PORTUGUESE SPEAKING COUNTRIES

The Portuguese language is the fifth most spoken on the planet. In the western world is the third most spoken language (after English and Castilian). There are 250 million people in the world who speak this language. In Brazil there are 80% of Portuguese speakers. Portuguese is the official language in Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Cape Verde, Brazil, Mozambique, East Timor, Sao Tome and Principe and Equatorial Guinea. Bearing in mind the importance of language, in MERCOSUR countries, language teaching is compulsory at school. Portuguese is also used as an unofficial language in places such as Macau (china) and Goa (India). In these places the language is spoken with a small minority of the population. The language of Camões (the famous Portuguese poet) had its origin in Latin (language that the Romans inserted in the north of the Iberian peninsula). With the arrival of the Roman people, practically all the peoples of the peninsula began to use Latin (except the Basques in Spain). Portuguese, Castilian and Galician thus have their origin in Latin.

In essence it is a Romance language, or rather, Iberian-Romance. The Romance language gave rise not only to Portuguese but also to Castilian, Catalan, Italian, French and Romanian. The Portuguese language differs through different dialects and is internationally classified into European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese.

1. Portugal

Population: 10 million people

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The birthplace of this great idiom. Portugal is a country located in southern Europe (Iberian Peninsula). The only country it borders on is Spain. Its location along the Atlantic Ocean has influenced the history and development of the country (maritime expansion or fish consumption are examples of this Portuguese interaction with the sea). The beaches of the Algarve and currently also the city of Lisbon and Porto are popular destinations for tourists. There are around 10 different accents from “Açoreano” to “Portuense”.

2. Brazil

Population: 200 million people

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The capital of Brazil is Brasilia and the currency is Real (BRL). This country is in South America and the most developed areas are Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. Brazil is a country with enormous potential but huge social and economic problems. It is a country with a lot of political corruption, with great social inequalities and big differences in the distribution of wealth and job opportunities.

Brazil is the biggest Portuguese-speaking country in the world. There are at least 12 dialects. Brazilian Portuguese speak diferently from european Portuguese. The spoken language has more diferences than the  grammar and written.

3. Angola

Population: 14 million people

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This country was colonized by the Portuguese and was ruled by Portugal until 1975. Portuguese is the official language. In Angola there are five portuguese accents.

4. Mozambique

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Population: 22 million

This african country was colonized by the Portuguese in XVI century and became independente in 1974 (after the 25th of April revolution that occured in Lisbon). The country is divided in 12 areas.

5. Cape Verde

Population: 500 thousand people

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The capital of the republic of Cape Verde is Praia. The official currency is Cape Verde’s shield. Located in Africa. Cape Verde’s economy depends on agriculture and tourism. Drought has a major impact on the country’s agriculture and economy. Coffee, bananas, sugar cane, fruits, maize, cassava and maize are the most relevant crops in this fragile economy

Cape verde was colonized by the Portuguese in the 1410s and became independent in 1975. Portuguese is the official language but people from Cape Verde also speak Crioulo.

6. Guinea-Bissau

Population: 1.6 million

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The capital is Bissau and the official currency is CFA Franc. It is located in Africa. Guinea Bissau is heavily dependent on agriculture and fisheries (over 60% of GDP). Guinea-Bissau exports fish and shellfish as well as crops such as peanuts and palm kernel. Tourism is also important in the economy of this country. Rice is the most produced and very important cereal in the diet of the people of Guinea. This small country was a part of the Mali Empire. It was conquered by the Portuguese in the 1800s. Portuguese is the official language and also other native languages of the region.

7. São Tomé and Príncipe

Population: 1.630.000

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The smallest Portuguese-speaking country in the world. São Tomé was settled by the Portuguese in the 1470s and, just like most of the other colnies, got independente after the portuguese revolution.

8. Equitorial Guinea

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The capital of this country is Malabo and the currency is CFA Franc. Equatorial Guinea is located in Africa. The Portuguese language, Castilian and French are also official languages.

The Portuguese idiom is one of three official languages of the country. The Spanish and the Portuguese both colonized here. Equitorial Guinea became independente from spain in 1968.

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