About the Portuguese Language

Bem-vindos ao Programa de Língua Portuguesa e de Estudos Lusófonos!
Welcome to the Portuguese Language and Lusophone Cultures Program!

A person who speaks Portuguese, regardless where he or she is from, is called Lusophone.  Lusophone is pronounced /loozofóne/

Portuguese is the official language of eight countries: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal (including the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira), São Tomé and Príncipe, and East Timor.

Portuguese is also an official language in Macau (along with Chinese) and Equatorial Guinea (along with French and Spanish).

Portuguese is the fifth most spoken language in the world, after Mandarin, English, Hindi, and Spanish.

Portuguese is the third most spoken European Language in the world!

Portugal is one of the oldest nations in Europe (1139)!

A Portuguese-American is known as Luso-American.

Portuguese is the mother tongue of more than 340 million people in all continents, offering people instant entry to:

  • Portugal (including the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira)
  • Brazil
  • Cape Verde
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Angola
  • Mozambique
  • East Timor
  • Macau
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Former Portuguese India (Goa, Damão, Diu) where people still speak Portuguese.
  • The geographical areas where Portuguese-based Creoles are spoken throughout the world, from the Americas, Lusophone Africa, India, and Sri Lanka to Malacca,* Singapore, Batavia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

* As in the case of Malaccan Portuguese, Papiá Kristang, spoken as a first-, second-, and/or third language by 5,000 people in Malacca and 400 in Singapore, taught regularly in all colleges and universities.


Portuguese Contacts

For Questions about the Portuguese Program
Contact the RGSLL Dept at:
[email protected]
(202) 994-3855