List of territorial entities where Portuguese is an official language(Redirected from List of countries where Portuguese is an official language)
The following is a list of sovereign states and territories where Portuguese is an official or de facto language.
List of countries and territoriesEdit
|Country||Population (July 2017 est.)||More information||Status|
|Brazil||207,353,391||Portuguese in Brazil||Spoken by vast majority as a native language|
|Angola||29,310,273||Portuguese in Angola||Spoken by significant minority as a native language;
spoken by majority as a second language
|Mozambique||26,573,706||Portuguese in Mozambique||Spoken by significant minority as a native language|
|Portugal||10,839,514||Portuguese in Portugal1||Spoken by vast majority as a native language|
|Guinea-Bissau||1,792,338||Portuguese in Guinea-Bissau||Spoken by significant minority as a native language|
|East Timor||1,291,358||Portuguese in East Timor||Spoken by small minority as a native language|
|Equatorial Guinea3||778,358||Portuguese in Equatorial Guinea||Spoken by significant minority as a native language|
|Macau2||601,969||Portuguese in Macau||Spoken by small minority as a native language|
|Cape Verde||560,899||Portuguese in Cape Verde||Spoken by majority as a second language|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||201,025||Portuguese in São Tomé and Príncipe||Spoken by vast majority as a native language|
|Total||c. 279 million||Community of Portuguese Language Countries|
- Some linguists 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 15% of Uruguay's population speaks Portuguese (in the northern areas closer to Brazil) as a native language but it is not an official language in any capacity.
Spread of PortugueseEdit
During a period of Portuguese discoveries and through a large colonial empire, the language was spread to areas in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Portuguese-based creole languages also developed during this era.
Portuguese is spoken as a first language in Portugal by nearly all of the nation's 10.6 million people. The ancestor of modern Portuguese, Galician-Portuguese,[clarification needed] began developing in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, in an area encompassing present-day northern-Portugal and Galicia, at around the 9th century. Modern Portuguese started developing in the early 16th century[clarification needed].
Rest of EuropeEdit
The Galician language, spoken natively in Galicia, Spain, is co-official with Spanish in the region. It was in Galicia where the Portuguese language was born. In fact, both Galician and Portuguese were the same language until the independence of Portugal, when the two languages and territories started to developed differently. Thus, Portuguese became the official language of Portugal while Galicia and its language were subordinated to the Spanish control, a situation that continues nowadays. Portuguese-speaking immigrants from Portugal, Brazil, Portuguese-speaking Africa and Macau have also settled in Andorra (around 15 000 speakers), Belgium, France (around 500 000 speakers), Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In Luxembourg, 19% of the population speaks Portuguese as mother tongue, making it the largest minority language by percentage in a Western European country.
With a population of over 205 million, Brazil is by far the world's largest Portuguese-speaking nation and the only one in the Americas. Portuguese was introduced during the Portuguese colonial period. Portuguese has also served as a lingua franca between the various ethnic groups in Brazil and the native Amerindian population after the Jesuits were expelled from every Portuguese territory and the languages associated with them prohibited.
Portuguese is the first language of the overwhelming majority of Brazilians, at 99.5%. It is followed by various German dialects, such as Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, at a distant 1.94% (co-official status).
The form of Portuguese spoken in Brazil is a little different from that spoken in Europe, with differences in vocabulary and grammar that can be compared to the differences between American and British English, but with the phonology and prosody more distinct to[clarification needed] each other (on a slightly larger scale than that of the Metropolitan and Québécois varieties of French); nevertheless, European and Brazilian Portuguese are completely mutually intelligible[clarification needed]. The vast majority of Brazilian characteristics are also found in some rural, remote Portuguese registers[clarification needed] (or the African and Asian ones, indicating an Old Portuguese feature lost in Europe),  while nearly all distinctive European characteristics can be found in any major dialect of Brazil (such as fluminense, specially its carioca sociolect, and florianopolitano), due to a stronger or more recent Portuguese and other European immigration.
Migration from Brazil also led to a great number of Portuguese speakers in the Southern Cone (especially Uruguay with portunhol da pampa), Paraguay (see brasiguayos), other regions of South America (especially Bolivia) except Venezuela, Japan (see Brazilians in Japan 400,000 and dekasegi, official numbers do not include second generation Portuguese speakers and naturalized citizens), South Korea, the Philippines (see Brazilians in the Philippines), and Israel (see Aliyah from Latin America in the 2000s).
Rest of South AmericaEdit
Although Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in South America, it has the largest population, area and economy on the continent. Thus, the South American trade bloc Mercosul uses Portuguese alongside Spanish as its working languages. A Spanish influenced Portuguese dialect is spoken in the northern Uruguayan border area with Brazil. Given the proximity and trading relations between Portuguese speaking Brazil, and its respective Spanish speaking nations, Portuguese is offered as a foreign (or obligatory) second language course at most schools in Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Venezuela and Bolivia.
There are more than 1.5 million Portuguese Americans and about 300,000 Brazilian Americans living in the United States, and Portuguese is spoken by over 730,000 people at home in the country. There are over 500,000 people of Portuguese descent living in Canada; however, most of the community's population now speaks English or French as their primary language. Also a primary language along with English in the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. 
Portuguese is the sole official language of Angola, and 85% of the population professes fluency in the language. Additionally, 75% of Angolan households speak Portuguese as their primary language, and native Bantu languages have been influenced by Portuguese through loanwords.
Portuguese is the sole official language of Mozambique and serves as a lingua franca between the various ethnic groups in the country. Slightly over 30% of the population are native speakers of Portuguese, while 65% professes fluency. Most of Mozambican media is available solely in Portuguese, and the country receives several Portuguese and Brazilian television stations.
Despite being the sole official language, only 50% of the population professes fluency in Portuguese. However, a Portuguese-based creole called Guinea-Bissau Creole (Kriol) is spoken by nearly the whole population.
Similar to Guinea-Bissau, although Portuguese is the only official language, a Portuguese-based creole known as Cape Verdean Creole is spoken by the majority of the population. Most Cape Verdeans are fluent in Portuguese as well. Education and media are available largely in standard European Portuguese only.
São Tomé and PríncipeEdit
In São Tomé and Príncipe, Portuguese is by far the most spoken language, with around 95% of the population speaking it at home or professing fluency.[a] A Portuguese-based creole called Forro is also spoken.
In 2007, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema announced a decision to make Portuguese the third official language of the country after Spanish and French. This was in an effort by the government to improve its communications, trade, and bilateral relations with Portuguese-speaking countries. Despite government promotions, Portuguese remains rarely spoken in Equatorial Guinea, but increased political and trade relations with Portuguese-speaking nations i.e., Brazil, Angola, Portugal, will soon increase the numbers of Portuguese speakers in this country. News, sports, and entertainment media in Portuguese will undoubtedly also facilitate increased comprehension. The majority of the population (~90%) still speaks Spanish as its primary language, and Spanish is still the administrative language and that of education, while French is the second official language.
Rest of AfricaEdit
Large Portuguese-speaking communities are found in Namibia, South Africa and Zambia due to immigration from the Lusophone African countries. Portuguese is also being taught in the schools of these countries.
Asia & OceaniaEdit
Portuguese is co-official with Tetum in East Timor and was introduced during the colonial period. A little under 39% of the population professes fluency in Portuguese. The local Tetum language has been heavily influenced by Portuguese through loanwords, and code-switching between the two languages is common.
Due to the one country, two systems policy of China regarding its special administrative regions, Macau is able to retain Portuguese as an official language alongside Cantonese. Portuguese was first introduced to Macau when Portuguese traders established a permanent settlement there in 1537. Despite being a Portuguese colony for over four centuries, the Portuguese language was never widely spoken in Macau and remained limited to administration and higher education and was spoken primarily by the Portuguese colonists, Macanese people of mixed ancestry, and elites and middle-class people of pure Chinese blood. As a consequence, when Macau was handed back to China in 1999, Portuguese did not have a strong presence like English had in Hong Kong and continued its decline which began when Portuguese rule was still occurring. Ironically, it was only after Portuguese rule ended when the Portuguese language in Macau began to see an increase in speakers due to China's increased trading relations with Lusophone countries. There has been an increase in the teaching of Portuguese owing to the growing trade links between China and lusophone nations such as Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, and East Timor, with 5,000 students learning the language. Today, about 3% of Macau's population speaks Portuguese as a first language and 7% of the population professes fluency. A Portuguese creole called Macanese (Patuá) was spoken by Macanese of mixed ancestry but is near extinction today.
Portuguese is present in the enclave of Goa, which was a Portuguese colony until 1961. Although it was the sole official language during Portuguese colonial rule, it is mostly spoken by the elderly and educated populations today and is not an official language. Rather, Goa's official state language is Konkani, which has however picked up some Portuguese vocabulary as a legacy of Portuguese influence. Attempts to make Konkani be written in the Portuguese alphabet and possibilities of reintroducing Portuguese as a co-official language of Goa have been made in recent years; presently Portuguese is officially teaching there.
Portuguese rule in Daman and Diu has also left a smaller Portuguese influence on the territory. A Portuguese-based creole called Língua da Casa is spoken in the territory. As a result of the renewed interest in the Portuguese language and culture, the Portuguese language is making an impressive comeback. Portuguese is still taught in some schools in Goa.
Portuguese were also in the area of Vasai (present), previously Bassein or Bacaim since 1560 until 1739. Though the Portuguese were defeated by Marathas, there are some words which are used by the locals which are words in the Portuguese language. Today there is a large Catholic population, and many churches built during those days are still being used for worship.
Rest of AsiaEdit
Portuguese is spoken in Japan among returned immigrants (500,000) or migrant workers from Brazil known as dekasegi. Portuguese loanwords are also present in the Japanese language due to trading relations between Japan and the Portuguese Empire in the 16th century.
- Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP)
- Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP)
- List of international organisations which have Portuguese as an official language
- Luso American
- Portuguese dialects
- Portuguese creole
- Portuguese language
- Latin America
- Latin Europe
- Romance-speaking Africa
- Glossary of Japanese words of Portuguese origin
- 99.8% declared speaking Portuguese in the 1991 census
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