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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.


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.

Lusophone nations[edit]

Map of the Portuguese-speaking world
Country Population (latest censuses/estimates)
Brazil Brazil 206,440,850
Mozambique Mozambique 27,128,530
Angola Angola 25,789,024
Portugal Portugal 10,341,330
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau 1,565,815
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea 1,222,442
East Timor East Timor 1,167,242
Macau Macau 652,500
Cape Verde Cape Verde 531,239
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe 190,428
Total 275,029,400


  1. Some linguists argue that Galician, spoken in Galicia, is a dialect of Portuguese; 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. A Portuguese creole is however used, mainly in Annobon and Bioko islands.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "lusophone, adj". OED Online. Oxford University Press. September 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 

External links[edit]