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Lusophone

Lusophones (Portuguese: lusófonos) are people who speak the Portuguese language, either as native speakers or as learners. Similarly, the Lusosphere or Lusophony (Portuguese: Lusofonia) is a community of people who are culturally and linguistically linked to Portugal, either historically or by choice. The idea of a Lusosphere is free of ethnic connotations, in that a Lusophone may not have any Portuguese ancestry at all. The Lusophone world is mainly a legacy of the Portuguese Empire, although Portuguese diaspora and Brazilian diaspora communities have also played a role in spreading the Portuguese language. Even after the collapse of the empire, the corresponding countries continue to exhibit both cultural and political affinities, expressed in the existence of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, created in 1996.

Contents

  • Etymology 1
  • Lusophone nations 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Etymology

The term Lusophone is a classical compound, whereby 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, and Russophone for Russian-speakers. The term is sometimes used in reference to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, similar to the Francophonie.

Lusophone nations

Map of the Portuguese-speaking world
Country Population (2014 est.)[2]
Brazil 202,656,788
Mozambique 24,692,144
Angola[3] 24,300,000
Portugal 10,813,834
Guinea-Bissau 1,693,398
East Timor 1,201,542
Macau 587,914
Cape Verde 538,535
São Tomé and Príncipe 190,428
Total 266,674,583

N.B.:

  1. Some linguists argue that Galician, spoken in Galicia, is really just a dialect of Portuguese; this naturally would make northwestern Spain a part of the Portuguese-speaking world, as well.
  2. 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).
  3. 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 still limited. A Portuguese creole is however intensively used, mainly in Annobon and Bioko islands.

See also

References

  1. ^ "lusophone, adj". OED Online. Oxford University Press. September 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "The World Factbook – Field Listing – Population - CIA". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  3. ^ http://jornaldeangola.sapo.ao/politica/somos_24_milhoes_1

External links

  • Words Without Borders explores Lusophone literature in translation
  • "lusophone.org" free email for Portuguese-speakers around the world
  • Flavours of Lusophony (Portuguese)
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