Good evening Ciarán,
Since Eunice's context was not so clear, I believe both sentences are valid, but they have different meanings.
If you refer to the English Language
, you are referring to the language itself, as spoken by millions of people all over the world.
If you refer to English Language
, you would probably be referring to the academic subject that you can study as a subject in England or any other English speaking country.
In Portuguese, we have a similar issue.
Português é mais difícil do que inglês.
>> Meaning 1: The Portuguese language is more difficult than the English one.
>> Meaning 2: Portuguese language is more difficult than English one.
O português é mais difícil do que o inglês.
>> We can consider the previous meanings in this context.
>> Meaning 3: The Portuguese guy is tougher than the English one. [a man who is difficult to deal with
; a tough, or even troublesome guy
A língua portuguesa é mais difícil do que a inglesa.
>> The Portuguese language is more difficult than the English one. [There is no opening to a double entendre here
By the way, if we intended to identify nationalities, we must have said:The
English = o povo inglês / os i
Portuguese = o povo português. / os p
Brazilian(s) = o povo brasileiro. / os b
In Portuguese speaking coutries, the nationalities are not written with capital letters.
I believe you should read:http://professora-denisejean.blogspot.com.br/2008/05/lingua-portuguesa-ou-lingua-portuguesa.html
Enjoy your studies.