Lusophone

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Lusophones (Portuguese: lusófonos) are people who speak the Portuguese language, either as native speakers or as learners. Similarly, the Lusosphere or Lusophony (Portuguese: Lusofonia) is a community of people who are culturally and linguistically linked to Portugal, either historically or by choice. The idea of a Lusosphere is free of ethnic connotations, 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 and Brazilian diaspora communities have also played a role in spreading the Portuguese language. Even after the collapse of the empire, the corresponding countries continue to exhibit both cultural and political affinities, expressed in the existence of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), created in 1996.

Etymology[edit]

The term Lusophone is a classical compound, whereby the combining form "Luso-" derives from the Latin term for an area roughly corresponding to modern Portugal, called Lusitania.[1] The suffix "-phone" derives from the Ancient Greek word φωνή (phōnē), meaning "voice". The use of the term Lusophone mirrors similar terms, such as Anglophone for English-speakers, Francophone for French-speakers, Hispanophone for Spanish-speakers, and Russophone for Russian-speakers. The term is sometimes used in reference to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, similar to the Francophonie.

Officially lusophone countries[edit]

Country Population (July 2017 est.)[2] More information Status
Brazil Brazil 207,353,391 Portuguese in Brazil Spoken by vast majority as a native language
Angola Angola 29,310,273 Portuguese in Angola Spoken by significant minority as a native language; spoken by majority as a second language
Mozambique Mozambique 26,573,706 Portuguese in Mozambique Spoken by significant minority as a native language
Portugal Portugal 10,839,514 Portuguese in Portugal1 Spoken by vast majority as a native language
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau 1,792,338 Portuguese in Guinea-Bissau Spoken by significant minority as a native language
East Timor East Timor 1,291,358 Portuguese in East Timor Spoken by small minority as a native language
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea3 778,358 Portuguese in Equatorial Guinea Spoken by significant minority as a native language
Macau Macau2 601,969 Portuguese in Macau Spoken by small minority as a native language
Cape Verde Cape Verde 560,899 Portuguese in Cape Verde Spoken by majority as a second language
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe 201,025 Portuguese in São Tomé and Príncipe Spoken by vast majority as a native language
Total c. 279 million Community of Portuguese Language Countries

Notes:

  1. Some linguists argue that Galician, spoken in Galicia, is merely a dialect of Portuguese rather than an independent language; this would make northwestern Spain a part of the Portuguese-speaking world.
  2. Macau is not a sovereign nation. It is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China (the other being Anglophone Hong Kong, a former British colony).
  3. 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. However, a Portuguese-based creole language, Annobonese Creole, is used, mainly on islands of Annobon and Bioko.
  4. 15% of Uruguay's population speaks Portuguese (in the northern regions closer to Brazil) as a native language but it is not an official language in any capacity.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "lusophone, adj". OED Online. Oxford University Press. September 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "The World Factbook -- Field Listing - Population - CIA". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2015-03-07. 

External links[edit]