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Portuguese language facts for kids

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Quick facts for kids
Native to Portugal
Native speakers 215 million  (2010)
Language family
Early forms:
Medieval Galician
  • Portuguese
Writing system Latin (Portuguese alphabet)
Portuguese Braille
Official status
Official language in
Many international organisations
Regulated by International Portuguese Language Institute
Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazil)
Academia das Ciências de Lisboa, Classe de Letras (Portugal)
Linguasphere 51-AAA-a
Map of the portuguese language in the world.png
     Native language

     Official and administrative language      Cultural or secondary language      Portuguese speaking minorities

     Portuguese-based creole languages

Portuguese (Portuguese: português) is a Romance language. It came from Galician-Portuguese, which was first spoken in Northwestern Iberia. It then spread south and split. During the colonial era, Portuguese was also spread to Brazil and other parts of the world.

Where it is spoken

The Portuguese language is the third-most spoken western language (after English and Spanish). There are about 240 million native speakers, including the people of Portugal, Brazil, and Cape Verde (Cabo Verde). It is also the official language of Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique (Moçambique), and São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe), which have Portuguese as the lingua franca, but native languages are also spoken. It is also an official language in East Timor and Macau.

Also, some enclaves in Asia, such as Goa and Daman and Diu, in India; Flores, Indonesia; and Malacca, Malaysia, have Portuguese-speakers, and it is a minority language in Venezuela, Canada, Uruguay, Namibia, and the United States.


Portuguese and English have words that mean the same and are similar as well. The words came from the same languages (usually Latin, Greek or French).

  • Visão Vision
  • Informação Information
  • Confuso Confused
  • Baptismo Baptism
  • Artigo Article
  • Capital Capital
  • Total Total
  • Mapa Map
  • Problema Problem
  • História History

Some English words come from Portuguese, such as tank (tanque), cacao (cacau), marmalade (marmelada from marmelo "quince"), caramel, molasses, mosquito, cobra, breeze (brisa), albino, coconut, zebra, pagoda, Mandarin, buccaneer, tapioca and commando.

The Portuguese word parentes is similar to the English word "parents", but it means "relatives", and the Portuguese word to mean "parents" is pais.

Sample phrases

  • Olá! Hello!
  • Oi! Hi!
  • Tudo ok? Everything ok?
  • Tudo bem, obrigado. Everything is fine, thanks.
  • Como está/estás? How are you?
  • Você fala português? Do you speak Portuguese?
  • Eu falo português. I speak Portuguese.
  • Eu não falo português. I do not speak Portuguese.
  • Tenho de ir, adeus! I have to go, goodbye!
  • Até logo! See you soon!
  • Tchau! Bye!
  • O que está fazendo/estás a fazer? What are you doing?
  • Eu tenho 18 anos. I'm 18 years old.

Different versions

Portuguese is the official language of all countries of the CPLP (Comunidade dos países de língua portuguesa, "Community of Portuguese Language Countries"). The Portuguese-speaking countries have more than 240 million people across the world. The CPLP was formed in 1996 with seven countries: Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe. East Timor joined in 2002.

The CPLP nations speak Portuguese with different accents. In some regions of Brazil (the country has 81% of the world's Portuguese-speakers), tu'("you" but used only to family and close friends) is not used as much as in Portugal. Also, regional slang can be found in different areas. The Portuguese Orthographic Agreement of 1990 (Acordo Ortográfico de 1990) tries to get rid of some of the differences in spelling.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Idioma portugués para niños

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Portuguese language Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.