Portuguese American Journal

May 5th: World Portuguese Language Day celebrated – Portugal

World Portuguese Language Day is celebrated on May 5th, in about 50 counties, every year. On this day, various events and activities are organized around the world, including conferences, workshops, book fairs, and exhibitions.

These events aim to raise awareness of the importance of the Portuguese language as a world language and to encourage people to learn the language.

According to estimates by UNESCO, Portuguese is the fastest-growing European language in the globe after English. It is the sixth most spoken language in the world, spoken by approximately 260 million people. It is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, and East Timor.

Portuguese is also spoken in many Portuguese communities in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and parts of Africa and Asia. In New England, the United States, Portuguese is the third most widely spoken language after English and Spanish.

Brazil, which has a population of over 207 million, is the largest Portuguese-speaking nation. Portuguese is also spoken in Goa in India, and the territory of Macau in China. Someone who speaks Portuguese is called a Lusophone.

Spoken by 3.7% of the world population, Portuguese is also an official language of international organizations such as the European Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and the Union of South American Nations, Portuguese is also recognized as a working language of the African Union, the Mercosur, and the Organization of Ibero-American States. which means it is an important language for diplomacy, trade, and communication. Portuguese is also the fifth most used language on the Internet and is the fourth most used on Facebook.

The future of Portuguese as a world language looks promising, as its speakers continue to increase in number, especially in Brazil and other countries in South America. Brazil is projected to become the fifth-largest economy in the world by 2030.  

Its continued growth and importance in business and international relations make Portuguese a valuable language to learn and one with a bright future as a global language.

Portuguese is projected to be spoken in 2050 by about 400 million, and in 2100 by more than 500 million people, when the population of Angola will increase to more than 170 million and Mozambique to more than 130 million people.

The World Portuguese Language Day on May 5th was established by the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) in 2009, to promote the Portuguese language and its cultural heritage. Founded in 1996, the CPLP is an international organization made up of Lusophone countries where Portuguese is the official language to promote cooperation and solidarity among its members.

The date was officially recognized in 2019, on the occasion of the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, which officially proclaimed May 5th, of each year, as “World Portuguese Language Day” as a major language of international communication, as well as a global language of science, culture, economics, and diplomacy.

Carolina Matos/Editor 

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