Last week, we stumbled upon this article from the New York Times’ Frugal Traveler about a language hidden in rural Portugal. In the northeast corner of Portugal, there is a tiny county called Miranda do Douro and in Miranda do Douro many inhabitants do not speak Portuguese, but rather its distant cousin, Mirandese. This region is geographically divided from the rest of Portugal by two rivers that run on either side of it, and It is actually easier to travel to Spain from Miranda do Douro than it is to get to Lisbon and other parts of Portugal. This geographical isolation is one reason why the region continues to speak a language with only 10,000 speakers. Many languages developed because of geographic barriers that isolated them from external influence. Geographic barriers can be very distinct – in the case of oceans – or subtler, like mountain ranges and rivers that inhibit travel and lingusitic exchange. For example, in the mountains of Ghana and Togo, there is a language group that is distinct from its neighbors on the other side of the mountain. The languages are so tied to the geography that they are called Ghana Togo Mountain (GTM) languages.

Back to the Iberian Peninsula: Mirandese did not descend from Portuguese or Spanish, but rather developed independently from Latin concurrently with those modern languages in the 1100 and 1200s, like Catalan. (Learn more about Catalan and its contentious political history.) Spanish and Portuguese became the dominant languages of the Iberian peninsula because of political variables. As Portugal and Spain became the dominant governments of the region between 1200 and the present day, fewer and fewer people spoke other Romance languages, like Mirandese, Extremaduran, and Galician, among others.

In the 1930s, Mirandese was outlawed by the dictatorship of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, further diminishing the number of native speakers. However in recent years, there has been a growing movement among some young people in Miranda do Douro to ignite interest in this dying language. In 1999, with encouragement from Mirandese speakers, the Portuguese government named Mirandese the second official language of the country. Today, the European Union estimates that about 10,000 people speak the language.

(Recently a previously unknown language was discovered in India. Learn about it!)

Would you want to learn a rare language like Mirandese?

Deed of Trust Settlement Doesn’t End With Last Payment

The Washington Post September 10, 1988 | Benny L. Kass Q) In about a year, the balloon payment on my second trust becomes due. I am prepared to make the payment at that time, but am not sure what else I should do. Do I have to go to the trustee to get a release? Is there usually a fee involved? How will the satisfaction get into the county records? Are there forms that should be prepared? Do I need a lawyer?

A) As you suggest, with the large number of seller take-back loans that have occurred since the early 1980s, both the seller who took back the mortgage and the buyer should have an understanding as to how these deeds of trust are to be paid, canceled and released. in our site deed of trust

If you borrowed money from a commercial lender and secured the loan with a deed of trust on your property, the lender generally will assist you in releasing the lien on your property once you pay your note in full.

But when the seller has taken back a mortgage {deed of trust} and the note is finally paid off, you must do more than merely “burn” the mortgage.

When you borrow money secured by real estate, generally you deed your house in trust to a trustee selected by your lender. The trustee has a legal, fiduciary obligation to both the buyer {the borrower} and the lender. If the note is paid off in full at any time within the due date, the trustee must release its interest and have this release properly recorded.

If, on the other hand, the note is delinquent, the trustee may be asked by the note holder to begin foreclosure proceedings. An auction is usually arranged after proper and appropriate notice, depending on state law. The trustee has the authority to sell the property at the auction sale.

Thus, it is quite important to make sure that this trust is released when you finally pay off the note. Until it is properly released, it remains a cloud over your title.

If you plan to sell your house any time in the future, and if this old deed of trust is not released, you may have to pay money for a bond to release this mortgage-especially if the noteholder has left the area or is otherwise incapable of signing the original promissory note as “paid.” In the District, the trustee should be shown the note marked “paid in full and canceled” and given a deed of trust release to sign. In Maryland and Virginia, the procedures are not as archaic. The original note, marked “paid and canceled” will suffice to have the deed of trust released from the land records.

When you are ready to make your final payment to the lender, arrange to exchange that payment for the original note, which will then be marked “paid and canceled.” If the lender is out of the city or is reluctant to work with you, arrange to give the final payment to a bank, your attorney or the trustee, who will be authorized not to release the money until the note is actually marked “paid and canceled.” You also asked whether an attorney is necessary. Not really, but for the rather nominal fee that most attorneys will charge for the preparation of this release, it might be worthwhile. site deed of trust

A note of caution: When you sign a promissory note secured by a first or second deed of trust, make sure that you have a copy of the note, that you know where the trustee is located and that you also have made arrangements to make payments to a bank rather than to an individual.

By making the payments to the bank, you can get the assistance of the bank in releasing the lien on your property when you make your final payment.

Benny L. Kass is a Washington attorney. For a free copy of the booklet “A Guide to Settlement on Your New Home,” send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Benny L. Kass, Suite 1100, 1050 17th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. Readers may also send questions to him at that address. @Slug: E11DEE Benny L. Kass


  1. henrywhite -  March 16, 2013 - 2:53 am

    Am vvery cool, I love to make friend all over de world, call me if u won’t me +2348137867914 or u can also add me on facebook

  2. Mario -  February 12, 2013 - 12:04 pm

    Also, it must be so cool to know a language that Google Translate doesn’t know :D

  3. Mario -  February 12, 2013 - 12:02 pm

    Wow! I’ld love to learn Mirandese (I’m already learning Portugues)…

    …just one problem though…how?? :(

    I guess travelling there and learning from total immersion would be the best :)

  4. [...] Words are never one-dimensional. There’s always an interesting story behind them or you can create an interesting one around a word. The Hot Word shows just how interesting the English language is. The blog not only dives into the origins of words, but also discusses their present context. Even a casual read through the blog gives you interesting tidbits like the language that’s only spoken in one tiny part of Portugal. [...]

  5. Siarl -  May 28, 2012 - 7:34 pm

    Mirandes is an Astur-leonese dialect. Astur-leonese (also called Asturian or Leonese) is still spoken by hundreds of thousands in Spain, namely in the regions of Asturias (300,000), Leon (25,000) and Zamora (?).

    However, Mirandes is written following the Portuguese rules, such as nh (ň in A-L from Spain), ‘j’ (x in A-L from Spain), lh (ll in A-L from Spain)

    There is a downloadable official grammar (according to the Asturian rules) here:


  6. me8 -  May 28, 2012 - 11:36 am

    Mr. Write: you do have a point that in the sense of usefulness and practicality , it’s a little ridiculous to attempt to preserve so many languages. After all, the original point of language was to communicate with others, and having many separate languages inhibits communication.
    HOWEVER, a language is so much more than just words and predicate adjectives and conjugations. It is the manifestation of the history, psychology, culture, and so many other things of an entire group of people. It demonstrates those things more thoroughly and with more complexity than any textbook ever could. Why do you think certain words evoke certain emotions? Why do you think it is a respected profession to do nothing but write for a living? Why do you think some song lyrics are so profoundly moving, while others convey a deeply political message?
    Language is not just words. It’s a bit of a stretch, but one could say that language is the human species.

  7. moi -  February 29, 2012 - 1:00 pm

    yes, love speaking historical and perhaps rarer languages, atm I am learning irish gaelic O.o


  8. ac -  January 31, 2012 - 5:39 pm

    i would love to speak basque. another language suppressed by another dictator in the iberian peninsula.

  9. Donna -  January 27, 2012 - 5:45 pm

    That is very interesting, i want to learn catalán!

  10. Luís Vicente, Bragança, Portugal -  January 25, 2012 - 12:28 pm

    I’m Portuguese (and I live very close to Miranda).
    I can speak, write and even think in English, Spanish, French or Mirandese, but I can only feel, dream and cry in Portuguese.
    If any language disappears, the knowledge, the history and the feelings of that civilization will lose their voice. Language is not just the way we communicate, is the way we feel.
    Putting an end to diversity is the quickest way to end our evolution and to forget our value as individuals. If we want to be united then we should accept our differences and learn something from it.
    Séian felizes!

  11. Michella Davenport -  January 25, 2012 - 11:50 am

    Erle sue triv don vue si blee und vue se crafte de vue si Mirandese. Stoopidee!

  12. Lee -  January 25, 2012 - 11:43 am

    I agree that it would be cool to be connected with the language by a family member/ancestor etc. Than it would be cool to know the language.

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