From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Nations in which Portuguese is an official language. Lusophone countries are a subset of those where Portuguese is the main native language.
  Native language
  Official and administrative language
  Cultural or secondary language
  Portuguese speaking minorities
  Portuguese-based creole
A Lusophone speaking Portuguese, recorded in the United States.

Lusophones (Portuguese: Lusófonos) are peoples and nations that comprise an estimated 270 million people spread across 10 sovereign states and territories that recognize Portuguese as an official language. This area, known as Lusofonia or the Lusophone world (Mundo Lusófono), is the corresponding community of Lusophone nations which exist in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

The history of the Lusophone world is intrinsically linked with the history of the Portuguese Empire, although the Portuguese diaspora, the Brazilian diaspora and the Cape Verdean diaspora communities have also played a role in spreading the Portuguese language and Lusophone culture. Today, Portuguese-speaking nations of the world come together for cooperation in politics, culture, and the economy, through the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), also known as the Lusophone Commonwealth.


The term Lusophone is a classical compound, wherein 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 Sinophone for Chinese speakers. The term is sometimes used in reference to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, similarly to the Francophonie.

Officially Lusophone countries[edit]

Country Population More information Status
Brazil Brazil 210,147,125 Portuguese in Brazil Spoken by the vast majority as a native language
Angola Angola 29,784,193 Portuguese in Angola Spoken by a significant majority as a native language
Mozambique Mozambique 29,668,834 Portuguese in Mozambique Spoken by a significant minority as a native language
Portugal Portugal 10,295,909 Portuguese in Portugal1 Spoken by the vast majority as a native language
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau 1,861,283 Portuguese in Guinea-Bissau Spoken by a significant minority as a native language
East Timor East Timor 1,296,311 Portuguese in East Timor Spoken by a minority as a second language
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea3 1,267,689 Portuguese in Equatorial Guinea Spoken by a significant minority as a native language
Macau Macau 566,375 Portuguese in Macau Spoken by a small minority as a native language
Cape Verde Cape Verde 546,388 Portuguese in Cape Verde Spoken by the majority as a second language
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe 204,327 Portuguese in São Tomé and Príncipe Spoken by the vast majority as a native language
Total c. 279 million Community of Portuguese Language Countries


  1. During the Portuguese rule of Goa from 1505 to 1961, Portuguese was the official language. The Goa, Daman and Diu Official Language Act, 1987 made Konkani in the Devanagari script the sole official language of Goa.[2] Goa is thus not included here.
  2. Linguists such as Lindley Cintra and Teixeira de Pascoaes 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.[citation needed]
  3. 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).
  4. 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 Annobón and Bioko.[citation needed]
  5. 15% of Uruguay's population speaks Portuguese (in the northern regions near Brazil) as a native language, though it is not an official language.[3] This makes Portuguese the second-most-spoken language of the country. A number of Uruguayans living near the Brazilian border also speak a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese called Portuñol.[4] A similar blending of Portuguese, Spanish, and Guarani (Jopara) occurs along the border with Paraguay.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "lusophone, adj". OED Online. Oxford University Press. September 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Goanet :: Where Goans connect". 24 July 2011. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  3. ^ The Portuguese Dialect of Uruguay (DPU) is spoken by circa 15% of the Uruguayan population according Juan Pedro Mir, director of education of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the country. (19 August 2017)
  4. ^ O dialeto fronteiriço do Uruguai: origens, investigações e oportunidades Archived 27 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine Espaço acadêmico. Retrieved 17 December 2010

External links[edit]