Native name: português ()
ISO Code: por
Family: Indo-European
Est. L1 speakers: 215,000,000
Est. L2 speakers: 35,000,000
Est. total speakers: 250,000,000
(Co-)official in:
  1. European Union
  2. Mercosur


Well in excess of 200 million people in the world speak Portuguese as a native language and tens of millions more as a second/foreign language, making it one of the top world languages by the number of speakers. With that in mind, it is perhaps a bit perplexing that for a very long time Portuguese was considered almost like Spanish’s little brother and relatively few people in the Anglo-speaking North America were picking it as their first-choice foreign language to study. With the rise of Brazil as a global economic force, this is changing.

News, Essays & Blog Posts (3 / 3)

Learning Brazilian Portuguese if you already speak Spanish
By: Benny Lewis at Fluent in 3 Months F3M   Published: 03/Feb/2011
Languages: Portuguese

While some of you might be learning Portuguese as your first foreign language, quite a lot of you might have already learned Spanish before. So rather than dismissively (and inaccurately) say “they're almost the same, you'll be fine,” I'd like to actually write about how to leverage and transition your Spanish towards (Brazilian) Portuguese. »

Blending in with Cariocas in Rio
By: Benny Lewis at Fluent in 3 Months F3M   Published: 27/Dec/2009
Languages: Portuguese Cities: Rio de Janeiro

I am absolutely amazed by this city. It has a fascinating cultural history, an active music and dance scene, some of the most outstanding scenery I've ever come across, the world's most famous Carnaval, samba, enough to inspire judges to have it be the host of both the 2014 World cup final and the 2016 Olympics, and, most important of all, Cariocas – its residents. »

How to speak Portuguese as if you were from Rio
By: Benny Lewis at Fluent in 3 Months F3M   Published: 21/Dec/2009
Languages: Portuguese Cities: Rio de Janeiro

For those of you who followed my Portuguese mission, I was successful in convincing several Cariocas (residents of Rio de Janeiro) that I was one of them. This involved working on two parts of how I interacted with people; my body language/outward behaviour and my spoken Portuguese.

In today's post I am going to go into the technical details of what I did to improve the level of my already fluent Portuguese, but with a typical gringo accent, to the point where I could convince a local that I was one of them (talking for about 20-30 seconds until I slipped up), as long as I was focused. »

Where Portuguese Is Spoken

Portuguese-language Writers

20th century: Fernando Pessoa, José Saramago, Clarice Lispector