Among the world’s most spoken languages, Portuguese ranks in the top 10 with more than 210 million speakers today. The official language of Portugal primarily, it is also the native language of Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, parts of China, and Equatorial Guinea, and is recognized in both India and Malaysia. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the number 1 language at present, according to Wikipedia. For this article, we will primarily be discussing the European version of the Portuguese language.
Due to its popularity and geographical diversity, there are many dialects of Portuguese in Europe alone. They include Modern Standard European Portuguese (the most used dialect), Micaelense, Alentejano, Algarvio, Alto-Minhoto, Baixo-Beirao, Beirao, Estremenho, Madeirense, Nortenho, Oliventian, Damanese, and Transmontano.
Although Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish have many distinct similarities, the three are not mutually intelligible. Speakers of one language may understand some of the other two languages, but they will still need training and study in order to become fluent. In addition, there is a big difference between the Spanish spoken in Latin America (not as similar to Portuguese) and the Spanish spoken in Spain, which is far closer to Portuguese and easier for native speakers to communicate without extensive study beforehand. Most regions have adapted Portuguese along with other regional native languages, so loanwords are present in each Portuguese dialect from other languages as well.