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Nations in which Portuguese is an official language (de facto or de jure). 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

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.

Officially lusophone countries[edit]

Country Population (July 2017 est.)[2] More information Status
Brazil Brazil 207,353,391 Portuguese in Brazil Spoken by the vast majority as a native language
Angola Angola 29,310,273 Portuguese in Angola Spoken by a significant minority as a native language, and by the majority as a second language
Mozambique Mozambique 26,573,706 Portuguese in Mozambique Spoken by a significant minority as a native language
Portugal Portugal 10,839,514 Portuguese in Portugal1 Spoken by the vast majority as a native language
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau 1,792,338 Portuguese in Guinea-Bissau Spoken by a significant minority as a native language
East Timor East Timor 1,291,358 Portuguese in East Timor Spoken by a minority as a second language
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea3 778,358 Portuguese in Equatorial Guinea Spoken by a significant minority as a native language
Macau Macau2 601,969 Portuguese in Macau Spoken by a small minority as a native language
Cape Verde Cape Verde 560,899 Portuguese in Cape Verde Spoken by the majority as a second language
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe 201,025 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. 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).
  2. 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.[citation needed]
  3. 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. ^ "The World Factbook -- Field Listing - Population - CIA". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  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

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