Portuguese Language Data Points and Fun Facts

welocalize September 15, 2018

Portuguese is a western Romance language with approximately 215 to 220 million native speakers and 260 million total speakers. Portuguese is usually listed as the sixth most natively spoken language in the world and the third-most spoken European language in the world, in terms of native speakers.

Here is a collection of Portuguese language data points to help you on your global journey:

  • Portuguese Nations. There are eight members in the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (CPLP): Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, The Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and East Timor.
  • Universally Portuguese. According to estimates by Unites Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Portuguese is the fastest growing European language after English.
  • Lexical differences. Similar to American English versus British English, Portuguese has lexical variances. For example, a mobile phone in Brazil is a celular, but in Portugal it is a telemóvel. As such, it is important to work with native language translators who are able to localize the content for where it will be used, such as Portugal, Brazil or Mozambique.
  • Language regulations. The standard written form of Portuguese used in Brazil is regulated by the Brazilian Academy of Letters and is referred to as Brazilian Portuguese. In Portugal, the language is regulated by the Sciences Academy of Lisbon, Class of Letters and its national dialect is European Portuguese.
  • Going online. As of December 2017, there were over 169 million Portuguese speakers online, making it the 5th most common language used on the internet.
  • Romance language. Many aspects of the Portuguese language are shared with all the Romance languages (languages that come from Latin), such as Spanish, Italian, Romanian and French.
  • By the numbers. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, in 2011, 673,000+ people spoke Portuguese at home.
  • Galician. The Romance language also known as Galego is spoken by about 3 million Spanish people in Galicia, the northwest corner of Spain (border with Portugal). It is considered the closest language to Portuguese and it shares the same origins.
  • Clinical trials. There are over 1,700 current clinical trials underway in Brazil and 775 in Portugal.

And for a few fun facts:

  • Get hired. The top social media channels for recruiting Portuguese professionals are, in order: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The top job boards are: net-empregos.com, emprego.sapo.pt and olx.pt. (Source: SmartRecruiters.com)
  • One and only. Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas.
  • Forbidden names. The Portuguese government has an 80-page list of illegal names, or names prohibited to name your baby. For example, ‘Ovnis’ is on the list. In Portuguese it means ‘UFO.’

Welocalize Life Sciences is an ISO 9001, ISO 13485 and ISO 17100 certified language services company that specializes in translation and interpreting services for the life sciences industry.  Contact us if you’re in need of professional medical, clinical or regulatory Brazilian or European Portuguese language services. Please also follow us on Twitter: @Welocalize_LS.