Portuguese language

Western Romance language of the Indo-European language family

Portuguese (Portuguese: português) is a Romance language. It came from Galician-Portuguese, which was first spoken in Northwestern Iberia. It then spread south and split. During the colonial era, Portuguese was also spread to Brazil and other parts of the world.

Native toPortugal, Brazil
Native speakers
215 million (2010)[2]
Early form
Latin (Portuguese alphabet)
Portuguese Braille
Official status
Official language in

Many international organisations
Regulated byInternational Portuguese Language Institute
Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazil)
Academia das Ciências de Lisboa, Classe de Letras (Portugal)
Language codes
ISO 639-1pt
ISO 639-2por
ISO 639-3por
  Native language
  Official and administrative language
  Cultural or secondary language
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Man speaks Portuguese

Where it is spoken


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 an official language of Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique (Moçambique), Equatorial Guinea, and São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe), which have Portuguese as the lingua franca, but native languages are also spoken. It is also an official language in East Timor and Macau.

Also, some enclaves in Asia, such as Goa and Daman and Diu, in India; Flores, Indonesia; and Malacca, Malaysia, have Portuguese-speakers, and it is a minority language in Venezuela, Canada, Uruguay, Namibia, Romania, Moldova, Turkey, and the United States.



Portuguese and English have words that mean the same and are similar as well. The words came from the same languages (usually Latin, Greek or Arabic).

  • Visão Vision
  • Informação Information
  • Confuso Confused
  • Baptismo Baptism
  • Artigo Article
  • Capital Capital
  • Total Total
  • Mapa Map
  • Problema Problem
  • História History

Some English words come from Portuguese, such as tank (tanque), cacao (cacau), marmalade (marmelada from marmelo "quince"), caramel, molasses, mosquito, cobra, breeze (brisa), albino, coconut, zebra, pagoda, Mandarin, buccaneer, fetish, tapioca and commando.

The Portuguese word parentes is similar to the English word "parents", but it means "relatives", and the Portuguese word to mean "parents" is pais.

Sample phrases

  • Olá! Hello!
  • Oi! Hi!
  • Como estás? How are you?
  • Estou bem, obrigado! I’m ok thanks!
  • Como está/estás? How are you?
  • Tu falas Português? Do you speak Portuguese?
  • Eu falo português. I speak Portuguese.
  • Eu não falo português. I do not speak Portuguese.
  • Tenho que ir, tchau! I have to go, goodbye!
  • Até logo! See you soon!
  • Tchau! Bye!
  • O que estás a fazer? What are you doing?
  • Eu tenho 18 anos. I'm 18 years old.

Different versions


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 country has 81% of the world's Portuguese-speakers), tu'("you" but used only to family and close 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 get rid of some of the differences in spelling.


  1. Regional pronunciation in Brazil:
    [po̞χtuˈɡeɕ ~ puxtuˈgeɕ] (BP-florianopolitano), (BP-fluminenseii)5
    [poɾtuˈɡes] (BP-paulistano), (BP-curittiban Ftt5to), (BP-catarinense),
    [poɹtuˈɡejs] (BP-cttkaipira), (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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKoGPP0ntz0
  2. Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2010" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2010

Other websites