What writing system(s) does this language use?
The Portuguese language uses the Latin (Western) alphabet now with the letters k, w, and y. They use six different diacritics to change the sounds that the letters make in words. Here are the different letters that are changed by diacritics: á, â, ã, à, ç, é, ê, í, ó, ô, õ, ú, .
How many people speak this language?
About two hundred and fifty million people speak Portuguese as their native language. It is the 5th most spoken language of the world. It is one of the official languages of the European Union and Mercosul.
Where is this language spoken?
Portuguese is spoken all over the world. Most people in Portugal and Brazil speak Portuguese as their first language. It is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, East Timor, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, Mozambique and Equatorial Guinea. A few hundred years ago Portugal discovered, colonized and laid claim to many regions around the world.
Portuguese colonization was distinct from other colonizing nations due to the small size of the nation (territory/population). The colonization process was a direct result of nautical exploration for commerce and trade routes and the goal to establish claims (see Padrão), more than a pressure to expand population. A significative part of the population necessary to maintain the new territorial claims were in fact not even of Portuguese origin, Galegos (from Galicia - Spain) and Flemengos (Flemish people) were, especially in the earlier stages of expansion, of great importance to the crown. For similar reasons there was also a great level of interbreeding with locals and population movement from colony to colony, more than any other European nation.
As can be seen above the Portuguese Império Ultramarino (overseas empire) included Brazil, countries in Africa, Asia, and Oceania. It was the longest-lived modern European colonial empire and the first global empire in history. Portuguese settlers (and settlers from other nations under license from Portugal) went to the new colonies, established the government and business, ruling over any existing indigenous populations. The new colonies continued to speak Portuguese and indigenous were required to learn the language in order to interact with the state representatives. Portuguese was often established as a common language on ethnically distinct regions that have several local dialects (i.e.: Angola and Guinea-Bissau) and this practice continues after their independence or as a way to preserve Historico-cultural distinction like in East Timor. Although Portuguese is not the official language in Goa (India) and Macao (China) it is still spoken by minorities on those regions and the language also had a deep influence in nations that it entered in contact, for instance Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach Japan and one of the many legacies was the adoption of some Portuguese language into Japanese.
Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP) formed by Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe and Equatorial Guinea, part of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) an the intergovernmental organization for friendship among lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) nations where Portuguese is an official language.
There are also large communities of Portuguese speaking people in other parts of the world such as the United States, Andorra, France, Luxembourg, Jersey, Namibia, Venezuela, and South Africa. Portuguese is becoming one of the main languages in Southern Africa, where it is also taught in Namibia and South Africa.
Portuguese-based Creole is also spoken in different parts of the world. These include India, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
What is the history of this language?
It is one of many descendants of Latin (Ibero-Roman group). All of these languages split from Latin long ago. During the Middle Ages the Latin in North Portugal and Galicia (northwestern Spain) slowly became a language called Galician-Portuguese. Galician-Portuguese was a mix of Latin and some of the local pré-Roman languages: Celt, Lusitanian. It also contains influences from the invaders of the Roman Empire: Vandals, Visigoths and later Arabic invaders from northern Africa (the Moors), even French due to the Napoleonic Invasions has enriched the language.
Portuguese in Brazil and in other former colonies of Portugal, is spoken with a local accent and many regional words.
- Luís de Camões (Portuguese, 1524 – 1580): considered by some the greatest poet of the Portuguese language.
- Machado de Assis (Brazilian, 1839 – 1908): widely regarded as the most important writer of Brazilian literature.
- Fernando Pessoa (Portuguese, 1888 – 1935): another great Portuguese poet.
- Cecília Meireles (Brazilian, 1901 – 1964): Modernist poet.
- José Saramago (Portuguese, 1922 – 2010): Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998.
- Jose Cardoso Pires (Portuguese, 1925 – 1998): author of short stories, novels, plays, and political satire.
- Nélida Piñon (Brazilian, 1937 – present): First woman to win the prestigious Juan Rulfo literary prize, awarded annually to a leading Latin American, Caribbean, or Iberian writer.
- Paulo Coelho (Brazilian, 1947 – present)
What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?
|Português (Portuguese)||English (Inglês)|
|Oi! Como vai?/Como estás?||Hi! How are you?|
|Bom dia||Good morning|
|Boa tarde||Good afternoon|
|Boa noite||Good night|
|(Que há?) or (O que foi?) or (Qual é?)||What's up?|
|Não muito.||Not much.|
|Agora não||Not now|
|Tchau or Adeus||Good-bye.|
|Até amanhã.||See you tomorrow.|
|Poderia dizer-me onde posso encontrar um banheiro (ou casa-de-banho)?||Could you tell me where I can find a bathroom?|
|Onde posso apanhar um táxi?||Where can I take a taxi?|
|Quanto custa isso?||How much does it cost?|
|Quero um copo de leite.||I want a glass of milk.|
|Gosto de você (de ti).||I like you.|
|Te amo (Amo-te).||I love you.|
|Obrigado (speaker is male) or Obrigada/o (speaker is female)||Thank you.|
|Tenho saudades tuas||I miss you.|
|De nada or Não há de quê||You are welcome.|
|Que horas são?||What time is it?.|
|Desculpa (shows familiarity) ou Desculpe (shows deference)/Desculpe-me||Sorry/I'm sorry.|
|Você or Tu||You (singular, familiar)|
|O senhor (male) or a senhora (female)||You (singular, formal).|
|Eles (male), elas (female)||They.|
|Você fala inglês?||Do you speak English?|
|Eu não falo português||I don’t speak Portuguese.|
|Eu não entendo.||I do not understand|
|Como se diz em português?||How do you say it in Portuguese?|
|Fale mais devagar, por favor.||Speak slower, please|
|Repita, por favor.||Say it again, please|
|Você tem ......?||Do you have ......?|
|Eu quero||I want .....|
|Eu não quero .....||I don’t want .....|
|Eu gostaria .....||I would like .....|
|Onde é ....?||Where is .....?|
|Onde posso trocar dinheiro?||Where can I change money?|
|Qual é a cotação do dólar?||What is the exchange rate for the dollar?|
|Eu gostaria de trocar cem dólares.||I would like to change $100.00.|
|Meu nome é ..... or Chamo-me .....||My name is .......|
|Como você se chama?||What is your name?|
|Prazer em conhecê-lo (male). Prazer em conhecê-la (female)||Nice to meet you.|
What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language?
Aqui na minha mão.;
Não cai, não;
Não cai, não;
Não cai, não;
Cai na rua do João.
"Fall, Fall, Balloon"
Fall, Fall, Balloon;
Right here in my hand.
Please don't fall;
Please don't fall;
Please don't fall;
Fall on John's street.
Introduction • Glossary • Authors and Contributing • Print Version