|Native speakers||215 million (2010)|
|Writing system||Latin (Portuguese alphabet)
|Official language in||
Many international organisations
|Regulated by||International Portuguese Language Institute
Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazil)
Academia das Ciências de Lisboa, Classe de Letras (Portugal)
Official and administrative language Cultural or secondary language Portuguese speaking minoritiesPortuguese-based creole languages
The Portuguese language is one of the of Romance languages (languages which came from the Latin language). The Portuguese word "português". It was originally a dialect of Spanish in the Kingdom of Galicia.
Who speaks Portuguese[change | change source]
The Portuguese language is the third most spoken western language (after English and Spanish). There are about 240 million native speakers, including the people of Portugal, Brazil, and Cape Verde (Cabo Verde). It is also the official language of Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Mozambique (Moçambique), and São Tomé and Príncipe. The African countries were Portuguese colonies with many different native languages. They have kept Portuguese as a lingua franca.
As Portuguese and Spanish are both Romance languages, they have a lot of things in common, but they are not the same. For example: "I opened the window very fast so as to have dinner" translates as "Abri a janela muito rápido para jantar" in Portuguese and "Abrí la ventana muy pronto para cenar" in Spanish. Usually a Portuguese speaker can understand a Spanish speaker; on the other hand, it is rarer that a Spanish speaker understands a Portuguese speaker. Although the Portuguese written language seems similar to Spanish, most spoken Portuguese does not. At times, it may even sound more like French, due to both languages using vowels where air passes through the nose in the nasal cavities. For example, the first three letters of bom día (good morning) sound very much like the first three letters of the same idea in French: bonjour. The vowel o here is called a "nasal vowel"; its symbol in the IPA is õ. Overall, Portuguese is not any more similar to English than Spanish.
The places where people speak Portuguese as the first language are Angola, Brazil (Brazil has 81% of the speakers)Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe and in the cities of Goa, Daman and Diu (India).
Words in Portuguese that are similar to English ones[change | change source]
Examples[change | change source]
- Visão Vision
- Informação Information
- Confuso Confused
- Baptismo Baptism
- Artigo Article
- Capital Capital
- Total Total
- Mapa Map
- Problema Problem
- História History
The Portuguese word "parentes" is similar to the English word "parents", but it means "relatives", while the Portuguese word to mean "parents" is "pais".
Examples of usual phrases[change | change source]
- Olá! Hello!
- Oi! Hi!
- Como estás? How are you?
- Estou bem, obrigado. I'm fine, thanks.
- Como vai? How are you doing?
- Você fala português? Do you speak Portuguese?
- Eu falo português. I speak Portuguese.
- Eu não falo português. I do not speak Portuguese.
- Tenho de ir, adeus! I must go, goodbye!
- Até logo! See you later!
- Tchau! Bye!
- O que está fazendo? What are you doing?
- Eu tenho 18 anos. I'm 18 years old
Different versions[change | change source]
Portuguese is the official language of all countries of the CPLP (Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, "Community of Portuguese Language Countries"). The Portuguese-speaking countries have more than 240 million people across the world. The CPLP was formed in 1996 with seven countries: Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe. East Timor joined in 2002.
The CPLP nations speak Portuguese with different accents. In some regions of Brazil the pronoun 'tu' (meaning 'you', but only used when speaking to family and friends) is not used as much as in Portugal. Also regional slang can be found in different areas. The Portuguese Orthographic Agreement of 1990 (Acordo Ortográfico de 1990) tries to smooth over those differences.
References[change | change source]
|This language has its own Wikipedia project. See the Portuguese language edition.|
- Regional pronunciation in Brazil:
[po̞χtuˈɡeɕ ~ puxtuˈgeɕ] (BP-florianopolitano), (BP-fluminense),
[poɾtuˈɡes] (BP-paulistano), (BP-curitibano), (BP-catarinense),
[poɹtuˈɡejs] (BP-caipira), (BP-sulista, colloquial), (BP-sertanejo),
[po̞χtuˈɡes ~ po̞htuˈɡes] (BP-capixaba), (BP-mineiro), (BP-brasiliense),
[pɔχtuˈɡejs] (BP-nordestino), (BP-baiano), (BP-nortista), [po̞ɾtuˈɡes] (BP-gaúcho), (riverense portuñol).
In this discussion of a female politician from Alagoas state it is possible to notice that the "r" in this position is an [h] sound http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKoGPP0ntz0
- Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2010" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2010
Other websites[change | change source]
- Amélia P. Hutchinson and Janet Lloyd Portuguese: An Essential Grammar. On www.archive.org
- TM 30-501 Portuguese Military Dictionary: Portuguese-English, English-Portuguese. War Department Technical Manual. On www.archive.org