||This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2010)
A reading campaign in East Timor
. The message reads, in Portuguese and Tetum
: "Read books! Books are open windows to the world".
A Lusophone (or lusophone) is someone who speaks the Portuguese language either as a native speaker, as an additional language, or as a learner. As an adjective, it means "Portuguese-speaking". The word itself is derived from the name of the ancient Roman province of Lusitania, which covered most of modern-day Portugal.
Lusophone countries include Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, and the Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Macau. The Community of Portuguese Language Countries is an international organization consisting of the eight independent countries where Portuguese is an official language. These countries are also referred to as the "Lusosphere". Some linguists argue that Galicia is also part of the Lusosphere.
Diaspora communities in the United States, Canada, Venezuela, South Africa and Western Europe are also important centers for the Portuguese language, as well as an often hybrid or bilingual Lusophone migrant culture.
The notion of "Lusophonic" reaches beyond the dictionary definition of "Portuguese speaker". It extends to people who are culturally and linguistically linked to Portugal, either historically or by choice. The term does not have an ethnic connotation, in that a Lusophone may not have any Portuguese ancestry at all. The Lusophone world is mainly a legacy of the Portuguese empire, although Portuguese diaspora communities have also played a role in spreading the Portuguese language and Portuguese culture. Even after the empire's collapse, the corresponding countries continue to exhibit both cultural and political affinities and a broad cultural diversity, expressed in the existence of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, created in 1996.
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