In spite of Galician being essentially the most spoken language, in the course of the 17th century the elites of the Kingdom began talking Spanish, most notably in cities and cities. The period from the sixteenth century to the early nineteenth century, when Galician had little literary—and no legal—use, is taken into account the darkish age of Galician language. The Galician spoken and written then is usually known as Middle Galician. Also, from 1480 on, notaries of the Crown of Castile were required to obtain their licenses in Toledo, the place they had to prove their mastery of Spanish. With respect to the exterior and inside perception of this relation, for example in past editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica, Galician was outlined as a Portuguese dialect spoken in northwestern Spain. On the opposite hand, the director of the Instituto Camões declared in 2019 that Galician and Portuguese were shut kin, but completely different languages.