Portuguese language

português, língua portuguesa
Pronunciation[puɾtuˈɣeʃ], [poɾtuˈɡes], [poʁtu′ɡes], [poɹtu′ɡes]
Native speakers
223 million (2012–2016)[1]
20 million L2 speakers[1]
Early form
Old Portuguese (Galician-Portuguese)
Latin (Portuguese alphabet)
Portuguese Braille
Manually coded Portuguese
Official status
Official language in

Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byInternational Portuguese Language Institute
Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazil)
Academia das Ciências de Lisboa, Classe de Letras (Portugal)
Academia Galega da Língua Portuguesa (Galicia)
Language codes
ISO 639-3por
Map of the portuguese language in the world.png
  Native language
  Official and administrative language
  Cultural or secondary language
  Portuguese speaking minorities
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Portuguese (português or, in full, língua portuguesa) is a Western Romance language originating in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the sole official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola, and São Tomé and Príncipe.[7] It also has co-official language status in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea and Macau in China. As the result of expansion during colonial times, a cultural presence of Portuguese and Portuguese creole speakers are also found in Goa, Daman and Diu in India;[8] in Batticaloa on the east coast of Sri Lanka; in the Indonesian island of Flores; in the Malacca state of Malaysia; and the ABC islands in the Caribbean where Papiamento is spoken, while Cape Verdean Creole is the most widely spoken Portuguese-based Creole. A Portuguese-speaking person or nation may be referred to as "Lusophone" in both English and Portuguese.

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 and lexicon.[9][10] With approximately 215 to 220 million native speakers and 250 million total speakers, Portuguese is usually listed as the sixth most natively spoken language in the world, the third-most spoken European language in the world in terms of native speakers,[11] and the most spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also the most spoken language in South America and the second-most spoken in Latin America after Spanish, one of the 10 most spoken languages in Africa[12] and is an official language of the European Union, Mercosur, OAS, ECOWAS and the African Union.


When the Romans arrived at the Iberian Peninsula in 216 BC, they brought the Latin language with them, from which all Romance languages descend. The language was spread by Roman soldiers, settlers, and merchants, who built Roman cities mostly near the settlements of previous Celtic or Celtiberian civilizations established long before the Roman arrivals. For that reason, the language has kept a relevant substratum of much older, Atlantic European Megalithic Culture[13] and Celtic culture[14].

Between 409 AD and 711 AD, as the Roman Empire collapsed in Western Europe, the Iberian Peninsula was conquered by Germanic peoples of the Migration Period. The occupiers, mainly Suebi[15][16], Visigoths and Buri[17] 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. After the Moorish invasion 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 commonly known as Mozarabic, which lasted three centuries longer in Spain.

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 and County of Portugal. 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,[18] 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.[19]. 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.

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.[citation needed]

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, rustic and beautiful"). 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 Os Lusíadas.[20][21][22]

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.[23] The museum is the first of its kind in the world.[23] In 2015 the museum was destroyed in a fire, but there are plans to reconstruct it.[24]

Other Languages
Адыгэбзэ: Португалыбзэ
Afrikaans: Portugees
አማርኛ: ፖርቱጊዝኛ
العربية: لغة برتغالية
arpetan: Português
Avañe'ẽ: Peroñe'ẽ
azərbaycanca: Portuqal dili
Bahasa Banjar: Bahasa Paranggi
Bân-lâm-gú: Phû-tô-gâ-gí
башҡортса: Португал теле
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Партугальская мова
Bikol Central: Portuges
brezhoneg: Portugaleg
català: Portuguès
čeština: Portugalština
Chamoru: Pottugés
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Idioma portugués
Cymraeg: Portiwgaleg
davvisámegiella: Portugálagiella
ދިވެހިބަސް: ޕޯޗުގީޒު
dolnoserbski: Portugišćina
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Purtugheṡ
Esperanto: Portugala lingvo
estremeñu: Luenga portuguesa
euskara: Portuges
eʋegbe: Pɔtugisgbe
Fiji Hindi: Portuguese bhasa
français: Portugais
Frysk: Portegeesk
Gaelg: Portiugish
Gàidhlig: Portagailis
贛語: 葡萄牙語
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: Purtugez bhas
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Phù-thò-ngà-ngî
한국어: 포르투갈어
hornjoserbsce: Portugalšćina
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Portugis
interlingua: Lingua portugese
isiZulu: IsiPutukezi
íslenska: Portúgalska
עברית: פורטוגזית
Basa Jawa: Basa Portugis
kalaallisut: Portugalimiutut
Kapampangan: Amanung Portuges
къарачай-малкъар: Португал тил
kernowek: Portyngalek
Kinyarwanda: Igiporutigali
Kiswahili: Kireno
Kreyòl ayisyen: Lang pòtigè
Кыргызча: Португал тили
لۊری شومالی: زڤون پورتغالی
Lëtzebuergesch: Portugisesch
lietuvių: Portugalų kalba
Limburgs: Portugees
lingála: Lipulutugɛ́si
Lingua Franca Nova: Portuges (lingua)
македонски: Португалски јазик
Malagasy: Fiteny portogey
Māori: Reo Pōtikī
مازِرونی: پرتغالی
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Portugis
Baso Minangkabau: Bahaso Portugis
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Buò-dò̤-ngà-ngṳ̄
Dorerin Naoero: Dorerin Portsiugar
Nederlands: Portugees
Nedersaksies: Portugees
नेपाल भाषा: पोर्तुगेस भाषा
Napulitano: Lengua purtuese
Nordfriisk: Portugiisk spriak
Norfuk / Pitkern: Porchuguees
norsk nynorsk: Portugisisk
Nouormand: Portûndgais
Novial: Portugalum
occitan: Portugués
олык марий: Португал йылме
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Portugal tili
Pangasinan: Salitan Português
پنجابی: پرتگالی
Papiamentu: Português
Patois: Puotigiis
Picard: Portugué
Piemontèis: Lenga portughèisa
Plattdüütsch: Portugeesche Spraak
português: Língua portuguesa
Qaraqalpaqsha: Portugal tili
qırımtatarca: Portugal tili
reo tahiti: Reo Pōtītī
Runa Simi: Purtuyis simi
саха тыла: Португаал тыла
Gagana Samoa: Fa'aPotukale
संस्कृतम्: पुर्तगाली भाषा
Sesotho sa Leboa: Sepotokisi
Simple English: Portuguese language
slovenčina: Portugalčina
slovenščina: Portugalščina
српски / srpski: Португалски језик
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Portugalski jezik
Basa Sunda: Basa Portugis
svenska: Portugisiska
татарча/tatarça: Португал теле
Türkçe: Portekizce
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: پورتۇگال تىلى
vepsän kel’: Portugalijan kel'
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Bồ Đào Nha
Volapük: Portugänapük
West-Vlams: Portugees
Winaray: Pinortuges
吴语: 葡萄牙语
ייִדיש: פארטוגעזיש
Yorùbá: Èdè Pọtogí
粵語: 葡萄牙文
Zazaki: Portekizki
žemaitėška: Puortogalu kalba
中文: 葡萄牙語