Portuguese language facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
  • [puɾtuˈɣeʃ] (EP)
  • [poʁtuˈɡes] (BP)
Native to Portugal
Native speakers 215 million  (2010)
Language family
  • Italic
    • Romance
      • Western Romance
        • Gallo-Iberian
          • Ibero-Romance
            • West Iberian
              • Galician-Portuguese
                • Portuguese
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

The Portuguese language is an Iberian Romance language. The Portuguese word is português. It was originally a dialect of Latin with some traces of old Celtic, spoken in the Kingdom of Galicia.

Who speaks Portuguese

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, Angola, Mozambique (Moçambique), and São Tomé and Príncipe, where native languages exist, but Portuguese is the lingua franca.

The territories where people speak Portuguese as first language are Angola, Brazil (Brazil makes up 81% of Portuguese speakers), Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe and small enclaves in Asia such as Goa, Daman and Diu in India, Flores in Indonesia and in Malacca, Malaysia.

Words in Portuguese that are similar to English ones

Portuguese and English have words that mean the same thing and look similar as well. This is because these words came from the same languages (for example 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, for example tank (tanque), cacao (cacau), marmalade (marmelada from ”marmelo” = quince), caramel, molasses, mosquito, cobra, breeze (brisa), albino, coconut, zebra, pagoda, Mandarin, buccaneer, fetish, tapioca and commando.

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

Examples of usual phrases

  • Olá! Hello!
  • Oi! Hi!
  • tudo bem ? Is everything ok?
  • tudo bem, obrigado. Everything is fine, thanks.
  • Como vai? How are you doing?
  • 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 must go, goodbye!
  • Até logo! See you later!
  • Tchau! Bye!
  • O que está 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 pronoun 'tu' (meaning 'you', but only used when speaking to family and 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 smooth over those differences.

Portuguese language Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.