WORLD PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE DAY
Every year on May 5th, World Portuguese Language Day highlights the important role this language plays in preserving human civilization and culture.
Around the world, Portuguese is one of the world’s most spoken and widespread language. It is the most widely spoken language in the Southern hemisphere. Portuguese speakers also account for the first wave of globalization. Because of this, the Portuguese language influenced other languages. Study many English words, and you will find their origins in the Portuguese language. Some of these words include banana, embarrass, acai, breeze, coconut, macaw, monsoon, molasses, mango, maraca, samba, zebra, and cobra. Mosquito is also a Portuguese word, which means little fly.
Today, about 229 million people in the world speak Portuguese. This makes Portuguese the 9th most spoken language in the world. Someone who speaks this language is called a Lusophone. A majority of Lusophones live in Brazil. Besides Brazil, eight other countries name Portuguese as the official language.
These countries include:
- Cabo Verde
- Equatorial Guinea
- Sao Tome and Principe
Portuguese is considered a Romance language, taking its origins from Latin.
Are you interested in learning the Portuguese language? If you already know Spanish, French, or Italian, you’ll be glad to know the grammatical structure of Portuguese is similar. Listening to Brazilian music can be helpful as well.
HOW TO OBSERVE WORLD PORTUGUESE DAY
Many Portuguese-speaking countries celebrate this day with concerts, cultural and artistic activities, and literary events. To participate:
- Commit to learning the Portuguese language
- Learn about famous Portuguese authors like Gil Vicente, Fernando Pessoa, José Luís Peixoto, and Luís de Camões.
- Watch a Brazilian and Portuguese movie, such as City of God, Central Station, The Man from the Future, Arabian Nights, and Once Upon a Time in Rio.
You can also share this day on social media with #WorldPortugueseLanguageDay.
WORLD PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE DAY HISTORY
The Council of Ministers of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) originally began observing a Day of the Portuguese Language and Culture on May 5th. In 2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) changed it to World Portuguese Language Day. This was the first time an unofficial UNESCO language was given this honor.