in two days.

The English will never be an official language in Macau but, of course, like everywhere in the World, you will be to communicate at all the levels (and Macau is no exception) in English. That's obvious.
 

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I think your expectation of English's role in Macau to be too high, as I have noticed in the past few years the quick move to simplified Chinese and Mandarin usage. If you walk into the local restaurants, people readily speak Mandarin to you, and it's not unusual to bump into Mandarin-speaking tourists. Even the Venetian has signs in simplified Chinese. As to whether mainlanders are keen on learning Traditional Chinese and English, I won't be surprised if they do, but ultimately they will use Simplified and Mandarin, and the tourism industry in Macau will need to adapt to that.
Agree, Mandarin/SC is becoming more important in Macau, but this is a real risk here, Macau gambling / tourist industry is too heaviliy depends on the mainland, if the Central government put any restrictions, and together with other SEA countries that start to promote Gambling industry and wnat to steal its glory, it will loose Chinese customers, Macau has to actively promote tourist outside of China.

Cantonese/TC will only get replace when the central government pressure Macau to use Mandarin/SC as official language. which means all school will have to adopt to it.

I don't know what the central government wants to do, but I think the two should coexist, it is important to not do anything to make such a important heritage disappear.
 

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You couldn't be wronger...
If today you remove the Portuguese from Macau map, you will have the chaos.
Why? I believe every places already have a chinese name, most sounds very odd, but the local has got use to it,

The Macau law is based in Portuguese law (and not easy to translate straight way to Chinese),
So after 500 years of rule, and Protugoese did not insist the local to learn Portuguese, the law has not never been translated.

and the Portuguese still predominant in the courts. On top of that, you still have the most of the public services in same situation.
So do they use Protuguese in court? Isn't everything bi-lingual now. What about the judge, are they still Protuguese, or mainly Chinese.

This little territory was ruled five centuries under Portuguese language. Do you think they can delete the Portuguese in 10 years? or even 20? Be smart. If the Portuguese language was not valuable and useful for Macau, Beijing would take it way in two days.
Ok, maybe there is some truth in this, unfortunately, the locals does not appreciate it as much as you do.
 
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