Lusophones (Portuguese: Lusófonos) are peoples and nations that comprise an estimated 270 million people spread across 10 sovereign states and territories that recognize Portuguese as an official language. This area, known as Lusofonia or the Lusophone world (Mundo Lusófono), is the corresponding community of Lusophone nations which exist in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

Places where Portuguese is spoken.
  Native language
  Official and administrative language
  Cultural or secondary language
  Portuguese speaking minorities
  Portuguese-based creole
A Lusophone speaking Portuguese, recorded in the United States

The history of the Lusophone world is intrinsically linked with the history of the Portuguese Empire, although the Portuguese diaspora, the Brazilian diaspora and the Cape Verdean diaspora communities have also played a role in spreading the Portuguese language and Lusophone culture. Today, Portuguese-speaking nations of the world come together for cooperation in politics, culture, and the economy, through the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), also known as the Lusophone Commonwealth.


The term Lusophone is a classical compound, wherein the combining form "Luso-" derives from the Latin term for an area roughly corresponding to modern Portugal, called Lusitania.[1] The suffix "-phone" derives from the Ancient Greek word φωνή (phōnē), meaning "voice". The use of the term Lusophone mirrors similar terms such as Anglophone for English speakers, Francophone for French speakers, Hispanophone for Spanish speakers, and Sinophone for Chinese speakers. The term is sometimes used in reference to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, similarly to the Francophonie.

Officially Lusophone countriesEdit

Nation Population More information Status
  Brazil 212,559,409 Portuguese in Brazil Spoken by the vast majority as a native language
  Angola 32,866,268 Portuguese in Angola Spoken by a significant majority as a native language
  Mozambique 31,255,435 Portuguese in Mozambique Spoken by a significant minority as a native language
  Portugal 10,305,564 Portuguese in Portugal Spoken by the vast majority as a native language
  Guinea-Bissau 1,967,998 Portuguese in Guinea-Bissau Spoken by a significant minority as a native language
  Equatorial GuineaA 1,402,985 Portuguese in Equatorial Guinea Spoken by a small minority as a second language
  East Timor 1,318,442 Portuguese in East Timor Spoken by a significant minority as a second language
  MacauB 649,342 Portuguese in Macau Spoken by a small minority as a native language
  Cape Verde 555,988 Portuguese in Cape Verde Spoken by the majority as a second language
  São Tomé and Príncipe 219,161 Portuguese in São Tomé and Príncipe Spoken by the vast majority as a native language
Total c. 293 million Community of Portuguese Language Countries


A 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 Annobón and Bioko.[citation needed]
B 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).

Further Lusophone territoriesEdit

  • During the Portuguese rule of Goa from 1505 to 1961, Portuguese was the official language. The Goa, Daman and Diu Official Language Act, 1987 made Konkani in the Devanagari script the sole official language of Goa.[2] Goa is thus not included here.
  • 15% of Uruguay's population speaks Portuguese (in the northern regions near Brazil) as a native language, though it is not an official language. This makes Portuguese the second-most-spoken language of Uruguay.
  • Linguists such as Lindley Cintra and Teixeira de Pascoaes 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.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "lusophone, adj". OED Online. Oxford University Press. September 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Goanet :: Where Goans connect". 24 July 2011. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2020.

External linksEdit

  • Words Without Borders explores Lusophone literature in translation
  • Flavours of Lusophony (in Portuguese)