Portuguese speaker

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The Museum of the Portuguese Language in São Paulo is the first language museum in the world.
Map of the Portuguese-speaking world

A Portuguese speaker (occasionally called a "lusophone") is someone who speaks Portuguese either as a native speaker or as a learner. The word "lusophone" is a neologism which originated in the 1970s and is derived from the name of the ancient Roman province of Lusitania, which covered most of modern-day Portugal.[1]

Linguistic nuance[edit]

Country Population (2013 est.)[2]
Brazil Brazil 201,009,622
Mozambique Mozambique 24,096,669
Angola Angola 18,565,269
Portugal Portugal 10,799,270
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau 1,660,870
East Timor East Timor 1,172,390
Macau Macau 583,003
Cape Verde Cape Verde 531,046
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe 186,817
Total 258,604,956

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 Brazilian and Portuguese 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 Speaking Countries, created in 1996.

Portuguese-speaking nations[edit]

N.B.: Some linguists argue that Galician, spoken in Galicia, is really just a dialect of Portuguese; this naturally would make northwestern Spain a part of the Portuguese-speaking world, as well.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]