Why Learn Portuguese

If you are learning Portuguese, you are in good company: Portuguese is one of the world’s fastest-spreading languages and is a strategic language for global communication as well as for economic and political development.

With more than 200 million Portuguese speakers in the world, Portuguese is one of the 10 most spoken language worldwide. Portuguese is now the most widely spoken language in South America, is a major lingua franca in Africa, and is an official language of eight countries spanning four of the earth’s inhabited continents.

Portuguese is becoming even more relevant with the FIFA World Cup being hosted in Brazil in 2014 and the Summer Olympic Games taking place in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Vamos falar português!

Facts about Portuguese

  • Portuguese is a Romance language that originated in the Northwestern Iberian Peninsula about a thousand years ago.
  • You already use words of Portuguese origin such as tapioca, petunia, piranha, cashew, macaw, and toucan.
  • Portuguese has one of the richest vowel phonologies of all Romance languages, with seven to nine oral vowels, five nasal vowels, 10 oral diphthongs, and five nasal diphthongs.
  • The Portuguese alphabet consists of 23 letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, X, Z. The letters K, W, and Y may appear in personal names and in words derived from them.