Portuguese language

Last updated

Pronunciation [puɾtuˈɣeʃ] , [poʁtuˈɡe(j)s]
Native to Portugal, Brazil, Lusophone Africa, and other locations in the Lusosphere
SpeakersNative: 230 million (20122020) [1]
L2: 25 million (20182020) [1]
Total: 260 million [1]
Early forms
Manually coded Portuguese
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated by [ citation needed ]
Language codes
ISO 639-1 pt
ISO 639-2 por
ISO 639-3 por
Glottolog port1283
Linguasphere 51-AAA-a
Detailed SVG map of the Lusophone world.svg
  Countries or regions where Portuguese is the native language of the majority
  Countries and territories where Portuguese is an official or administrative language but not a majority native language
  Countries and territories where Portuguese is a cultural or secondary language
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Portuguese (endonym : português or, in full, língua portuguesa) is a Western Romance language of the Indo-European language family originating from the Iberian Peninsula of Europe. It is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe, [6] and has co-official language status in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, and Macau. Portuguese-speaking people or nations are known as "Lusophones" (lusófonos). As the result of expansion during colonial times, a cultural presence of Portuguese speakers is also found around the world. Portuguese is part of the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia and the County of Portugal, and has kept some Celtic phonology. [7] [8]


With approximately 230 million native speakers and 25–30 million second language speakers, Portuguese has approximately 250 million total speakers. It is usually listed as the fifth-most spoken native language,[ citation needed ] the third-most spoken European language in the world in terms of native speakers [9] and the second-most spoken Romance language in the world, surpassed only by Spanish. Being the second most widely spoken language in South America [10] and the most-spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere, [11] [12] [13] it is also the second-most spoken language, after Spanish, in Latin America, one of the 10 most spoken languages in Africa, [14] and an official language of the European Union, Mercosul, the Organization of American States, the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, an international organization made up of all of the world's officially Lusophone nations. In 1997, a comprehensive academic study ranked Portuguese as one of the 10 most influential languages in the world. [15] [16]


When the Romans arrived in the Iberian Peninsula in 216 BC, they brought with them the Latin language, from which all Romance languages are descended. The language was spread by Roman soldiers, settlers, and merchants, who built Roman cities mostly near the settlements of previous Celtic civilizations established long before the Roman arrivals. For that reason, the language has kept a relevant substratum of much older, Atlantic European Megalithic Culture [17] and Celtic culture, [18] part of the Hispano-Celtic group of ancient languages. [19] In Latin, the Portuguese language is known as lusitana or (latina) lusitanica, after the Lusitanians, a pre-Celtic tribe that lived in the territory of present-day Portugal and Spain that adopted the Latin language as Roman settlers moved in. This is also the origin of the luso- prefix, seen in terms like "Lusophone".

Between AD 409 and AD 711, as the Roman Empire collapsed in Western Europe, the Iberian Peninsula was conquered by Germanic peoples of the Migration Period. The occupiers, mainly Suebi, [20] [21] Visigoths and Buri [22] who originally spoke Germanic languages, quickly adopted late Roman culture and the Vulgar Latin dialects of the peninsula and over the next 300 years totally integrated into the local populations. Some Germanic words from that period are part of the Portuguese lexicon, together with place names, surnames, and first names. With the Umayyad conquest beginning in 711, Arabic became the administrative and common language in the conquered regions, but most of the remaining Christian population continued to speak a form of Romance called Mozarabic which introduced a few hundred words from Arabic as well as Persian, Turkish, and Berber. [23] Like other Neo-Latin and European languages, Portuguese has adopted a significant number of loanwords from Greek, [24] mainly in technical and scientific terminology. These borrowings occurred via Latin, and later during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Portuguese evolved from the medieval language, known today by linguists as Galician-Portuguese, Old Portuguese or Old Galician, of the northwestern medieval Kingdom of Galicia of which the County of Portugal was part. [25]

Spoken area of Galician-Portuguese (also known as Old Portuguese or Medieval Galician) in the kingdoms of Galicia and Leon around the 10th century, before the separation of Galician and Portuguese. Idioma galaicoportugues.png
Spoken area of Galician-Portuguese (also known as Old Portuguese or Medieval Galician) in the kingdoms of Galicia and León around the 10th century, before the separation of Galician and Portuguese.

It is in Latin administrative documents of the 9th century that written Galician-Portuguese words and phrases are first recorded. This phase is known as Proto-Portuguese, which lasted from the 9th century until the 12th-century independence of the County of Portugal from the Kingdom of León, which had by then assumed reign over Galicia.

In the first part of the Galician-Portuguese period (from the 12th to the 14th century), the language was increasingly used for documents and other written forms. For some time, it was the language of preference for lyric poetry in Christian Hispania, much as Occitan was the language of the poetry of the troubadours in France. The Occitan digraphs lh and nh, used in its classical orthography, were adopted by the orthography of Portuguese, presumably by Gerald of Braga, [26] a monk from Moissac, who became bishop of Braga in Portugal in 1047, playing a major role in modernizing written Portuguese using classical Occitan norms. [27] Portugal became an independent kingdom in 1139, under King Afonso I of Portugal. In 1290, King Denis of Portugal created the first Portuguese university in Lisbon (the Estudos Gerais, which later moved to Coimbra) and decreed for Portuguese, then simply called the "common language", to be known as the Portuguese language and used officially.

In the second period of Old Portuguese, in the 15th and 16th centuries, with the Portuguese discoveries, the language was taken to many regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. By the mid-16th century, Portuguese had become a lingua franca in Asia and Africa, used not only for colonial administration and trade but also for communication between local officials and Europeans of all nationalities. The Portuguese expanded across South America, across Africa to the Pacific Ocean, taking their language with them.

Its spread was helped by mixed marriages between Portuguese and local people and by its association with Roman Catholic missionary efforts, which led to the formation of creole languages such as that called Kristang in many parts of Asia (from the word cristão, "Christian"). The language continued to be popular in parts of Asia until the 19th century. Some Portuguese-speaking Christian communities in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Indonesia preserved their language even after they were isolated from Portugal.

The end of the Old Portuguese period was marked by the publication of the Cancioneiro Geral by Garcia de Resende, in 1516. The early times of Modern Portuguese, which spans the period from the 16th century to the present day, were characterized by an increase in the number of learned words borrowed from Classical Latin and Classical Greek because of the Renaissance (learned words borrowed from Latin also came from Renaissance Latin, the form of Latin during that time), which greatly enriched the lexicon. Most literate Portuguese speakers were also literate in Latin; and thus they easily adopted Latin words into their writing, and eventually speech, in Portuguese. [28]

Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes once called Portuguese "the sweet and gracious language", while the Brazilian poet Olavo Bilac described it as a última flor do Lácio, inculta e bela ("the last flower of Latium, naïve and beautiful"). [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] Portuguese is also termed "the language of Camões", after Luís Vaz de Camões, one of the greatest literary figures in the Portuguese language and author of the Portuguese epic poem The Lusiads . [34] [35] [36]

In March 2006, the Museum of the Portuguese Language, an interactive museum about the Portuguese language, was founded in São Paulo, Brazil, the city with the greatest number of Portuguese language speakers in the world. [37] The museum is the first of its kind in the world. [37] In 2015 the museum was partially destroyed in a fire, [38] but restored and reopened in 2020. [39]

Geographic distribution

Sign in Japanese, Portuguese, and English in Oizumi, Japan, which has a large lusophone community due to return immigration of Japanese Brazilians. Multilingual Emergency Assembly Area Sign in Oizumi.JPG
Sign in Japanese, Portuguese, and English in Oizumi, Japan, which has a large lusophone community due to return immigration of Japanese Brazilians.

Portuguese is spoken by approximately 200 million people in South America, 30 million in Africa, 15 million in Europe, 5 million in North America and 0.33 million in Asia and Oceania. It is the native language of the vast majority of the people in Portugal, [41] Brazil [42] and São Tomé and Príncipe (95%). [43] Around 75% of the population of urban Angola speaks Portuguese natively, [44] with approximately 85% fluent; these rates are lower in the countryside. [45] Just over 50% (and rapidly increasing) of the population of Mozambique are native speakers of Portuguese, and 70% are fluent, according to the 2007 census. [46] Portuguese is also spoken natively by 30% of the population in Guinea-Bissau, and a Portuguese-based creole is understood by all. [47] Almost 50% of the East Timorese are fluent in Portuguese. No data is available for Cape Verde, but almost all the population is bilingual, and the monolingual population speaks the Portuguese-based Cape Verdean Creole. Portuguese is mentioned in the Constitution of South Africa as one of the languages spoken by communities within the country for which the Pan South African Language Board was charged with promoting and ensuring respect. [48]

There are also significant Portuguese-speaking immigrant communities in many territories including Andorra (17.1%), [49] Bermuda, [50] Canada (400,275 people in the 2006 census), [51] France (1,625,000 people), [52] Japan (400,000 people), [53] Jersey, [54] Luxembourg (about 25% of the population as of 2021), Namibia (about 4–5% of the population, mainly refugees from Angola in the north of the country), [55] Paraguay (10.7% or 636,000 people), [56] Switzerland (550,000 in 2019, learning + mother tongue), [57] Venezuela (554,000), [58] and the United States (0.35% of the population or 1,228,126 speakers according to the 2007 American Community Survey). [59]

In some parts of former Portuguese India, namely Goa [60] and Daman and Diu, [61] the language is still spoken by about 10,000 people. In 2014, an estimated 1,500 students were learning Portuguese in Goa. [62] Approximately 2% of the people of Macau, China are fluent speakers of Portuguese. Additionally, the language is being very actively studied in the Chinese school system right up to the doctorate level. The Kristang people in Malaysia speak Kristang, a Portuguese-Malay creole; however, the Portuguese language itself is not widely spoken in the country.

Official status

Countries and regions where Portuguese has official status. Detailed SVG map of the Lusophone world.svg
Countries and regions where Portuguese has official status.

The Community of Portuguese Language Countries [6] (in Portuguese Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, with the Portuguese acronym CPLP) consists of the nine independent countries that have Portuguese as an official language: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and São Tomé and Príncipe. [6]

Equatorial Guinea made a formal application for full membership to the CPLP in June 2010, a status given only to states with Portuguese as an official language. [63] Portuguese became its third official language (besides Spanish and French) [64] in 2011, and in July 2014, the country was accepted as a member of the CPLP. [65]

Portuguese is also one of the official languages of the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China of Macau (alongside Chinese) and of several international organizations, including Mercosul, [66] the Organization of Ibero-American States, [67] the Union of South American Nations, [68] the Organization of American States, [69] the African Union, [70] the Economic Community of West African States, [70] the Southern African Development Community [70] and the European Union. [71]

Lusophone countries

According to The World Factbook 's country population estimates for 2018, the population of each of the ten jurisdictions is as follows (by descending order):

CountryPopulation of country [72] [73] [74] More informationNative language
of the majority
Spoken by
Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil 203,062,512 Portuguese in Brazil Yes check.svg95% as a native language [75]
Flag of Angola.svg Angola 35,981,281 Portuguese in Angola Dark Red x.svg40% as a native language, 60% total [76]
Flag of Mozambique.svg Mozambique 32,513,805 Portuguese in Mozambique Dark Red x.svg17% as a native language, 44% total [75]
Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal 10,467,366 Portuguese in Portugal Yes check.svg95% as a native language [77]
Flag of Guinea-Bissau.svg Guinea-Bissau 2,078,820 Portuguese in Guinea-Bissau Dark Red x.svg0.3% as a native language, 20% total [78]
Flag of Equatorial Guinea.svg Equatorial Guinea 21,679,172 Portuguese in Equatorial Guinea Dark Red x.svgSmall minority as a second language
Flag of East Timor.svg East Timor 1,340,513 Portuguese in East Timor Dark Red x.svg0.1% as a native language; 5% total [78]
Flag of Macau.svg Macau 1682,300 Portuguese in Macau Dark Red x.svg0.5% as a native language, 3% total [79]
Flag of Cape Verde.svg Cape Verde 561,901 Portuguese in Cape Verde Dark Red x.svg2% as a native language, 48% total [80]
Flag of Sao Tome and Principe.svg São Tomé and Príncipe 220,372 Portuguese in São Tomé and Príncipe Yes check.svg65% as a native language, 99% total [75]
Total288,588,042 Community of Portuguese Language Countries
  1. Macau is one of the two autonomous Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China (the other being Anglophone Hong Kong, a former British colony).
  2. Equatorial Guinea adopted Portuguese as one of its official languages in 2007, being admitted to CPLP in 2014. The use of the Portuguese language in this country is limited.

The combined population of the entire Lusophone area was estimated at 300 million in January 2022. [74] [73] [81] This number does not include the Lusophone diaspora, estimated at 10 million people (including 4.5 million Portuguese, 3 million Brazilians, although it is hard to obtain official accurate numbers of diasporic Portuguese speakers because a significant portion of these citizens are naturalized citizens born outside of Lusophone territory or are children of immigrants, and may have only a basic command of the language. Additionally, a large part of the diaspora is a part of the already-counted population of the Portuguese-speaking countries and territories, such as the high number of Brazilian and PALOP emigrant citizens in Portugal or the high number of Portuguese emigrant citizens in the PALOP and Brazil.

The Portuguese language therefore serves more than 250 million people daily, who have direct or indirect legal, juridical and social contact with it, varying from the only language used in any contact, to only education, contact with local or international administration, commerce and services or the simple sight of road signs, public information and advertising in Portuguese.

Portuguese as a foreign language

Portuguese is a mandatory subject in the school curriculum in Uruguay. [82] Other countries where Portuguese is commonly taught in schools or where it has been introduced as an option include Venezuela, [83] Zambia, [84] the Republic of the Congo, [85] Senegal, [85] Namibia, [55] Eswatini, [85] South Africa, [85] Ivory Coast, [86] and Mauritius. [87] In 2017, a project was launched to introduce Portuguese as a school subject in Zimbabwe. [88] [89] Also, according to Portugal's Minister of Foreign Affairs, the language will be part of the school curriculum of a total of 32 countries by 2020. [90] In such countries, Portuguese is spoken either as a native language by vast majorities due to their Portuguese colonial past or as a lingua franca in bordering and multilingual regions, such as on the Brazilian borders of Uruguay and Paraguay and in regions of Angola and Namibia. In many other countries, Portuguese is spoken by majorities as a second language. There remain communities of thousands of Portuguese (or Creole) first language speakers in Goa, Sri Lanka, Kuala Lumpur, Daman and Diu, and other areas due to Portuguese colonization. In East Timor, the number of Portuguese speakers is quickly increasing as Portuguese and Brazilian teachers are making great strides in teaching Portuguese in the schools all over the island. [91] Additionally, there are many large Portuguese-speaking immigrant communities all over the world.

CountryPopulation [92]
(July 2017 est.)
More informationMandatory taughtSpoken by
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 3,444,006 Portuguese in Uruguay Yes check.svgSignificant minority as a native language; significant minority as a second language
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 43,847,430 Portuguese in Argentina Yes check.svgMinority as a second language
Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay 7,052,984 Portuguese in Paraguay Dark Red x.svgSignificant minority as a native language
Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela 31,568,179 Portuguese in Venezuela Yes check.svgMinority as a second language
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 57,725,600 Portuguese in South Africa Dark Red x.svgSmall minority as a native language
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 2,606,971 Portuguese in Namibia Dark Red x.svgSmall minority as a native language
Flag of the Republic of the Congo.svg  Congo 5,125,821 Portuguese in Congo Dark Red x.svgSmall minority as a second language
Flag of Zambia.svg  Zambia 16,591,390 Portuguese in Zambia Dark Red x.svgSmall minority as a second language
Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal 15,411,614 Portuguese in Senegal Dark Red x.svgSmall minority as a second language
Flag of Eswatini.svg  Eswatini 1,343,098 Portuguese in Eswatini Dark Red x.svgSmall minority as a second language


Multilingual signage in Chinese, Portuguese and English at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge port building in Macau. Portuguese is a co-official language in Macau. MC Ao Men Macau Gang Zhu Ao Da Qiao HK-Zhu-Macau Bridge port building Jan 2019 IX2 63.jpg
Multilingual signage in Chinese, Portuguese and English at the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge port building in Macau. Portuguese is a co-official language in Macau.

According to estimates by UNESCO, Portuguese is the fastest-growing European language after English and the language has, according to the newspaper The Portugal News publishing data given from UNESCO, the highest potential for growth as an international language in southern Africa and South America. [93] Portuguese is a globalized language spoken officially on five continents, and as a second language by millions worldwide.

Since 1991, when Brazil signed into the economic community of Mercosul with other South American nations, namely Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, Portuguese is either mandatory, or taught, in the schools of those South American countries.

Although early in the 21st century, after Macau was returned to China and immigration of Brazilians of Japanese descent to Japan slowed down, the use of Portuguese was in decline in Asia, it is once again becoming a language of opportunity there, mostly because of increased diplomatic and financial ties with economically powerful Portuguese-speaking countries in the world. [94] [95]

Current status and importance

Portuguese, being a language spread on all continents, has official status in several international organizations. It is one of twenty official languages of the European Union, an official language of NATO, the Organization of American States (alongside Spanish, French and English), and one of eighteen official languages of the European Space Agency.

Portuguese is a working language in nonprofit organisations such as the Red Cross (alongside English, German, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian), Amnesty International (alongside 32 other languages of which English is the most used, followed by Spanish, French, German, and Italian), and Médecins sans Frontières (used alongside English, Spanish, French and Arabic), in addition to being the official legal language in the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, also in Community of Portuguese Language Countries, an international organization formed essentially by lusophone countries.

Dialects, accents and varieties

Ethnically diverse East Timor has Portuguese as one of its official languages. Sprachen Osttimors-en.png
Ethnically diverse East Timor has Portuguese as one of its official languages.

Você, a pronoun meaning "you", is used for educated, formal, and colloquial respectful speech in most Portuguese-speaking regions. In a few Brazilian states such as Rio Grande do Sul, Pará, among others, você is virtually absent from the spoken language. Riograndense and European Portuguese normally distinguishes formal from informal speech by verbal conjugation. Informal speech employs tu followed by second person verbs, formal language retains the formal você, followed by the third person conjugation.

Conjugation of verbs in tu has three different forms in Brazil (verb "to see": tu viste?, in the traditional second person, tu viu?, in the third person, and tu visse?, in the innovative second person), the conjugation used in the Brazilian states of Pará, Santa Catarina and Maranhão being generally traditional second person, the kind that is used in other Portuguese-speaking countries and learned in Brazilian schools.

The predominance of Southeastern-based media products has established você as the pronoun of choice for the second person singular in both writing and multimedia communications. However, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, the country's main cultural center, the usage of tu has been expanding ever since the end of the 20th century, [96] being most frequent among youngsters, and a number of studies have also shown an increase in its use in a number of other Brazilian dialects. [97] [98]

The status of second person pronouns in Brazil.
.mw-parser-output .col-begin{border-collapse:collapse;padding:0;color:inherit;width:100%;border:0;margin:0}.mw-parser-output .col-begin-small{font-size:90%}.mw-parser-output .col-break{vertical-align:top;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .col-break-2{width:50%}.mw-parser-output .col-break-3{width:33.3%}.mw-parser-output .col-break-4{width:25%}.mw-parser-output .col-break-5{width:20%}@media(max-width:720px){.mw-parser-output .col-begin,.mw-parser-output .col-begin>tbody,.mw-parser-output .col-begin>tbody>tr,.mw-parser-output .col-begin>tbody>tr>td{display:block!important;width:100%!important}.mw-parser-output .col-break{padding-left:0!important}}
Near exclusive use of voce
(greater than 96%)
Decidedly predominant use of tu
(greater than 80%), but with near exclusive third person (voce
-like) verbal conjugation.
50-50 voce
variation, with tu
being nearly always accompanied by third person (voce
-like) verbal conjugation.
Decidedly predominant to near exclusive use of tu
(76% to 95%) with reasonable frequency of second person (tu
-like) verbal conjugation.
Balanced voce/tu distribution, being tu
exclusively accompanied by third person (voce
-like) verbal conjugation.
Balanced voce
distribution, tu
being predominantly accompanied by third person (voce
-like) verbal conjugation.
No data Uso dos pronomes de segunda pessoa no Brasil.svg
The status of second person pronouns in Brazil.
  Near exclusive use of você (greater than 96%)
  Decidedly predominant use of tu (greater than 80%), but with near exclusive third person (você-like) verbal conjugation.
  50-50 você/tu variation, with tu being nearly always accompanied by third person (você-like) verbal conjugation.
  Decidedly predominant to near exclusive use of tu (76% to 95%) with reasonable frequency of second person (tu-like) verbal conjugation.
  Balanced você/tu distribution, being tu exclusively accompanied by third person (você-like) verbal conjugation.
  Balanced você/tu distribution, tu being predominantly accompanied by third person (você-like) verbal conjugation.
  No data

Portuguese orthography is based on the Latin alphabet and makes use of the acute accent, the circumflex accent, the grave accent, the tilde, and the cedilla to denote stress, vowel height, nasalization, and other sound changes. The diaeresis was abolished by the last Orthography Agreement. Accented letters and digraphs are not counted as separate characters for collation purposes.

The spelling of Portuguese is largely phonemic, but some phonemes can be spelled in more than one way. In ambiguous cases, the correct spelling is determined through a combination of etymology with morphology and tradition; so there is not a perfect one-to-one correspondence between sounds and letters or digraphs. Knowing the main inflectional paradigms of Portuguese and being acquainted with the orthography of other Western European languages can be helpful.

Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement of 1990

Written varieties
AreaBefore 1990AgreementTranslation
Different pronunciationanónimoanônimoBoth forms remainanonymous
VénusVênusBoth forms remainVenus
factofatoBoth forms remainfact
Silent consonantsacçãoaçãoaçãoaction
Non-personal and
non-geographical names


A notable aspect of the grammar of Portuguese is the verb. Morphologically, more verbal inflections from classical Latin have been preserved by Portuguese than by any other major Romance language. Portuguese and Spanish share very similar grammar, vocabulary and sentence structure. Portuguese also has some grammatical innovations not found in other Romance languages (except Galician and Fala):

Se eu for eleito presidente, mudarei a lei.
If I am elected president, I will change the law.
Quando fores mais velho, vais entender.
When you grow older, you will understand.

Sample text

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Portuguese: [170]

Todos os seres humanos nascem livres e iguais em dignidade e em direitos. Dotados de razão e de consciência, devem agir uns para com os outros em espírito de fraternidade.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in English: [171]

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

See also

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Reintegrationism is the linguistic and cultural movement in Galicia which advocates for the unity of Galician and Portuguese as a single language. In other words, the movement postulates that Galician and Portuguese languages not only shared a common origin and literary tradition, but that they are in fact variants of the same language even today. According to this, Galicia should re-integrate into the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.

The Portuguese language began to be used regularly in documents and poetry around the 12th century. Unlike neighboring Romance languages that adopted formal orthographies by the 18th century, the Portuguese language did not have a uniform spelling standard until the 20th century. The formation of the Portuguese Republic in 1911 was motivation for the establishment of orthographic reform in Portugal and its overseas territories and colonies. Brazil would adopt an orthographic standard based on, but not identical to, the Portuguese standard a few decades later.

Portuguese and Spanish, although closely related Romance languages, differ in many aspects of their phonology, grammar, and lexicon. Both belong to a subset of the Romance languages known as West Iberian Romance, which also includes several other languages or dialects with fewer speakers, all of which are mutually intelligible to some degree. A 1949 study by Italian-American linguist Mario Pei, analyzing the degree of difference from a language's parent by comparing phonology, inflection, syntax, vocabulary, and intonation, indicated the following percentages : In the case of Spanish it was 20%, the third closest Romance language to Latin, only behind Sardinian and Italian. Portuguese was 31%, making it the second furthest language from Latin after French.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Portuguese orthography</span> Alphabet and spelling

Portuguese orthography is based on the Latin alphabet and makes use of the acute accent, the circumflex accent, the grave accent, the tilde, and the cedilla to denote stress, vowel height, nasalization, and other sound changes. The diaeresis was abolished by the last Orthography Agreement. Accented letters and digraphs are not counted as separate characters for collation purposes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mozambican Portuguese</span> Portuguese varieties spoken in Mozambique

Mozambican Portuguese refers to the varieties of Portuguese spoken in Mozambique. Portuguese is the official language of the country.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Galician language</span> Western Ibero-Romance language

Galician, also known as Galego, is a Western Ibero-Romance language. Around 2.4 million people have at least some degree of competence in the language, mainly in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it has official status along with Spanish. The language is also spoken in some border zones of the neighbouring Spanish regions of Asturias and Castile and León, as well as by Galician migrant communities in the rest of Spain, in Latin America including Puerto Rico, the United States, Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe.

Caipira is a Portuguese dialect spoken in the rural areas of the State of São Paulo and adjacent parts of neighbouring Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás, Minas Gerais, and Paraná.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geographical distribution of Portuguese speakers</span> Overview of the Lusophone diaspora

This article provides details regarding the geographical distribution of all Portuguese-speakers, a.k.a.Lusophones, regardless of legislative status. The Portuguese language is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and is an official language of countries on four continents.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oliventine Portuguese</span> Subdialect of Alentejan Portuguese

Oliventine Portuguese is the dialectal variety of the Portuguese language natively spoken in the municipalities of Olivença and Táliga, in Extremadura (Spain). Currently, the Portuguese of Olivença and Táliga is not recognized by Spain, which has administered this territory since the War of the Oranges in 1801. Portugal, however, does not recognize Spanish sovereignty over the region and claims it as its own.



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Phonology, orthography and grammar
Reference dictionaries
Linguistic studies
  • Cook, Manuela. Portuguese Pronouns and Other Forms of Address, from the Past into the Future – Structural, Semantic and Pragmatic Reflections, Ellipsis, vol. 11, APSA, www.portuguese-apsa.com/ellipsis, 2013
  • Cook, Manuela (1997). "Uma Teoria de Interpretação das Formas de Tratamento na Língua Portuguesa". Hispania. 80 (3): 451–464. doi:10.2307/345821. JSTOR   345821.
  • Cook, Manuela. On the Portuguese Forms of Address: From Vossa Mercê to Você, Portuguese Studies Review 3.2, Durham: University of New Hampshire, 1995
  • Lindley Cintra, Luís F. Nova Proposta de Classificação dos Dialectos Galego- Portugueses Archived 9 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine (PDF) Boletim de Filologia, Lisboa, Centro de Estudos Filológicos, 1971.