Galician and Portuguese are the two branches
of one common dead language which was spoken in Lusitania and Galicia until
it broke into two in the 15th century. The texts in this father-tongue
are known since the 12th century, and they do not differ in Portugal and
in Galicia. But further as Galicia was ruled by Spanish kings, the languages
became separate. In official spheres in Galicia Spanish (Castilian) was
spreading very fast, and Galician could be used only in private life. It
could become extinct, but the revival started in the 19th century is making
it flourish again.
Nowadays more than 4 million people speak Galician as the first language,
and it is one of the official languages of Galicia as an autonomous region.
In phonetics Galician resembles Spanish much: no phoneme [z], nasal vowels
present, there are sound looking like English [sh] and voiceless [th].
The sounds for b and v are the same.
But the grammar structure differs from Spanish and still has much in
common with Portuguese. The significant feature is the absence of analytic
verb forms in Galician.