Portuguese (Português)

Portuguese is a Romance language spoken by about 220 million people mainly in Portugal and Brazil (Brasil), and also in Angola, Mozambique (Moçambique), Cape Verde (Cabo Verde), Guinea-Bissau (Guiné-Bissau), São Tomé e Principe, East Timor (Timor-Leste), Equatorial Guinea and Macau. There are also communities of Portuguese speakers in Goa, Daman and Diu in India, and in Malacca in Malaysia.

Portuguese at a glance

  • Native name: Português
  • Linguistic affliation: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Western Romance, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Galician-Portuguese
  • Number of speakers: c. 220 million
  • Spoken in: Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé e Principe, East Timor and Macau
  • First written: 9th century
  • Writing system: Latin script
  • Status: sole official language of Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and São Tomé and Príncipe; co-official status in Macau, Equatorial Guinea and East Timor

Portuguese is a descendent of Latin, which was brought to the Iberian Peninsula by Roman soldiers, settlers and merchants from 218 BC. The earliest records of a distinctly Portuguese language appear in administrative documents dating from the 9th century AD. In 1290 King Denis decreed that Portuguese, then simply called the "Vulgar language" should be known as the Portuguese language and should be officially used.

A reformed Portuguese orthography (nova ortografia), in which words were spelled more in accordance with their pronunciation, was adopted is Portugal in 1916. A slightly modified form was adopted in Brazil in 1943 and revised in 1970. A new orthography which aims to unify the written Portuguese of all the lusophone countries was adopted in Brazil in 2009. Dates have yet to be set for its adoption in the other Portuguese-speaking countries

Portuguese alphabet (alfabeto português)

A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h I i
á é efe agá i
J j K k L l M m N n O o P p Q q R r
jota cá/capa ele eme ene ó quê erre
S s T t U u V v W w X x Y y Z z  
esse u dábliu,
xis ípsilon,
i grego

The letters K, W and Y are used only in foreign loanwords.

Listen to the Portuguese alphabet read by Heitor de Moraes from Brazil

Pronunciation of the Portuguese of Portugal

Pronunciation of the Portuguese of Portugal

Pronunciation of the Portuguese of Brazil

Pronunciation of the Portuguese of Brazil

Listen to the consonants of Brazilian Portuguese read by Heitor de Moraes from Brazil


Sample text in Portuguese

Todos os seres humanos nascem livres e iguais em dignidade e em direitos. Dotados de razão e de consciência, devem agir uns para com os outros em espírito de fraternidade.

A recording of this text

Sample text in Brazilian Portuguese

Todos os seres humanos nascem livres e iguais em dignidade e direitos. São dotados de razão e consciência e devem agir em relação uns aos outros com espírito de fraternidade.

A recording of this text


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample video in European Portuguese

Sample video in Brazilian Portuguese

Information about Portuguese | European Portuguese phrases | Brazilian Portuguese phrases | Family words | Numbers | Time | Tongue twisters | Tower of Babel | Articles | Links | Learning materials

Contributors to this page: Marcelo Manschein, Mário André Coelho da Silva and Heitor de Moraes from Brazil, and Renato Serôdio from Portugal


Information about Portuguese

A Língua Portuguesa (a history of the Portuguese language in Portuguese, English and French): http://www.linguaportuguesa.ufrn.br/

Information about Portuguese pronunciation (in Portuguese)

Learn Portuguese grammar through interactive lessons/exercises

Online Portuguese lessons

More links to Portuguese language resources

Aprenda InglÍs Online

- Learn Portuguese online with Portuguese Pod101
- Learn Portuguese online with Mondly
- Rocket Portuguese
- Grammar Hero Portuguese - Internalise Portuguese Grammar
- Learn Portuguese online
- Portuguese electronic dictionaries and translators
- Portuguese learning software
- Language tutors anytime, anywhere at Lingo-Live.com
- Learn Portuguese with Glossika

Learn Portuguese with Free Podcasts

Romance languages

Aragonese, Aranese, Aromanian, Asturian, Catalan, Corsican, Dalmatian, Emilian-Romagnol, Extremaduran, Fala, Franco-Provençal, French, Friulian, Galician, Gallo, Genoese, Guernésiais, Istriot, Italian, Jèrriais, Ladino, Ladin, Lombard, Megleno-Romanian, Mirandese, Moldovan, Monégasque, Mozarabic, Neapolitan, Occitan, Picard, Piedmontese, Portuguese, Romanian, Romansh, Sardinian, Sicilian, Spanish, Venetian, Walloon

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

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